Tag team championships in WWE

WWE (formerly the WWF, WWWF, and its predecessor, Capitol Wrestling) has maintained at least one primary tag team championship for its male performers since 1958 (except for a two year interim between 1967 and 1969). Whenever brand division has been implemented, separate primary tag team titles have been created or allocated for each brand.

For their female performers, a tag team championship existed between 1983 and 1989. The title was abandoned in 1989 due to lack of depth in the division. For many years, the women's division lacked a tag team championship, largely in part due to not having enough female performers, that is until 2019, when WWE introduced a new women's tag team championship.

Overview of titlesEdit

MaleEdit

# Name Years
1 WWWF United States Tag Team Championship 1958 – 1967 (became WWWF property in 1963)
2 WWF International Tag Team Championship 1969 – 1971, 1985
3 World Tag Team Championship 1971 – 2010
4 WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship 1991
5 WCW World Tag Team Championship 1975 – 2001 (became WWF property in 2001)
6 WWE Raw Tag Team Championship 2002 – present
7 NXT Tag Team Championship 2013 – present
8 WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship 2016 – present
9 NXT UK Tag Team Championship 2019 – present

FemaleEdit

# Name Years
1 WWF Women's Tag Team Championship 1983 – 1989
2 WWE Women's Tag Team Championship 2019 – present

HistoryEdit

MaleEdit

 
The New Day are two-time Raw Tag Team Champions and five-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions; their second reign as Raw Tag Team Champions is the longest reign for any primary tag team championship in WWE history at 483 days

Capitol Wrestling set up its first tag team championship, the NWA United States Tag Team Championship in 1958. When Capitol seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance in 1963 and became the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), the championship became the WWWF United States Tag Team Championship. In 1967, WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino teamed with Spiros Arion to win the belts. Due to Sammartino being the world champion, the team vacated the tag titles which were then abandoned.[1]

For two years, the WWWF had no tag team championship until The Rising Suns (Toru Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa) arrived in the promotion in September 1969 with the WWWF International Tag Team Championship which they claimed to have won in a tournament in Tokyo in June of that year. This became the WWWF's tag team title until 1971, mostly being held by The Mongols.[2] When they left the WWWF, taking the titles with them, the promotion established their own original world tag team championship, the WWWF World Tag Team Championship. In 1979, the promotion became the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and the tag titles were shortened to WWF Tag Team Championship until 1983 when they were renamed WWF World Tag Team Championship.

By 1988, wrestling magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated was calling for the establishment of a secondary WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (modelled on the WCW United States Tag Team Championship) due to the glut of tag team competition in the promotion.[3] This never took place, but in 1991, WWF-affiliated promotion UWF Japan introduced the WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship, claimed by the team of Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada. This title was abandoned when the affiliation ended later that same year.[4] Similarly, back in May 1985, Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura beat Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis in a tournament final in Japan for a revival of the old International Tag Team Title of 1969–1971, only for the title to be abandoned again when New Japan and the WWF fell out in October 1985.

In 2001, the WWF bought rival company World Championship Wrestling (WCW), acquiring the WCW World Tag Team Championship, among other titles, which was defended on WWF programming until that year's Survivor Series, where the WCW World Tag Team Championship was unified into the WWF World Tag Team Championship.[5]

After WWF's initial brand extension in the spring of 2002 and the renaming of the company as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the tag titles became the WWE Tag Team Championship and champions Billy and Chuck were drafted to the SmackDown brand. That summer, however, The Un-Americans (Christian and Lance Storm) would win the championship and shortly thereafter transfer it to the Raw brand where it was later renamed the World Tag Team Championship, effectively leaving the SmackDown brand without a tag team title. As a result, then-SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon introduced a new WWE Tag Team Championship and commissioned it to be the tag team title for the SmackDown brand.[6]

Both titles were unified in 2009 and were collectively referred to as the "Unified WWE Tag Team Championship" while officially remaining independently active until the World Tag Team Championship was formally decommissioned in 2010,[5][6] leaving the newer title as WWE's only tag team championship. As a result of the 2016 draft, the championship became exclusive to Raw and was renamed the Raw Tag Team Championship, and SmackDown created the SmackDown Tag Team Championship as a counterpart title.[7] In addition, WWE's former developmental territory NXT established the NXT Tag Team Championship in January 2013, which became one of WWE's three main titles for male tag teams in September 2019 when NXT became recognized as WWE's third major brand. Another title, the NXT UK Tag Team Championship, debuted for NXT's sister brand NXT UK in 2019, but is recognized as being a step below the other three. The Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and NXT UK tag team titles are WWE's four currently active tag team championships for its male performers.

