The Stomping Ground: My Favorite WWE Tag Teams (Part 1)

I’m not going to bitch and complain. Nope.

Six columns in two weeks?

That’s just a drop in the hat.

I could bemoan the fact that the Smackdown Holiday Special was worse than the Star Wars Holiday Special, but that’s plain obvious.

Instead, I’ll just focus on a topic I developed over a month ago but never found the time to write about: my Top Ten WWE Tag Teams.

Over the years, there have been a bajillion tag teams come and go in the wrestling industry. Since the majority of my time observing wrestling matches has been spent predominantly on WWE and WCW, I figured I’d hit you up with ten of my personal favorites. This is a column in two parts, so expect the Top Five next week.

There are a number of teams who could have made this list, and quite an inordinate number that would never make anyone’s top ten, but seeing as how this is MY list……

10. Big Show and Kane: The thing about unstoppable big man tag teams is the personalities involved. Kane and Big Show were both faces at the time and became friendly rivals. In fact, there was a match a number of years ago (unfortunately, I can’t find footage of it) where both monsters had an atrocious technical bout that was more comical than anything else. Anywho, during Taboo Tuesday in 2005 the duo defeated Cade and Murdoch to win their first titles as a team. They went on to hold the gold until April of the following year when they lost to the Spirit Squad. The team split up after that to promote Kane’s horror movie. And Luke Gallows appeared as Fake Kane (FaKane?). So, yeah. Good stuff up until that point.

9. Rated RKO: You know, I was never a fan of Orton or Edge back in those days. Which is a good thing, because that means they were great heels. Compare that to Triple H, who I hated because I felt he was pushed down our throats, and you’ll quickly realize why I came around to cheering for Orton and Edge as they faced DX. The team was going strong, too, until Triple H tore his quad (the second such injury he’d sustain while involved in a tag team feud). Why would that affect Orton and Edge, you ask? How about this for a kicker: even with DX crippled, Shawn Michaels still managed to beat both members of Rated RKO in a one-on-two handicap match! Would it have hurt the company to allow Rated RKO to continue to thrive in the hopes of reviving the already stagnant tag team division?

8. Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit: Admit it: you marked the fuck out when Benoit and Jericho beat Austin and Triple H for the titles on May 21, 2001. My two favorite wrestlers, working in unison? That was a wet dream that became a reality. The team didn’t last as Benoit was injured and the Dudleys had taken the belts from them a month later. The tandem did result in an awesome four-team TLC match for the titles on an episode of Smackdown, one of my favorite tag team matches ever.

7. The Hart Foundation: I’m talking about Bret Hart and Jim “The Pill Addict” Neidhart here. Not Owen and Jim, or the stable from 1997. For seven years, the Hart Foundation ran roughshod over the WWE tag team division, facing such memorable teams like the Killer Bees, the Rockers, and Demolition. They came from a time where longevity actually meant something. Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that doesn’t implode after seven weeks, never mind seven years.

6. The Dudley Boys: Bubba Ray and Devon didn’t care who you were. Stacy Keibler? Through a table. Mae Young? Through a table. They were the definition of a hardcore tag team and they carved a path of destruction from ECW to the WWE to TNA. Even the higher-ups in the ‘E knew splitting them up was a bad idea.

I apologize for the briefness of this column. I would have liked to go more in-depth about these teams, but my bronchitis is kicking the shit out of me and I’d like to rest up. Thankfully, Smackdown came early this week so I won’t have to recap it this weekend. I’ll be able to relax and focus on schoolwork from now until the State pays my school a visit.

Allow me to end things with another special guest’s Fave Five. This week, the lovely Kelly Floyd finally decided to drop off her Fave Five after weeks of telling me, “I’ll send it soon.” After consistent nagging on my part, she acquiesced.

Many Bothans died to bring you this list.

Kelly Floyd’s Fave Five Things I Want For Christmas:

1. A Divas Division… This is the only reason I’ve been a good girl this year…to ask Santa for this onnnnne little thing. Ha, yeah, right. Good? ME?! But all the same, can someone pick up a Costco-sized pack of (real) Divas for me this year? Complete with parts that actually move swiftly and a voice box that doesn’t sound absolutely moronic? Some real female athletes, to at least pretend to show the boys that we’re not just a pair of tits to use after a match?

2. Better content… Hopefully, CM Punk doesn’t pull my name for Secret Santa, so I won’t have to continually go to sleep (see what I did there?) when watching WWE programming. Someone like me–a fresh mark with posters, action figures, and autographs on her wall–is bored. Bored! That’s not right. I want the mystery, the allure, the damn build up! Like when Shawn Michaels suddenly appeared at Elimination Chamber to cost Taker the title, setting up for Wrestlemania 26. Boom! But what do we have this year? A match that was booked a year in advance, that I keep forgetting is even happening. Return to sender.

3. Chris Jericho… I’m like that girl you break up with for totally legit reasons, but I still text you three times a day because “our” song is on the radio and “our” movie is on TV and there’s a sale on “our” kind of garlic bread at Fry’s. I cannot let go. I’m about two Y2J-less PPV’s away from writing him poetry on Twitter. This is all an exaggeration, of course. But I do want him to march his drunkass back to the WWE, and wrestle until he dies. Is that so wrong?

4. The Stone Cold Steve Austin DVD… Nothing witty. I just really want it. Thanks!

5. My heart… This isn’t a joke about how heartless and cold I am (though, I am those things). I’ve been head over HEELs in love with professional wrestling for quite some time now. I’m a complete mark. I’m obsessed. I make wrestling jokes to non-wrestling-fans and then explain why they’re funny. I love wrestling. And now, I want wrestling. WWE has been catering to the youth, to the new fans, to the fair-weather fans, and that’s fine. I can support it. But add a little sliver of the good stuff in it for the rest of us, please. I want to be excited to force-feed everyone my 10 Thoughts on Smackdown and I want to be falling down with joy that there’s another PPV to go to. But I feel none of those things anymore. Not sure if I’ve become a snob to the WWE way, if my indy wrestling has spoiled me, or if it really is just that bad. But, Santa, work with me, here. I promise…I’ll stop cussing and insulting Kelly Kelly and drinking and being impolite. Well, I’ll stop being impolite.

Is it just me, or is it easy to see Kelly Floyd tossing back a few beers as she writes? Gotta love her.

Anyway, it’s time I hit the old dusty trail. So long, thanks for all the fish, and keep fucking that chicken.

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