Tag Team wrestling used to be every bit as hot a ticket as singles stars. Here are some of the great rivalries that helped define the tag-team wrestling division.
If there's one thing truly unique about professional wrestling, some aspect of it which has lent itself to the general lexicon, it's the concept of tag teams.
On the outset, it's a simple enough rationalization. After all, if two pro wrestlers are good, then four must be better, right?
Originally developed as a way to get more stars onto a single card, tag team wrestling's popularity exploded, with promotions soon introducing title belts to cash in on fan interest. Tag team wrestling naturally lends itself to the more dramatic side of pro wrestling. Who hasn't booed relentlessly when the heel team breaks the rules behind the referee's back? And everyone gets that intense thrill when the poor, demolished babyface finally makes the hot tag to his fresh partner, who proceeds to clean house.
Given the agony and the ecstasy of pro wrestling tropes, it's no wonder that tag teams have formed the backbone of many a pro wrestling territory. The Road Warriors defecting from the AWA to the NWA in the 1980s was largely blamed for the former's eventual demise, more so than the loss of Hulk Hogan.
These days, tag team wrestling seems to be heating up again. Tag team bouts regularly steal the show on both WWE programming and beyond, with many of the top teams being high-end merchandise sellers, just like the New Day.
But the old saying goes, you're only as good as your opposition. Pro wrestling tag teams have led to historic pro wrestling tag team rivalries.
The WWE's Classic era was home to many of the most iconic and beloved tag teams of all time, both heel and babyface. Here are some of the greatest tag team rivalries from WWE history.
#1. The US Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) vs. Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff
For our first historic tag team rivalry, we go back--waaaaay, way back--nearly forty years to the very first WrestleMania.
A few months before the first-ever star-studded extravaganza was to take place, the newly minted team of the US Express took on the team of Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis. The youngsters pulled off the win and captured the tag team titles. Fans were ecstatic to have the tag team belts on a patriotic babyface team. But their reign would be short-lived.
"Classy" Freddie Blassie, the manager of Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, claimed that American wrestlers were weak, and no match for the foreign heels. The US Express rose to the challenge and the two teams faced off at Wrestlemania with the gold on the line.
In the early going, the babyface US Express dominated the match. Their frequent tags, size, and strength combined with their agility made the going difficult for the bad guys. But the heels soon took over the match, and with an assist from Freddie Blassie's trademark cane captured the tag team titles.
The US Express had a few rematches, but would never manage to recapture the gold. Soon both men would depart for other promotions, with Rotunda joining the Varsity Club and Windham, of course, being part of the Four Horsemen.