Where do The Usos rank among the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions?
Here’s something to appreciate — you’re currently living in the finest era for tag team wrestling since The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boyz left Attitude Era rings looking like a Home Depot that had just been hit by a twister.
What do we owe this renaissance to? Well, everything. The roster’s robust, the titles are desired and the champions are of the fighting variety. In fact, six of the last seven WWE Tag Team Champions have held the titles for more than 100 days, which is a staggering feat when considering the fact that Edge & Christian only held the World Tag Team Titles for 207 days across seven reigns.
The Usos are the latest — and possibly the best — in a long line of legitimate duos who are bringing integrity back to a division that spent too much time overlooked. And they’re on the way to becoming the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions ever. The only question is how far do they have to go?
By the way, just so we’re all on the same page here, this list is strictly concerned with the WWE Tag Team Titles — not the World Tag Team Championships, which were retired on Aug. 16, 2010. For the record, Demolition held those championships for the longest stretch, running hot for an impressive 478 days.
#10 Jeri-Show — 140 days
For a crew that never technically won the tag team titles — Chris Jericho exploited a little-known loophole that allowed him to give Big Show one-half of the championships after his original partner, Edge, was injured — Jeri-Show proved to be a formidable tandem. Coming together during a stretch where the titles had become all but an afterthought, the cagey veterans thrust the championships back into limelight with compelling defenses against teams like The Legacy, Cryme Tyme and Batista & Rey Mysterio. By the time the duo lost, it was in the main event of WWE TLC against DX — proof that they had altered the perception of the twin titles.
#9 MNM — 145 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.
#8 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.
#8 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.
#6 The Shield — 148 days
Too soon? The WWE Universe is largely (and justly) still a little raw from Seth Rollins stabbing his boys in the back a few months ago, and what makes the former Architect’s bait-and-switch all the worse is that he was also one-half of The Hounds of Justice’s record-setting tag team coalition alongside Roman Reigns. 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.
#5 The Usos — 174 days and counting
The Usos' championship journey was so start and stop you almost thought they’d never get there. Maybe that’s why the twin boys of Rikishi (a former WWE Tag Team Champion in his own right) have kept such a tight grasp on the titles since besting Attitude Era favorites The New Age Outlaws on March 3, 2014. Holding onto their championships against heavy hitters like The Wyatt Family and Rybaxel, Jimmy and Jey have managed to become the fifth longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions of all time, but they still have a ways to go before they crack the top four. They’ve come this far. Now the real work begins.
#4 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 friendship has long since ended, but hey, we’ll always have the hugs.
#3 The Miz & John Morrison — 250 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.
#2 The Colóns — 280 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.
#1 Paul London & Brian Kendrick — 331 days
Surprise! If The Usos ever hope to rack up the longest WWE Tag Title reign of all time, they’ll have to surpass — of all people — these guys, who held the twin championships for just a month shy of a year from 2006 to 2007. 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.