The New Day claims longest WWE Tag Team Championship reign of all time
It’s a new day in WWE history — yes, it is.
That’s because the outlandish trio of Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods recently became the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions ever. Though their charisma and charm won the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe, The New Day made themselves the standard bearers of WWE’s tandem ranks through the run of success they have sustained since SummerSlam 2015.
Their march into legend led the chief critics of being Booty past a long line of legitimate duos who brought integrity back to a division that spent too much time out of the spotlight. To celebrate this historic accomplishment, take a look at the 10 Superstar duos with the longest WWE Tag Team Championship reigns of all time, a list which, as of July 23, 2016, is now topped by The New Day.
MNM (142 Days)
Prepare the red carpet and alert the paparazzi: The WWE Tag Team Championships never looked quite as good as they did dangling from the pants of Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, two sharp-dressed Hollywood types who moved like lightning and hit like thunder in the ring. Looking like they stepped out of a time machine from the swingin’ ’60s, MNM didn’t just bring chinchilla coats to the forefront of tag team wrestling, they backed up their bold talk by defeating the likes of Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero (from whom they won the titles just a couple of weeks after their debut) and William Regal & Paul Burchill. That these two alpha males eventually imploded shouldn’t surprise the WWE Universe: Some things are just too beautiful to last, baby.
Air Boom (146 Days)
For an ad hoc pairing that seemed to have little in common besides the fact that, y’know, they were both good at jumping, Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne emerged as a modern-day equivalent of upbeat ’80s fan favorites like The Rockers during their 146-day run as WWE Tag Team Champions. Adopting the fan-approved name of Air Boom, the duo made it a point to sync their style — it’s always a good sign when a team coordinates their ring gear — while they spin kicked their way through rivals like Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger. Outside issues saw to it that the team imploded before their time, but in their day they were, pardon the pun, the bomb.
The Hart Dynasty (146 Days)
With their family ties to throwback favorites like The Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs, The Hart Dynasty of Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith — along with their plucky sidekick Natalya — appeared to be the saving graces of tag team wrestling when they beat Big Show & The Miz to become champions on Feb. 8, 2010. Things didn’t quite work out that way — it’s statistically impossible to correctly list the 10 titleholders that followed them — but this pink and black attack made their mark on history as the last duo to be recognized as the World Tag Team Champions and the first to hold the copper, Spartan helmeted WWE Tag Team Titles we recognize today.
The Shield (148 Days)
The WWE Universe is still sore from Seth Rollins betraying his Shield brothers-in-arms. Now, Rollins’ recent selection as the No. 1 draft pick for Raw puts him on the same roster as Roman Reigns, who was also the former Architect’s partner during The Hounds of Justice’s record-setting tag team coalition. Holding the twin titles with Roman Reigns for 145 days, these two not only proved they could survive outside the more secure six-man stipulation that was The Shield’s specialty, it also helped mold Reigns into the five-tool annihilator the WWE Universe sees today. For proof, take a look at the 2013 Money in the Bank Kickoff title defense against The Usos, a heartstopper of a match that shows just what these two guys were about, and why we may never see their like again for a long, long time. Believe it.
The Usos (202 Days)
The Usos' pursuit of championship gold was so long and arduous, you almost thought they’d never get there. Yet the twin boys of WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi (a former WWE Tag Team Champion in his own right) reached the promised land and kept a tight grasp on the titles after besting Attitude Era stalwarts The New Age Outlaws in 2014. The Samoan duo did the Anoa’i family legacy proud, defending their titles against heavy hitters like The Wyatt Family and The Real Americans. Now, they ply their trade on SmackDown Live, where they will help define the budding Tag Team division for the blue brand.
Team Hell No (245 Days)
A pair of obstinate rivals who couldn’t stop bickering until the second the bell rang, Kane & Daniel Bryan, aka Team Hell No, quickly proved themselves among the most unlikely — not to mention beloved — WWE Tag Team Champions in history. As dominant as they were, Team Hell No’s true favorite opponents were each other. They’d argue, they’d win, and then, when the final pinfall was counted, they’d go back to arguing until the next unwitting challengers meandered into their path.
