Tag team wrestling is a very important and entertaining genre within the wrestling industry. Wrestlers working as a team provide a different challenge compared to the average match. The fact that two people have to be on the same page at all times for their careers to thrive puts each in a high pressured situation. If your partner doesn’t take it seriously and does something to screw up, you will suffer for it. We have seen many pairs of brother tag teams through the years with the promotion claiming the duo is a pair of siblings. It isn’t always true, with some wrestlers just being paired together with similar looks.
There is a strong belief that the tag teams that are actually related have a stronger bond that makes them a better synced team in the ring. They understand what the other is thinking to add to the chemistry and improve the matches. However, both fake and real brother tag teams have found successes in major ways proving each side can lead to glory. We will take a look at the best stories of each with teams that either captured tag team gold or created a legacy as a duo. These are eight tag teams that featured fake brothers and seven that actually were related in real life.
15 Fake: The Smoking Gunns
The corny gimmick of two cowboys saw the Smoking Gunns play a pair of brothers in the WWE tag team division during the mid-90s. Bart Gunn and Billy Gunn played the brothers but were not related in the slightest. Both men were wrestlers looking to find success on WWE television and someone thought they looked enough alike to pass as a tag team of brothers.
The Smoking Gunns achieved a great deal of success during their time together and were among the better tag teams of that period. Billy and Bart won a total of three WWE Tag Team Championships together before splitting. Bart’s career went downhill and Billy formed the significantly better New Age Outlaws tag team with new partner Road Dogg. The fact that they weren’t brothers made it easier for WWE to break them up without worrying about their careers being linked together. Bart may have wished they were related since he never received many opportunities after the end of the Smoking Gunns.
14 Real: The Steiner Brothers
Scott Steiner is known for being a ridiculous personality that no one can control or predict the behavior of. Rick Steiner is a mild mannered real estate agent that always got along with his peers. The fact that they are real brothers in real life comes as a shock to anyone that meets them these days. WCW and WWE each got great work from the Steiner Brothers tag team in the 90s.
Many would argue that Rick and Scott were the greatest tag team in WCW history. They worked perfectly together dominating the tag division. As real life brothers, they always looked out for each other and definitely seemed like they always knew what the other one was doing. Scott may not have become a singles star if not for the years of outstanding work in the Steiner Brothers. Their feud following a breakup may have been hard on their parents watching the real life siblings fight.
13 Fake: The Brothers Of Destruction
You should be aware of the lack of reality behind Undertaker and Kane being brothers. The back story of Kane being the long lost brother of Undertaker that was burned after a fire saw them become rivals. Kane’s character work was tremendous in creating a horror movie style villain to oppose the fan favorite Undertaker. As with anything in wrestling, the feud grew old and WWE decided to pair them together as a tag team.
With the team name of the Brothers of Destruction, Kane and Undertaker may have been the most physically imposing tag team in WWE history. The star power in WWE needed many top stars to take smaller roles in the tag or midcard divisions. Undertaker and Kane found the perfect way to remain relevant as a tag team winning gold on multiple occasions. The Brothers of Destruction reunited one final time at Survivor Series 2015 to defeat The Wyatt Family before they unofficially retired from the ring.
12 Real: The Singh Brothers
One current pair of real life brothers getting to live the dream as a tag team together on WWE television would be the Singh Brothers. Sunil Singh and Samir Singh are currently the associates of WWE Champion Jinder Mahal making up an unofficial faction. Formerly known as the Bollywood Boyz, the Singh brothers received their biggest break when ditching the gimmick to become the lackeys of Mahal. It took them ten years of training, but they are finally on the big stage.
Despite Jinder being the biggest star of their group, fans have been talking about the bumps taken by the Singh brothers rather than the win of Mahal. The original plan for the Singh Brothers was to be a part of the cruiserweight division on 205 Live and Raw. Sunil and Samir getting to break away from that section of the show to a world title program helped them out big time. Life is great for the real life brothers finally getting to their goal in wrestling.
