Wrestling tag teams need a great deal of chemistry to always perform together as one. Both wrestlers being on the same page is necessary every single night to have a believable and successful performance. Most legendary tag teams featured good friends, brothers, or acquaintances that enjoyed working alongside their partner. It is always easier for a tag team to get along if they want to move up in the pecking order. Quite a few tag teams in history, however, featured two wrestlers that did not like their partner. They somehow found a way to be a tag team in the short or long term before falling apart.
We will take a look at some of the memorable teams that featured two partners that butted heads. A difference in approaches to wrestling can easily lead to issues being created. The inability to get on the same page can cause issues and the team will suffer from it. These teams ranged from units that failed to the squads that never fulfilled their potential. You have to wonder how well they would have done if they were able to get along. Here are fifteen all-time wrestling tag teams that featured two partners that hated each other while working together.
15. The Rockers
The Rockers influenced a future generation of tag teams that would change the business. It all started with the amazing work of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as a tag team. Both men were athletic performers doing moves their peers couldn’t even process. Fans fell in love with the Rockers, but Michaels and Jannetty held very little love for the other. The moment of Michaels throwing Jannetty through a glass window is remembered for both careers going in drastic directions.
Michaels went on to become the biggest star in WWE. Jannetty failed and had a trainwreck of a career following the split. Both men however reportedly wanted the split for years. Various wrestlers to work with them before they even signed with WWE claimed there was huge jealousy between the Rockers. Jannetty and Michaels each tried to get more fame than the other, leading to them butting heads. Their personal demons added to the situation as well. The Rockers ended up making peace in their later years but they are clearly not friends.
14. Billy Kidman and Paul London
WWE experimented with an interesting tag team combination of Paul London and Billy Kidman. At this time, London was a new star joining the company with a world of potential and Kidman was a veteran struggling to find a spot on WWE television after struggling to adapt to life after WCW. The different places in their careers led to the two talented wrestlers failing to develop a positive relationship.
London claimed that Kidman didn’t treat him with respect and was a complete jerk to work with. WWE paired them together because they had the same finisher. Another claim from London was that Kidman seemed jealous that the younger star was pulling off a more athletic version of his finisher. Despite winning the WWE Tag Team Championship, Kidman and London ended abruptly. If they got along, both of their careers in WWE may have been better off for it.
13. Animal and Heidenreich
One of the dumbest ideas WWE ever had was trying to reform the legendary Legion of Doom tag team a few years after Hawk died. Johnny Ace wanted to hire his brother Animal back into WWE and this was his best bet. WWE signed Animal and paired him with struggling wrestler Heidenreich. This wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t literally rip off all the old LOD things such as the gear, music, and name. Fans didn’t view Heidenreich as a credible replacement to Hawk.
Animal didn’t like Heidenreich either, viewing the younger wrestler as disrespectful. Instead of using the opportunity to become a star, Heidenreich allegedly showed up to shows late and didn’t view Animal as someone to learn from. The two reportedly came close to fighting at one point backstage. WWE eventually quit on the angle and both careers ended shortly after. Never try to replicate a legendary tag team with new members.
12. The Dicks
The Dicks are remembered in the worst possible way as one of the all-time worst gimmicks in WWE history. Chad Wicks and Tank Toland were hired to play the tag team of the Chippendales dancers. The Dicks essentially were meant to be jokes that fans mocked and it never went anywhere. One thing that very much worked against them was the locker room viewing them as not showing proper respect as new young wrestlers joining the team.
Wicks complained to WWE management about various wrestlers harassing them. Unfortunately for him, the wrestlers in question were bigger names. WWE ended up phasing The Dicks out before releasing them. Wicks and Toland started to turn on each other as Toland didn’t want his partner complaining to management. They turned into enemies during their final couple of months in WWE. Toland appeared to be in the right considering their careers ended in WWE due to Wicks’ decision.
