Tag teams are a staple of any promotion, an alternative to singles competition that displays the talents of multiple teams formulating a compelling in-ring narrative. While they may be paired by the booker as a way of showcasing underutilized talent, the performers could also be in some ways connected. It’s a codependent relationship with the two parties relying on one another in the ring and out. During matches, the performers are expected to complement each other’s styles and make one another look good. Outside the ring, they are business partners expected to keep each other in check so they make their dates. Their public identity is engulfed in one another, meaning if one is absent from the card the other is unlikely to get booked. Some tag teams become lifelong friends because of these happenstance arrangements, bonding from spending hundreds of hours on the road together.

While they may portray themselves as in-sync in their performances, tag teams don’t always see eye to eye. Backstage tensions stemming from clashes in business aspirations, personality, or past disputes can result in both wrestlers having their position be put in precarity. Sometimes, they put their differences aside to mutually-assured success, but other times their self-destruction leads to the partnership being dissolved. That’s not to say all bad blood is permanent, as plenty of tag teams have put aside past differences and buried the hatchet in later years. Here are 15 pro wrestling tag teams who couldn’t stand each other.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage

Two of the WWF’s top draws during the company’s golden era, Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage were initially rivals but joined forces in 1987 as The Mega Powers. Behind the scenes, Savage and Hogan were close but their relationship was tumultuous. Savage was very protective of his wife Miss Elizabeth, with Hogan telling Steve Austin a story of Savage accusing him of groping Elizabeth. The Ultimate Warrior (via talkSPORT) believed Hogan and his wife Linda implanted Elizabeth with ideas of "some magnificent untamed life adventure" she was missing out on. Elizabeth became close friends with Linda and Savage would blame Hogan for his divorce. In October 2003, Savage released his debut album "Be a Man" with the title track being a diss aimed toward Hogan. In a shoot interview, Savage explained the track’s origins in Hogan’s refusal to wrestle him for charity. Savage proceeded to donate $10,000 to a children’s hospital as a part of the "Hulk Hogan Coward Fund."

Eric Bischoff spoke of their strange dynamic saying on the "83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff" podcast that, "One minute they’d be thick as thieves and the next minute they’d be at each other’s throats." Bischoff would point out that while Hogan was easygoing, Savage was the one instigating problems. In an interview with WWE.com, Hogan discussed his reconciliation with Savage after running into each other while visiting the doctor. A few months later, Savage died from a heart attack. Getting emotional toward the end, Hogan described Savage as a "great person."

Toshiaki Kawada and Mitsuharu Misawa

Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada are best known as two of AJPW’s Four Pillars of Heaven. The two started as high school classmates, bonding over a mutual love of wrestling despite Misawa being a year older. In 1990, Kawada and Misawa teamed up as members of the Super Generation Army to face the promotion’s established stars. The two would become embroiled in a feud after Kawada betrayed his friend to join the Holy Demon Army. Kawada publicly criticized AJPW booker Giant Baba for his refusal to collaborate with other promotions while NJPW sanctioned lucrative supercards. While Misawa was pushed throughout the ’90s, Kawada had to fight an uphill battle to be seen as an equal. Even if his matches were eliciting strong reactions, Kawada was always playing second fiddle to Misawa’s stardom. Tensions mounted as the two were unable to share a locker room, leading to a backstage altercation with Kawada coming out on top. In the 2000 AJPW exodus, which saw nearly all of the roster jump ship to form Pro Wrestling NOAH, Kawada was one of only two who remained.

Misawa and Kawada would have their final encounter in 2005 for NOAH, with Misawa maintaining his dominance scoring a win. In 2009, Misawa died after being rendered unconscious during a match. The Mainichi Daily indicated that the cause of death was revealed to be due to cervical spinal cord damage. Sportskeeda speculates that after his rival’s death, Kawada’s passion for wrestling waned and he last wrestled in August 2010.

Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels

Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels joined the WWF as The Rockers, a pair of agile youngsters who meshed well with the WWF’s lumbering giants. Behind the scenes, they were known as notorious party animals with prolific histories of substance abuse. While breaking up on-screen in the infamous Barber Shop segment, the partnership actually crumbled over the previous few months, according to The Sportster. In his book, Michaels claims Jannetty negotiated on the team’s behalf as he felt they were underpaid. The two had a difference in business tactics as Jannetty wanted to leave, while Michaels intended on staying even if it meant going solo. The two were immediately arrested after a physical altercation, with Jannetty recalling the details in an interview with WWE. Michaels was bruised and both were cuffed, but Randy Savage came to their aid convincing the officers that the two were working an angle. Under the mediation of Vince McMahon, the two talked things over and split up. Jannetty would come and go from the promotion while Michaels, as The Heartbreak Kid, became a multi-time world champion.

The two have crossed paths over the years, with the relationship being amicable despite occasional discomfort. In April 2019, Jannetty spoke about Shawn Michaels: "We’re good. Whenever we do signings and see each other, we hug up." During an appearance on "Challenge Mania," Michaels admitted to not having a means to contact Jannetty, adding that while he can’t judge his actions, "All we can do is care about him when it’s not going well."

Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith

David Smith and Tom Billington are among the best tag teams of all time, known for their groundbreaking work as the British Bulldogs. Innovating a unique blend of high-speed, physical style in the territories around the world, the Bulldogs were a hot commodity in any ring they graced. However, they were noted for their backstage antics, with Billington being a known locker room bully. The duo’s problem came to a head as Jacques Rougeau accused the Bulldogs of tampering with his belongings. Rougeau shared with The Hannibal TV that in retaliation for this and for being attacked in the locker room, he sucker-punched Billington with a fistful of quarters. The incident caused the Brit to lose several teeth and they would be out of the WWF a few months later.

After tours in Japan and Canada, Smith broke off from the team to become a solo star in the WWF. Among other things, he took the trademark to the British Bulldog name. Billington finished his career in Japan, retiring in 1996 due to a culmination of injuries. In his 1999 autobiography "Pure Dynamite," Billington wrote, "I haven’t spoken to Davey Boy Smith in over eight years, and probably never will again."

Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson

Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas became the first World Tag Team Champions of African American descent in WWF history, defeating The Wild Samoans in November 1983. As The Soul Patrol, the duo would hold the championships until April of the following year when they’d lose it to The North-South Connection. In the years following their championship run, the two took public shots at each other. In a shoot interview with The Hannibal TV, Atlas claimed that they were never friends as Johnson would leave him at hotels on the road and he added that they got into a fistfight before losing the tag titles. Also talking to The Hannibal TV, Johnson said that Atlas’ absences from small town venues and drug addiction led to the decision to take the titles off them. In spite of their problems, Johnson admits he gave Atlas booking opportunities but was ghosted by him. David Schultz corroborated the two having problems, noting that Atlas had a reputation for no-selling while Johnson conducted business as usual.

In January 2020, Johnson died at age 75 from what was revealed by his son Dwayne to be deep vein thrombosis, as reported by USA Today. Atlas gave his condolences to The Rock on Twitter and spoke about his former tag team partner, saying "It takes two and I never would’ve done it without you." In a 2020 interview, Atlas claimed that he wasn’t invited to Johnson’s funeral, but that he spoke to an ill Johnson days before his passing.

Kevin and Lance Von Erich

The legendary Von Erichs are icons of wrestling, becoming prolific talents in Texas’ World Class Championship Wrestling. While the family was beloved and are among the most influential in the industry, they were victims to numerous tragedies. All the brothers but Kevin passed prematurely, thinning out the in-ring ranks for the unit as the ’80s unfolded. Billed as the son of Fritz Von Erich’s kayfabe brother Waldo, Lance Von Erich debuted for WCCW in October 1985. Pushed alongside the promotion’s first family, fans saw through the desperate attempt by Fritz to pad out the stable. In an age where kayfabe was sacred, Fritz committed sacrilege by revealing Lance’s real identity and deemed he was no longer legally able to use the Von Erich surname. Wrestling under Fabulous Lance for the rest of his career, he retired in 1996.

