To be a tag team, you need to find someone you can trust. There’s a reason why many legendary tag teams involve pairs of best friends, brothers, or other family members, who knew and trusted each other implicitly. But sometimes, tag teams are formed from two wrestlers who don’t have anything better to do, or who unite against a common enemy, or simply need someone to watch their back. In the case of these teams, there is often friction between the members, who may have diametrically different personas, attitudes, and styles. As a result, these “odd couple” tag teams rarely last for very long, and many of them don’t end up finding much success, due to a lack of chemistry. However, sometimes opposites attract, creating a team that is stronger than the sum of its parts, and when that happens, you can get some of the most memorable tag teams in wrestling history.
10. The Miz and John Morrison
When Miz and Morrison began teaming up, it was seen more as a pairing of convenience, as the two ECW Superstars came together due to their hatred of ECW Champion CM Punk, combining their power in an ultimately futile attempt to dethrone the champion. It was considered an incredibly unlikely and almost certainly unstable team, due to both men having massive egos and brash personalities, but Morrison’s more laid-back demeanor meshed well with Miz’s over-the-top Hollywood persona, and in the ring, the two worked better than many established tag teams. The two managed to stay together long enough to win both the WWE and World Tag Team Titles (despite initially being limited to the ECW brand, while the titles were normally exclusive to Smackdown and Raw, respectively), and earned a Slammy Award for Tag Team of the Year in 2008. During their run, they also created the critically acclaimed “Dirt Sheet”, a surprisingly entertaining web-based show where the duo basically mocked everyone and everything in WWE for not being quite as good as them. Alas, all good things must come to an end, as the two were first split up by the annual WWE Draft, then by Miz attacking Morrison, leading to a months-long war between the two former partners.
9. Owen Hart and Yokozuna
Having repeatedly been bested by his brother Bret, a jealous Owen Hart set his sights on finding success in other areas of WWE, eventually announcing that he had found a tag team partner, with whom he would challenge the Smoking Gunns for the WWE Tag Team Champions at WrestleMania XI. When the PPV arrived, Hart revealed his partner, the mammoth former WWE Champion Yokozuna, who had been absent from the company for months, and coincidentally had defeated Bret Hart to win his first WWE Title. The huge, powerful Yokozuna perfectly complemented the smaller, faster Hart (although the intelligent Hart would often just hide behind the massive Yokozuna during matches), and they would win the Tag Team titles in their very first match as a team. Hart and Yokozuna would go on to hold the belts for several months, dominating the division during their run.
8. Steve Austin and Dude Love
The idea of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin teaming with anybody seems to work against the motivations of the character, and that’s actually how Austin found himself in need of a tag team partner. After winning the belts while paired with the equally abrasive Shawn Michaels, the two simply could not work together (in reality, Michaels was suspended for a infamous backstage fight with Bret Hart), leaving Austin the sole active holder of the WWE Tag Team titles. He was ordered to find a partner and refused in his traditional manner, but the deranged Mankind saw an opportunity, and began campaigning for the job. Austin refused to team with Mankind, because of course he did, and that led to one of the most shocking debuts in WWE history. While Austin was attempting to defend the tag titles against the team of Owen Hart and the British Bulldog, the world was suddenly introduced to Dude Love, a reincarnation of Foley’s wrestling persona from his youth, who inserted himself in the match and helped Austin to win the match and retain the titles. The friendly and cheerful Dude was basically the polar opposite of Austin’s personality, but as a team, the two worked well together, creating one of the most memorable, and ridiculous, tag teams in WWE history.
7. The Awesome Truth
In 2011, a strange thing happened. After years as a smiling babyface, R-Truth turned heel, and managed to cobble together a strangely intriguing character who railed against performing for the “Little Jimmys” of the WWE Universe and also was more than a little unhinged. Crazy or not, it worked, and Truth even rode his hot new persona to a WWE Title shot on Pay Per View against John Cena. Despite losing, Truth continued his crusade, eventually teaming up with The Miz to form one of the oddest and certainly the most delusional tag team ever. Somehow, though, the team was taken seriously and not just relegated to an opening match comedy duo. If anything, The Awesome Truth became even more ruthless as a team than they ever had been solo, to the point that their excessive aggression actually got them fired by acting CEO Triple H. In revenge, Truth and Miz began decrying The Game on social media, eventually turning the entire roster against him when it became clear that he was unable to keep them from causing trouble. Perhaps their crowning moment was interfering in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Title, locking everyone else outside of the cage, and destroying the competitors in the match. The team was such a threat, they earned the honor of facing John Cena and The Rock, united as a team for the first and only time, at Survivor Series. Unfortunately, the team disintegrated immediately afterwards, but not before they had left a huge impression on WWE.