This may seem like more of a recipe for disaster than anything else, but give them credit — Kane & Bryan rode their unorthodox formula to a 245-day stretch atop the tag division that culminated with a hellacious title defense against Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston at WrestleMania 29. Their unlikely partnership has long since ended, but hey, we’ll always have the hugs.
The Miz & John Morrison (247 Days)
This ain’t no make-believe: Tossed together as rivals to challenge then-champions MVP & Matt Hardy, The Awesome One and The Prince of Parkour captured the gold in 2007 and never looked back, swaggering their way through a 250-day reign, not to mention Internet stardom with their own online show (before there was “Z! True Long Island Story” there was “The Dirt Sheet”).
Even though their reign was cut short by the next guys on this list, the awesome bromance lived on, carrying the twosome to a World Tag Team Title stint and a rivalry with D-Generation X (JoMo, it takes a special kind of gall to steal the Superkick). Alas, the friendship eventually flamed out in epic fashion and it was Miz who ultimately pummeled The Monday Night Delight into Laurinaitis-imposed exile in 2011, but the legacy of their better days remains undeniable. Plus, if there’s another team that could successfully pull off the combo of a chinchilla coat and a fedora, we haven’t seen it yet.
The Colóns (275 Days)
Like a cool piña colada on a hot summer’s day, The Colóns’ lengthy reign as WWE Tag Team Champions was a breath of fresh air for a tag division that is often dominated by stolid bruisers. Descendants of WWE Hall of Famer Carlos Colón, the brothers Primo & Carlito brought a kind of electric spontaneity to the twin championships that earned them immediate success in the hotly contested division. The two defeated the then-reigning Tag Champs Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder in their first match as a team, and became the first duo to unify the World Tag Team Championships & WWE Tag Team Championships when they defeated John Morrison & The Miz at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania.
Sibling rivalry eventually won out over tag team dominance and the brothers had a big falling out, yet let us pause to reflect on what made these Superstars so special. They weren’t the biggest, they weren’t the strongest, but when it comes down to it, the teams they faced just weren’t as cool. And we all know what happens to people who don’t want to be cool.
Brian Kendrick & Paul London (333 Days)
Brian Kendrick & Paul London, who held the twin championships for just a month shy of a year from 2006 to 2007, quietly conquered WWE’s tag team ranks while lacking the eccentric personalities or family pedigrees of other duos on this list.
Despite the fact that neither of these Superstars was exactly a colossus — London was a former Cruiserweight Champion and Kendrick was among the same class of independent wrestlers that produced Daniel Bryan and CM Punk — their tag team prowess was practically unmatched. They had a preternatural ability to come through in the clutch with their titles on the line, and everyone from William Regal to The Hardy Boyz tried and failed to wrest the titles from London & Kendrick’s hands.
It was ultimately fate that cut their stint at the top short; an injury to London deep into their reign derailed the group’s momentum, and the rookie team Deuce & Domino capitalized by defeating the twosome for their titles shortly after his return. The lesson, as always: Size does not necessarily conquer all, and anyone who says otherwise should take it up in the ring with these two. We’re sure they’d be happy to pin you.
The New Day (334+ Days)
It’s incredibly easy to take the record-setting success of The New Day for granted. They march to the beat of their own trombone. They play Pokémon GO, deliver messages with the help of a time machine and made a WrestleMania entrance by way of a grandiose cereal box of Booty-O’s.
Yet amidst their captivating antics, The New Day just keep handling all contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles with ease. They came out on top against The Dudley Boyz, The Lucha Dragons, The Club and anyone else who crossed their path in the past year. They even went toe-to-toe with The Wyatt Family on Bray Wyatt’s home turf.
The New Day, despite their larger-than-life personalities, do not back down from any fight. Now, their new WWE record bears the fruit of this singular tag team’s underappreciated labor.