11 Fake: The Godwinns
WWE did a good job casting the roles of the Godwinn brothers as both Henry and Phineas looked alike. Most fans really believed they were brothers. The Godwinns played sibling pig farmers that often brought a bucket of slop to the ring that would be used once in a while. WWE’s clever marketing saw them have the full names of Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn solely for the H.O.G. and P.I.G. acronyms.
The Godwinns won the WWE Tag Team Championship twice during their time together. Their shelf life together did not last long as WWE adapted to the times by beginning the Attitude Era. The Godwinns act was way too corny for the Attitude Era so they had to play new characters. Under the new name of Southern Justice, they worked alongside Jeff Jarrett to minimal success. The brother act only worked for them as the Godwinns due to how believable it was.
10 Real: The Briscoe Brothers
Ring of Honor’s success over the past fifteen years has made it arguably the most important wrestling promotion outside of WWE. Many active top stars like AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and Samoa Joe all were top performers in ROH to create their star value before joining WWE. One top tier act to remain in ROH through it all is The Briscoe Brothers. Jay and Mark have been rumored to be on WWE’s radar for many years now but appear content in ROH.
The real life brothers have their own lawn mowing business along with a family farm that sees them do everything together. Jay and Mark not only share business ties in the wrestling industry but also their other lines of work. The Briscoe Brothers deserve to be mentioned among the greatest tag teams of the current era. Despite never working for WWE, they have truly created a legacy in the industry.
9 Fake: The Major Brothers
A tag team that lucked into being formed at all was Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Both men shared the common bonds of being lifelong WWE fans that grew up in Long Island. After working in developmental for a few years, the decision was made to call them up as a tag team known as the Major Brothers. Ryder and Hawkins each sported long blonde hair to make them look like actual siblings.
Things would get much better when Edge needed some henchmen during his time as the top heel in WWE. Ryder and Hawkins joined up with him and actually won the WWE Tag Team Championship at one point. They started to grow a fan base but WWE eventually split them up. Ryder received a few opportunities as a singles star but neither man ever truly got to where they wanted to as singles performers. Some fans still believe the two are brothers that should reform the tag team, but they have zero relation.
8 Real: Harlem Heat
The only 10-time WCW Tag Team Champions in WCW history was the tag team of Harlem Heat. Real life brothers Booker T and Stevie Ray worked together to get in a high profile position. They had a look and intensity that made them the perfect tag team for the time. No one would want to get into a real life fight with this duo. As actual brothers, it led to issues between the two when WCW split them up.
Booker moved to the top of the card as a main event superstar and Stevie wallowed in obscurity until WCW went out of business. It was a tough time between the two for many years allegedly due to Stevie being upset at Booker not trying to get him a job in WWE. Things are great between the two brothers now as they’ve made peace in their older days. No one will ever be able to take away the success of Harlem Heat as a legendary duo of the 90s.
7 Fake: The Basham Brothers
An underrated tag team in terms of finding success in a short time period was the Basham Brothers. Danny and Doug Basham looked very much alike despite having zero relation whatsoever. WWE viewed them as a highly touted team after years of work together in developmental at Ohio Valley Wrestling. The Basham Brothers won the WWE Tag Team Championship twice and had a strong role in The Cabinet faction under JBL.
Once that faction ended, the Basham Brothers struggled badly to find a role in WWE before getting released. Many fake brother teams, to get released from a promotion, would stop working together right away. The Bashams tried to make it work in TNA and independent promotions before realizing the act was done. They are not remembered very fondly by the fanbase, but the accomplishment of having two tag title reigns is quite impressive in just a couple of years.
6 Real: The Usos
The current work of Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso has made them arguably the best tag team in WWE today. As the sons of Rikishi and relatives of countless other WWE stars, the Usos have wrestling in their blood line. They also happen to share an even rarer bond than just being brothers, because they are twins. The connection clearly shows as they are always in sync and never appear off beat together in the ring.
