Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Unless You’re A Tag Team in 2017)

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Photo: WWE

This past Tuesday on Smackdown Livethe long rumoured break-up of The Hype Bros finally happened, but not as people expected. Many expected a dejected Zack Ryder to turn on Mojo Rawley, but instead we got a frustrated Mojo beating down the Long Island Z. Lucky for Zack, a former traveling partner was there to offer his services.

But The Hype Bros break-up was one of many tag team break ups in 2017 and while a lot seemed to occur in the WWE this year, it was across many promotions. Many long time partnerships were severed as their members went on to other routes. Apart from the Hype Bros, here’s a look at over 15 other tag teams that parted ways this year alone.

WYATT FAMILY

Photo: WWE

The Wyatt Family ended 2016 with their strongest storyline since their debut and holding their first taste of WWE gold since making the main roster, with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt holding the Smackdown Tag Team titles. While they would often use Freebird Rules and have Luke Harper sub in for one of the other two, Bray and Randy were the main two to defend. But Harper left the Family amidst the feud and it all ended up with Randy turning on Bray, dissolving the Wyatt Family once and for all. Final Match Together: Bray and Randy lost to John Cena and Luke Harper at a WWE Live Event in February, right after Bray won the title at Elimination Chamber. Shortly after, Orton revealed his true intentions to face Wyatt for the WWE title at WrestleMania 33.

THE GOLDEN TRUTH

Photo: WWE

When The Golden Truth was being constructed during some funny vignettes in 2016, many rejoiced at the comedic “golden” opportunity to pair two lovable veterans together in a new tag team. But once the team actually got together, the gimmick stalled and the understory, the pairing of Fandango and Tyler Breeze, became far more interesting. Still, there was a hint of sadness when Goldust turned heel and brutalized R-Truth in the ring. Final Match Together: Never actually happened. It was at the start of the team’s match against Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson in May that Goldie turned on Truth.

THE DCC (DEATH CREW COUNCIL)

Photo: Impact Wrestling

Near the end of 2016 and with Billy Corgan in charge, Impact Wrestling debuted a new three man faction called The DCC (Death Crew Council), lead by “Cowboy” James Storm and featuring Eddie Kingston and Bram. They feuded with Decay and appeared in the Broken HardysTag Team Apocalypto, but when new management took over in early 2017, The DCC just wasn’t in their plans. In one of their earliest episodes, James Storm demanded a title shot against Ethan Carter III, which lead to the faction’s tag team, Bram and Kingston, coming out to run down Storm. Storm attacked them both, effectively ending The DCC. All three would be gone from Impact by the end of this year. Final Match Together: The duo of Kingston and Bram lost a dark match to Reno Scum at the April tapings of Impact Wrestling.

CATCH POINT (FRED YEHI & TRACY WILLIAMS)

Photo: WWN

For two years, the faction known as Catch Point ran EVOLVE. Featuring Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle, TJ Perkins, Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi, the five man crew won multiple tag team titles. The original pairing of Drew Gulak and “Hot Sauce” Tracey Williams, who won tag team gold in 2016, was broken up last year when Gulak and Perkins joined the WWE, but they were replaced by Chris Dickinson and Jaka. Their new main tag team unit became Williams and Yehi, who again won the EVOLVE Tag Team titles earlier this year. But by the fall, Yehi and Williams were replaced by Jaka and Dickinson as the main tag team and in April, Yehi left Catch Point. Final Match Together: Their final match was when Yehi and Williams lost their EVOLVE titles to Jaka and Dickinson on April 22nd at EVOLVE 82.

RUSEV & JINDER MAHAL

Photo: WWE

Rusev got out of one badly booked faction (The League of Nations) and thrown into an equally awkward pairing alongside Jinder Mahal pre-Modern Day Maharasha. The duo was usually fodder for other tag teams and after a feud against the New Day, the two finally outgrew each other and turned on each other. Final Match Together: As an official unit, their last match together was in February against The New Day on Monday Night Raw, but the two did have a one off reunion during Jinder’s WWE Championship reign, facing off against Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura on Smackdown Live in August.

