wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Worst Tag Teams

January 8, 2021 | Posted by Steve Cook
Johnny Jeter Spirit Squad

We spent a good portion of 2020 honoring the great tag teams of years past. It was one of the few things I enjoyed doing that year, and it seemed like everybody else got some enjoyment out of it too. However, the things we did in 2020 didn’t really seem to work! It ended up being the WORST YEAR WE EVER LIVED IN, to steal a line from one of the 2010s best tag teams.

So, let’s switch it up a little bit. Instead of looking at the seven most magnificent tag teams of all time, let’s look at the least magnificent!

7. The Dicks

On paper, the idea of having male strippers as a heel tag team isn’t the worst idea in the world. Men tend to hate pretty boys, and pretty boys showcasing their stuff seems like a natural heat magnet. This didn’t work out though. Chad & Tank Toland were a fine team in OVW, but once they went to WWE & became Dicks whose main purpose was so Michael Cole & Tazz could make awkward dick jokes on commentary, they were pretty much dead on arrival.

Even using baby oil as a foreign object couldn’t get this team over.

6. Tekno Team 2000

First of all, what a crappy name. Second of all, we’re talking about Erik Watts & Chad Fortune here, known as Troy & Travis during this time period. Futuristic sounding names, I suppose. These two men were actually teammates on the University of Louisville football team coached by the legendary Howard Schellenberger. So, as a fellow U of L alum, I’m probably ranking them a little lower than they deserve. Can’t avoid that bias, it is what it is.

5. The Spirit Squad

I’ve had various complaints about the existence of Dolph Ziggler over the years, but God bless him for managing to keep his career going at a high level after being part of this shitshow. “Nicky” was part of a five-man troupe of male cheerleaders consisting of various OVW prospects. Once upon a time, Ken Doane & Johnny Jeter were seen as top prospects. Mike Mondo had his moments, and Mitch dated Torrie Wilson for a couple of years there afterwards, so good for him on that account.

But yeah, talk about a career-killer. This whole thing was the drizzling shits. Johnny pretty much tapped out afterward, and Kenny tried, but he couldn’t overcome it. The fact Ziggler survived it deserves much respect.

4. The Harris Brothers

Ron & Don Harris wrestled under a number of different identities. The Bruise Brothers. Jacob & Eli Blu. Skull & 8-Ball of the Disciples of Apocalypse. Patrick & Gerald of Creative Control. Jared & Jacob Grimm. You know what all of them had in common? They all sucked.

I’m sorry. That wasn’t very nice. We have to assume that Ron & Don are nice guys, since they kept getting hired by various companies and put in various gimmicks. It’s nothing personal. Alls I’m saying is that I can’t name a single match these guys ever had that would crack my top 10,000 tag team matches ever list. Before you ask, no, that list is never seeing the light of day.

3. The New Midnight Express

The Midnight Express ranked at the top of list of 1980s tag teams. The New Midnight Express…well, they weren’t on the 1990s list. Jim Cornette led the NWA in an invasion of the WWF in early 1998, and when the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express lost their tag team titles to the Headbangers, Cornette needed a new team to get the belts back in his camp. Since the Rock ‘n’ Roll couldn’t get it done, surely the Midnight could! Bombastic Bob Holly & Bodacious Bart Gunn did get those straps back to the NWA, but nobody in the world cared.

Maybe if you had Bobby Eaton…nah, not even Bobby could have polished this turd. Not like it was meant to get over anyway, it was just a rib on Cornette by the office.

2. The Ding Dongs

You know what I learned while researching this article? The Ding Dongs had more than one match! I thought for sure that Clash of the Champions VII was the only time they appeared, but it turns out that Ding & Dong actually lasted over two months during the summer of 1989. See, Jim Herd wanted some family friendly characters to compete with the folks appearing on WWF television. Apparently a couple of guys in masks wearing bells on their wrists & ankles was supposed to be a family friendly idea, but families rejected the Ding Dongs just like everybody else.

Nothing wrong with Greg Evans or Richard Sartain. They were a perfectly fine tag team prior to being Ding & Dong, and you can see flashes of competence during their WCW stint. Either way, they disappeared shortly after the gimmick was killed off and were never seen again in wrestling rings. I figure if I was Ding or Dong, I wouldn’t stick around much longer either. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Larry Csonka & I were set to do a podcast about that Clash show featuring the Ding Dongs before he passed. I was so looking forward to talking about this nonsense with him, y’all have no idea.

1. The Johnsons

Mike & Todd Shane were decent enough big guy workers in the Southern indies during the last 1990s & early 2000s. They even got a brief reign with the NWA Tag Team Championship. Unfortunately, they were stripped of the titles when TNA got control of them. Even more unfortunately, TNA brought the Shanes in and gave them a gimmick that couldn’t have worked if you put Steve Austin & The Rock in the spot. Mortimer Plumtree dressed them up in full-body flesh colored spandex, put flesh colored masks on them and called them Richard & Rod Johnson. Shockingly, this didn’t get over. The Shanes left shortly afterward, and actually popped up a few years later in WWE as the Gymini, Simon Dean’s proteges. That didn’t go much better, but wasn’t nearly as ridiculous as being masked Johnsons.

It still amazes me that TNA put this gimmick out there on their very first show. People thought that wrestling experts predicting the company would go out of existence months after its debut were mean. Nah, they just saw a show that featured stuff like this and figured it couldn’t last long. As it turned out, gimmicks like The Johnsons just killed the careers of the talent involved, not the company.