The tag team divisions in WWE are hot right now with teams like The Usos, The Revival, The Bar, Ricochet & Aleister Black, Roode & Gable, Gallows & Anderson, The Hardy Boyz and more all putting on great matches. A new women's tag division has been established with its respective championship and NXT is currently hosting the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament.
In light of all the great tag team wrestling leading up to this year's WrestleMania, this weekend is a great time to revisit the seven best tag team matches in WrestleMania history. Tag teams have not always been featured during WrestleMania: there have been 9 WrestleManias without a tag team match on the main card. The list below takes into account match quality and crowd reaction ascending from matches that are fun to revisit to matches that are essential viewing.
In the comments below, share your favorite tag team moments in WrestleMania history and who you'd like to see in a tag team match at future WrestleManias.
7. The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers
This is a match for people who love good power moves and great tag team wrestling. This is also the only WrestleMania match for the Steiner Brothers, but they made the most of it. The Headshrinkers, managed by Afa from The Wild Samoans, consisted of Samu & Fatu (future WWE Hall of Famer, Rikishi). Everyone in this match weighs over 240lbs but they wrestle like cruiserweights. Although this match only got 2.5 stars from Dave Meltzer, it's one of the best pure tag team matches in WrestleMania history. Revisit it to watch both of these teams lay into one another in a fun match. You can see how the Usos are influenced by the Headshrinkers and why seeing the Steiner Brothers in their prime is wrestling gold. You don't need 20 minutes to put on a great wrestling match and a quick match doesn't have to be a spot-fest either, these two teams show that here.
6. The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine) vs. The British Bulldogs (The Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith)
Tag Team Championship Match
WrestleMania 2 took place in three separate locations: The Nassau Coliseum, The Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena), & The LA Memorial Sports Arena. This tag team championship match was the main event at the Rosemont Horizon. The Bulldogs, managed by Captain Lou Albano, were also escorted to the ring by Ozzy Osbourne. The Dream Team was managed by Luscious Johnny Valiant and had been champions for 8 months leading up to this match. The Bulldogs had lost to The Dream Team in their previous two meetings (one of which you can see in the video above) and were rumored to be leaving the WWF if they didn't win this match. If you like power moves, much like the Steiners & Headshrinkers, this match is for you. Hammer, Bulldog, & Dynamite Kid all deliver some great slams, throws, and strikes in this classic match. Each man throws his body around the ring for the others. Suplexes, powerslams, moves off the top rope, very few rest holds - this match gives a peek at the future of professional wrestling. Momentum swung back and forth in this match, keeping the crowd hot throughout. The Dream Team seemingly had the match wrapped up, double teaming Davey Boy, but Valentine got cocky and pulled Smith up instead of covering him for the pin. Smith took advantage of the moment by slamming Valentine's head into the Dynamite Kid's head and covered Valentine for the pin. Beefcake couldn't make the save in time ending The Dream Team's run at the top. Ozzy Osbourne celebrated the win with Captain Lou in the ring while Davey Boy tended to his partner. Both Bulldogs were too exhausted and beat up to celebrate but Davey Boy managed to say that the British Bulldogs would definitely stay in the WWF to defend the tag team championships. This type of selling after the match should be noted because these men looked to be in worse shape after this match than any of the competitors in the other matches on this list and it does include the TLC match. WrestleMania 2 was a weak show, but this match was spectacular.