DECAY (CRAZZY STEVE & ABYSS)

Photo: Impact Wrestling

One of the casualties in the change of management was the end of Decay, arguably Impact Wrestling’s second most popular faction behind the Broken Hardys. The tag team unit of Abyss and Crazzy Steve won the Impact Tag Team Championships in 2016 and Rosemary won the Knockouts title. But very early into Anthem’s ownership, Crazzy Steve left the company and Decay was unceremoniously dissolved without word. Rosemary continues to be one of the company’s most popular stars and Abyss still pops up, but as Crazzy Steve has since returned to the indies. Final Match Together: On April 20, Steve and Abyss were defeated by LAX in a Street Fight and written off of television.

THE VAUDEVILLAINS (SIMON GOTCH & AIDEN ENGLISH)

Photo: WWE

From being cult favourites at Full Sail University in NXT to becoming the whipping boys on Smackdown Live, 2017 was mostly a forgettable one for The Vaudevillains. Simon Gotch‘s release in April dissolved the tag team permanently, and he returned to the indie scene as Simon Grimm. Aiden English has since become the most over of his WWE career, as the singing side kick to Rusev. Final Match Together: Lost to American Alpha in Smackdown Live dark match on April 4, one day before Gotch’s release.

ENZO & BIG CASS

Photo: WWE

One of the most beloved tag teams in the history of NXT and hugely popular on Monday Night Raw as well, it was long expected that the break up would come, but it was still a shock nonetheless when Big Cass turned on his long time friend after it was revealed he’d been behind Enzo’s sneak attacks. Enzo has since turned heel himself and become a 2x WWE Cruiserweight Champion, while Cass continues to nurse an injury. Final Match Together: Losing in a Fatal 4-Way match for the Raw Tag Team titles to champions Sheamus & Cesaro in June.

MOUNT TESSA (TESSA BLANCHARD & VANESSA KRAVEN)

Photo: SHIMMER

For a year, the tag team of Tessa Blanchard and Vanessa Kraven ruled SHIMMER wrestling, but on the eve of a one year reign as SHIMMER Tag Team Champions, they lost their titles to Leva Bates and Delilah Doom. Following the match, the team broke up. Final Match TogetherLosing their titles after a year caused the team to implode following their title loss at SHIMMER 97 on November 11.

ALL-NIGHT EXPRESS (RHETT TITUS & KENNY KING)

Former ROH Tag Team Champions All-Night Express returned to Ring of Honor in 2015 and had a great comeback year in 2016. In early 2017, they formed the faction The Rebellion with Caprice Coleman. In June, they faction was forced to dissolve any acquaintance with each other when they lost a Loser Must Disband match against Search & Destroy (Motor City Machine Guns, Jay White & Jay Gresham) at ROH Best of the World, which was also their final match together. King has since gone on to win the ROH Television Championship, while Titus has formed a new duo called The Dawgs with Will Ferrara.

THE LONDON RIOTS (JAMES DAVIS & ROB LYNCH)

Photo: Oli Sandler Photography – olisandler.com

One of the most popular British tag teams of the past five years, London Riots came to an unfortunate end when Rob Lynch announced his retirement in July (and was subsequently beaten down by his tag partner Davis). The duo ended as 3x IPW:UK Tag Team Champions and PROGRESS Tag Team Champions. Davis has since become a new heel persona, Strangler Davis, and is in the hunt for the PROGRESS Atlas Championship. Final Match Together: They’re last tag match together was at the IPW:UK Supershow 10 on July 23rd, where they defeated The New Age Kliq (BT Gunn & Chris Renfrew).