11. The Gangstas
ECW’s popular tag team The Gangstas always got the fans excited with their hardcore brawls. New Jack was the breakout star of the group and Mustafa was a very intimidating tag partner. Fans loved the unpredictability of New Jack doing the most insane moves and his brash personality. Mustafa didn’t have nearly the same level of popularity but fit the bill as a big man that could get into the scraps.
Paul Heyman appreciated New Jack’s work more and tried to phase out Mustafa. New Jack always viewed Mustafa as being less committed to the wrestling business. Various things like refusing to move to Philadelphia and not wanting to do similar stunts to New Jack made him the outsider. Their relationship soured as Heyman pushed New Jack as a singles star and Mustafa left the company to do minimal work in wrestling afterwards. The Gangstas ended up making peace after ECW folded due to wanting to make money together on the independent circuit.
10. Crash and Hardcore Holly
The Holly family act was an underrated midcard gimmick during the Attitude Era. WWE placed the trio of Hardcore Holly, Crash Holly, and Molly Holly together as cousins that couldn’t get along but worked together as family. Crash played the undersized underdog that fans could get behind. Hardcore was the no nonsense tough guy known as the veteran for his many years in WWE. They worked well together as polar opposites on screen to entertain the audience.
However, Hardcore and Crash did not enjoy each other as much backstage. Crash was a big partier and Hardcore liked to keep to himself. The fact that his partner was a risk could have led to him being taken off television at any time. This was the reason Hardcore didn’t care for Crash and the two often butted heads. Hardcore did still feel bonded to Crash as he was saddened after Crash passed away at a young age after leaving WWE.
9. Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas
Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas made history as the first pair of black wrestlers to win the WWE Tag Team Championship back in the 80s. Fans viewed them as a unit that worked well together. WWE even tried to use them in storylines when The Rock debuted. Johnson is obviously Rock’s dad and Atlas was portrayed as a close friend of the family since the tag team was so successful and made history together.
Atlas and Johnson, however, could not stand each other and constantly got into arguments. There have been stories of the two throwing fists in the locker room with the outspoken Atlas never putting up with Johnson’s unhappiness. Johnson often complained about Altas being late and hurting his future. You just know Johnson is more content with being known as The Rock’s dad today rather than having to hear about the tag team with a partner that he despised.
8. Bam Bam Bigelow and Vader
Most would have assumed a tag team between Vader and Bam Bam Bigelow would have been perfect. Both men were world travelers known for their unique skill sets. Despite being big men, Vader and Bigelow each could execute impressive moves off the top rope and keep up with faster opponents. The duo worked together in Japan and fans reacted well to the two large Americans dazzling them.
Vader and Bigelow, however, didn’t like each other one bit. Their personalities clashed and caused them to have a competitive nature to their matches. Bam Bam stated in interviews before passing that he and Vader worked well together at the end of the day due to trying to outdo each other. Vader has revealed he didn’t enjoy working in the tag team and Bigelow revealed that Vader was a bully. We can only imagine how much more success they could have accomplished if they were on the same page.
7. Arn Anderson and Paul Roma
WCW signed Paul Roma with the hopes of him maturing into a main event player. The look of Roma allowed him to get a coveted spot in the Four Horsemen. An idea was conceived to have Anderson and Roma team up as a way to make Roma look better by being an equal to a credible star. Anderson and his best friend Ric Flair both despised this and felt Roma was dragging them both down in credibility due to his below average skills.
Roma hated working with Anderson as well. In multiple interviews since the whole ordeal, Roma claimed Anderson was jealous of his physique and his rise, so he tried to ruin his career. Both Flair and Anderson have ripped Roma in interviews of their own regarding his comments. This is one of the cases of partners hating each other when working together and holding on to it for the rest of their lives.
6. The Eliminators
Perry Saturn and John Kronus formed The Eliminators in ECW as one of the promotion’s first top tag teams. ECW fans loved watching The Eliminators destroy the opposition in impressive fashion. Despite hitting great moves together as a unit, Saturn and Kronus did not like each other much backstage. Issues arose when Kronus started gaining weight. Saturn viewed him as being unprofessional for not improving his look.
