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
|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 (WWE)||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|
|1||WWF Women's Tag Team Championship||1983 – 1989|
|2||WWE Women's Tag Team Championship||2019 – present|
Capitol Wrestling set up its first tag team championship, the 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.
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. 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. 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 that same year. 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
In 2001, the WWF bought rival company 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.
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.
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, 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. In addition, WWE's developmental brand NXT established its own Tag Team Championship in January 2013. The new NXT UK brand debuted its own Tag Team Championship in January 2019. The Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and NXT UK tag team titles are WWE's four currently active tag team championships for its male performers.
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 following month, it was announced that the inaugural champions would be determined 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).
Active primary championshipsEdit
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championship, originally called the WWE Tag Team Championship, the current tag team title for the Raw brand
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship, the current tag team title for the SmackDown brand
- NXT Tag Team Championship, the current tag team title for the WWE’s developmental brand NXT
- NXT UK Tag Team Championship, the current tag team title for WWE's NXT UK brand
Retired primary championshipsEdit
- World Tag Team Championship (WWE), used from 1971 to 2010, was briefly known as the WWE Tag Team Championship in 2002
- WWF International Tag Team Championship, used from 1969 to 1971
- WWWF United States Tag Team Championship, established in 1958, used in WWWF from 1963 to 1967
Other tag team championshipsEdit
- WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship, a short-lived tag team title which appeared in UWF Japan in 1991 
- WCW World Tag Team Championship, established in 1975, became WWF property in 2001 and retired later that year. Previously the primary tag team championship of Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling
- WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, the current women's tag team championship shared across the Raw, SmackDown, and NXT brands
- WWF Women's Tag Team Championship, the retired tag team title of the women's division, used from 1983 to 1989
Longest championship reignsEdit
The New Day, Demolition, The Fabulous Kangaroos, The Mongols, and The Ascension all retain the specific records for each of their respective titles held. At present, The Usos hold the specific record for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at 182 days for their third reign, and Zack Gibson and James Drake hold the specific record for the NXT UK Tag Team Championship at 218+ days.
|1||The New Day||WWE Raw Tag Team Championship||2nd||483|
|2||Demolition||World Tag Team Championship (WWE)||1st||478|
|3||The Fabulous Kangaroos||WWWF United States Tag Team Championship||3rd||409|
|4||The Valiant Brothers||World Tag Team Championship (WWE)||1st||370|
|5||The Mongols||WWF International Tag Team Championship||1st||368|
|6||The Ascension||NXT Tag Team Championship||1st||364||WWE recognizes The Ascension's reign as lasting 344 days due to tape delays.|
|7||Mr Fuji and Professor Tanaka||World Tag Team Championship (WWE)||1st||337|
|8||Paul London and Brian Kendrick||WWE Raw Tag Team Championship||1st||331||WWE recognizes London and Kendrick's reign as lasting 334 days due to tape delays.|
|9||Dr. Jerry Graham and Luke Graham||WWWF United States Tag Team Championship||1st||321|
|10||The British Bulldogs||World Tag Team Championship (WWE)||1st||294|
- "United States Tag Team Title (Capitol/WWWF)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- "WWWF/WWF International Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- "Too much talent - It's Time For A WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship" - Pro Wrestling Illustrated December 1998
- "10 championships you never knew existed in WWE". WWE.
- "WWWF/WWF/WWE World Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- "WWE Tag Team Championship". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- "WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
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