by Billy Carpenter
Welcome to the first ever edition of the ’10 Spot’ here on 4crwrestling.com! The idea of this came to me in an effort to maximize 4CR’s social interaction and to make lists, because everyone loves lists! It brings about debate, social interaction and great wrestling discussion, which are some of the main principles behind 4 Corners Radio and the website. The first topic was ’10 Greatest Tag Teams of All-Time’ and I received a tremendous response from all of you on Twitter! Many thanks to all that participated in the first 10 Spot and I hope you guys keep on participating. This column will be built by all of you and its main purpose is to be fun—to get us talking, maybe make some new connections with fans and have a good time with it. Next week’s topic will be revealed at the end of the column, but without any further ado it’s time to see who YOU voted as the top 10 teams of all-time!
10. (tie) Demolition/The Rockers
Coming in at #10 are two teams who are certainly polar opposites of each other—the brawling and brute strength of Demolition and the innovative high-flying tandem offense of The Rockers. Many fans tend to write off Demolition as ‘Road Warrior’ knockoffs, but I think there’s more to them than that. Legend has it that Vince McMahon, after failing to sign the Legion of Doom to the World Wrestling Federation, decided to create “his own Road Warriors”—hence the birth of Ax & Smash, Demolition. Donning studded leather masks and outfits and entering the ring to the sounds of one of the more badass themes in wrestling history, they certainly had a LoD vibe to them. Squashing opponents on Superstars or Wrestling Challenge weekly wasn’t all they were good for though. They also had fantastic matchups with the best of the WWF’s tag division of the day—the Hart Foundation, The Killer Bees, the British Bulldogs and others. Their title win at WrestleMania IV over Strike Force kicked off the longest WWF World Tag Team title reign in history at 478 days, a mark that stands to this day. They would go on to become champions twice more during their run in the WWF. By the time Crush was added, the initial spark from Demolition had faded and it wasn’t the same anymore. Still a favorite of many though to this day, Demolition will certainly find themselves in many more ‘greatest teams’ lists.
The Rockers are one of the most influential teams in WWF history, although most (myself included) would say that they were very similar to the Rock & Roll Express. However, when they hit the tag team scene in the World Wrestling Federation, fans of the promotion had never seen anything like them. They brought the quick, up-tempo style that was a stark contrast to Demolition, Powers of Pain, Twin Towers and even some of the smaller teams, as well. AWA and regional successes aside, they never officially had a WWF tag title reign, as most of us know that story by now. I think if they had come in just a tad bit later, they would’ve been able to break loose in the WWF’s tag division. As it is, teams like the Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian and others took cues from Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty and their influence is perhaps The Rockers most lasting legacy.
9. Kings of Wrestling
I’m STUNNED that this team made a list of ’10 Greatest Teams of All-Time’. Floored. This isn’t to say that I don’t like Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli—it’s actually quite the contrary. But I’m not sure that the Kings of Wrestling would put the Kings of Wrestling in this top 10. But that’s why this column is different, as it’s driven by the ballots turned in by all of you out there in 4CR’s social media circle. As it stands, KOW is one of current wrestling’s most popular combos even though the days of them as a team are far behind. Chris Hero is now plying his trade in NXT as ‘Kassius Ohno’ and of course, Claudio has become ‘Antonio Cesaro’ and has been a player on WWE TV since his debut last year. Winning gold in PWG, ROH, CZW & Chikara as well as competing overseas, the Kings became a favorite for many of us through their amazing abilities in the ring. The success & chemistry of the team is a big reason why fans today are clamoring for them to reunite and compete in WWE.
8. The Rock & Roll Express
One of the most popular acts from the Crockett territory, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson captivated that audience from day one. High flying, fast paced tandem offense and an innate ability to connect with the crowd made the R&R Express favorites then and have held them in high regard to this day. For my money, there’s been no better pure babyface team in history. Whether feuding with the Four Horsemen, battling the Koloffs or their legendary feud with Jim Cornette & The Midnight Express, the crowd was always behind the energetic, glam-metal loving rockers. I personally had them a little higher on my list, and they may be because I got to watch them and connect with them in their prime. Any tag team list without the Rock & Roll Express is a farce, plain and simple.
7. The Steiner Brothers
For me, the team of the 90’s. Rick and Scott were MACHINES—combining hard hitting, pure wrestling and Scott’s innovative maneuvers and becoming one of the greatest teams of all-time in the process. Rick broke into the business a few years before Scott and had some mild success. But when Scott entered in 1989, the Steiners would become a team and set off on one of the greatest runs any tag team has ever had. Winning gold in the NWA/WCW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, the WWF and other places, few teams had such dominant runs like the brothers from Michigan. Rick & Scott still find themselves teaming up today, recently winning tag gold during a tour of Preston City Wrestling over in England and defeating the team of Eddie Kingston & Homicide at the second House of Hardcore show. I had the Steiners at #2 on my list and their placement here makes me think that today’s fans may not be as familiar as they should be with the legendary run these brothers embarked on.
6. The Midnight Express
Love, love, LOVE the MX. Incredibly smooth, a great mix of styles, unparalleled teamwork and a legendary manager in Jim Cornette, the team of Eaton & Lane is one of my all-time favorites. To this day, I can sit back and lose myself in classic Midnight’s matches. The inclusion of Lane over Condrey is not a condemnation of the ‘Loverboy’, as there’s a large contingent who prefer him over ‘Sweet’ Stan. But as the votes stated, it was the Lane/Eaton combo that the fans that voted seem to take to. For me, I wasn’t as familiar with the earlier versions of the MX growing up, but I was drawn to the Eaton/Lane/Cornette trio. Everything they did was so fluid and I was always captivated by them. Besides the aforementioned feud with the Rock & Roll Express, they had great rivalries with the Road Warriors, The Fantastics and the unfortunately short-lived battle with Condrey & Randy Rose, ‘The Original Midnight Express’. Only claiming one world tag team title as a tandem has not hurt the legacy of ‘Beautiful’ Bobby and ‘Sweet’ Stan.
