WWE sometimes decides to book two of its superstars in such an unlikely pairing that nobody in their right mind would have imagined it to happen.
This heightens our intrigue owing to the unconventional and serious potential of the teams. Sometimes it involves box office draws, and in some other cases, wrestlers who would simply benefit from the pairing. However, many of these unlikely duos are split before the idea truly takes off, sometimes due to the superstars involved being too prolific and not necessarily needing the rub of a tag team.
Listed below are five unlikely partners whom WWE didn't fully realize and unfortunately dropped before anything of substance could have happened.
#5. John Cena and Batista's one week reign as WWE Tag Team Champions
The history between John Cena and Batista is epic in proportion and one of the company's best storylines of the 2000s. Sadly, the ending came at the expense of The Animal's career and the overall aura of his character being assassinated.
Both superstars kickstarted their main event run at WrestleMania 21, with Batista and Cena moving on to become the biggest babyfaces on SmackDown and RAW respectively.
In 2008, they got into a scuffle leading to a match at SummerSlam. In the weeks leading up to the show, the two were paired to take on Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. for the latter's Tag Team Championships. To the surprise of many, The Franchise Player and The Animal won the belts.
This was a time when the tag team division was a bit hollow, and Cena and Batista's run could have gone somewhere, with them being the bar for other tag teams to reach and break (thank you Sheamus and Cesaro).
WWE instead opted to book the heavyweights in their first-ever singles match at the Biggest Party of the Summer, where Batista toppled the Champ.
Cut to 2010 – Cena added to his accomplishments with three straight victories over The Animal on premium live events, which was followed by the latter's exit from the company.
#4. Y2AJ in 2016 was surreal, not the best title for the team, and above all, a glorious pairing
After Styles defeated Jericho by submission at WWE Fastlane, they formed a union, with Jericho showing respect to Styles following his defeat on multiple occasions. The duo was dubbed "Y2AJ" and even challenged The New Day to the latter's Tag Team Championships. This was a time when the Booty-O-loving trio were a heel team.
Y2AJ had ample scope, but their union was cut short when Jericho turned on Styles after their loss against The New Day. The two then faced each other at WrestleMania 32, where Jericho finally defeated Styles.
The truth of the matter was that Styles was too big a draw and popular among the masses, and there were many in the WWE Universe that would rather see The Phenomenal One chasing singles gold in the main event.
Perhaps it was for the best, but their tag team was an interesting idea that wasn't fully realized. Chris Jericho and AJ Styles would have been a team so likable that they could have benefitted from a strong run in the tag team division. At the same time, a rival heel team would have received all the heat when going over Y2AJ.
#3. John Cena and The Miz are the perfect recipe for an engaging tag team
John Cena and The Miz were embroiled in a feud in 2011 that was strictly average at best. The best match to come out of this feud was a triple threat steel cage match also featuring John Morrison on a premium live event. Their WrestleMania main event was relegated as a teaser for an even bigger main event the following year, and was a convoluted mess.
On the February 21, 2011 episode of RAW, a segment featured The Miz winning the Tag Team Championships for himself and Cena over The Corre, only for the then-WWE Champion to turn on Cena so that Heath Slater could pin the Franchise Player and regain the belts for himself and Justin Gabriel.
Both Cena and Miz have similar promo styles. Due to their association with other media and mutual taste in showboating spirit, they were an intriguing pair for a tag team run. But their brief union was only used to further build on their clash at The Show of Shows.
#2. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins are so not right that it's good
They were initially embroiled in a feud that began with The Visionary challenging The Prizefighter's loyalty to team RAW after Owens appeared in NXT TakeOver: WarGames prior to Survivor Series in 2019. Rollins served as team captain and led the Monday Night Team, with Owens being a member of it. The event hosted a RAW vs. SmackDown vs. NXT Traditional Tag match.
Their issues led to a WrestleMania bout during the pandemic in 2020, wherein Owens won. Since then, they have teamed up several times, most notably challenging RK-Bro and The Alpha Academy for tag team gold en route to WrestleMania 38, but WWE dropped their tag team run.
Most recently, however, on the December 19 episode of WWE RAW, the duo reformed to defeat The Usos. Maybe a tag team championship run in the future at some point is a strong possibility for this unlikely duo.
Honorable Mention: Randy Orton and The Revival
This faction could have elevated The Revival to a status they unfortunately couldn't reach during their WWE stint. Dax Harwood mentioned later on the Jim Cornette Experience that Orton would fight for the trio to be regularly featured on television.
“He fought for us so hard to get us on TV with him every single week because he believed in our work ethic and he believed in what we brought to the table. And we watched him go to Vince every single week, or Hunter or whoever, and say, ‘we gotta keep this up’.”
Randy Orton previously led the Legacy faction involving Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. He probably had a vision for his alliance with FTR as well.
The Viper indulged in a feud with Kofi Kingston in 2019, drawing a mixed reception from the crowd. Whilst their story was rare owing to the fact that they had a long history of 10 years in the making, their big match at SummerSlam didn't deliver to people's expectations. The Revival joined the fray and stood by Orton opposite The New Day.
Orton and The Revival were a faction that could have been a breath of life into the tag team scene of WWE programming, but ultimately the company dropped plans for them as a unit.
#1. The Two-Man Power Trip is the biggest unlikely pairing that wasn't fully realized
In another feature on Sportskeeda, we discussed the careers of Triple H and Steve Austin and how they drew parallels.
The star power of their tag team, which was dubbed "The Two-Man Power Trip," was like no other. Triple H was the Intercontinental Champion and Austin was the WWE Champion, and together they defeated The Brothers of Destruction at Backlash in 2001 to win the Tag Team Championships as well.
Over the course of the next few months, they continued their feud with The Undertaker and Kane, as well as with Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho.
Unfortunately, the Game was sidelined due to an injury that kept him from competing in the ring for the rest of the year, returning only in 2002 prior to the Royal Rumble. Their alliance and story itself were dropped and the company moved on with Triple H winning the Rumble match and main eventing WrestleMania 18 against Chris Jericho.
Austin and Triple H had a lot left to explore in their tag team storyline. WWE could have even had the two global superstars headline The Show of Shows owing to their rich history and incomplete story from the previous year.
In the end, one cannot help but look back at their pairing as the biggest power-team that the company didn't fully utilize.
Where would you rank the Two-Man Power Trip among the greatest pairings in WWE? Sound off in the comments section below.