May is Tag Team Appreciation Month at Wrestling Merchandise & Memories, with nearly 100 unique and interesting articles on the art of tag team wrestling.
While it isn't as commonplace today as it was a decade ago, tag teams have been involved in lengthy series of matches against one another, and many have even been at the main event level.
Some of these team rivalries and feuds were a month or two, while others literally lasted years and sometimes crossed in to different wrestling organizations.
In counting down the Top 50 Tag Team Rivalries, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories used the following criteria:
How long did the rivalry last?
Were their matches shown on the biggest stages possible (e.g. major pay-per-views)?
Are the teams forever linked to each other because of this rivalry?
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
The Killer Bees vs, The Hart Foundation
Throughout 1986 and 1987, The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jumpin' Jim Brunzell) were often matched against The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart). While the Hart Foundation often came out on top (see The Frank Tunney Memorial Tag Team Tournament), the Bees got their share of wins, too.
The British Bulldogs vs. The Islanders
In 1988, The Islanders (Haku and Tama) and manager Bobby Heenan kidnapped Matilda, the four-legged mascot of The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid). While the dog was eventually returned to its rightful owner, it touched off a feud between the teams that included a match at WrestleMania IV.
RK-Bro vs. The Usos
The bad blood between RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) began feuding heading into Survivor Series 2021. They picked up the rivalry the following year, leading to a tag team title unification match between the duos.
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Midnight Express
The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) had some tremendous feuds in WCW, but their final one in that organization with was The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner). In 1990, The Steiners captured the U.S. Tag Team Championship from The Midnights and competed at several live events.
The Lucha Bros. vs. The Young Bucks
As AEW was being established, a battle between two pairs of real-life brothers - The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix) was being waged in the U.S. and Mexico. This led to tremendous matches at both the 2019 and 2021 All Out PPVs.
Team 3D vs. The Motor City Machine Guns
In 2007, The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) were a relatively new tag team and decided to make a splash by preventing Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) from cheating in a tables match. This led to a series of matches between the teams.
The Road Warriors vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Bad blood between The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) and The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts and Jimmy Garvin) began in the AWA when The 'Birds cost The Warriors the tag team championship. It continued later in the NWA.
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins vs. The Bar
In 2017, The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) were riding high as Raw Tag Team Champions and began targeting Seth Rollins. Eventually, Rollins' former Shield partner Dean Ambrose got involved, and after an on-again, off-again tease, the two paired up at SummerSlam, paving the way for an eventual Shield reunion.
The Eliminators vs. The Dudley Boys
In 1997, The Eliminators (John Kronus & Perry Saturn) were ECW Tag Team Champions, and they were being challenged by The Dudley Boys (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley). The two traded the belts and back and forth, including a bout in the company's first-ever PPV Barely Legal, where The Eliminators won.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Doom
In 1989, The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) spurned the advances of Woman, who in turn promised them they'd meet their doom. She turned out to mean it literally, as she managed a masked tag team called Doom, who would unmask as Butch Reed and Ron Simmons and defeat The Steiners.
The World's Greatest Tag Team vs. The Kings of Wrestling
In 2010, The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) reunited in Ring of Honor and won a non-title match against champions The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli). Some eight months later, WGTT finally received their title shot on PPV and dethroned the champs.
The Midnight Rockers vs. Rose & Somers
The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) first began feuding with Buddy Rose and Doug Somers during an AWA stadium show in 1986. The Rockers kept challenging Rose and Somers (who soon became AWA World Tag Team champions) and coming up short until dethroning them in early 1987.
The Road Warriors vs. The Koloffs
In 1986, The Koloffs (Ivan and Nikita Koloff) took a break from fighting the forces of America and turned their attention to the dominant Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), attacking them on television with chains. When The Warriors came to, they made plans to take on The Russians at the Great American Bash.
America's Most Wanted vs. Triple X
The rivalry between America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) and Triple X (Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper) began in 2003 and raged on for more than a year. Finally, AMW defeated XXX in a Steel Cage Match, forcing the heel group to stop teaming together.
Demolition vs. The Powers of Pain
When The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) entered the WWF in 1988, it was apparent they would eventually cross paths with their war-painted brethren Demolition (Ax and Smash). They battle at WrestleMania V and other shows, and both teams went through a double turn at Survivor Series.
