15 Tag Teams You Forgot Competed In WWE
Some people love tag team wrestling and some people hate it. Looking at how the WWE has handled its tag team division over the years, you’ve got to think that it’s never been high on Vince McMahon’s priority list. It’s the place where small guys or over-the-hill guys go to play out their careers while the large singles wrestlers draw the ratings in the main event. And when tag team matches do make the main event, it’s usually just four wrestlers thrown together to forward their individual storylines.
The recent brand split only highlighted just how weak the tag team division has been. When you’ve got to unearth The Headbangers to fill out an eight-man tournament, your division is already on life support and with a few exceptions, it’s been that way since Hulkamania began and McMahon recreated wrestling as he thought it should be experienced.
Nonetheless, there have been short bursts of time when the WWE could boast a healthy tag team division. Consider the days when fans could find The British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation, Demolition, Legion of Doom, The Nasty Boys or The Rockers all wrestling on the same card. Now look at the RAW roster. You’ve got The New Day, Gallows & Anderson, Enzo & Cass and….um….ah.
With so few quality teams over the years, you’d think it would be able to remember them all, but there are plenty of tag teams who experienced a brief burst of success only to disappear after real life or real apathy from the audience intercedes. For every Hart Foundation of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart there’s a High Energy with Owen Hart and Koko B. Ware. For every Dudley Boyz there’s a RybAxel. Let’s take a moment and jog our memories with 15 tag teams you forgot competed in the WWE.
No, MNM is not a reference to the tasty chocolate treats that won’t melt in your hands. It was the less-than-creative name given to the less-than-memorable team of Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro and manager Melina. It’s their initials…get it? Yeah, we weren’t impressed at the time either. The trio played Hollywood elites, coming to the ring on a red carpet long before The Miz ever adopted the gimmick. Mercury and Nitro managed to capture the Smackdown brand tag team title three times, but the team disbanded after Nitro and Melina attacked Mercury following a loss. Melina and Nitro continued together since they were a real-life couple, with Melina capturing the divas title at one point and Mercury being rebranded as John Morrison. Mercury went on to be a member of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society, but is known by modern day fans as one half of J&J Security. Morrison grew bored and now only occasionally wrestles, most recently with Lucha Underground while Mercury remains as a backstage producer with WWE.
- STRIKE FORCE
“The Z Man” Tom Zenk and Rick Martel were bumping around the mid-card as singles wrestlers when they were teamed as The Can-Am Connection, best known for winning the first match of WrestleMania III against Don Muraco and Bob Orton Jr. Clearly being groomed for a potential run as the tag team champions everything came to a grinding halt when Zenk left the promotion. Martel went back to the singles ranks for a few weeks, but found himself the target of The Islanders’ wrath. Tito Santana couldn’t stand to see this, so he ran to the ring and made the save. In an interview the next week, Martel said his partner had abandoned him and Santana made sure Martel knew he wouldn’t abandon him and they should be a team, saying they should “Strike the Islanders with force.” In his Canadian accent, Martel said, “Yes, we’re a Strike Force!” Not exactly organic, but fans responded positive and the team went on to a brief reign as tag team champions until Martel turned on Santana and began his successful run as “Model” Rick Martel.
- THE BODYDONNAS
In the mid-90s, Chris Candido was getting a reputation as a solid worker making Smoky Mountain Wrestling his base of operation. His real-life girlfriend, Tammy Sytch (although she went by Fytch in character for some reason) served as his valet/manager and her looks and mic skills were garnering attention. The WWE signed them as fitness fanatics Skip and Sunny, the Bodydonnas. Despite Candido’s talent, he was a small guy, tiny by those day’s standards. McMahon just didn’t get behind guys that size as viable threats to singles titles. Sunny, however, was getting over big with the fan base of horny 15-year-old boys who didn’t care about Hulk Hogan anymore. Enter Dr. Tom Pritchard, off his run in the Heavenly Bodies. Pritchard chopped his long hair into a bleach blonde buzz cut to match Candido. The duo went on to win the WWE tag team championship, but it was likely to just get Sunny more air time. When they dropped the tag titles to the Godwinns, Sunny left the team, which quickly disbanded. Candido moved on from the WWE, but Fytch stayed behind, becoming a huge star and ushering in the era of the diva.
- THE MEAN STREET POSSE
So the pitch is that we find a couple of guys who look preppy and like arrogant asses, basically a pair of wrestling Billy Zabkas who can play the role of Shane’s snotty Greenwich, Connecticut friends. Who should we find to do that? Shane McMahon’s suggestion was to simply hire a couple of his real-life friends and this is how the wrestling world came to know The Mean Street Posse of Pete Gas and Rodney. A few months after their debut, Joey Abs, a legitimate indy wrestler joined the group to cover for Shane’s friends’ greenness. Credit does have to be given to the untrained workers in how fast they picked up the sport, no longer looking confused after a couple of months. Once they turned against Shane in the storyline, they basically became a group of jobbers and never planning to be wrestlers in the first place left wrestling to pursue normal daytime work.
- THE HEAVENLY BODIES
If you don’t consider ECW a territory or an indy organization, the last tag team of any note to come out of the end of the territory years were The Heavenly Bodies, or at least the version that consisted of Dr. Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray. Managed by Jim Cornette, Del Ray was a replacement for Stan Lane when the duo became the Smoky Mountain Wrestling tag team champions. A working agreement between SMW and WWE allowed the Bodies to wrestle on many WWE cards although they were never exclusive to the company. Their biggest match in WWE was at Survivor Series 1993 where they captured the SMW tag team champions against The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express. When SMW closed in 1995, the team disbanded. Del Ray competed on the indy circuit while Pritchard stayed with WWE and you can learn his fate in the Bodydonnas entry.