6 most decorated tag teams in WWE history
A Superstar’s genes do not predetermine his path to success in the squared circle. But they sure don’t hurt those seeking greatness in the tag team division.
Among the most decorated tandems of all time, nearly all of them share a common trait: A literal fraternal bond. Multiple World Tag Team Title reigns may not be a birthright, but the winningest squads must attain a unique chemistry that’s durable and runs deep. The best brothers-in-arms often know each other’s strengths and motivations as well as they know those of their own siblings.
The top of the World Tag Team Championship leaderboards in WWE, WCW and ECW each include several duos with family ties that will forever bind them. Now, take a look at the sensational six tag teams who racked up more tandem title triumphs than anyone else in the world of sports-entertainment.
#4 (tied): The Hardy Boyz (7-time titleholders)
Baseball fans since the 1950s regularly get caught up in a debate about the greatest center fielder of that era by picking from one of three famous choices: “Willie, Mickey and the Duke.” WWE fans from the Attitude Era get into similar disputes when debating the greatest tag team from the period, deciding between Edge & Christian, The Dudley Boyz and, of course, The Hardy Boyz.
The brothers from Cameron, N.C., attained a great deal of success in two-man battles through their innovative aerial arsenal, an inventive use of ladders and a win-at-all-costs attitude that regularly put them at risk. The Hardy Boyz’ results speak for themselves, having netted five World Tag Team Championship reigns in addition to becoming just the third of four duos to win the WCW Tag Team Title in a WWE ring. And in case anyone thought they were strictly an Attitude Era act, Matt & Jeff Hardy claimed their place in this list by seizing the World Tag Team Title a sixth time from John Cena & Shawn Michaels on Raw in 2007.
#4 (tied): Minnesota Wrecking Crew (7-time titleholders)
No one questions the undeniable bonds that unified the WWE Hall of Fame quartet known as The Four Horsemen. So it only makes sense that the group’s spiritual forefathers set the bar for tag teams everywhere.
The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, a tactically gifted and powerful partnership consisting of brothers Gene & Ole Anderson, are arguably the first truly great tag team in history. The Gopher State grapplers accumulated seven WCW Tag Team Championship reigns in the company’s NWA heyday, at a time where the top of the tandem ranks were often filled by two friendly journeymen who couldn’t sustain momentum for long. Their seven tours at the top stood as a record for 15 years, until Harlem Heat matched it in 1996. Meanwhile, the Crew’s 977 combined days at the summit still stands above any duo in WWE, WCW or ECW.
#4 (tied): Edge & Christian (7-time titleholders)
For those with the benefit of flash photography, picture this: Only two pairs of partners can boast about having achieved seven World Tag Team Championship reigns in WWE. And the first twosome to do it just happens to hail from Toronto, Canada.
Edge & Christian solely plied their trade in the competitive confines of WWE, which means everybody in the WWE Universe got a good look as the Canuck competitors transformed themselves from Gangrel’s lackeys into one of the greatest tag teams of all time. They went through everybody to win the World Tag Team Titles, from longtime rivals like The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz, to lethal combinations like The Rock & The Undertaker.
Moreover, their victory in the Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match at WrestleMania X-Seven made them the first WWE duo to earn seven separate reigns in WWE as World Tag Team Champions.
#3: The Steiner Brothers (9-time titleholders)
If the skills of The Steiner Brothers are any indication, a little higher learning can go a long way in the squared circle.
Rick & Scott Steiner, two talented siblings who initially competed as amateur wrestlers at the University of Michigan, quickly proved that sports-entertainment was their true calling in the early 1990s. They attained significant triumphs in WWE and WCW, having claimed the top tandem prizes in both companies on multiple occasions. In 1998, The Steiners tied The Minnesota Wrecking Crew’s mark of seven tandem title reigns in WCW, and actually broke the record if you count their two World Tag Team Championship runs in WWE, too.
Not bad for a couple of brothers from Bay City, Mich.
#2: Harlem Heat (10-time titleholders)
WWE fans can describe with glee the sight of Booker T staring into his hand, preparing to remind the world that he’s a “Five Time! Five Time! Five Time!” World Champion in WCW. Yet if they want to hear about his accolades from Harlem Heat, Bookerman will need both hands.
More than any other pairing in sports-entertainment, Harlem Heat carried the torch for tag team competition by performing at an elite level for as long as any twosome before or since. Booker T and his brother, Stevie Ray, had ample practice, having fought their way from the mean streets of Houston, Texas, to the main event scene in WCW.
So what do they have to show for it? Ten WCW Tag Team Championship reigns, a record that, in 1999, eclipsed the previous mark set by The Minnesota Wrecking Crew. It still stands as the benchmark for most tandem title reigns in a single promotion.
#1: The Dudley Boyz (18-time titleholders)
D-Von … get the titles!
Bubba Ray found himself with many opportunities to ask his Dudley cohort for the championships in their possession. That’s because The Dudley Boyz landed on top wherever they went. In addition to their singular run with the WWE Tag Team Title, The Dudleys are eight-time World Tag Team Champions and eight-time ECW Tag Team Champions. They also broke The Minnesota Wrecking Crew’s mark of eight championships just nine days after Harlem Heat became the first duo to do it in 1999.
In addition to all that gold, Bubba Ray and D-Von own the final WCW Tag Team Championship reign in history, making them the only pairing to be decorated with the top tandem prizes in WWE, WCW and ECW. Their success is simply unparalleled, and seems unlikely be challenged by anyone for a long time to come.