Teddy Long's Top 10 Tag Team Matches
February 16, 2017
Before he was revealed as a 2017 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, Theodore Rufus Long was one of the most successful General Managers in WWE history. Spending time in charge of SmackDown and the rebirth of ECW, Long was known as a tough but fair leader. He was also renowned for his propensity to diffuse any hostile situation with the skillful use of one type of match in particular.
When four or more Superstars were in the ring, bickering back and forth, it was almost inevitable that Teddy Long’s music would blare through the speakers.
“Now, hold on a minute, playas,” he would bellow, before explaining to them that their incessant arguing would not take up precious time on his show. In Teddy Long’s world, there is only one way to settle these massive differences.
“We’re going to have ourselves a tag team match!” Long would exclaim, as the heroes rejoiced at the opportunity to get their hands on a rival, while the villainous Superstars seethed in anger.
Long’s disposition for tag team battles has become his calling card, so much so that when he turned one into a Fatal Four-Way Match, the WWE Universe was floored. Conspiracy theories were found in bunches around the internet as fans tried to make sense of the madness.
One strange decision aside, Teddy Long has won over the hearts of the WWE Universe with his unbridled passion for tag team competition. As Long's WWE Hall of Fame induction approaches, join WWE.com in celebrating 10 of the finest tag team bouts Long ever put together.
The Fabulous Moolah & Mae Young vs. Torrie Wilson & Dawn Marie — SmackDown, Sept. 23, 2004
To start things off, we’re going back to one of the earliest tag team matches ever made by Teddy Long. On the fifth anniversary episode of SmackDown, Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie were standing in opposite corners of the ring, decked out in school girl outfits for a special match. That was, until, the general manager hit the ring.
Before the bell rang to start their one-on-one bout, Long stopped the proceedings. In an effort to make SmackDown’s fifth birthday as huge as possible, he informed the two beauties that they would instead be taking part in a Tag Team School Girl Match. Long then declared that you couldn’t have a school girl match without “old school,” introducing their opponents: WWE Hall of Famers The Fabulous Moolah & Mae Young.
Torrie and Dawn Marie giggled in disbelief at the prospect of taking on the octogenarians, thinking the age difference would make this a cakewalk. The younger Divas forgot to take into account that their opponents were two of the toughest women to ever step inside the squared circle. The Hall of Famers knocked them back with surprisingly stiff punches. After a little scrum that ended with Dawn Marie’s cardigan sweater being torn, Young got on all fours behind Dawn while Moolah pushed her backward over her partner, making Dawn Marie easy prey for a pinfall. Experience won out over youth in one of Teddy Long’s most entertaining creations.
John Cena & Big Show vs. JBL & Orlando Jordan — SmackDown, Feb. 25, 2005
After defeating Big Show in a Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match at No Way Out 2005, WWE Champion JBL had plenty of reason to celebrate. He was, after all, the longest-reigning champion in nearly a decade (CM Punk has since eclipsed that mark).
So a battle-worn JBL took to the ring for a black-tie celebration of his championship glory. His Cabinet presented him with a portrait of him with his title. Still, the wealthy Texan couldn’t resist getting a few digs in at The World’s Largest Athlete. Of course, this led to an enraged Big Show storming the ring to retaliate. Despite his enormous size, the giant couldn’t handle the champion, Orlando Jordan and The Basham Brothers by himself. John Cena, the new No. 1 contender to JBL, rushed out to join Big Show in the fight. Teddy Long came out to put a stop to the festivities, but only temporarily, as he made a tag team match: Cena & Big Show against JBL & Jordan!
The giant unleashed his fury in the main event that evening, eventually stacking both of his foes in the corner and squashing them, sending JBL tumbling out of the ring. A follow-up spear on Jordan left him in perfect position for an Attitude Adjustment and Five Knuckle Shuffle from Cena, wrapping up a big win on the Road to WrestleMania 21
Batista & The Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy & Finlay — SmackDown, April 13, 2007
Shortly after WrestleMania 23, Finlay and Mr. Kennedy had an unsettled dispute regarding the microphone maven’s assault on Hornswoggle during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Like any rivalry between Superstars, it eventually comes down to a battle in the squared circle. But the cunning Kennedy, not wanting to get in a brawl with the Irishman, took the high road and apologized to him. Surprisingly, Finlay accepted the mea culpa and called off the match.
