Impact Wrestling is about to undergo another Renaissances in tag team wrestling. With The Decay, Reno Scum, LAX and Garza/Laredo Kid set to compete for the tag team titles, I think it’s important to look at past tag teams that excelled in Impact Wrestling under their last moniker, TNA. Now, I’m excluding The Hardy’s, Team 3D, and The Outsiders (among others) because they didn’t make their name in the company or didn’t raise their profile. All the teams on this list were made or reached new heights in TNA/Impact Wrestling and helped carried the brand to respectability, even in it’s darkest moments.
The Disciples of the New Church – A team made up of relative unknowns, lead by James Mitchell in the early days of TNA, this team was known for their darker persona and their feuds with America’s Most Wanted. Now, they didn’t have much beyond that, but their early days helped carry TNA past their….less than immaculate start.
Bro-Man’s – The Bro Mans were mostly Robbie E and Jessie Godderz, but sometimes included Rob Terry and DJZ. The duo though is most known for being The Wolves first real rivalry back in 2014, exchanging the belts with them on several occasions, even on a house show, where The Wolves won their first titles. That’s right, on a house show. The Bro-Man’s though were integral with TNA, as they were the only heel tag team that garnered any heat and were kept around in various forms for nearly three years for the simple fact they had great chemistry.
British Invasion – The winners of both the IWGP and TNA World Tag Team titles in 2009 had this team on the brink of another all time great, however by the middle of 2010, they were done. A reunion in 2011 was short lived, and introduced amazing British Invasion wrestling jackets, but nothing came out of it. Eventually Williams would become more focused on training and wrestling singles matches and Magnus would go on to become a world champion in both TNA and GFW.
10) The Decay
– Say what you will about this team but they’re extremely versatile. They were able to have actual wrestling matches with the likes of Beer Money, as well able to wrestle the wonky and over the top style the Hardy’s were forced to do to hide their limitations. While Abyss is nearing the end of his hall of fame career, the group has actually launched Crazy Steve and Rosemary into genuine building blocks for the future. Steve, while no spring chicken himself, is poised to replace Abyss as Impact Wrestling’s “creepy” wrestler and Rosemary is the centerpiece of the Knockouts Division. That’s a pretty impressive. They’re one person away from being relevant for another year or two.
9)3 Live Kru
– The 3LK was made up of the former Road Dogg (B.G. James), R-Truth (Ron Killings) and Konnan. The three were a pseudo rap group that showcase diversity and impressive tag team wrestling. While they don’t have the five star classics as others on this list, the 3LK had a near 2+ year run from 2004-2006 that saw them feud with everyone form The Naturals, to America’s Most Wanted to Team Canada, they’re most notable feud. The team fought just about everyone during their tenure and even captured the NWA World Tag Team titles on two different occasions. Eventually this group would actually spawn into the Latin America Xchange (LAX) and the James Gang (New Age Outlaws), after the team fell apart with the addition of B.G.’s former WWE partner, Kip James (Billy Gunn). The feud that fell out of it lifted the profile of the 3LK even more, because LAX is a staple of great tag team wrestling.
8) Team Canada
– Petey Williams was the captain of a group that included future world champions Bobby Roode and Eric Young, who were actually NWA World Tag Team Champions on two occasions. You also have to tip your hat at this threesome when you realized that Teddy Hart, Tyson Dux, A-1 and Johnny Devine were all part of the group at various points. Lead by Coach Scott D’Amore, Team Canada became the biggest heels in TNA by playing up a much beloved Canadian stereotype. The non-offensive, surprisingly innovative take on the “foreign heel” played extremely well, that when the group disbanded in 2006, fans were actually booing TNA for making them do so. Never have so many United States citizens embraced their hearts and sang “OH, CANADA!” as much as TNA fans did for Team Canada.
7) The Naturals
– The team of Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens had a four year run in TNA that saw them get paired with the likes of Chris Candido, Jimmy Hart and Shane Douglas, while amassing feuds with AMW, Team Canada and the likes of Team 3D and the James Gang. The duo came together after Cassidy Riley left TNA in 2002, causing them to release Chase Stevens in the process. Eventually Stevens hooked up with Andy Douglas in Memphis under the name “The Alternative Express” and was managed by future TNA valet, Athena. The duo popped up in TNA and immediately went after the golden boys of the division, America’s Most Wanted. While the team lost steam after breaking away from Douglas, and booking misdirections, they left a pretty sizeable mark in TNA during their tenure by winning the NWA tag team titles three times.
