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Who is the greatest Tag Team of all time?

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The Midnight Express (with Jim Cornette) prepare to do battle with the Rock and Roll Express.
The Midnight Express (with Jim Cornette) prepare to do battle with the Rock and Roll Express.

The first tag team match in professional wrestling history was held in 1901 in San Franciso, California. The match type became more popular over time, with perhaps a peak of interest in the 1980s.

These days, some federations make their tag division almost an afterthought (WWE) while others emphasize it greatly (ROH.) Make no mistake, however, that tag team wrestling is here to stay. Getting four athletes in the ring at the same time doubles the marketing potential and the dramatic elements for storytelling, which is what wrestling has always really been about.

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Just like singles stars, there are those teams who are so legendary that they stand out above the rest. But which team is the best, the greatest of all time? This question can be highly subjective and vulnerable to nostalgia, but we will attempt to keep the criteria clearly defined to attain some level of objectivity. We will rate teams on four criteria;

Popularity: For face teams, this means cheers. For heels, it means wall to wall boos.

Championships: Holding the gold does matter, so titles held counts toward the overall grade.

Competition: Just ploughing through a bunch of nobodies doesn't count for much. Did the team face legitimately prestigious foes?

Legacy: Was the team innovative, influential, or still spoken of today?

Without further ado, here are the contenders in no particular order.


The Rock and Roll Express

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Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson defined tag team wrestling in the 1980s with their high energy never say die ring style. Ricky was akin to Dolph Ziggler in his ability to make anyone look good, and Robert brought the sizzle with his athleticism. Many teams fell victim to their double dropkick finisher.

Popularity: Top marks in this category. In fact, the R and R Xpress was often given grief because they were TOO popular! The NWA would often run two shows in one night, and the Rock and Roll Express drew twice as many fans as the 'main' NWA show featuring stars like Dusty Rhodes. Grade: A+

Championships: Ricky and Robert have held over forty titles in twenty different promotions, including Korea, putting them off the charts in this category. Grade: A+

Competition: The Rock and Roll Express faced such luminaries as the Midnight Express, The Four Horsemen, the Fantastics, and Manny Fernandez/Rick Rude, giving them a top grade. Grade: A

Legacy: Ricky and Robert STILL lace up the boots today for special attraction matches, and are still dearly beloved by wrestling fans of the 1980s. They didn't invent the 'babyface in peril' wrestling trope but they certainly perfected it. Grade: A

Overall Grade: A+

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Christopher Scott Wagoner is a fiction writer and freelance journalist from Austin, Texas. Dune is his favorite novel and Dean Malenko is his favorite wrestler.
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