That didn’t sit well with Teddy Long, who didn’t appreciate the two trying to weasel out of the match he made. SmackDown’s General Manager wasn’t about to give them the night off, so Long did what he does best: He put Finlay & Kennedy in a tag team match against the huge pairing of Batista & The Undertaker!
The Animal and The Deadman had problems of their own, however. Batista was still seething after coming up short in a World Heavyweight Title Match against Undertaker at The Show of Shows. Their partnership was tenuous at best. When The Phenom seemed to have things wrapped up in the tag team contest, Batista tagged himself in to deliver a thunderous Batista Bomb to Mr. Kennedy, giving the reluctant partners a victory.
Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Finlay & Tommy Dreamer vs. Mark Henry, The Miz, John Morrison & Chavo Guerrero — ECW, Sept. 2, 2008
It didn’t take much for a fight to break out on ECW. That’s what happens when you let Superstars run around with an extreme, wild west mentality. That may have been why the WWE Board of Directors brought in Teddy Long to get things under control in The Land of Extreme.
On this night, The Miz and John Morrison’s “Dirt Sheet” talk show turned into a brawl with six other Superstars that spilled out of the ring and went backstage. A fed-up Long confronted all eight men and said the talking was over. “Here’s the way we settle problems in ECW. We do it in the ring,” he declared, putting them in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match in the main event that night. The team of Hardy, Bourne, Finlay and Dreamer were in quite the quandary when Henry, the massive ECW Champion, was muscling around Hardy with ease.
Eventually, Hardy was able to evade a diving attack from The World’s Strongest Man and tag in Bourne. Henry was in perfect position for Bourne’s breathtaking Shooting Star Press. Bourne then tagged in Dreamer, who surprised everyone with a top rope splash of his own on Henry. Finlay then tried to cave in the champ’s chest with a sit-down splash, before clearing the ring of Henry’s teammates. The World’s Strongest Man struggled to get to his feet as Finlay tagged in Hardy, who leveled the ECW Champion with a Twist of Fate to pick up the win for his star-studded team.
Kelly Kelly, Melina & The Bella Twins vs. Lay-Cool, Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes — SmackDown, Oct. 29, 2010
Teddy Long knows a great opportunity to make a tag team match when he sees one. There was none better than on the Halloween 2010 edition of SmackDown. A Divas Costume Contest erupted into a brawl when Michelle McCool and Layla cut off Long before he declared a winner, saying their Beyonce and Lady Gaga outfits made them the clear victors.
Once the ladies calmed down, Teddy said he had a surprise for the WWE Universe. Rather than pick a winner for the contest, the eight women in the ring would face off in an Eight-Diva Tag Team Match.
While we have to give props to Lay-Cool for wrestling in heels, it just wasn’t meant to be for their team. Kelly Kelly, in her Little Bo Peep costume, emerged from an eight-Diva fray to floor Rosa Mendes with a facebuster to earn a Halloween treat.
Edge, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, Kane & Kofi Kingston vs. The Nexus — SmackDown, Nov. 5, 2010
The Nexus ran roughshod over WWE throughout 2010. After their initial destruction of Monday Night Raw, the former NXT Rookies made it their goal to unleash havoc wherever they went. For the most part, that whirling dervish of destruction stayed on Raw. In November, though, The Nexus made a special appearance on Friday Night SmackDown, interfering in a hotly contested bout between Edge and Alberto Del Rio, causing a no contest.
The ensuing five-on-two beatdown caused some of SmackDown’s top stars to put aside their differences to fend off the invaders. Big Show, Kane and Rey Mysterio ran to their colleagues’ aid, setting off a melee that could only be brought under control by one man: Teddy Long. SmackDown’s General Manager made the biggest 10-Man Tag Team Match in the show’s history, pitting the SmackDown Superstars against The Nexus. Still, one question was begging to be asked: Could these rivals put their differences aside?
Mysterio wouldn’t get a chance to prove if he could, as he was taken out of the match following a Nexus attack backstage. Kofi Kingston took his place. Despite several of the SmackDown stars tagging themselves into the match forcefully, and Kane taking out Big Show with a massive Chokeslam, Edge was able to evade an attack from The Big Red Monster and take out David Otunga with a spear to send Nexus fleeing from the blue brand.
Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio & The Miz — SmackDown, Dec. 17, 2010
It didn’t take long for Alberto Del Rio to stick his nose into Rey Mysterio’s match against The Miz on SmackDown, costing the masked marvel the bout. Edge, fed up with Del Rio’s behavior, rushed the ring to take out The Mexican Aristocrat. After Edge cleared the ring, Teddy Long came out and put everything to an end, making a tag team main event between the four Superstars.