6) Triple X
– Triple X is made up of three of the best workers TNA has ever had. Christopher Daniels, Low Ki and Elix Skipper was thrown together to give them something to do. Much like the ethnically diverse rapper trio of the 3LK, these bald headed, high flyers were the ethnically diverse baldos of the X-Division. The team was known for their brutal war with Jeff Jarrett and Dusty Rhodes, as well as their 2004 mega feud with America’s Most Wanted. By 2004, Low Ki had left TNA for good, leaving it 2 on 2. Eventually Chris Harris and Elix Skipper would win the tag team titles, before James Storm and Christopher Daniels beat their former partners for the belts. Eventually Team Canada would take the titles from the foursome and it would result in Triple X and America’s Most Wanted facing off in a tag match at Turning Point 2004, inside a steel cage, where the losing team would have to disband forever. It is breathtaking.
5) Motor City Machine Guns
– The Motor City Machine Guns were a tag team of missed opportunities, injuries and great solo work. Essentially getting paired together in 2007, and working against each other alot in 2006, the duo had long times with one another and were real life good friends. After they paired up for good in 2007, they began feuds with Team 3D and Johnny Devine and others in 2008, helping raise their credibility as a team. Both were big time stars of the X-Division and eventually would even fight one another for the belt, that Alex Shelley ended up winning. They would be devoid of tag team gold for a while, not winning the belts for a long time. They would eventually face off with The Young Bucks (Generation Me) in 2010 in several pay per view matches, as well as an amazing brawl in an “empty arena match” on Spike TV. They would go on to beat Beer Money, and have an impressive and still talked about Best of Five series with them, that would cement the Machine Guns as top stars in the division going forward. However consecutive injuries to Alex Shelley and then Chris Sabin (on the very day Shelley returned), ended their run as a tag team with a whimper. Shelley left for New Japan after taking time off, and Sabin went on to win the TNA World Championship, and held it for a few days. They’ve since returned to the tag team scene in Ring of Honor.
– The Latin America Xchange is a pretty big beast and right now, we’re going to look at the third incarnation, Konnan, Homicide and Hernandez. While modern fans will get to know Santana, Ortiz and Angel going forward, and older fans will remember that Machete and Apollo were part of or supposed to be part of the original group, it was the incarnation with Hernandez and Homicide that made the most impact. The team primarily feuded with the James Gang at first, before going for the tag team titles against AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels and ending them as a team. They then went on and ended America’s Most Wanted’s run as a tag team as well. Eventually they’d run into the roadblock that was Team 3D and they never regained their old school form. Konnan would leave and be replaced with Hector Guerrero and Salinas (Shelley Martinez), and would go on to win the tag team titles again, and would continue on until 2009, when Homicide turned on Hernandez. After a brief feud, the duo would reunite in 2015 as members of The Beat Down Clan, although neither wrestler were with one another at the same time, as Hernandez was brought in to fill Homicide’s role while he recovered from surgery. However they were going to keep both wrestlers with the group until TNA ran afoul with Lucha Underground for using Hernandez while he was under contract with them. The group is now back in Impact Wrestling but with a new look and new members.
3) Beer Money
– Beer Money is a stand out tag team, made up of two world champions in Bobby Roode and James Storm. They were the champions during TNA’s deepest tag team era of all time, and had the cream of the crop to work with. From feuds with the all-star tag team in Booker T and Scott Steiner, to Team 3D, British Invasion, LAX, The Motor City Machine Guns, there wasn’t a tag team these two men didn’t feud with, and beat. They both won the World Title in the same year, and had the feud of the year and match of the year in 2012. They both took part in the formation of Fortune, and even reunited again last year to win the tag team titles for a record tying 5th time. The team did just about everything you’d need to do to cement your place in the annals of tag team history.
2) The Wolves
– The Wolves have become the standard bearers for the entirety of their run here. They’ve wrestled the Bro Mans, the Hardy’s, Team 3D, Beer Money, Decay among others and have done it all while tying the bench mark of most Impact Wrestling Tag Team title wins in company history at five with Beer Money. Only America’s Most Wanted has more title wins under the TNA/Impact banner, with six. The Wolves have done more with less, and another run and title win might juts put them over the top. Their currently dissolved and feuding with one another, but while Davey Ricahrds was out, Eddie Edwards won the X-Division and World Championship as a Wolf.
1) America’s Most Wanted
– While the Wolves are more talented, and Beery Money more popular, America’s Most Wanted was tag team wrestling in the early days of Impact Wrestling. The team won the NWA World Tag Team titles six times while it was under the TNA umbrella, most ever in company history with any set of titles. They carried and helped shape a tag team division that would include The Naturals, Triple X, The Harris Brothers and others. While the top three teams were great, the rest weren’t so much at the time. It would only be two years later, in 2004, when Team Canada and the Three Live Kru came along. Crazy thing is? They had great matches with everyone. Not bad for two guys who didn’t want to be a team at first, and were both hired by TNA because they had a match in May of 2002, where they beat the hell out of each other. The team ended up creating a match of the year candidate in 2007 at May’s Sacrifice pay per view event, and even highlighted how good Chris Harris and James Storm could be. There’s been no reunion since, but I for one am holding out hope for one more ride with the Most Wanted duo in America.