6. Kane and X-Pac
When D-Generation X crumbled for good following Triple H’s betrayal at WrestleMania XV, X-Pac was left in the lurch, a man without friends, and a name that really only related the a group that no longer existed. Simultaneously, Kane, since revealing himself to the world, had begun to learn about human emotions, and found himself interested in developing relationships with other people, rather than just destroying everything in his path. Somehow, these two men found each other and formed a tag team based on friendship and support, with X-Pac teaching Kane about being human, and Kane giving X-Pac someone he could form a new team with. It actually was a pretty heartwarming story, and even saw Kane attempt to pursue further relationships, this time with WWE Divas Tori. Unfortunately, eventually, D-Generation X got the band back together, and X-Pac would choose his former friends over his new partner, leaving Kane lost and alone once more, even stealing Tori away from him in the process.
5. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit
One of Paul Heyman’s favorite things to do during the brief periods where he was given power over booking in WWE was to pair up two wrestlers who hated each other, but who united out of mutual respect for their abilities and a realization that they could do even more damage together. Such was the case with Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, who decided to team up because they were both incredible technical wrestlers, and wanted a shot at the newly created WWE Tag Team Titles (which were exclusive to the Smackdown brand, with the World Tag Team Titles on Raw). The team had their disagreements (actually, it was easier to find pictures of them fighting than it was to find ones of them as a tag team), but in the ring, they were a well-oiled machine, putting on spectacular matches against Los Guerreros and the similarly odd pairing of Edge and Rey Mysterio. In fact, the fans loved the Benoit-Angle team so much that they were briefly two of the top faces on the brand, despite Angle ostensibly being a heel. Unfortunately, the team would dissolve when Angle hatched a plot to become WWE Champion on his own, resuming his role as a hated heel. However, this also led to one of the best matches in Royal Rumble history, a WWE Championship bout between the two former partners.
Shortly after winning the WWE Tag Team Championships in 2009, Chris Jericho was forced to find a replacement for his injured partner Edge. With limited options, Jericho chose the biggest man available, The Big Show. Despite nobody expecting the team to last very long, they actually went on a months-long spree as dominant tag team champions, dubbing themselves “JeriShow” in the process, and even creating a ridiculous mash-up entrance theme. Already two of the top heels in WWE, Jericho and Show walked the line between serious champions and comedy acts with aplomb, often arguing over ridiculous things backstage, but uniting to destroy their opponents in the ring, combining Jericho’s technical skills with the unmatched power of Show to run roughshod over almost every team in their path. JeriShow’s brief time in the spotlight came to an end after losing the titles to D-Generation X, followed by Jericho becoming distracted by a returning (and revenge-seeking) Edge, inadvertently leading Show into another unlikely pairing, an equally bizarre team alongside The Miz.
3. Booker T and Goldust
These two wrestlers are so mis-matched, that even the origin of this team takes some serious explanation. The two had done a throw-away sketch where they reviewed The Rock’s first movie, The Scorpion King, and were so entertaining together that fans wanted to see more of the act. Eventually, Booker T was announced as a new member of the nWo, but continued to be stalked by Goldust, who wanted to team up with Booker so badly that he attempted to become a member of the New World Order. When the nWo quietly disbanded, Booker T and Goldust began teaming up, and the chemistry was instantaneous. They became sympathetic crowd favorites due to a combination of hard work, sympathy, and entertaining comedy segments, and at one point, were probably the hottest act on the Raw brand, finally culminating in a World Tag Team title reign at the end of 2002. Unfortunately, that reign lasted less than a month, and as Booker T was poised to break into the main event, he and Goldust made the tough decision to split up the team, ending with a final, legitimately emotional goodbye in the middle of the ring.
2. Team Hell No
While Daniel Bryan was becoming one of the hottest Superstars in the company, WWE attempted to sidetrack his rise to the top by putting him in a tag team with Kane, who at that point was largely seen as an anchor around the neck of Bryan. However, following a hilarious sketch where the two wrestlers were sent to Anger Management classes, the team gelled into something special. Bryan and Kane developed a fast friendship in real life, while portraying a comically abrasive one on TV, which eventually evolved into mutual respect and a desire to “hug it out” rather than continue to be at each others necks. Once they became united in a common goal, Team Hell No was virtually unstoppable, combining Bryan’s superior technical ability with Kane’s power arsenal (and the Big Red Machine raised his game as part of the team, resurrecting a career that had been directionless for a while) to become one of WWE’s most dominant teams, holding the WWE Tag Team titles for nearly 250 days.
1. The Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection
Honestly, the team of The Rock and Mankind wasn’t together very long, and their reign as WWE Tag Team Champions lasted only a few days, but in that time, they somehow left an indelible mark on wrestling. The goofy energy of Mick Foley, combined with the arrogance of The Rock, mixed with both men’s unlimited charisma and knack for comedy, led to some of the most entertaining segments of TV ever seen, including one of the highest rated quarter hours of Raw in history, the infamous “This Is You Life” sketch. The real life friendship of Rock and Foley was in full effect during this run, and led to several brief revivals of the pairing, most notably at WrestleMania XX, where the two teamed up to face Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista in one of the most entertaining matches of the evening. For such a short-lived team, the Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection are definitely the team that most wrestling fans think of when you talk about the ultimate “odd couple”.