5 former WWE Tag Team Champions who went on to become major rivals
Tag teams are a staple in WWE. Most of the time, they're inseparable and share an unbreakable bond. The Usos and The New Day epitomize loyalty, allegiance, and dependability. Others are never on the same page. Think of the odd and hilarious duo, Team Hell No.
In the realm of professional wrestling, stabbing your tag-team partner in the back is far from rare. Two men who were inseparable a year ago could despise each other vehemently today.
Today, we examine five former WWE Tag Team Champions who later became fierce rivals.
#5. Former WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt
After a brief feud with Bray Wyatt in the autumn of 2016, Randy Orton embraced his dark side and joined The Wyatt Family. In December 2016, Orton and Wyatt won the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. The duo and the late Luke Harper defended their titles under The Freebird Rule.
However, The Wyatt Family soon dropped the championships, which drove a wedge between Orton and Harper. The Eater of Worlds would choose The Apex Predator and Harper would be ousted. The decision came back to haunt Wyatt in the worst way imaginable.
The 2017 Royal Rumble winner burned down the Wyatt Family Compound and turned on his leader. The friends-turned-enemies collided in a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 33, which Orton won. The final chapter of their feud at that time was written in a House of Horrors match at Payback 2017, where Wyatt defeated his arch-nemesis.
#4 Former WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Hell No
WWE struck gold when it paired together the unlikely duo of Indy darling Daniel Bryan and the demented Kane. Although their characters were strikingly dissimilar, they shared undeniable chemistry, and their constant bickering created some incredible story-telling.
Team Hell No held the Tag Team Championships for more than 200 days, dropping it to Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in May 2013. However, that crushing defeat laid the foundation for the team's demise.
Bryan's popularity surged, and he was on the cusp of breaking out as a singles star. After both declared their intentions to pursue the WWE Championship, they went their separate ways in June 2013.
The Hall of Famer sold out to the Authority, which held Bryan back for the sake of business, and became Corporate Kane. However, the heat between them escalated after Beard's "Miracle on Bourbon Street" at WrestleMania 30.
Stephanie McMahon berated and inadvertently brought back Demon Kane. After Bryan returned from his honeymoon, Kane viciously assaulted his former partner and put him out of commission. They fought in an Extreme Rules match, but the rivalry was cut short due to Bryan's injury.
#3. Inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley
The Boss and The Role Model are two top stars in the women's division, and they have a storied history together as friends and enemies. They were rivals in NXT, where they stole the show in a stellar Iron Man Match.
The Boss 'N Hug Connection were the first-ever WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. However, they lost the championships too soon, prompting an outburst from the Boss, which led to a hiatus. The team was quietly disbanded, and Bayley soon won the SmackDown Women's Championship at Money in the Bank 2019.
Eventually, the two friends got back together in 2020 and won the Women's Tag Team Championship again. However, once they lost the titles, Bayley showed her true colors by turning on Banks.
The Boss defeated Bayley in a Hell in a Cell match in October 2020 to win her first SmackDown Women's Championship.
#2. Former WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz and Damien Mizdow
The arrogant A-Lister, The Miz, hired a stunt double in Damien Sandow in the fall of 2014. The former Intellectual Savior of the Masses became overwhelmingly popular and relevant owing to his "Mizdow" gimmick.
While his primary responsibilities were to mimic The Miz in both offense and punishment, they also worked as a tag team, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships at Survivor Series 2014.
They lost the championships, but Mizdow's popularity continued to surge, further escalating the tension between the two partners. Eventually, The Miz's jealousy exploded out of control and he turned on his stunt-double following WrestleMania 31.
The Miz and Mizdow fought in a match to determine who got to keep the gimmick, and the latter lost. Sandow's run as Mizdow was the highlight of his rather underwhelming career.
#1. Former WWE RAW Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
The Shield needs no introduction. This entry will, however, focus on their brief reunion in 2018 and the fallout. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins reunited, but the Big Dog announced he was battling leukemia in late October.
The same night, Ambrose and Rollins won the RAW Tag Team Championships from Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. However, the Lunatic Fringe turned on his former best friend and snapped in a vicious onslaught.
The current AEW star would berate and taunt his former Shield brethren, claiming to have been forgotten during his injury. They eventually collided at TLC for the Intercontinental Championship, where Ambrose won the title.
After going on and off for weeks, WWE quietly closed the chapter in late January. Ambrose announced he was leaving the company in April. Reigns returned and the band reunited for one final time.
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