Fritz’s clan was opposed to Lance’s inclusion from the beginning, not wanting to cheapen the family’s reputation. Kevin noted on "Dark Side of the Ring" that Lance’s inclusion was "a terrible idea." He continued, "We had never lied to our people." Jim Cornette credits the angle with being the worst in the promotion’s closing years, destroying much of the good will fans had toward the territory. Kevin reached out to Lance, making amends for past comments he made toward the faux-Von Erich. Living abroad in the 35 years after his WCCW departure, Lance admitted he wasn’t aware of the animosity, but found the experience "neat."

Jeff Cobb and Michael Elgin

Through NJPW’s working relationship with ROH, Michael Elgin debuted for the promotion in 2015. Elgin gained the admiration of the fans for his feats of strength, quickly becoming one of the company’s fastest rising gaijin stars. Initially paired with Matt Riddle, the debuting Jeff Cobb found a replacement in Elgin for the World Tag League tournament in 2017. While the tournament was still ongoing, accusations toward Elgin’s mishandling of a sexual harassment case between a student of his and a fan were made public. Also brought to light were several leaked text messages by Elgin lambasting Cobb as a bad tag partner who didn’t communicate with the more established star. The two would go on to win eight points in Block B and fail to advance. Elgin and Cobb would be paired for the tournament again the following year, winning 16 points.

Elgin left the organization in 2019 claiming he wanted to spend more time with his son, with Tama Tonga refuting by pointing out that Elgin took bookings for Pro Wrestling NOAH months after his departure. Cobb has remained with New Japan as one of the United Empire’s heavy guns alongside Great-O-Khan.

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Animal and Heidenreich

During their peak, The Road Warriors were a world-class tag team with championship reigns in numerous territories. After Road Warrior Hawk died of a heart attack in 2003, Animal returned to WWE and aligned with Heidenreich. At The Great American Bash 2005, the new tandem defeated MNM for the WWE Tag Team Championships with Animal dedicating the victory to his fallen friend. Heidenreich would adopt the Road Warrior gimmick by donning the spikes, face paint, and a mohawk. This new incarnation was paired with Christy Hemme as their valet. The title reign would last for three months before MNM recaptured the belts during an October "SmackDown" taping. The team was disbanded after Heidenreich was released in January 2006, with Animal going solo until he was released later that year.

In an interview with The Hannibal TV, Animal discussed the partnership and his problems with Heidenreich not putting in enough effort for the position he was in. Animal remarked, "He was unreliable … he would go to the shows late, and, you know, have a horrible match." He then critiqued his former partner’s business acumen. Heidenreich would go on to have an interview with The Hannibal TV as well, referring to his mental problems, crumbling marriage, and drug abuse as catalysts for his release. With regards to his problems with Animal, Heidenreich admitted he was disrespectful and added that, "I was mad, angry, and out of control." During the interview, Heidenreich claims that Animal was helping him get work and avoided divulging past issues as the two seemingly mended their relationship.

Enzo and Cass

Before they reunited in "NXT" as Enzo and Cass, Eric Arndt and William Morrissey met as teenagers in the world-famous Manhattan basketball court The Cage. Banding together in "NXT" out of a mutual dislike toward Mason Ryan, the duo refined their abilities and became one of the promotion’s hottest acts. After jumping to the main roster in 2016, the team faced problems in and out of the ring. Arn Anderson chalked their inability to be coached as leading to their downfall. After breaking up in 2017, the two feuded but the angle would be halted after Cass tore his ACL during a Brooklyn Street Fight. On his Twitter page, Enzo called his former partner "BIH-cass" and bragged about not quitting after breaking his own leg. In a shoot with Title Match Network, Enzo recalled wishing that Cass would have stuck it out for him the same way Steve Austin did for Owen Hart or Triple H did for Chris Jericho. As per WWE’s zero tolerance policy, Enzo was released after being accused of sexual assault in January 2016. WWE fired Cass that summer for reportedly going into business for himself.

