wrestling / Columns

The 411 Wrestling Year-End Awards (Part Three) – The Best Tag Teams of 2020

January 5, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Young Bucks AEW Full Gear

Welcome back to Part Three of the 411 Wrestling Year-End Awards of 2020! The Year-End Awards have been out for a couple of years but they’re back, and here’s how they work. For the next couple of weeks, we will present our top choices for a particular topic relating to wrestling in 2020. All the writers here on 411 will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic and the end, based on where all of the votes rank on people’s list, we will create an overall Top 5 list. It looks a little like this…

1st – 5
2nd – 4
3rd – 3
4th – 2
5th – 1

Once everyone’s had their say, we will tally the scores and get our overall top 5. Tonight we’re looking at the Best Tag Teams of the year. Let’s get right to it…

Rob Stewart

5. Breezango
4. The New Day
3. The Young Bucks
2. The Street Profits

1. FTR – First, I know Breezango is such a weird inclusion, but I was SO HAPPY for each of those guys to finally get gold; it was a highlight of the year for me. But I couldn’t think of anyone besides FTR to include here, as they spent much of the year on top of the best tag team division in the world. When they arrived in AEW, they were immediately treated as… ahem… Top Guys, and we all started remembering what made they so great back in the NXT days (it wasn’t Icy Hot skits).

Jeffrey Harris

5. The Street Profits
4. The North
3. Guerillas of Destiny
2. Young Bucks

1. FTR – FTR came roaring into AEW, having put their WWE behind them and with a fresh start. It was a fresh start for them as they were finally ready to be the hot tag team act they should’ve been on Raw and SmackDown, but could never be because Vince McMahon hates tag team wrestling. Confusion from their being renamed to FTR aside, they managed to leave WWE before the company started purging talent in April. It was clear they left on their own terms and weren’t fired. They were ready to set the tone and message and write their own tickets from now on. In 2020, they did just that. They conquered in AEW and they beat Kenny Omega and Adam Page to become the champs. They were also ranked the No. 1 Tag Team of 2020 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. The accolades speak for themselves.

Steve Cook

5. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
4. The North
3. FTR
2. The Young Bucks

1. Kenny Omega & Hangman Page – AEW’s tag team division is pretty well stacked with talent, but their best tag team of 2020 involved two people that didn’t even have a cool tag team name. Omega & Page were friendly, both part of the Elite, but both men are more known as singles competitors. Also, they have pretty different personalties that one might think wouldn’t gel well in the ring. They got put together for a four-way for #1 contendership status, and they clicked. They won the tag team championship from SCU and just kept on rolling. Their match with the Bucks at Revolution was widely considered one of the best of the year, and they had a number of other great matches on Dynamite. Like all good things, it had to come to an end, and once they lost the championship to FTR, it was time for Kenny to return to singles competition and accept his destiny to be AEW World Champion. Hangman is looking for his destiny.

Len Archibald

5. The Young Bucks
4. The Street Profits
3. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
2. The North

1. FTR – Tag team wrestling was pretty fucking amazing in 2020 across the board. Even apart from my top 5, The New Day, Best Friends, Lucha Bros, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, Motor City Machine Guns, Imperium and The Undisputed Era all put on bangers this year. But most everyone knew the truth: 2020 was the coronation lap of Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood as the best tag team on planet earth. Those who followed NXT were exposed to the greatness of the throwback team formerly known as The Revival and after their less than stellar main roster run those same fans must feel some vindication after the year the duo had. With Tully Blanchard in their corner (about as perfect a pairing as Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar) FTR essentially had one mission: dominate. Upon their May arrival in AEW, FTR made it immediately known they only exist to capture gold and the AEW Tag Titles were destined to be theirs, fulfilling that prophecy in one of the best matches of the year against Kenny Omega and Hangman Page. In AEW, FTR returned to their NXT roots (#acronyms), presented as a kick ass, no-nonsense team that are scientists within the ring. They lost the AEW titles to The Young Bucks in another match considered to be close to the top of 2020, but their presence continues to loom – they are not done dominating and barring catastrophe, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first #1 PWI Tag Team of the Year arrives in this same spot at the end of 2021. In my eyes, they’re that good.