FemaleEdit

Prior to 1983, the WWF did not have a tag team championship for their women's division. In 1983, the team of Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria joined the WWF and were already the reigning NWA Women's World Tag Team Champions. The WWF had since withdrawn from the NWA, which owned the championship, thus McIntyre and Victoria were instead recognized as the first WWF Women's Tag Team Champions. The championship continued until 1989 when the promotion abandoned the titles with The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin) as the final champions. The titles were abandoned due to lack of depth in the division.

The promotion would go without a women's tag team championship for many years. Talk of reviving the titles began circulating in 2012, when a WWE.com article was posted in favor of resurrecting the titles. Female performers were also in favor of adding a women's tag team championship, but it was not until 2018 when the titles became a reality. Online speculation began when WWE announced their first all female event Evolution for October, but the titles did not appear or were announced. However, on the December 24 episode of Monday Night Raw, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon officially announced that a new WWE Women's Tag Team Championship would debut in 2019 (and would not carry the lineage of the original title). The Boss 'n' Hug Connection (Bayley and Sasha Banks) became the inaugural champions at Elimination Chamber in February. It was also revealed that the titles would be defended across the Raw, SmackDown, and NXT brands (due to none of the brands having enough women to have their own championship).

Longest championship reignsEdit

MaleEdit

Top 10 tag team championship reignsEdit

The following list shows the top 10 tag team championship reigns in WWE history.

# Team Title Reign Length
(days)
Notes
1 The New Day
(Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods)
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship 2 483 They won the title as the WWE Tag Team Championship, but midway through this reign, it was renamed to Raw Tag Team Championship following the reintroduction of the WWE brand extension when the title became exclusive to Raw. All three members were recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule.
2 Demolition
(Ax and Smash)
World Tag Team Championship 1 478 During this reign, the title was known as the WWF World Tag Team Championship.
3 The Fabulous Kangaroos
(Al Costello and Roy Heffernan)
WWWF United States Tag Team Championship 3 409 During this reign, the title was known as the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
4 The Valiant Brothers
(Jimmy Valiant and Johnny Valiant)
World Tag Team Championship 1 370 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF World Tag Team Championship.
5 The Mongols
(Bepo and Geto)
WWF International Tag Team Championship 1 368 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF International Tag Team Championship.
6 The Ascension
(Konnor and Viktor)
NXT Tag Team Championship 1 364 WWE recognizes The Ascension's reign as lasting 344 days due to tape delay.
7 Mr Fuji and Professor Tanaka World Tag Team Championship 1 337 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF World Tag Team Championship.
8 Paul London and Brian Kendrick WWE Raw Tag Team Championship 1 331 During this reign, the title was known as the WWE Tag Team Championship.
WWE recognizes London and Kendrick's reign as lasting 334 days due to tape delay.
9 Dr. Jerry Graham and Luke Graham WWWF United States Tag Team Championship 1 321
10 The British Bulldogs
(Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith)
World Tag Team Championship 1 294 During this reign, the title was known as the WWF World Tag Team Championship.

Specific record for each championshipEdit

The following list shows the longest reigning champion for each tag team championship created and/or promoted by WWE, with the exception of the WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship. The team of Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada won the inaugural championship on January 7, 1991, but during their reign later that year, the title was abandoned. The date of abandonment, and consequently their reign length, is unknown.

Titles are listed in order of creation.

Title Champion Reign Dates held Length
(days)
Notes
WWWF United States Tag Team Championship The Fabulous Kangaroos
(Al Costello and Roy Heffernan)
3rd November 28, 1960 – January 11, 1962 409 During this reign, the title was known as the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
WWF International Tag Team Championship The Mongols
(Bepo and Geto)
1st June 15, 1970 – June 18, 1971 368 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF International Tag Team Championship.
World Tag Team Championship Demolition
(Ax and Smash)
1st May 27, 1988 – July 18, 1989 478 During this reign, the title was known as the WWF World Tag Team Championship.
WCW World Tag Team Championship Doom
(Butch Reed and Ron Simmons)
1st May 19, 1990 – February 24, 1991 281 The title was owned by World Championship Wrestling (WCW) at this time. Originally known as the NWA World Tag Team Championship, during this reign, it was renamed to WCW World Tag Team Championship due to issues between the NWA and WCW.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship The New Day
(Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods)
2nd April 23, 2015 – December 18, 2016 483 The New Day won the title as the WWE Tag Team Championship, but midway through this reign, it was renamed to Raw Tag Team Championship following the reintroduction of the WWE brand extension when the title became exclusive to Raw. All three members were recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule.
NXT Tag Team Championship The Ascension
(Konnor and Viktor)
1st September 12, 2013 – September 11, 2014 364 WWE recognizes The Ascension's reign as lasting 344 days (October 2, 2013 – September 11, 2014) due to tape delay.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship The Usos
(Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso)
3rd October 8, 2017 – April 8, 2018 182
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Zack Gibson and James Drake 1st January 12, 2019 – August 31, 2019 231 WWE recognizes Gibson and Drake's reign as lasting 230 days.