5. Edge & Christian
These guys were actually ranked #2 until a late ballot changed that. Most fans that watch wrestling today no matter their age know about Edge & Christian and just how successful they were as a team. 7 times they held the WWF Tag Team titles and are arguably the greatest tag team that competed strictly in the WWE ever. Their rivalry with the The Hardy Boyz, which later included The Dudley Boy, revitalized tag team wrestling and those three teams defined an era. Obviously, we know what came of both Christian and Edge, who went on to become an 11-time WWE/World champion and a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee. I don’t think anyone can argue with their placement here, maybe some will debate that they could’ve been a spot or two higher.
4. The Hart Foundation
The legendary combination of the powerful Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart and the technical mastery of Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart made up one of the WWF’s most popular duos of all-time. When Bret Hart spurned the idea of being a cowboy and instead pitched the idea of teaming up with his brother-in-law to WWF’s higher-ups instead, they were paired up with Jimmy Hart as their manager and became one of wrestling’s most legendary units in the process. In their six year run as a tandem, they played both the heel and face roles beautifully—from the memorable storyline with Danny Davis to the split with Jimmy after he signed the Fabulous Rougeaus to contracts that (kayfabe) got the Rougeau Brothers 25% of the Hart Foundation’s pay. They also claimed the WWF World Tag Team titles on 2 occasions, defeating the Bulldogs and then Demolition. After splitting in 1991, ‘Anvil’ would go on to team with another Hart, Owen, to form the New Foundation. He would find himself in and out of the WWF over the next several, and I think we all know what became of Bret Hart. The Hart Foundation made it on to almost every ballot that came in for this, which speaks to the legacy of this team.
3. The Dudley Boyz/Team 3-D
Counting title reigns alone, Bubba/Brother/Bully Ray and Devon are the most successful tag team in professional wrestling history. The WWF/WWE, NWA, TNA, ECW, WCW, IWGP & HUSTLE tag team titles have all been claimed by the brothers Dudley and they have been the standard for teams over the last 12-13 years. Part of the trio of teams that revitalized tag team wrestling in the WWF—and for that fact, North America—they’ve been dominating teams since 1997 in Extreme Championship Wrestling. After doing their own thing in TNA for the last couple of years, it’s highly likely that we could see them team up again as both are members of TNA’s premier heel faction, Aces & 8’s. Putting men and women through tables is the team’s calling card and you can still hear the crowd call for tables during their matches. Bully has gone on to become a viable singles star and former TNA World Champion and Devon has also been the company’s TV champ. But rest assured, fans will never forget the path the Dudley have blazed in tag team history.
2. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard
Magic. That’s what happened when Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, who were 4 Horsemen stable mates for a while before becoming an official tandem, joined forces and focused on the NWA World Tag Team titles. Following Blanchard’s loss of the World TV title, he and the ‘Enforcer’ quickly became one of wrestling’s best teams in the fall of 1987 and they captured their first tag gold in September of that year by defeating the #8 team on this list. Heated rivalries with them, the Road Warriors, Sting & Nikita Koloff, the Midnight Express and others brought Anderson & Blanchard to the forefront of tag team wrestling. Disputes over money caused the team to leave the NWA in the fall of 1988, but the team quickly found themselves in the World Wrestling Federation under the guidance of Bobby Heenan. Dubbed “The Brain Busters”, Arn & Tully were one of the rare exceptions of talent coming into the federation that didn’t really get a gimmick overhaul, which was par for the course during this period of the WWF. In fact, the only thing that really changed was that they had an “official” team name, which was a play off of Heenan’s nickname. In July of 1989, they would end Demolition’s historic title run and became the first team to win both the NWA and WWF World Tag Team titles. Unfortunately, Tully’s personal issues caused an unceremonious end to the team at the 1989 Survivor Series. By then however, this team had cemented their place in history and even in a relatively short run became one of wrestling’s greatest tag team combinations ever.
1. The Road Warriors
If you’re reading this, it’s because you like pro wrestling. If you like pro-wrestling, then I don’t need to explain why Hawk & Animal have been voted on by all of you who participated as the greatest tag team of all-time. The LOD had the most #1 votes across the board, as I’m sure they garner on every other list. Enigmatic, destructive, powerful, awe-inspiring—these are but a few adjectives to describe them. They changed the game when they hit the scene and are the team that everyone thinks about first when you mention a list like this. I would’ve been surprised if they weren’t #1, honestly.
Well, there you have it—the first ever ’10 Spot’ here on 4crwrestling.com. The purpose of this article was to make this a socially active article that anyone could be a part of and to get discussions going, which this has already done even before it was in the drafting stages. There’ll be a different topic each week, so for everyone who sent in lists this time around make sure you continue to do so. For those who missed this list, you can always jump in the next time. Speaking of, next week’s topic will be in celebration of the upcoming SummerSlam PPV as we will count down the top 10 SummerSlam matches of all-time, as voted on by all of you. Hope you enjoy the article and the concept, I know I certainly did. And as always , have fun with wrestling—that’s what it’s all about.