In 2019, Enzo discussed his time in WWE and reconciling his personal and professional relationship with Cass. The duo invaded the G1 Supercard in a failed work-shoot angle, beating up The Briscoes and Bully Ray. Their next teaming saw them face The Hardy Boyz in March 2022. In his AEW debut in May, Cass (now known as W. Morrissey) mocked Enzo’s dance and told fans chanting to see him to shut up.

William Regal and Tajiri

After a successful run in ECW, Yoshihiro Tajiri joined the WWF in 2001 as William Regal’s personal assistant. Regal was approached by Paul Heyman about the partnership. Knowing of Tajiri’s industry reputation, but not having met him personally, Regal mentioned on his "Gentleman Villain" podcast his general approach meant he could "make everything work." The villainous commissioner’s persona meshed well with the Japanese Buzzsaw’s mischievous character. Backstage, the duo weren’t outwardly antagonistic to one another, but there was a clashing of personalities. On the WWE Network show "Story Time," Regal described traveling in "total silence" for thousands of miles as Tajiri claimed to have a fear of music. Regal slammed Tajiri’s driving abilities, saying he would make "nyeh-nyeh-nyeh" sounds next to his face as a means of bothering him. In an RF Video shoot interview, Tajiri discussed working his first few months in the WWF solely in backstage segments with Regal, saying "I was very worried maybe no more, I can’t fight in this company."

Nonetheless, Regal had an admiration for Tajiri’s abilities in and out of the ring. On his "Gentleman Villain" podcast, Regal recalled working with Tajiri and nearly breaking from his partner’s comedic abilities. As traveling partners, Regal described being put in "odd" situations on the road. He described Tajiri’s antics causing him to question his sanity and turning into something he "didn’t like." The two would reunite during the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016, filming a humorous vignette at the Performance Center.

Buff Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio

In February 1993, WCW debuted Marcus Alexander Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio as a tag team on an episode of "Saturday Night" teaming with Steve Regal. The team would win the World Tag Team Championships once, defeating The Nasty Boys in October, but dropping the belts back to them later that month after 20 days. Scorpio was released in April 1994, dissolving the team. The two had heat between each other for years, with Scorpio claiming Bagwell demanded for him to move airplane seats so he could sit with his wife. Bagwell denied those claims and warned Scorpio they’d fight the next time they’d see each other. Scorpio reportedly called his tag team partner a "p***y" and believed the team could’ve been more successful, saying "I thought we could have went someplace." During an interview with The Hannibal TV, Scorpio challenged Bagwell to a shoot fight. Scorpio believed that while he had to pay his dues, Bagwell was handed opportunities he didn’t earn.

In recent years, the two have mended their relationship as Bagwell told The Hannibal TV in a 2020 interview "We love each other and made up." Scorpio opened up about easing the tension between himself and Bagwell, growing wiser with age and being tired of years of back and forth. The two had a sit-down discussion and squashed their beef, becoming friends since. The pair appeared in a Twitter video together in May 2022, calling out AEW tag teams FTR and The Acclaimed.

Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch

As members of the Four Horsewomen of "NXT," Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch broke new ground for women’s wrestling in America. The two met during their time in developmental, quickly becoming friends as they were often booked on the same shows. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Lynch explained that the relationship soured after her heel turn at SummerSlam 2018. Lynch believes her rising star power threatened Charlotte, leading to the two butting heads behind the scenes. Their personal beef came to light on camera in October 2021, when the two exchanged championships after being drafted. During the hand-off, Charlotte dropped her "Raw" Women’s Championship and Lynch threw her "SmackDown" equivalent. Not only did they make the championships look like cheap McGuffins that aren’t respected and awarded by merit, but the entire segment was awkward with an underlying tense energy. The segment led to a verbal confrontation behind the scenes between the two with Flair being dismissed from the premises.

The two had a physically intense match at Survivor Series 2021, with Lynch going over. They have remained isolated to their own brands. Flair claims that her dropping of the championship was an accident and hopes to bury the hatchet with the Lass Kicker. When asked by Steve Austin what she thinks of Flair, Lynch had one word: "A**hole." Flair went into detail on her appearance on "Broken Skull Sessions" where she described their dynamic as initially being crutches for one another, but noted they had evolved into "two alphas who don’t see eye-to-eye."

