Best of 2016: Tag Team/Stable of the Year

What do you get when you put a bunch of wrestlers in one place and have people watch them? You get…..well normally you get a wrestling show but what I’m talking about here is a stable. Today we’re looking at the tag team/group of the year but before we get there, I need to write off a few names that will NOT be on the list for various reasons.

First up are the Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japon. I know who both of them are and I’ve seen some of their work but I haven’t seen enough of them to really put something together about them. Now go ahead and tell me how horrible I am for not watching enough New Japan.

Second, the Young Bucks won’t be on here for reasons of I can’t stand them.

As usual these are in no particular order.

1. DIY.

Do I need to do anything else here besides just showing you their matches with the Revival? That match in Toronto is almost a guarantee for Match of the Year (or a tie in my case) and that makes them really hard to overlook. The guys are just flat out awesome and know how to do this tag team thing like almost no one else can today. They’re entertaining guys and that’s all that matters down in NXT.

What’s even more impressive about DIY is the fact that they were able to do this while following American Alpha, who looked like the best team in a long time. What does it tell you when a team has to follow the best team people have seen in years and manage to outshine them and have an even better match? That just does not happen in wrestling and that’s what we got with DIY.

2. Enzo and Big Cass.

Now this is at the entirely different end of the spectrum as Enzo and Cass aren’t exactly the most technically sound team in the world but they’re just so entertaining almost every single week. If nothing else, just look at them as Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the Halloween episode of Monday Night Raw. That brought a genuine smile to my face and that doesn’t happen very often.

I don’t know if Enzo and Cass will ever be a serious tag team but if all they do is serve as a means to make Cass into a singles star, that’s just fine. Enzo is a great talker and gets to showcase that gift of jab as long as he doesn’t keep getting hurt. Cass is the real star of the team though and there’s a lot of entertainment to be had watching him try to do the East River Crossing on big guys.

3. Broken Hardys.

I’ve talked a lot about how amazing the Broken Universe stuff was in 2016 but what a lot of people overlook is how the wrestling has gone. While Matt might not be the best in ring performer, Jeff is still better than most wrestlers in the company and can more carry the team when they’re actually having matches.

I know the Hardys are entertaining but if you have the Tag Team Titles for so many months, you have to be able to do more than just do some weird stuff in the backyard. Let Jeff do most of the match while Matt gets to be a little wacky on the side but I wouldn’t go much further than that. The key to the Hardys is to keep Matt under control and let the great team be great, which doesn’t happen often enough.

4. American Alpha.

You knew I was going to get here at some point. American Alpha absolutely took NXT by storm and looked like one of the best tag teams of all time. They had one of the best opening matches of all time against Revival at Takeover: Dallas and wound up winning the Smackdown Tag Team Titles to end the year.

That’s where the team moves up a spot for me: not only did they have success on the NXT roster but they also pulled off something special on the main roster in such a short time. They’re one of the most entertaining teams I’ve seen in a long time and are basically the modern Steiners. They even used the Steiner Bulldog as a nice tribute and that’s never a bad thing at all.

5. Revival.

Speaking of American Alpha, this team managed to go from one excellent feud to an even better one with a pair of match of the year candidates. I can’t remember the last time that happened and it’s just amazing to watch. This is a team that just gets how to be villains and while I’m not sure that’s going to work so well on the main roster, it’s made for some outstanding stuff down in NXT.

It’s so rare to see a team that wrestles the old school work on a body part style in the vein of the Andersons and that means we got to see Andersons vs. Steiners in 2016. I had a blast watching that American Alpha match but I was blown away seeing them have a completely different style match against DIY. Maybe they won’t do well on NXT but it was more than worthy of being the best team in NXT.

6. New Day.

Oh yeah you knew we were getting here at some point. New Day might be the most over tag team since the Legion of Doom and that’s some very rare company to be in. They were one of the most over teams you’ll ever see and sweet goodness the pops and merchandise sales are unthinkable. Then there’s the whole longest reigning Tag Team Champions in history and all that jazz.

I don’t know what New Day does going forward but they’re some of the most entertaining tag wrestlers in a long time. They managed to take some of the dumbest jokes in wrestling history and turned them into either a t-shirt or a freaking cereal that was sold in stores. How in the world does that even work? Like….THEY HAVE THEIR OWN CEREAL!

Overall though, I’m going with Revival. I just can’t get over how amazing they managed to become in the ring and having two outstanding matches (not counting the other great stuff they did aside from the two title losses). I’d love to see them on the main roster but if they just have to stay down in NXT and be one of the best tag teams in the last twenty five years, so be it.

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3 comments

  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    The Revival may well end up on the best tag team of all time list. They moved from feud to feud in NXT with such ease and put on great matches with all three of those teams they feuded with. Include some solid promo work and they seem like they are evolving when it would have been understandable for them to plateau. I hope they debut on Raw soon, take the belts from Sheamus/Cesaro, and defend against New Day at Wrestlemania.

  2. Anon de Ymous says:

    Call me a snob, but these teams were all gunning for second place behind Los Ingobernables de Japon, with only The Revival being real competition to them, in my mind.

    New Day was the best part of Raw for a pretty long while, but chopping up their reign as the calendar dictates hurts them. If this award went from summer of 2015 to summer of 2016, they would win this without question, but the second half of 2016 had them feeling like lame duck champions until they passed Demolition’s record.

  3. M.R. says:

    Dude get to wrestler of the year already it’s the end of January.