Jake Chambers

5. The Hunt
4. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi
3. Imperium
2. Gallus

1. Sasha Banks & Bayley – Since it took WWE more than 2 years to finally break-up this duo, that slow (likely unintentional) burn helped make their run as Tag Team Champions a bit unpredictable. As they were cleaning out the “division” with astounding heel confidence, I thought it was possible they’d just stay friends… evil friends. I appreciated Bayley’s commitment to her heel persona, and Sasha upping her jerky attitude just subtly enough so that it didn’t overshadow the alpha. Also, I think the level of difficulty is higher for pulling off a heel team break-up, so good on them for making it to Hell in a Cell without ever becoming “cool” heels (although this was probably only because of the lack of live audiences). In a wrestling world where tag team wrestling ultimately doesn’t matter, and when a team loses their tag titles they just spin out into WWE’s midcard purgatory, at least Sasha and Bayley’s story eventually led to one awesome singles match at Hell in a Cell, and for that they get my #1 spot .

Tony Acero

5. The Young Bucks
4. The New Day
3. The Undisputed Era
2. FTR

1. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega – When I took over AEW, admittedly, I only knew of the guys I had seen on the CA independent scene; and Omega and Page just kind of slipped under my scope. If there’s one thing to come out of AEW coverage, it’s understanding that the WWE is not the be all, end all, and that a team like Omega and Page can stand out amongst everyone else and just be amazing. They killed it every chance they got, and on a roster full of amazing tag teams, they stood tall.

Ian Hamilton

5. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
4. The North
3. Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi
2. New Day

1. Young Bucks – I used to be “one of those guys” who couldn’t stand the Young Bucks. As time’s gone by, I’ve been won over – and while their run to the AEW tag titles perhaps wasn’t quite as smooth as some would like (I mean, the final weeks of build just didn’t work), you cannot deny that they’ve been the common factor in a lot of teams’ best matches of the year.

Kevin Pantoja

5. The New Day
4. The Young Bucks
3. The Street Profits
2. FTR

1. Hangman Page & Kenny Omega – If I’m talking about teams that I actually consistently enjoy, then there’s a good chance The Lucha Bros or Santana and Ortiz would top the list. Unfortunately, AEW books them poorly. The New Day added more strong title reigns, The Young Bucks reached the top of AEW, The Street Profits held gold for most of the year, and FTR showed why they’re so good. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega may not have finished the year as a duo but they had a phenomenal run. Some of the best matches of the year came from them. Their AEW Tag Title reign saw classics against FTR, The Young Bucks, The Lucha Bros, SCU, and more.

Robert S Leighty Jr

5. The New Day
4. Undisputed Era
3. Young Bucks
2. The Street Profitsx

1. FTR – From a kayfabe point of view nobody has had a better year than the Profits as they have had a strangle hold on Tag Gold. With that said, the WWE doesn’t care about their tag division nearly as much as they should and AEW’s division is loaded and treated like something special. FTR have been the head of the division and have delivered on grounding the tag division with a team that doesn’t just throw kicks and do flips. They left the WWE to show what they can do in tag wrestling and have done that in AEW.

Jeremy Thomas

5. The Young Bucks
4. Bayley and Sasha Banks
3. Hangman Page & Kenny Omega
2. The North

1. FTR – If you’d asked me in March whether The Revival were likely to be considered the best tag team of 2020, let’s just say I would have been skeptical. That’s obviously through no fault of their own; they just weren’t in a position where they were doing anything of note. And it is what it is. WWE has different booking priorities and while it’s a shame that a team like this couldn’t get much of a break, it happens. Then they took the plunge and left WWE, joining AEW a in May. I wasn’t initially a big fan of “FTR” as a tag name but it’s grown on me. More to the point though, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood have been able to show what they can do unfettered and the results have been phenomenal. I don’t think it’s a surprise that so many fans have latched onto these two; they are able to stand out from the rest of the AEW tag team division while still integrating seamlessly in terms of delivering truly great matches. Their rise to the top is one of the more heartening stories of the year, and I am happy to give them their due.

AND 411’s TOP 5 Tag Teams of 2020 ARE…

T-4. The Street Profits14 points

T-4. The North14 points

3. Hangman Page & Kenny Omega18 points

2. The Young Bucks24 points

1. FTR36 points