Throughout wrestling history, there have been innumerable successful tag teams, teams made up of men both big and small. While some featured partners built differently, others were comprised of members similar in size and strength. In the case of these 10 particular tag teams, their success wasn't simply attributable to having great chemistry in and out of the ring, it was because of their relationship with one another.
Some wrestling families are huge in size, and have seen a number of generations of wrestlers achieve success. However, the success these ten teams has made them special because of the titles they won, what they meant to the tag team division they were in, and how they were often considered revolutionaries because of their team work. These teams were sometimes brothers, or cousins, or even in-laws.
In fact, a couple of the teams listed here are made up of brothers-in-law that became so familiar with each other outside the ring that the transition to tag team wrestling inside the ring was natural. There are a number of teams with familial connections that have captured titles such as the Headshrinkers/Samoan Swat Team or The Islanders, but not many can say they have achieved the success of the teams on this list.
These teams may not have always been fan favorites, but they were incredibly respected for all they achieved in the ring. Some have had long standing careers together, others were short, but still successful considering the championships they had won. Here are the 10 most successful tag teams that were family:
10 Cody Rhodes/Stardust and Goldust
One pair of brothers that didn't work together until late in the career of one of them was the Brotherhood. Goldust has had a great deal of success on his own, capturing the Intercontinental, Tag Team and even United States Heavyweight Championships during his time with either WCW or WWE. However, on two separate occasions, Goldust and his half-brother Cody captured the WWE Tag Team Championship. Their first reign was memorable because it was while defending the honor of their father, Dusty Rhodes. They captured the titles by defeating The Shield.
9 The Usos
The youngest team on the list are twin brothers Jimmy and Jey Uso, whose success as a tag team only seems to be on the rise. The brothers captured the Florida Championship Wrestling Tag Team Championships while they were learning their craft in the WWE's developmental system. They are fun, charismatic and carry with them a great deal of enthusiasm. Much like any brother tag team that has achieved success, it's partly due to each one knowing where the other one is at all times.
8 U.S. Express
One of the shortest lived family teams that achieved success was the tandem of Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda. The brothers-in-law worked together off and on during their time in the Florida wrestling territories, and captured the NWA Florida Championship Wrestling Tag Team Championships on three separate occasions. Windham and Rotunda were managed at the time by Captain Lou Albano, and the fit worked. They were brought into the WWE with a patriotic American gimmick and captured the WWF World Tag Team Championships on two separate occasions.
7 The Wild Samoans
One tandem whose careers outside the ring made them as relevant as they were in the ring is Afa and Sika. Today, wrestling fan are more familiar with them because of their importance in the lineage of the Anoa'i family. But when they were in the ring these two brothers were known for being "primitive" and "savages" it was very stereotypical, but was certainly intended to strike fear in both fans and their opponents. They were managed by Captain Lou Albano who did the talking, on their behalf.
6 The British Bulldogs
One of the most revolutionary tag teams in wrestling was The British Bulldogs. Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid were like The Hart Foundation in that they both came out of the Hart family. In fact, the relationship between The British Bulldogs and The Hart Foundation is only one degree of separation: the late Davey Boy Smith was married to Bret ‘Hitman' Hart's sister Diana, making him the brother-in-law of both Bret and Jim Neidhart. In addition to that, Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid were cousins.
5 The Hart Foundation
Before this name was applied to a faction in the late 1990s, the Hart Foundation were one of the most successful tag teams in the mid to late 1980s. "The Hitman" and "The Anvil" came out of the Hart family dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. When they initially came up, one of the better kept secrets about them was that they were related: Jim is married to Bret's sister Ellie. The two had been married for over 36 years.
4 Harlem Heat
One of the most decorated tag teams of the early 1990s was this WCW team. Booker T and Stevie Ray had a distinct look and feel when they were together. They were led to the ring by the late Sensational Sherri Martel. Something that was refreshing about them was, honestly, the colour of their skin. Race tends to be an issue in wrestling, but in the case of Stevie Ray and Booker T, they transcended colour to capture the WCW World Tag Team titles.
3 The Briscoes
While the Briscoe name is something Mark and Jay have helped maintain its popularity, it isn't their actual family name. However, that hasn't stopped the brothers from becoming arguably one of the most decorated tag teams of the new millennium. During their time in ROH, CZW and other promotions, the brothers have captured an astounding sixteen tag team championships. It should be noted that they did so after leaving wrestling for a period of time. After Mark suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, Jay preferred to stay away from wrestling until his brother was ready to return.
2 The Steiner Brothers
These two brothers made tag wrestling their lives for the early part of their careers. Graduates of the University of Michigan, Rick and Scott took tag team wrestling and stepped it up to another level. One move that was synonymous with both Rick and Scott was the suplex. Whether it was Rick or Scott, both could lift their opponent from any position and toss them anywhere around the ring. They captured the NWA and WCW World Tag Team Champions on two separate occasions, and while they were in the WWE they captured the WWE Tag Team Championship on two separate occasions.
1 The Hardy Boyz
Cameron, North Carolina's own Hardy Boyz had achieved success both together and on their own. Through it all, Matt and Jeff captured an impressive eleven tag team championships together. The Hardyz first earned acclaim as they established the OMEGA promotion, which produced a number of talented performers including Steve Corino, Joey Mercury and The Hurricane Shane Helms. After competing together off and on for about twenty years, they have managed to keep themselves relevant in the ring. They constantly change nuances of themselves, and their characters that stand out.
What doesn't change, however, is their ability to captivate a crowd with incredible tag team wrestling. It would be easy to write the tandem off after leaving the WWE, however even after leaving the WWE they have captured the TNA World Tag Team Championship, and each has captured the TNA World Championship on multiple occasions. Neither of the brothers appear to be slowing down, and it is quite safe to say that no matter what they achieve individually, it's what they have done collectively that speaks for itself.
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