Professional wrestling, perhaps more than any other professional sport, is steeped with family legacies. The number of multi-generational families in the history of the sport is plentiful, and with that, there have been many sibling pairings to officially grace the ring as a team. In this case, while some of these brother tandems may have also achieved success as singles, or in some cases as rivals, their accomplishments as a duo hold a special place in wrestling history and we celebrate their success.
Of course, since the explosion of tag team wrestling in the early 1950’s, the sport paired a number of accomplished wrestlers together as a team, sometimes billing them as brothers under real or assumed names. Duos such as the Bastein’s – Red and Lou, The Brunettis – Guy and Joe, and the Kalmikoffs – Ivan and Karol, weren’t really related at all. Those who weren’t legitimately blood-related have been excluded from this listing. So, if you don’t see a popular brother tag team on this list it’s possible that they may fall under that category.
Across different eras and for different reasons, each of these teams has established a remarkable track record as a partnership. This ranking looks not only at championships won, but also at the tag team’s legacy and lasting international influence.
20 The Young Bucks
In all of wrestling history, there may be no more polarizing tag team than Matt & Nick Jackson, aka The Young Bucks. While they have been heralded by the internet wrestling community as the greatest tag team of their generation, contract success has eluded them, relegating them to the independents and international competition. Certainly, their success in Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla are the highlights of their career to date, but their setbacks backstage have prevented them from securing a position with one of America’s top companies.
19 The Headhunters
While the Headhunters broke in under a WWE alumnus, Johnny Rodz in New York State, their career really didn’t take off until they ventured across the Pacific to Japan. Manuel and Victor Santiago, billed at a combined weight of 652 pounds, the super heavyweights were surprisingly agile and became major stars in the far East.
18 Dean & Joe Malenko
Second generation stars Dean & Joe Malenko followed their father Boris Malenko into the squared circle and they had big shoes to fill. Though smaller wrestlers in an era before the cruiserweights were able to break through to main events in North America, their skill as a team could not be denied.
17 The McGuire Twins
North Carolina’s McCrary brothers will never be confused for scientific marvels between the ropes, but there is no denying the incredible drawing power of the tag team that was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest twins in the 1970’s. Billed at over 700 pounds each, the duo was introduced to professional wrestling as part of carnival shows. However, they were soon in high demand all across North America and around the world.
16 Bobby & Jackie Fulton
Without question, Bobby Fulton’s greatest tag team success came alongside Tommy Rogers as the Fantastics in Jim Crockett promotions in the mid 1980’s. Fulton and Rogers are best remembered for their matches against the likes of the Midnight Express and the Sheepherders (aka The Bushwhackers). However, when Rogers elected to move on from wrestling to another career, Fulton looked to his own family tree for a replacement partner.
15 Ron & Don Harris
14 George & Sandy Scott
13 Sika & Afa
12 Mike & Ben Sharpe
11 The Guerreros – Chavo, Hector & Mando
Wrestlers who were looking to make their mark on the sport in Los Angeles in the 1970s knew that this meant that they would be pitted against the Guerreros if they wanted to make it to the main event. The three eldest sons of Gory Guerrero were among the most revered stars to ever appear in the territory. Roddy Piper’s first big break in the sport was attributed to becoming the thorn in the side of the popular Mexican-American brothers.
10 Jack & Jerry Brisco
When it comes to Jack and Jerry Brisco, you have a team whose influence on the sport changed the face of professional wrestling, though many may not know it. Both Jack and Jerry were amateur wrestlers who migrated to the pros. Though Jack was arguably the bigger star, as a one-time NWA World champion, the brothers’ battles against teams such as Terry & Dory Funk Jr. have been debated even decades later.
9 The Bollywood Boyz
There was a great deal of excitement in Canada over the past week when it was announced that the Bollywood Boyz, Gurv Sihra and his younger brother Harv, were confirmed to participate in the upcoming WWE Cruiserweight Classic. While still largely unknown in the United States, this is a team with a rich track record internationally that is worthy of note.
8 Mark & Jay Briscoe
To mention the name “Briscoe brothers” to a long time wrestling fan unfamiliar with Ring of Honor, you may be regaled with remembrances of our number ten ranked team. Certainly, you find yourselves with big shoes to fill when your name is borrowed from a team that has already achieved success. That said, Mark and Jay Briscoe have scratched and clawed their own place in the history books as one of the most innovative tag teams in history.
7 Terry & Dory Funk Jr.
From Amarillo, Texas, the sons of Dory Funk Sr. seemed to be destined for success from their very first matches. Their father’s reputation as a no-nonsense grappler who could handle himself against anyone preceded them, no doubt, but it was on their shoulders to create their own legacy, and they certainly did. Both wrestlers would reign as NWA World Heavyweight Champion within the first 10 years of their career, but it was their partnership after those championship runs that many fans remember best.
6 Matt & Jeff Hardy
Few tag teams in history have generated as strong a fan following as Matt and Jeff Hardy. Two brothers who aspired to have great careers in the sport, footage exists of these two daredevils creating their own opportunities on the independents while working toward their goal in the WWE. They arrived at an opportune time to create their own niche, finding themselves rivals against pairings like Edge & Christian, and the Dudley Boyz.
5 Chris & John Tolos
Known at alternate times as the Canadian Wrecking Crew (most often when appearing in the U.S.) and the Hamilton Wrecking Crew when wrestling in their native country, the team of Chris and John Tolos were partners during an era when tag team wrestling was really finding its place in the sport. From their first match as a team in California in 1953 until their last appearance together as a duo in 1972, their twenty year run saw them capture numerous championships and achieve headline status in multiple wrestling territories.
4 Jacques & Raymond Rougeau
Raymond Rougeau and his younger brother Jacques saw great success in the WWE in the 1980s. First imported as fan favorites, their dynamic style captivated audiences, but it was as villains under the management of Jimmy Hart that they came closest to world championship success. Of course fans will remember the French Canadians, touting themselves as All-American boys waving mini star spangled banners, much to the aggravation of the fans. In fact, they were so reviled that they were in line for a WWE Tag Team title run, which almost came to fruition.
3 Mad Dog & Butcher Vachon
Both Maurice and Paul Vachon traveled very different roads during their career. Maurice, the elder of the two, started his wrestling career on the amateur mats in Montreal and was actually a contender to compete for Canada in the Olympic Games. However, from his earliest matches as a pro, he began to carve out a reputation as one of the most unorthodox and unruly characters of all time in the sport.
2 Harlem Heat
When wrestling fans first saw these two brothers from Texas in action under the banner of the Global Wrestling Federation, there was no doubt that they stood out from the pack as imposing athletes, but nobody could have predicted the success that they would achieve in World Championship Wrestling as Harlem Heat.
1 Rick & Scott Steiner
From their earliest matches together as a team in WCW at the start of the 90s, few teams have dominated the sport like the Steiner brothers. Individually successful both before and after their run as a tag team, the Steiner brothers carved a wide swath for themselves. Rick, the elder brother, had enjoyed some tag team success alongside Sting and Mike Rotundo, respectively prior to Scott emerging to the national spotlight, but as a team, their work together quickly eclipsed what either had achieved on their own.
Of course their championship track record tells the tale: seven-time WCW World Tag Team Champions, one-time WCW United States Tag Team Champions, two-time IWGP New Japan World Tag Team Champions, two-time WWE World Tag Team Champions, and countless other regional and independent titles over the years. Twice recognized by Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine as the Tag Team of the year, they were ranked as the #2 tag team of the PWI years (1979 – 2003) in a special compilation listing. The Steiners may well be the most successful brother tag team of all time.
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