Steamboat & Youngblood vs. Slaughter & Kernodle
Much has been written about the Mid-Atlantic babyface tag team of Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, including by our own wrestling historian Mike Rickard. When they engaged in war with Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle, it was a rivalry that included "The Final Conflict" at Starrcade '83.
The Young Bucks vs. The Broken Hardys
The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) have battled numerous teams throughout the years, but perhaps their biggest rivalry was with another pair of brothers -- The Broken Hardys (Matt and Jeff Hardy). The brothers battled at two consecutive Ring of Honor PPVs in 2016 and 2017.
The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money Inc.
Arguably the most compelling tag team rivalry in TNA history began in 2010 when The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) won the vacant tag team championship. They battled Beer Money Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode) for the belts in an intense Best of 5 series of matches that summer.
The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. Blanchard & Anderson
While The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) would feud with other members of The Four Horsemen, it was Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson that most got under their skin. The Horsemen upset R'n'R for the NWA Tag Team Titles in 1987.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Williams & Gordy
Rick and Scott Steiner were dominant in WCW until Steve "Dr. Death" Williams and Terry "Bamm Bamm" Gordy were imported from Japan in 1993. Williams and Gordy made short work of the normally unstoppable Steiners for their WCW World Tag Team Championship.
Flair & Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
The Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman and Steve Austin) were WCW Tag Team Champions in 1993 and began to make fun of the Four Horsemen founders Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, even going so far as to mock Flair's talk show. The teams battled in a classic two out of three falls match at Clash of the Champions XXIII.
The New Day vs. The Usos
Throughout 2017, The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods) battled The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Their matches were among the best in the company at the time, including their Hell In A Cell bout that earned each teams' mutual respect.
The Legion of Doom vs. Demolition
When The Legion Of Doom (Hawk and Animal) took on Demolition (Ax, Smash and Crush), it became the ultimate battle among war-painted brawlers in wrestling. Although LOD often took on just Smash and Crush or in six-man tag matches, it often main evented WWF shows.
The Von Erichs vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
The Von Erich family (primarily Kevin, Kerry and Mike Von Erich) began as friends with The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts). Shortly thereafter, they engaged in a heated rivalry after The 'Birds betrayed the Texas brothers in 1982.
The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Easily the longest-running rivalry on this list, The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) have always been at odds with The Midnight Express (various combinations of Bobby Eaton, Stan Lane and Dennis Condrey), includes battles in the Mid-South, NWA and even the independent circuit in recent years!
The Southern Boys vs. The Midnight Express
When The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong) arrived in WCW in 1990, one of their first programs was with The Midnight Express (Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton). The two teams had a classic match at The Great American Bash that year and continued battling through the live event circuit.
Team 3D vs. LAX
Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) had been enjoying a successful run in 2007 when they challenged TNA Tag Team Champions The Latin American Xchange, or LAX (Homicide and Hernandez). The two teams clashed on several PPV's and episodes of Impact, including a "Belting Pot" lumberjack strap match.
Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs. The Impact Players
Sabu & Rob Van Dam had traded the ECW Tag Team Titles with The Dudley Boys. Once that rivalry concluded, Sabu and RVD were attacked by The Impact Players (Lance Storm & Justin Credible), touching off a feud between the two teams that ran throughout 1998.
Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield
In 2013, Cody Rhodes was targeted by The Authority and recruited his older brother Goldust to battle WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins). To counter possible interference from The Shield's Dean Ambrose, The Rhodes siblings added their father Dusty Rhodes to the mix.
The Thrillseekers vs. The Heavenly Bodies
When The Thrillseekers (Lance Storm and Chris Jericho) debuted in Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1994, they were immediately programmed into a feud with Jim Cornette's Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray). The two teams fought in a bloody brawl during one of SMW's biggest shows ever.
Demolition vs. The Brain Busters
In 1988, The Brain Busters (Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson) challenged Demolition (Ax and Smash) for their WWF Tag Team Championship in a Two Out Of Three Falls Match. The Brain Busters won the belts, going on to trade them back and forth with Demolition.
The Gangstas vs. The Public Enemy
The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa) battling The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock) was a feud between two of ECW's baddest teams. They clashed in dozens of bouts all over the country, including a Steel Cage Match at ECW Heat Wave 1995.
Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The Briscoes
Kevin Steen & El Generico (a/k/a Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn) were once and up and coming tag team in Ring of Honor and began feuding with Tag Team Champions The Briscoes (Jay and Mark Briscoe). The two teams battled throughout 2007, including a bout at ROH's second-ever pay-per-view, Driven.