Things reached a boiling point when Saturn left ECW for WCW as one of the first major talents to make that move. Saturn clearly wanted a better chance to make more money, but his unhappiness of having to work with Kronus gave him more reason to. The potential of a singles run in ECW may have tempted Saturn into staying a little while longer. It ended up being the right move for his career. Kronus’ career unfortunately peaked when Saturn left him.
5. Edge and Randy Orton
Unlike many other tag teams on this list, Edge and Randy Orton are actually friends today that have a great deal of respect for each other. The tension between the two came from having to work together after spending time as top singles stars. WWE placed them together as the power heel team known as Rated RKO to oppose D-Generation X. However, WWE tried to keep them together a little while longer than expected which both felt was a demotion.
Reports indicated Edge was the one unhappier with seeing his momentum as a top singles star end with him back in a tag team. Orton was in bad shape back then, constantly getting into trouble with WWE due to his attitude and various Wellness Policy strikes. Edge feared being punished for the sins of Orton since they were working together as one in the tag team. Luckily, Rated RKO ended and each man continued their legendary singles careers.
4. Rick Martel and Tom Zenk
The Can-Am Connection of Rick Martel and Tom Zenk was the perfect example of two singles wrestlers having nothing to do with each other being placed together. WWE hoped the team would get the best out of both talents into finding a spot in the company. The problem is they had zero chemistry and it led to them hating to work together. Zenk and Martel each took shots at each other in the years following their short tenured team ending.
According to Martel, Zenk was too insecure to succeed and made the work a lot more difficult than it needed to be. Zenk claimed Martel tried to sabotage him backstage and loved the world of backstage politics. Neither man ever made much of an impact before, during or after their tag team. Their least favorite time period appears to be the time they worked together. Martel and Zenk shows just how poorly things can go in a makeshift team.
3. The British Bulldogs
The British Bulldogs are viewed as one of the most underrated tag teams of all time. Davey Boy Smith consistently had very good matches throughout his WWE career. Dynamite Kid never achieved the same success but influenced many of today’s stars with his groundbreaking style. Both men were actually cousins and worked well together traveling the world before joining WWE. The combination of a stronger powerful wrestler and high flying intense smaller wrestler allowed them to play off each other’s strengths.
Dynamite and Davey Boy just couldn’t get along despite their success and family ties. The bad attitude of Dynamite hurt his career and Davey grew tired of being affected by it as well. A great tag team ended way too soon, but it benefited Smith. He used the British Bulldog nickname in WWE following the split and went on to have a great singles career. Dynamite resented this but never could find relevant success in WWE. This proves even relatives can hate each other in wrestling tag teams.
2. Buff Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio
A very odd tag team of Buff Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio was formed in WCW when the company needed to find something for them to do. Both singles wrestlers failed to find any chemistry in the makeshift tag team leading to a flopped run. The attitude of Bagwell is the thing most associated with him considering how much it hurt his career. Scorpio hated having to be associated with it. The feeling of your tag partner that you don’t even like having the power to ruin your career is not a good one.
Both men have trashed each other publicly in recent years proving the hatred is still there two decades later. Scorpio called Bagwell disrespectful and claimed he once punked Buff out in front of his wife. Bagwell claimed he had no idea Scorpio disliked him and called him a flat out liar. The two men have violently threatened each other at various points.
1. The Mega Powers
There is no higher profile tag team in wrestling history to hate each other as much as the Mega Powers. WWE formed the tag team of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage as the two biggest stars in the promotion working together. Their eventual demise came when Savage grew paranoid of Hogan’s intentions with his wife Miss Elizabeth. This actually paralleled what would happen in their real life situation.
Savage and Hogan went back and forth between being best friends and enemies. One of the major reasons for their falling out was Savage growing paranoid of Hogan trying to spend time with Elizabeth behind his back. There’s an urban legend about Savage giving Hogan a black eye by punching him in the face before WrestleMania 9. Savage even wrote a rap song dissing Hogan at one point, showing just how much he detested his former partner. Hogan claims the two legends saw each other once and made peace shortly before Savage’s death. We’ll sadly never know if that story is true or not.
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