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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Tag Team Breakups

By @AmeenKnows 

Tag Teams are like relationships. In fact, they are clearly relationships. They have their highs and their lows. In professional wrestling no matter how great your team is, your destiny is to one day break up and test the waters as a singles performer. Sometimes only one person can be a star. Maybe both can become successful individuals, but more often than not, the breakups go bad and they get put back together (example. Cryme Tyme, Prime Time Players). My list is about what had a lasting effect on me. I loved each of these teams dearly (Well not each of them but I liked them).

Honorable Mention: Christian and Y2J

-I wanted to go with Edge and Christian, but I just didn't feel like I cared about it as much as this one. Jericho and Christian were underratedly entertaining in Raw's midcard scene. They were World Tag Team Champions, but they allowed a woman to come between them.

5. The Rockers

-I added this one for pure historical significance. I didn't care about the Rockers as a kid because they were gone with the wind when I was born. Luckily for me I have that good ol' WWE Network (which you too can secure for the low fee of $9.99!) so I can go back and watch these fantastic clashes with the Rockers and one of my all time favorite teams, The Brain Busters. There are many stories about the break up being caused by a backstage incident with one stating Marty Jannetty quit on behalf of both himself and Shawn Michaels because of monetary issues. Nonetheless, the break up on screen was iconic. Shawn Michaels super kicking Jannetty and sending him through that glass window was a image that lasted forever in the minds of wrestling fans. After the break up, Michaels would go on to become one of the greatest singles stars in Professional Wrestling history. Janetty also had a solid career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, but he didn't become nearly half of the star HBK was. Their break up also coined the phrase "The Jannetty" where whenever a team breaks up, the lesser superstar becomes known as the Marty Jannetty of the team.

4. D-Generation-X (2002)

-I thought about posting this in the Honorable Mention section but this one cut me deep. It was the July 22nd edition of Raw. Eric Bischoff had gotten Triple H to come over to Raw and HHH and HBK gave us a DX reunion. The crowd's going wild, they're giving us the cool jokes and catch phrases. Then out of nowhere, Triple H just buries Shawn with a Pedigree and my first thought is like "what the fuck"? Then a week later, Triple H smashes Shawn's head through a car window and it led to one of wrestling's more intense rivalries. This break up proved once again no matter how great you are, you are destined to split. This rivalry gave us a classic street fight, Three Stages of Hell and a Hell in a Cell match.

3. Kevin Steen and El Generico

-This break up was kind of expected for me anyway because I've always looked at Kevin as the short tempered, hot head of the two. So when you have a talented team like those guys, you'd expect them to win a lot, but the Briscoe Brothers just wouldn't allow it. Time and time again, close loss after close loss, they just could not beat the Briscoes. When the ROH Tag Team Titles were vacated, it seemed as if these guys would finally get there chance. They beat Go Shiozaki and Nigel McGuiness in round one, Chris Hero and Adam Pearce in round two, but once again fell short of the gold against Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black in the finals. They finally did capture the belts in a rematch and held them for 203 days before losing to the American Wolves. After failing to win the titles again, the stage was set at Final Battle 2009. This time after a loss to The Young Bucks, it seemed as though Steen was going to retire. He hugged his best friend then gave him a low blow and a chair shot. He proceeded to call El Generico the weakest link multiple times and started a new team with Steve Corino. This act of betrayal left a lasting effect on me because what came of it was an intense and brutal feud that lasted an entire year and ended with Steen being forced to leave Ring of Honor. It would not be the last time Steen (Kevin Owens) betrayed Generico (Sami Zayn). On his first night in WWE at NXT Takeover: R-EVOLUTION, Owens viciously attacked Zayn after his NXT Championship match with Neville, once again throwing away his friendship in the pursuit of winning.

2. DIY

-I considered putting this at number one for the emotional impact this breakup had on me. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano were basically inseperable. They were like a married couple. They were so in sync with each other that every double team and follow up move flowed together like silk. I always felt like these guys are just too damn good to be together forever but it still blindsided me seeing Ciampa deliver a running knee to his partner. Earlier in their Ladder match with the Authors of Pain, Gargano saved Ciampa from being hit with a ladder and he took the ladder hit straight to the face. So with that image in mind, it was almost impossible for my brain to process what the hell Ciampa was doing. What keeps this from being number one is Ciampa's injury will keep him sidelined so this feud won't be kick-started just yet but I feel with the way these guys perform, it will be truly epic.

1. America's Most Wanted and Beer Money Inc.

-I went with this one for number one because they both came completely from nowhere. Well kind of. America's Most Wanted was one of the greatest Tag Teams ever. The Wildcat Chris Harris and The Cowboy James Storm were the pioneers of Tag Team Wrestling in TNA. 6 Time NWA World Tag Team Champions. Multi time Tag Team of the Year. These guys set the standard for greatness that other teams in the company would have to follow up on. They were so cocky and confident they could regain their titles back from young and upcoming LAX that they put their Tag Team status on the line for the titles on the December 14, 2006 episode of Impact. They were well on their way to winning when James Storm suddenly smashed a beer bottle over the head of Chris Harris. This allowed LAX to retain and Storm to go his seperate ways with Harris. After accomplishing so much you just thought there was no way Storm would rather split than be a Champion again, but we were wrong. However, karma always comes back to haunt you and boy did it get James Storm good. 5 years after Storm betrayed the Wildcat, he was riding high in Beer Money Incorporated with his good buddy Bobby Roode. Storm had finally won his first TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Kurt Angle and these guys were the best tag team in all of TNA at that point. Roode had previously failed to defeat Angle for the Championship and Sting gave away his opportunity to face Angle one more time to Storm, who as we know, defeated Angle. The stage was set for the November 3, 2011 episode of Impact. Roode and Storm are in the Main Event for the title just straight up killing it. When the match was reaching its final stage, Roode took one of Storm's beer bottles and smashed it over Storm's head. Not only did it end their team but it ended Storm's World Heavyweight Championship run. The moment was built up all too well with Roode pretending to be happy for his friend and then ultimately betraying him in the pursuit of Gold. What we got from it was Roode finally becoming the Guy for the Company, something I knew he had been destined to get to for years. James Storm had turned Chris Harris to his Marty Jannetty and Roode would betray him in the exact same fashion five years later. It was simple and effective story telling that played out perfectly and elevated Storm after his betrayal of Harris and later on Roode after he betrayed Storm.