WWE turning them heel over the past year showed just how great the Usos can be with the right characters. Jimmy and Jey still have incredible matches doing their impressive moves, but the personality adds even more to the duo. We will likely be witnessing another Hall of Fame worthy slew of careers for the Samoan dynasty as the Usos will be in WWE for many more years. This is one tag team too good for even WWE to screw up.
5 Fake: Arn and Ole Anderson
The legendary stable of the Four Horsemen featured scripted brothers Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson in the group. Even outside of the faction, Ole and Arn teamed together portraying brothers in the ring. This is one of the more surprising fake brother tandems in wrestling history. Both Arn and Ole looked alike physically and they even had a similar intense in-ring style.
The Andersons clearly made everything they did in a wrestling ring look believable and terrifying. However, they held zero relation in real life. In fact, most people in wrestling loved Arn and viewed Ole as a complete jerk. They were polar opposites in the locker room despite the wrestling similarities. Arn transitioning into a different tag team with fellow Four Horsemen member Tully Blanchard gave him a better team than the one with a fake brother. Unfortunately, Arn likely had to explain to other wrestlers that Ole the jerk wasn’t his real brother when getting heat over it.
4 Real: The Young Bucks
The most successful tag team in professional wrestling today is a combination of real life brothers that don’t even work for WWE. Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson are the incredibly talented Young Bucks leading tag team divisions in Ring of Honor, New Japan, and PWG. Despite not working for WWE, the Young Bucks make amazing money for a tag team after signing the most lucrative contract in ROH history along with the other gigs.
Factor in their merchandise money from t-shirts and a groundbreaking agreement to get their items in Hot Topic stores, and you’ll realize just how popular they are. The current rise of the independent wrestling boom period definitely coincides with Matt and Nick bringing their tag team act to the top of the companies they work for. You only need to witness one of their matches to realize just how in sync they are as brothers that have been doing this together their entire adult lives.
3 Fake: The Dudley Boyz
One tag team anyone could visually guess wasn’t really related is the Dudley Boyz. Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley look nothing alike but they somehow made their act as half-brothers work perfectly. It is so rare for any two wrestlers to be on the same page despite just getting paired together by the random luck of it all. ECW helped establish them as a top tier tag team in the industry and they became legends with their WWE run.
The Dudley Boyz have captured WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA and IWGP tag team gold during their careers. It appears their time together is over with D-Von retiring to become a road agent and Bubba signing with Ring of Honor. They will always be viewed as one of the all-time great tag teams. The fact that they could get fans lost in the act of them being real brothers showed just how good of a tag team the Dudley Boyz were.
2 Real: The Hardy Boyz
The most successful tag team of real life brothers would have to be the Hardy Boyz. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy signed with WWE at a young age after backyard wrestling and running their own promotion as teenagers. It ended up being one of the best tag team signings WWE ever made. The Hardy Boyz helped lead an all-time popular time frame for tag team wrestling in WWE towards the end of the Attitude Era.
Matt and Jeff left it all in the ring every night with a daredevil in-ring style. Everyone remembers their iconic ladder matches. Both men had strong singles careers but reunited in recent years to find new popularity nearly two decades after their peak. The “Broken” Hardys in TNA became the hottest act in wrestling. WWE signing them back as veterans to continue working as a tag team is adding to their legacy. Matt and Jeff each get to say they’ve accomplished it all with their brother next to them.
1 Fake: Edge and Christian
Edge and Christian may have done the best job at convincing fans they were brothers despite not being blood relatives. The two Canadians did know each other before WWE as childhood friends in Canada that bonded through a love of professional wrestling. Both Edge and Christian dreamed of making it to WWE, but neither man ever thought they’d form a legendary tag team together.
WWE made them a duo as they looked very much alike with the long blonde hair along with their Canadian roots and real back story growing up together. They eventually split up and became singles stars in WWE and beyond. WWE stopped acknowledging them as brothers towards the end of their careers but always reference them being best friends. Edge and Christian have revealed on their podcast that some fans still ask if they are brothers. It is easy to believe it considering they have an obvious bond and love like real brothers.