The greatest WWE tag teams of all time: The New Age Outlaws
Good guys are boring. They’re just too plain, generic and unrealistic for our liking, and we can almost never relate to their goody-two-shoes antics. Bad guys on the other hand, are interesting. Right from The Joker in The Dark Knight to the T-1000 in Terminator: Judgement Day to Tyler Durden in The Fight Club, the bad guy has a special place in the hearts of the masses, as he provides jaw dropping entertainment, the kind that has never been seen before.
The New Age Outlaws were no different.
The most famous tag team of the WWE’s Attitude Era, the Outlaws were an integral part of WWE television as members of the second version (and most popular version) of the iconic stable, D-Generation X. The New Age Outlaws were formed in 1997, after the two wrestlers known as ‘The Real Double J’ Jesse James and ‘Rock-A-Billy’ Billy Gunn united as a tag team after a brief feud in order to save their fledgling careers, which they realized were going nowhere. They rechristened themselves as ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn and ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James.
Greatness cannot be solely measured in terms of statistics and title reigns, despite what CM Punk may argue to the contrary. You can win numerous titles, and still yet not make even a footnote of an impression. For example, the tag team of Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel won the WWE Tag Team Championships no less than three times, and here we are nearly two years later, with absolutely nobody terming their reigns as ‘memorable’.
Right after their formation, the New Age Outlaws slowly got over with the crowd through their heelish tactics of sneaking out victories and use of weaponry. Their charisma and skill was evident, and it wasn’t long before the fans started cheering for the despicable duo, just when the WWE was on the brink of ushering in the Attitude Era.
As 1997 wore into 1998, signs of the Outlaws joining DX began cropping up, with the Outlaws and DX constantly interfering in each other’s matches, with DX also helping the Outlaws in shaving the head of Road Warrior Hawk of the Legion of Doom, the most beloved tag team of that era. The Outlaws would finally officially join DX the night after WrestleMania 14, after the new leader Triple H and recently re-debuted X-Pac helped them win the WWE Tag Team Championships from Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack.
Reaching unprecedented heights as a part of the revolutionary DX Army, the Outlaws hold a special spot in WWE history for their ballsy invasion of WCW in April 1998. Marching around outside the WCW arena, they proceeded to mock WCW for various reasons and even tried to enter the arena through the loading dock, only for WCW to hastily close the exit. WCW supremo Eric Bischoff later talked about how audacious and exhilarating the invasion was, and that WCW had been dumbfounded that night.
They are also famous for their hilarious parodies of the Nation of Domination and the Corporation as a part of DX.
In their initial run with DX, the entire group was pushed as heels, but their burgeoning popularity made them faces by default. The Outlaws completely revolutionized the tag team division in the WWE and played a crucial part in the WWE beating WCW in the Monday Night Wars. Looking at plain and simple statistics, the Outlaws had the 3rd highest selling merchandise of the Attitude Era, behind only The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Yes you read that right, 3rd highest. Not Triple H, not The Undertaker, and not Mick Foley, but the highly entertaining duo of Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.
One of their most famous trademarks was their golden entrance speech. Coming out to “Oh you didn’t know?” by Jim Johnston, Road Dogg would lead the Outlaws in an extremely long, but highly entertaining entrance speech and to finish it, the crowd would scream their lungs out for the two immortal words of DX, SUCK IT!
Road Dogg: “Oh, you didn’t know? Your *** better caaaaalllll somebody! [Whatever city the show was in], you damn right! You see it’s me, it’s that D-O- double G rolling with the B-A-double D. Welcome to “The Dogg House”, where you know we like to kick that shiznit d****style! Now then, let’s see if we can’t make some noise up in this b****h! Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages: D-Generation X proudly brings to you, its soon to be WWF (The World Wrestling Federation) TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WOOORLD! The Road Dogg Jesse James, The Bad Ass Billy Gunn, The New Age Outlaws!”
Billy Gunn would then declare:
“… and of course, if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for ya! SUCK IT!”
Probably the most iconic tag team in WWE history, the Outlaws may have only been together for a short while, but they made a tremendous impact on the WWE. They paved the way for future attitude driven, cocky tag teams, such as Edge and Christian. They helped put the word ‘Attitude’ in Attitude Era. There’s no doubt that, D-Generation X wouldn’t have become as legendary as they are now without the insertion of the Outlaws in 1998.
Their recent return to the WWE on the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw, saw them come out to a huge ovation in the truck that they used to invade WCW.
And if you’re not down with the Outlaws, we got two words for ya!