December is probably my favorite month of be year. This is not just because Christmas has always been my favorite holiday; it is also because it is time the perfect time for reflection. It’s the right time to look back on the year that was and celebrate what made that year so great. And while 2015 has actually been a catastrophic year in the world of politics and social justice and things are only getting uglier in those fields, it’s been a whirlwind year in entertainment And that’s what I’m here to look back on. I will take up three weeks this month to look back on my favorites in entertainment this year; and since I am FearlessRiOT, it will all obviously be in countdown form. This week, I tackle my favorites in pro wrestling, next week I’ll tackle music, and two weeks from now will see me take on acting, along with the bonus field of celebrities on social media. Hope you enjoy this week’s installment!
I think this is the first year that I’ve done a list dedicated to tag teams in pro wrestling. Truth be told, tag team wrestling has been kind of weak the last few years. Maybe it was alive and well in Ring of Honor, but lacked the resources to tune into it on a consistent basis up until this year. TNA’s Tag Team Division fell off a long time ago and WWE has been on-and-off as far as making tag team wrestling a priority. As everyone knows, I mainly follow the women’s Indy scene and there has been a number of women’s teams developing the last number of years; sadly, one of those teams came to an end this year due to an unfortunate-but-necessary retirement. Luckily, tag teams and stables had a pretty decent year in almost all the companies, and I feel it’s only right to honor them with their ow year-end Top 10.
#10. The Kingdom
Maria Kanellis was one of my favorite WWE Divas growing up, so it pained me when WWE dismissed her in 2010. The career path of a former WWE Diva is always interesting to see play out; who would have thought that Maria would stay active in the business, become the First Lady of Ring of Honor and being a central member in The Kingdom with husband Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, and former ROH World Champion Adam Cole. In 2015, group won the IWGP Tag Team Titles and the ROH Tag Team Titles, solidifying themselves as a top team and Maria as a deadly femme fatale.
#9. The Dollhouse
Did anyone ever think the blondie who worked in WWE as Tiffany would ever make a decent heel wrestler? Well, TNA ran the risk anyway by making her the leader of her own villainous stable, The Dollhouse. Playing Taryn Terrell’s supporting players (read: stooges) were Indy stars Mia Yim (rechristened as Jade) and Marti Belle (minus the ‘e’). Soon, Rebel joined the fold to bring the Dollhouse capacity to four. Admittedly, they wouldn’t be so effective later on in their run, but at the start, their mission to make sure Taryn kept the Knockouts Title for months was indeed a success.
#8. The Wolves
And to think these guys almost landed in WWE NXT. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards kept TNA’s mostly dead tag team division alive in 2014 with their series of matches with the Dudleyz and the Hardyz, and in 2015, they had a similarly impressive series of matches with Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. They also had a hand in keeping TNA out of the hands of Jeff Jarrett during that weird and brief Global Force Invasion angle. Admittedly TNA doesn’t have much else going for them these days, but the collective of Richards and Edwards is definitely one of their greatest assets.
#7. The Dudley Boyz
As Team 3D, the Dudleyz were a top tag team in TNA, and (Brother) Bubba Ray had a very successful solo career there as Bully Ray. But in 2015, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley made their way back to WWE and set their sights on The New Day, putting poor Xavier Woods through a table on numerous occasions. They weren’t successful in adding to their lengthy Tag Team Championship resume (at least not yet), but their presence in the division is certainly welcome. You can say they’re a nostalgia act for the company and are only there to help with the other tag teams, but if someone is gonna do it, why not be one of the all-time greatest teams?
#6. Lucha Dragons
Oh, Sin Cara; what a tumultuous, botch-filled WWE career this character has had. And sadly, some of those botches did indeed pop up in some of his matches in 2015. Luckily for him, he didn’t have to carry as big a load as he was paired with his much more exciting, much less botch-prone tag team partner Kalisto. The pint-sized luchador has impressed in match after match. The two previously held the Tag Team Titles in NXT, but championship gold continues to elude their grasp on the main roster. That could change eventually as the tandem works too well together to not win the titles.