D-Generation X vs. Rated RKO
Frustrated by the success of D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) in 2006, Edge and Randy Orton put their differences aside to form Rated RKO and challenge Triple H and Michaels. Rated RKO ended up being the first team to defeat DX in their current incarnation and even captured the tag titles.
The Mega Powers vs. The Twin Towers
A fairly famous tag team rivalry in 1988, The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Boss Man) targeted The Megapowers (Hulk Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage) in both singles and tag team bouts. It concluded with a 1989 match on NBC's The Main Event, where Savage turned on Hogan.
The Legion of Doom vs. The Nasty Boys
In 1991, The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) targeted WWF Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags). The two teams attacked each with a vengeance on the live event circuit and the LOD toppled the Nasties at that year's SummerSlam. They even had a match once on the set of The Arsenio Hall Show!
Steamboat & Douglas vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas captured the WCW World Tag Team Championship in 1993 and were soon challenged by the brash Hollywood Blonds (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman) and lost the titles. Later, Steamboat and Douglas (really Tom Zenk) went under masks as "Dos Hombres" to get revenge.
The High Flyers vs. The East-West Connection
One of the biggest tag team feuds in AWA history was between The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) and The East-West Connection (Jesse Ventura and Adrian Adonis). It began in late-1981, when Brunzell and Gagne captured the AWA Tag Team Championship and carried over to dozens of rematches.
The Fabulous Ones vs. The Sheepherders
The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn) were riding high in 1981 as a top team competing in the Mid South and other independent territories. Eventually, they were targeted by The Sheepherders (Luke Williams and Butch Miller; later The Bushwhackers). The two teams engaged in a five-year, often bloody rivalry.
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Outsiders
When The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) emerged as a threat to WCW, one team that stood for themselves was Rick and Scott Steiner. Although The Steiner Brothers briefly captured the WCW/nWo Tag Team Championship from Hall and Nash, it didn't stop a long and intense rivally from happening.
The Rockers vs. The Rougeau Brothers
In 1989, The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) recorded their own theme music, in part to antagonize Jacques and Raymond Rougeau. This led to a rivalry that include 60-minute marathon matches on house matches and a six-man tag match at SummerSlam. It also served as Michaels' first WWF feud.
The British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team
The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) were WWF Tag Team Championship in 1985 when along came The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid), who defeated them in a non-title match on SNME, and a tag title run that began at WrestleMania II.
Harlem Heat vs. The Nasty Boys
In 1995, Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) dropped the WCW Tag Team Championship to the Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobs). This led to a series of intense matches between the two brawling teams, including a Texas Tornado Match at Uncensored that spilled out into the concession stands.
Los Guerreros vs. Angle & Benoit vs. Edge & Mysterio
In 2002, Los Guerreros (Chavo & Eddie Guerrero), Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit and Edge and Rey Mysterio engaged in a three-team feud, battling it out on television and PPV for the World Tag Team Titles. In fact, they soon became known as The SmackDown Six.
The Road Warriors vs. The Powers of Pain
The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) not only feuded with Demolition, they also had a rivalry with the war-painted Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), which included injuring Animal's eye with a barbell during an in-ring weightlifting competition.
The Fantastics vs. The Midnight Express
Bad blood between The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) and The Midnight Express (various combinations of Bobby Eaton, Stan Lane and Dennis Condrey) began in World Class Championship Wrestling and migrated to the NWA, where it became 1988's Wrestling Observer Feud of the Year.
The Rockers vs. The Brainbusters
The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) faced several top teams, but none with the pedigree of The Brainbusters (Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson). They had several memorable bouts, including a pair of them on Saturday Night's Main Event.
The Road Warriors vs. The Midnight Express
In 1986, The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) became babyfaces in the NWA and battled The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey). The led to a particularly memorable Scaffold Match at Starrcade '86, and by 1988, The Express dropped the NWA titles to The Warriors.
The British Bulldogs vs. The Hart Foundation
In the mid-1980s, The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) had a massive rivalry. What began as four brothers-in-law putting on great matches turned into a feud for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz
Matt and Jeff Hardy had epic battles with Edge and Christian, as did The Hardyz and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley). But at the heart of this rivalry was the three-team feud that included matches at SummerSlam and two consecutive WrestleManias, including the first-ever TLC Matches. Even in TNA, a version of this feud (with The Wolves replacing Edge and Christian) took place as recently as 2016 - not bad for a rivalry that began raging in the year 2000!