5. The Rockers vs. The Barbarian & Haku
This is the last traditional tag team match on this list, but it's easily the best one. It features everything you could want in a tag team match: varying styles of wrestling, tandem moves, near falls, hot tags, and a classic matchup of good vs. evil. This match opened WrestleMania 7 and got the crowd hot early. The Barbarian & Haku were a part of the hated Heenan Family and the Rockers were as pure as a babyface tag team can be. The Rockers tandem offense is just as exciting today as it was 28 years ago, as you can see it emulated by the Young Bucks in their matches. The match began with Shawn Michaels facing Haku, showcasing both men's spectacular wrestling abilities. The Barbarian & Haku's power was a fantastic contrast to The Rockers' high-flying & fast-paced offense. They played perfectly on the emotions of the crowd by double-teaming whenever the referee was distracted. Haku & The Barbarian lost control when The Barbarian got cocky and went to the top rope for a body splash on Marty Janetty allowing Janetty to make the hot tag to Michaels. The match climaxed with The Rockers executing their tandem offense on Haku and finished with Michaels landing a body splash from the top rope on Haku and covering him for the win. It should be noted that there's another very good tag match on WrestleMania 7 between The Hart Foundation & The Nasty Boys for the tag team championships that is worth revisiting as well.
4. Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo & Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The Hardy Boyz
Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match for the RAW Tag Team Championships
The Hardy Boyz make their first appearance on this list in their return match after being absent from WWE since 2010. The match was scheduled to be a Triple Threat Ladder match until The New Day (who were hosting WrestleMania that year) came out and announced that one more team would be added to the match. What followed was one of the loudest eruptions from a crowd in WrestleMania history. The Hardys completely surprised everyone in the wrestling world with this appearance by keeping the secret to only themselves while appearing at indie events throughout WrestleMania weekend. It all started when the Hardys reunited as a tag team in 2015 and announced an "expedition for gold" winning 7 tag team championships including TNA and Ring of Honor's tag team titles. The Hardys even wrestled for over 30 minutes the night prior in a ladder match against the Young Bucks for Ring of Honor. The surprise of the Hardys energized the Orlando crowd and that energy permeated this match. The match began as an all-out brawl until the ring cleared, leaving the Hardy Boyz to execute their tandem offense. Ladders got introduced right after this, giving Gallows & Anderson a brief advantage until Cesaro and Sheamus were able to take over the match. It's easy to forget how popular Enzo & Cass were and how well they worked together as a team, but this match showcases them well. Cass landed his signature big boot and threw Enzo into Gallows to the delight of the crowd. This match clocks in at about 10 minutes (not counting entrances) but allowed everyone a chance to shine while electrifying the crowd on an otherwise weak show.
3. Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H
Intergender Tag Team Match
This match had so much hype going into it: Ronda Rousey was the female face of combat sports and her first wrestling match would be on the biggest stage in wrestling. To add to the hype, this would also be Kurt Angle's first match back in WWE after 11 years away from the company and it would be Stephanie McMahon's first WrestleMania match. This match exceeded every expectation set for it with classic tag team drama while allowing individual showcases for the men and women before Triple H & Rousey made physical contact. The match began with Angle controlling Triple H until Stephanie drew Rousey to distract the referee. This allowed Triple H & Stephanie to use heel tactics to take over. With anticipation building for Angle to tag in Ronda, Stephanie & Triple H would prevent the tag until the crowd was at a fever pitch. Once Angle made the tag, Rousey was a house of fire. Rousey attacked Stephanie to the roar of the crowd. Stephanie was able to get a thumb in Rousey's eye to escape danger. It should be noted that this match took place under intergender rules, meaning that women could only fight women and men could only fight men. However, Triple H was the first one to break that rule by pulling Ronda out of the ring as she attacked Stephanie. When Triple H & Ronda faced off in the ring, the referee got between them to remind them of the rules but Triple H put the ref in the corner. The audience roared when Rousey finally got her hands on Triple H, who sold beautifully for her until Stephanie could recover. The competitors in this match played the audience like an instrument. Audible gasps from the audience when heels took over were followed by raucous cheers for the heroes got the advantage making this a romantic match, free from the cynicism that modern audiences can bring to a show. This match told beautiful stories that established a new top star in wrestling on the grandest stage in her first match.
2. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian
Triangle Ladder Match for the Tag Team Championships
WrestleMania 2000 (16)
This was the first ever triangle ladder match for the tag team championships and was heavily hyped by Jim Ross on commentary. The Dudleys were the champs going into this match and somewhat played the heels although all three teams were liked by the fans for their high-risk offense and great teamwork. It should be noted that the fans didn't really pop for any of the teams' entrances: this match would ensure that would never be the case again for these three teams. Edge & Christian started the match by taking out the Hardys before moving to the Dudleys. The men took turns in the ring to feature action between individual performers and focus the attention of the audience as they established the energy of the match before introducing the ladders. Once the ladders were introduced into the match, tandem offense began leading to the Hardys taking over the match. Jeff Hardy missed a 450 splash, allowing the other two teams to punish the Hardys. The Dudleys took over the match, using the ladders to assault E & C and the Hardys until Edge & Christian could recover and take over the match. This match was the only one on the WrestleMania card that elicited "Holy sh*t!" chants from the crowd with its jaw-dropping high spots. Each team adapted their signature moves to incorporate the ladders. This creativity and teamwork between the three teams was revolutionary at the time and their chemistry together was magnificent. The crowd became fully invested in the match and got loud for all three teams out of appreciation for these men sacrificing their bodies for the sake of entertainment. The audience chanted for tables whenever the Dudleys took over and were rewarded 3/4 of the way through the match when the Dudleys set a table on top of two ladders in the middle of the ring followed by two other tables placed perpendicularly on opposite sides of the ladders. Bubba Ray set up one more table on the outside of the ring as well before powerbombing Matt Hardy through it after D-Von missed a body splash on Jeff Hardy inside the ring, destroying one of the tables in the ring. Bubba Ray then worked his way over to Jeff Hardy, exchanging offense until Hardy executed a Swanton Bomb off a 16ft ladder onto Bubba Ray on a table on the floor taking both men out of the match. Edge & Christian managed to win the match by knocking Matt Hardy off the ladders/table setup in the center of the ring. This match changed the way the audience perceived each of the men, as they carried WWE through a year where the top singles stars were riddled with injuries.
1. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian
TLC Match for the Tag Team Championships
The first TLC match was at SummerSlam 2000 between these three teams. This sequel tops all previous matches by these men. The action is fast-paced and full of high spots, but the audience had been primed for this and knew what to look for and appreciate going into the match. The pops for each team's entrance are significantly louder than they were just one year prior at WrestleMania 2000. The match started similarly to WrestleMania 2000 with an all-out brawl but transitioned to tandem moves quicker than before and introduced weapons even quicker as well. Each spot in the match got loud reactions from the crowd with flashbulbs popping for every high-flying move. The crowd's reactions for this match are louder than any match on this list and is up there with the loudest crowds in WrestleMania history (WM 3, WM 18, WM 30, WM 31). Every man in the match takes bigger falls than they have in any match before and to add to the action: Spike Dudley, Rhino, & Lita each come out to interfere on behalf of their respective teams. Each element added to this match serves the match and adds to the drama. Jeff Hardy replicated his dive from WrestleMania 2000 by delivering a Swanton bomb off a 16ft ladder onto Spike Dudley & Rhino. It was followed by Christian & D-Von dangling from the tag team championship belts, which was followed by Jeff Hardy jumping ladder to ladder to get the belts. Bubba Ray pulled the ladder out from under Jeff Hardy, setting him up to dangle from the belts too before receiving a spear in mid-air from Edge, delivering an iconic moment in wrestling history. Rhino was able to recover and clear Bubba Ray & Matt Hardy from the ring by putting them through another two tables on the outside. The match finally ends with Rhino putting Christian on his shoulders and climbing up the ladder to retrieve the belts for the win. Everyone involved looked completely shaken after this match and no one looked happy leaving. The fact these men were able to top their previous matches without killing each other or their friends while still delivering a coherent story is nothing short of amazing. The chemistry between these three teams, the trust, the storytelling, the crowd & the action make this match one that is almost impossible to top.