#5. Team B.A.D.
When the Divas Revolution began, nine of the Divas were separated into a team of three: Team PCB, Team Bella, and Team B.A.D. I am a fan of exactly one person in Team Bella (and it’s the one who’s not a Bella Twin) and Team PCB had a blink-and-you-missed-it existence. Then there’s Team B.A.D.; though Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Tamina have been the most underused team of the three, they’ve proven to be the most entertaining, whether through impressive in-ring performances (mainly from Naomi and Sasha) or their hilarious series of social media interactions with The New Day.
#4. Kimber Bombs
Cherry Bomb and Kimber Lee are already great in-ring performances by themselves; but just wait until the two come together as a unit. Cherry already has a tendency to be adorably obnoxious, and that kicks into high gear when she’s paired with Kimber. And there’s something in that formula that makes the duo a winning combination, because out of the many championships Cherry Bomb won before going down with a shoulder injury, two of them were Tag Team Championships she and Kimber won in two of the biggest women’s Indy promotions: SHIMMER and SHINE.
#3. Jordan & Gable
So in 2015, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas returned to WWE in the NXT promotion with brand new ringnames and took the Full Sail crowd by storm…..OK, that’s not exactly true, but looking at all of the comparisons people have made between the self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team and Jason Jordan & Chad Gable (and not just because it’s a white guy teaming with a black guy), you’d think that was the case. Jordan and Gable are both tag team specialists who came together as a duo after finding out they had a great level of chemistry and charisma together and NXT has become a better show because of it.
#2. Enzo, Big Cass, & Carmella
While Jordan and Gable are the most technically skilled tag team in NXT and NXT has other teams that might be able to wrestle circles are this team, the Realest Guys (and Hottest Chick) in the ring have certainly proved their worth in NXT by maybe being the most entertaining team in NXT. Charisma magnet Enzo and seven-footer Big Cass came so close to winning the NXT Tag Team Titles and if they did win them, they certainly would have earned them. Meanwhile, the F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Carmella seems to finally be finding her groove in the ring; she is no longer SAWFT. They have the style and the popularity, and you can’t…teach…that!
#1. The New Day
Honestly, RAW and Smackdown have been huge disappointments for most of the year; there’s only ever a few highlights an episode these days. Luckily one of those highlights just happen to be the collective of the hilarious heavyweight Big E, the underrated high-flyer Kofi Kingston, and trombone-playing loudmouth Xavier Woods. They won the Tag Team Titles twice, rebelled against table-abuse, let their opinions on country music known loud and clear, celebrated Thanksgiving in style, gave Eden and Michael Cole a hard time in backstage interviews, left superstars laying, and gathered numerous laughs along the way! And to think people used to hate them.
Cheerleader Melissa has actually made allies with a number of people over the years, like Mercedes Martinez and Yumi Ohka. But in Stardom, she and Chelsea have become an effective unit.
+ Bad Influence
Remember how entertaining Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were as E.G.O. in TNA? Well, they haven’t sacrificed any of the entertainment during their time in Ring of Honor.
Something in that Book of Truth breeds success, I’m guessing. Currently a fivesome of Truth Martini, Jay Lethal, Taeler Hendrix, Donovan Dijak, and Joey Daddiego, you can’t tune into ROH without seeing this team.
Originally, this ream was rather boring to me. Then they recruited Alexa Bliss and her charisma made them way more watchable. That glow-up has made them the Mike Jones of tag teams.
+ Prime Time Players
It’s a shame the Tag Team Title reign these two had was a failure this year; they deserved to hold the titles, but against the way-more-over team of The New Day, their reign was forgettable.
Which wrestling crew left an impression on you in 2015? Hit me up on Twitter @FearlessRiOT or leave a comment below. Stick around for more Year-End Top 10s!