The 10 coolest Superstar alliances
With CM Punk & Daniel Bryan joining forces to do battle against Luke Harper & Erick Rowan at Survivor Series this Sunday, WWE.com couldn’t help thinking about other dream tag team alliances in squared circle history.
While the thought of The Best & The Beard setting up shop in the same corner may seem almost too good to be true, this Sunday won’t be the first time that impossibly awesome duos have teamed up to take on the bad guys.
With that, here are the 10 coolest Superstar alliances ever.
Bret “Hitman” Hart & “Macho Man” Randy Savage
On paper, these two grapplers should have mixed together about as well as oil and water. That is to say, they shouldn’t have mixed together at all.
Personality-wise, Bret Hart and Randy Savage were about as different as two people could be; the flamboyant and outspoken “Macho Man's” style serving contradictory in almost every way to The Hit Man’s subtle, direct approach to trash talk.
But inside the ring, both competitors shared an uncanny knack for backing up whatever pre-match jawing they may have spit out. Incredibly skilled ring technicians, both Hart and Savage were among the very best grapplers of their — or any — generation. Their histories are essentially a greatest hits compilation.
So in 1992, when The Hit Man joined ranks with the “Macho Man” to take on Ric Flair & Shawn Michaels, the WWE Universe was in for some awesome tag team action. And, come to think of it, this pairing has shades (get it?) of Bryan & Punk, which is precisely why we kick off the list with Hart & Savage.
Hulk Hogan & Shawn Michaels
Though WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan haven’t always seen eye-to-eye over the years, they did manage to put aside their differences long enough to battle Muhammad Hassan & Daivari at Backlash 2005. As expected, The Showstopper and the legendary “Hulkster” made for a memorable tag team.
Targeted by Hassan & Daivari just one night after his WrestleMania 21 loss to Kurt Angle, HBK called on Hogan for some help against the antagonistic pair. And, with 20 World Championships between them, the unified front of Michaels & Hogan proved to be one of the most formidable duos of all time.
Things would go south between the two larger-than-life Superstars soon after they decimated Hassan & Daivari on the pay-per-view stage, but the legendary combination of a big boot and Sweet Chin Music will always reverberate throughout the WWE Universe.
Triple H & CM Punk
Triple H and CM Punk go together like peanut butter and cyanide; like bacon and tofu; like Laurel and Costello. You get the idea.
One has become the very definition of a “corporate” entity, serving as WWE COO and spending weekdays donning a suit and tie. The other is the epitome of “indie,” a punk-rock preacher who claims to be The Best in the World.
Yet, when The Game and The Second City Saint joined forces in an attempt to vanquish The Miz & R-Truth at Vengeance 2011, the WWE Universe got a glimpse into what was, arguably, the unlikeliest tag team in WWE history.
And, though their effort was thwarted by the shocking reemergence of Kevin Nash, Punk & Triple H undoubtedly made for one of WWE’s coolest duos.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin & Dude Love
Talk about a memorable WWE “debut.”
On July 4, 1997, WWE Tag Team Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin found himself in a bad way. With his partner, Shawn Michaels, on the shelf due to an injury, Austin was left in the unenviable position of single-handedly battling Owen Hart & The British Bulldog with the titles on the line on Raw.
In the middle of their match, however, “the hippest cat in the land” arrived to save the day when Dude Love officially made his WWE debut. A week after The Texas Rattlesnake refused Mankind’s offer to team up, Mick Foley’s most fun-loving alter ego emerged to the surprise of every single member of the WWE Universe — most of all, Austin.
From there, a Stunner to Bulldog and a cover by the Dude kicked off one of WWE’s unlikeliest — and, not to mention, coolest — WWE Tag Team Championship runs on an unforgettable Independence Day.
Ultimate Warrior & Sting
In another lifetime — before they became sports-entertainment icons — Sting and Ultimate Warrior cut their teeth as a tag team known as The Blade Runners in the Continental Wrestling Association. When the duo split and headed to separate organizations, fans thought’s they’d never see them in the same ring again.
