Welcome to the first edition of “Get to Know the Staffers” here on Wrestling With Words. Every day we ask the staff a new question. It’s a rotating cast. Question #2 of 365 is “Who is Your Favorite Tag Team Ever?”
Jamesie – The Rockers: When Shawn Michaels floored his tag team partner Marty Jannetty with a superkick and proceeded to throw him through the window of Brutus Beefcake’s Barbershop set in January 1992, it was both the greatest and most upsetting thing that a then 10 year old Jamesie had seen thus far in his fledgling pro wrestling fandom. The break up of my beloved Rockers was spectacular and memorable, and a fitting end to a tandem that had always epitomized the words spectacular and memorable in everything they did. In a pro wrestling landscape dominated at the time by lumbering giants and cartoonish gimmicks, the Rockers had always stood out to me. They were young and brash. They were pulling off fast paced, high flying moves with an energy and synchronicity I had never seen before. I loved their gaudy ring gear and bizarrely I was always drawn to wrestlers who wore tassles. I often look back on my childhood fandom and long for the wonder I saw in it all back then. There were no spoilers, no newsletters, none of the “smartness” that has stripped away so much of the joy to be had in watching wrestling completely in the moment. On the flipside, we often look at our childhood heroes through the harsher, more cynical lens of adulthood and sadly their luster has faded badly. Thankfully, (unlike their tassle-sporting counterparts Warrior and Texas Tornado!), the Rocker’s work has retained its magic, even to the jaded adult version of myself, still watching 25 years later. Their work in the AWA against Somers and Rose long before they ever went to WWF is incredible: a tag team feud of the highest caliber that deserves more acclaim and attention. They were everything you could possibly want from a tag team. Tremendous sympathetic babyfaces, electrifying hot tags, with innovative offence that took the style of the Rock n’ Roll Express to the next level. Their feud with Arn and Tully, culminating with their incredible 2/3 falls match is tag wrestling at its absolute finest. While their run was probably too short to for them to be considered the greatest tag time of all time when put up against the longevity of career teams like the Midnights or Road Warriors, they are undoubtedly my favourite. They are however, and will forever be, the greatest tag team to never be given a “proper” WWF title reign (ignoring the farcical Hart Foundation title change). Both Shawn and Marty were, of course, also fantastic wrestlers in their own right. Their wildly divergent subsequent stories with Shawn achieving greatness, while Marty sank into obscurity, overwhelmed by his personal issues, (when many had predicted that he would go on to be the greater of the two) serves as an intriguing post script to their phenomenal tag team run.
Brock – Holy Demon Army: When you first glance at Holy Demon Army, it seems like a mismatch, a mistake some booker made. Kawada, the gruff, no-nonsense, stiff kicks and head drops maestro, teaming with a bumbling, lanky, awkward ex-sumo like Taue? This couldn’t possibly work. But despite their differences, the Holy Demon Army was united by two common elements: violence and defiance. After a bloody, bitter feud in the early 90’s, Kawada and Taue found respect for each other and united as a team to survive the brutal landscape that was All Japan. Lacking a single ounce of surrender between them and with more than enough firepower to hang with All Japan’s best, their heart and determination was infectious, their matches textbook examples of teamwork and emotion. I’ve yet to see a Holy Demon Army match that I didn’t enjoy in some regard, and I’m fairly sure I’ve seen ‘em all. When people think of classic All Japan, they often think of Misawa and Kobashi dropping each other on their heads, or they think of Baba, Jumbo, Choshu, the Funks, and Tenryu mixing it up in the golden age. Not me. I think of the Holy Demon Army, a kickass team with a kickass name, united together to take on an uncaring world.
A7xweeman – The Young Bucks: The Young Bucks are my favorite tag team of all time, say what you will but they have been endlessly entertaining. Sure, they may be “vanilla midget spot monkeys” but they are consistent. Whether in PWG or ROH, their matches are always the highlights of the card. With great double team moves like the Meltzer Driver, which is a personal favorite tag team finish. They were even entertaining in a period of TNA that was not that good. Sure they may be a bit controversial, but they have consistently been great. They may be relatively new, although having 10 years of experience, they still have great matches, no matter what. They are even great in NJPW’s controversial Jr. Tag Division. Matt and Nick Jackson are easily my favorite tag team of all time.