FemaleEdit

Due to the short length of both championships, only the specific record for each is shown.

# Champion Title Reign Dates held Length
(days)
Notes
1 The Glamour Girls
(Judy Martin and Leilani Kai)
WWF Women's Tag Team Championship 1 August 1, 1985 – January 24, 1988 906
2 The IIconics
(Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
WWE Women's Tag Team Championship 1 April 7, 2019 – August 5, 2019 120

Most championship reignsEdit

MaleEdit

The following lists shows the wrestlers with the most reigns for each tag team championship created and/or promoted by WWE.

By teamEdit

# Champion Title # of Reigns Notes
1 Harlem Heat
(Booker T and Stevie Ray)
WCW World Tag Team Championship 10
2 The Dudley Boyz
(Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley)
World Tag Team Championship 8 During their first six reigns, the title was known as the WWF World Tag Team Championship.
3 The New Day WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship 5 During their first three reigns, Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods were all recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule. During their fourth reign, only Big E and Woods were recognized as champion as Kingston was the reigning WWE Champion, while for their current fifth reign, only Big E and Kingston are recognized as Woods is inactive due to an injury.
4 Cesaro and Sheamus WWE Raw Tag Team Championship 4
5 The Grahams
(Jerry and Eddie)
WWWF United States Tag Team Championship 4 During all four of their reigns, the title was known as the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
6 The Undisputed Era NXT Tag Team Championship 3 During their first reign, Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, and Roderick Strong were all recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule. During their second reign, only O'Reilly and Strong were recognized as champions, while during their current third reign, only Fish and O'Reilly are recognized as champions.
7 The Mongols
(Bepo and Geto)
WWF International Tag Team Championship 2 During both of their reigns, the title was known as the WWWF International Tag Team Championship.
8 James Drake & Zack Gibson
and
Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews
and
Gallus
(Mark Coffey and Wolfgang)
NXT UK Tag Team Championship 1 There have only been three reigns between three teams thus far.
9 Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship 1 This was the only reign for the title.

By wrestlerEdit

# Champion Title # of Reigns Notes
1 Edge World Tag Team Championship 12 During his first seven reigns, the title was known as the WWF World Tag Team Championship. During his eighth reign, the title was known as the WWE Tag Team Championship. During his following four reigns, the title was known as the World Tag Team Championship. It was also simultaneously known as the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship during his 12th reign.
2 Booker T WCW World Tag Team Championship 11
3 Dr. Jerry Graham WWWF United States Tag Team Championship 6 During his first five reigns, the title was known as the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
4 Seth Rollins WWE Raw Tag Team Championship 6
5 Big E WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship 5
6 Kyle O'Reilly NXT Tag Team Championship 3
7 Geto Mongol WWF International Tag Team Championship 3 During all three of his reigns, the title was known as the WWWF International Tag Team Championship.
8 Mark Andrews, Mark Coffey, James Drake, Zack Gibson, Flash Morgan Webster, and Wolfgang NXT UK Tag Team Championship 1 There have only been three reigns between three teams thus far.
9 Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship 1 This was the only reign for the title.

FemaleEdit

The following lists shows the wrestlers with the most reigns for each tag team championship created and/or promoted by WWE.

By teamEdit

# Champion Title # of Reigns Notes
1 The Glamour Girls
(Judy Martin and Leilani Kai)
WWF Women's Tag Team Championship 2
2 The Boss 'n' Hug Connection
(Bayley and Sasha Banks)
and
The IIconics
(Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
and
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
and
The Kabuki Warriors
(Asuka and Kairi Sane)
WWE Women's Tag Team Championship 1 There have only been four reigns between four teams thus far.

By wrestlerEdit

# Champion Title # of Reigns Notes
1 Judy Martin, Leilani Kai, and Velvet McIntyre WWF Women's Tag Team Championship 2
2 Asuka, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sane WWE Women's Tag Team Championship 1 There have only been four reigns between four teams thus far.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "United States Tag Team Title (Capitol/WWWF)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  2. ^ "WWWF/WWF International Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  3. ^ "Too much talent - It's Time For A WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship" - Pro Wrestling Illustrated December 1998
  4. ^ "10 championships you never knew existed in WWE". WWE.
  5. ^ a b "WWWF/WWF/WWE World Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "WWE Tag Team Championship". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  7. ^ "WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.