RINGKAMPF (AXEL DIETER JR. & WALTER)

Ringkampf emerged as one of Germany’s most popular factions in 2016 in wXw, with Axel Dieter Jr., WALTER, Timothy Thatcher and Christian Jakobi, pairing down to a trio by early 2017. With Thatcher dominating in the United States with EVOLVE, the main pairing was Axel Dieter Jr. and WALTER. In April, Dieter Jr. signed with the WWE and joined NXT (where he currently wrestles live events under his real name Marcel Barthel) and Ringkampf has been reduced to the duo of WALTER and Thatcher. Final Match Together: On April 30, Dieter Jr. and WALTER defeated Da Mack & Jurn Simmons in wXw in Dieter’s send off show.

DIY (JOHNNY GARGANO & TOMMASO CIAMPA)

Photo: WWE

They started together as part time NXT stars who became full time NXT stars and one of NXT’s most popular pairings in #DIY. But at NXT Takeover: Chicago in May, Ciampa turned on his long time partner for losing another match, shortly before Ciampa would be forced out of action with injury, after losing to NXT Tag Team champions Authors of Pain in their final match together.

FUNKY FUTURE (RICOCHET & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI)

Photo: NJPW

Following his original NJPW tag team partner Matt Sydal’s expulsion from Japan for drug offences, Ricochet began pairing with David Finlay before settling on 5x IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Ryusuke Taguchi as his new partner in Funky Future. The tag team even captured the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles in August before losing them to Roppongi 3K this past October. Shortly after losing their titles, Ricochet announced his departure from New Japan, ending Funky Futures funky future. Final Match Together: When the lost the gold at NJPW King of Pro Wrestling in October, it signaled the final time Funky Future would tag together.

AMERICAN ALPHA (CHAD GABLE & JASON JORDAN)

Much like The Vaudevillains, American Alpha was a beloved tag team from NXT who never made the impact expected on the main roster, although Chad Gable and Jason Jordan did miles better than Gotch & English did together, even winning the Smackdown Tag Team titles. But in August, Jordan came to Monday Night Raw as Kurt Angle‘s illegitimate son, leaving Gable and American Alpha behind on Smackdown Live. Gable has since recovered and is now chasing Tag Team gold again with Shelton Benjamin, while Jordan is seemingly on the verge of breaking with his failed opportunities as Raw’s General Manager’s son. Final Match Together: Their final encounter as American Alpha was in a winning effort against with Sin Cara against an ad hoc unit of Aiden English, Epico, and Erick Rowan on a WWE Live Event in July.

ROPPONGI VICE (TRENT BERETTA & ROCKY ROMERO)

Photo: IWGP

Four time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, the pairing of Rocky Romero and Trent Beretta had a solid two year run as one of the indie’s most popular tag teams. But this past summer, Romero announced it was time for Beretta to enter the Heavyweight division in NJPW and that he needed to make that journey alone. Beretta would continue as a singles star, as well as put more focus on his other tag team, Best Friends, with Chuck Taylor, while Romero would move on to a manager position and form Roppongi 3K with SHO and YOH (formerly The Tempura Boyz). Final Match Together: As Roppongi Vice, it was in victory over Bullet Club’s Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens at NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima in September, but Romero did reunite with Beretta (and Chuck Taylor) for a match at ROH TV tapings in November.

FESTIVAL OF FRIENDSHIP (KEVIN OWENS & CHRIS JERICHO)

It was a pairing that became the stuff of legend. Two brilliant wrestlers, with outstanding charisma and chemistry, becoming one of the most comedic tandems in wrestling history. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and his US Champion buddy Chris Jericho dominated Raw television for nearly a year. But when the friendship came to a shocking end at the Festival of Friendship on Raw this past February, more than a few hearts were broken in the WWE Universe. Last Match Together: The team actually rarely competed as a tag team per say, but their last match together was days before the break up, in a losing effort to Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn at a WWE Live Event in Anchorage, Alaska on February 11th.

Wid we miss any other tag teams in wrestling that broke up this year? Which tag team break-up hurt the most? Let us know in the comments below!

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