The exciting match came to a screeching halt, however, when Kane interjected. After destroying the backstage area and several crew members, The Big Red Monster stalked to the ring to make The Rated-R Superstar his next victim. Kane tackled Edge to the mat and the rest of the SmackDown roster sprinted to the ring to pull the two apart. Kane single-handedly broke free from the pack, Chokeslammed Trent Barreta, and resumed brawling with Edge, the two continued their fighting as SmackDown went off the air.
Edge & Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay — SmackDown, March 11, 2011
Just 23 days before WrestleMania 27 and what would be Edge’s final match, he got one last chance to team up with his best friend. After signing a contract to take on Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title at The Show of Shows, The Rated-R Superstar was the victim of a beatdown by The Mexican Aristocrat and his massive bodyguard, Brodus Clay. When he called them out on the March 11, 2011, edition of SmackDown, Edge had every intention of taking on the aggressive duo by himself.
He walked head on into a two-on-one attack, which Del Rio and Clay took advantage of almost immediately. When things looked bleak for Edge, Christian came to his rescue. Captain Charisma’s arrival evened things up, but only temporarily, as Teddy Long came on the scene to announce that for the first time in a decade, Edge & Christian would team up to face Del Rio & Clay in a huge tag team main event.
The seven-time World Tag Team Champions showed the WWE Universe they hadn’t lost a step in the decade since their last bout. The pair that “reeks of awesomeness” dominated a thrilling match that reached its apex when Christian dumped Del Rio out of the ring, then floored Clay with a tornado DDT that put the big man in perfect position for a top-rope elbow from The Rated-R Superstar for the win.
John Cena, Randy Orton & Alex Riley vs. R-Truth, The Miz & Christian — Raw, June 20, 2011
If there’s one thing Teddy Long doesn’t like, it’s complaining. That’s why when The Miz, R-Truth and Christian went to the squared circle to air their grievances during Raw’s “Power to the People” episode, Long sprung into action and threw the complainers into a Six-Man Tag Team Match in the main event against John Cena, Randy Orton & Alex Riley.
The stipulation for the contest was left up to the WWE Universe. They got to choose from a One Fall to a Finish Match, a 20-Minute Time Limit Match and an Elimination Match. The people chose an Elimination Match, and the fight was on.
The grumpy trio got out to an early advantage, eliminating Alex Riley before focusing their attack on the Cenation leader. Cena was able to sneak out of a Skull-Crushing Finale and take out Miz with an Attitude Adjustment to even things up. R-Truth pounced on Cena immediately, but eventually ended up in the path of WWE’s Apex Predator, who sent him packing with an RKO. Orton and Cena’s two-to-one advantage didn’t last long, as Christian eliminated Orton with a vicious spear. The Viper, however, didn’t go to the back immediately. He stalked around ringside until the referee’s back was turned, then slithered into the ring to take out Christian with an RKO. The RKO left Captain Charisma vulnerable for an STF, making Cena the last man standing.
John Cena, John Morrison, Sheamus & Alex Riley vs. Wade Barrett, Christian, Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler — Raw, Sept. 5, 2011
Though John Cena is more than capable of holding his own against WWE’s best, the headstrong Superstar often finds himself in situations where the odds are stacked against him. One such occasion was on the Sept. 5, 2011, edition of Raw. Cena called out then–WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio, for what he thought would be a fair confrontation. Unfortunately, The Mexican Aristocrat didn’t feel like playing fair. He rounded up Wade Barrett, Christian, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler to do his dirty work and take out Cena.
Luckily, John Morrison, Sheamus and Alex Riley rushed out to the ring to make it a fair fight, sending the villains retreating. Teddy Long then entered the arena to inform the eight men that they would be in a huge tag team elimination match immediately.
Swagger cleared house early, sending Morrison and Riley back to the locker room with his vicious Ankle Lock. Sheamus took out Barrett with a Brogue Kick, but he and Christian both eliminated themselves by count-out, leaving Cena in the ring alone with Ziggler and The All-American American. Ziggler and Swagger’s tenuous partnership fell apart, however, as neither could agree on who should finish off Cena. The Cenation leader regrouped, taking Ziggler out with an Attitude Adjustment and reversing Swagger’s Ankle Lock into an STF, forcing The All-American American to tap out.