Brian Kendrick and Paul London

A pair of young high-fliers, Paul London and Brian Kendrick’s wrestling style was a far cry from their hulking, more moderately-paced contemporaries. The team would have a recognized 331-day reign as WWE Tag Team Champions, the third longest in history. On an episode of "Raw" in June 2008, Kendrick walked out on London to end the partnership and turned heel. Speaking to the Sportskeeda podcast "UnSKripted," Kendrick spoke of the duo’s separation believing the team had run its course, summarizing with "it was time for us to split." After London’s release in 2008 and Kendrick’s the following year, the two toured the independents adding a reign as ICW World Tag Team Champions to their names. When Kendrick resigned with WWE in 2014, they no longer took bookings together.

In February 2022, several controversial remarks made by Kendrick were publicized in light of his pending AEW debut. During a shoot interview, Kendrick spouted several conspiracy theories relating to 9/11, the Sandy Hook massacre, and the Holocaust. London spoke of the controversy and his history with Kendrick on "Cafe de Rene." London recalled Kendrick being banished from a friend’s house in Amsterdam for denying facts about the Holocaust, with said friend having family members who were victims of the crisis. Not having spoken to Kendrick in years, London closed off his discussion on the subject saying, "I don’t hate the guy. I have no ill will or anything … We really couldn’t be much more different. We’re very, very different."

Blade Runner Rock and Blade Runner Sting

Breaking into the wrestling industry as bodybuilders, Steve Borden and Jim Hellwig started out as part of Powerteam USA. Their gimmick would be changed into The Freedom Fighters and later The Blade Runners when they reached Mid-South Wrestling. Initially under their real names, the duo were repackaged as Sting and Rock respectively and managed by Eddie Gilbert. The team separated a few months after arriving in Mid-South, when Hellwig left for WCCW to become The Dingo Warrior. Borden would go on to become multi-time WCW World Champion Sting while Hellwig became the WWF’s Ultimate Warrior. The two were involved in the Fall Brawl ’98 War Games main event, where Warrior debuted through an infamous trapdoor. The Blade Runners reunited on an October episode of "Nitro," beating the NWO’s Bret Hart and Hollywood Hogan.

In the years following, the two fell out of contact and their relationship broke down. Regarding their personalities, Sting would say, "Jim was a really intense kind of guy," who had a different philosophy toward wrestling and life. In a 2005 shoot, Sting said that road life and having intertwined careers is what made them friends. He would also call Warrior paranoid, constantly worried about betrayal. In 2009, Warrior would say, "Steve Borden is a piece of garbage," who ignored him at an event and claimed that they were never friends. After Warrior’s 2014 death, Sting spoke kindly of his former partner in a WWE Network special as having "one of the greatest physiques in pro wrestling history."

Colt Cabana and CM Punk

CM Punk and Colt Cabana were a part of the Second City Saints of Ring of Honor. The two Chicagoans were key acts in the golden years of the company, becoming tag team champions as well as singles acts. After Punk’s controversial walkout from WWE in 2014, he made a tell-all appearance on Cabana’s "Art of Wrestling" podcast. Punk opened the floodgates, releasing years of pent-up frustration and making several accusations toward his former employer including ringside physician Chris Amann. Denying the claims, WWE and Amann took Cabana and Punk to court. The bitter lawsuit ended with Punk winning in 2018. The goodwill would be short-lived though, as Cabana would file a lawsuit against Punk later in the summer. Cabana claimed that Punk assured any legal fees accumulated would be covered, with the two settling out of court.

Their legal battle was put back into light at AEW’s All Out media scrum in September 2022, as Punk made several disparaging remarks about Cabana to the press. Among other things, Punk said he has had nothing to do with Cabana in years and mocked his sharing of a bank account with his mother. Rumors that Punk exiled Cabana from the promotion were denied. Cabana is still signed to AEW and he referenced Punk’s scrum comments during a Twitch livestream (via Fightful).