However, in 1998, Ultimate Warrior made his way to WCW for a rematch with nWo honcho Hollywood Hogan. At the time, Sting — WCW’s top crusader against the faction — was embroiled in a bitter rivalry with nWo associate Bret “Hit Man” Hart.
On the Oct. 12, 1998, episode of Monday Nitro, The Blade Runners reunited in an effort to take down their mutual rivals. Hogan & Hart did their best to double-team Sting in the ring, but once Warrior was tagged in, he dismantled his opponents until The New World Order ran in and sent everything into chaos.
John Cena & The Rock
Never before, never again ...
When John Cena was left alone to face off against The Miz & R-Truth on Raw, the devious tag team beat down The Champ, leaving him in a heap in the middle of the ring. Raw GM John Laurinaitis stepped in, allowing Cena the opportunity to pick a tag team partner and square off against The Awesome Truth at Survivor Series.
A wounded Cena’s announcement proceeded to shock the world as he stated, “My partner is going to have to be somebody who’s going to bring it.”
Mere months ahead of their epic confrontation at WrestleMania XXVIII, The Rock & John Cena teamed up to take on The Awesome Truth at Survivor Series 2011, marking a defining moment in the history of sports-entertainment. Billed as “The Most Charismatic Tag Team of All Time,” The Great One and the Cenation leader electrified Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20, 2011, dropping Miz & Truth to score the huge victory.
Moments later, however, The Rock dropped Cena, hitting his would-be WrestleMania foe with a ring-shaking Rock Bottom, and setting the tone for the greatness yet to come.
Sting & Lex Luger
As two of WCW’s most prominent stars, Sting and Lex Luger each captured the Television, United States and World Championships. Together, they won the WCW Tag Team Titles in a testament to their friendship both in and out of the ring.
The tight friendship between The Stinger and The Total Package has been well documented through the years as the pals joined forces to battle the likes of The Steiners, Harlem Heat and The Outsiders. In fact, no team in WCW history matched the popularity of the pairing as their chemistry and their combined mass appeal ignited the fans’ emotions — just like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior
The mere idea of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior shaking hands is the kind of thought that causes cerebellums to explode and entire life philosophies to be thrown into question. It’s a partnership that the human mind is too puny to process rationally, but it happened at SummerSlam 1991 when the unthinkable alliance formed to topple a “Triangle of Terror.”
The partnership between the former rivals was as flashing as a passing comet, but what a glorious pass it was. The onetime WrestleMania opponents put their differences aside to dispatch Colonel Mustafa, Sgt. Slaughter & General Adnan at the summer classic, restoring balance to the world of WWE, the hearts and minds of all the little Warriors and Hulkamaniacs watching at home and, indeed, reaffirming the values of America itself.
And just like that – poof – they were gone.
The Undertaker & The Rock
Of all the unfathomable team-ups in WWE history, the brief-but-fruitful union of The People’s Champion & The Phenom seems more like a “WWE 2K14” fever dream than something that actually happened.
It just goes to show that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, because not only did the two icons unite as a team, but they actually won the World Tag Team Championships, besting no less a duo than Edge & Christian to claim the twin titles for their own.
Alas, the team proved to be the very definition of lightning in a bottle, as The Great One & The Deadman lost their championships in the rematch just three days later. That’s a depressingly short reign for the dream team, but just think of it this way: We live in a world where, for 72 hours, The Rock & The Undertaker were a title-holding tag team, and that makes it a wonderful world indeed.
Hulk Hogan & "Macho Man" Randy Savage
Stars have been formed and galaxies birthed out of lesser collisions than that of Hulk Hogan and the “Macho Man’s” merger into one of the most combustible, formidable tag teams in WWE history.
A two-headed powerhouse of rippling muscle and booming charisma — really, calling them the “The Mega Powers” was both utterly appropriate and yet somehow still understated — Hulka-Madness ran wild over anyone and everyone who stepped in their path.
The tandem’s biggest enemy turned out to be themselves, though, as lingering differences over Miss Elizabeth caused the stars to go supernova in a backstage brawl that ended the union for good and nearly brought the arena to its foundation in the process.