The eighties were considered the “golden era” in professional wrestling were many of the most iconic names like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant were born. What goes overlooked is how many amazing WWE Tag Teams existed in that decade that till this day still hold up as some of the best characters and gimmicks ever created. In no particular order here is the list of WWE Tag Team’s from the 1980’s that helped shape the WWE or back in those days WWF landscape.

british bulldogs tag team

The British Bulldogs

Members: Davey “Boy” Smith, The Dynamite Kid
WWE Debut: 1983
Sidekick: Matilda the Bulldog
Tag Team Titles Won: 1 (1986)
Finishing Moves: Running PowerSlam, Diving Headbutt

The British Bulldogs were a tag team made up of wrestlers David Smith (Davey Boy) and Tom Billington (Dynamite Kid). They were real life cousins who were both born in Wigan, England. The tag team was hugely popular in the 80’s and had a longtime rivalry with the Hart Foundation.

the hart foundation tag team

The Hart Foundation

Members: Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
WWE Debut: 1985
Manager: Jimmy Hart
Tag Team Titles Won: 2 (1987, 1990)
Finishing Move: Hart Attack (Running Clothesline)

The Hart Foundation were undoubtedly one of WWE’s greatest tag team’s of all time. Composed of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart they were the ultimate heels back in the eighties and had great rivalries with the British Bulldogs and the Killer Bees. You couldn’t miss them with their hot pink attire and their finisher move is maybe the most iconic tag team finisher ever with the patented Bret Hart running clothesline while The Anvil held the opponent in the air.

demolition tag team wwe

Demolition

Members: Ax, Smash
WWE Debut: 1987
Manager: Mr. Fuji
Tag Team Titles Won: 3 (1987, 1990)
Finishing Move: The Demolisher

When you heard this line, “Here comes the Ax and here comes the Smasher”, you knew one of the most intimidating tag teams ever were on their way to the ring. That line comes from the Demolition’s famous theme song which was composed by Rick Derringer. They hold the record for the single longest reign with the Tag Team titles at 478 days. Ax and Smash were a force in the WWE with spiked metal ring attire and some of the best face paint back in those days. Their finisher move looked so devastating for that era as Ax would drop an elbow fro the second rope as Smash held the opponent over his knee.

the killer bees tag team

The Killer Bees

Members: “Jumpin” Jim Brunzell, Brian Blair
WWE Debut: 1985
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Double Dropkick

The Killer Bees were kind of a bland tag team with one small gimmick that upped the ante. They would pull out matching bee striped masks during the match, which they called “Masked Confusion.” The key to the masks were once they put them on you couldn’t tell which member was which and they could easily switch in and out between the two of them. They never won a Tag Team title although they were likely deserving as they had a long 4 year run in the WWE and went over quite well with the fans.

the bushwhackers tag team

The Bushwhackers

Members: Butch, Luke
WWE Debut: 1989
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Battering Ram

If you are looking for the ultimate “gimmick” tag team of the eighties, The Bushwhackers may be it. They portrayed backcountry simpletons who liked to lick each other, yep you read that correctly. They were total baby faces and some of the fans got a kick out of them. The funny thing is Jonathon Boyd (Butch) and Rip Morgan (Luke) had a long, successful wrestling career before the Bushwhackers and were a violent, hardcore team. Ultimately, their WWE gimmick was awful and they will never be thought of as a memorable tag team of the 80’s.

fabulous rougeaus tag team

The Fabulous Rougeaus

Members: Jacques Rougeau, Raymond Rougeaus
WWE Debut: 1985
Manager: Jimmy Hart
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Cannonball Crash

The famous “Frenchmen” of the eighties the Fabulous Rougeaus had a long run in the WWE from 1985 to 1990. They may have flown under the radar for most fans but they were a very talented duo who performed many high flying acts. They were at their best in the heel role where they would taunt the American fans by waving tiny American flags and trying to start “U S A” chants.

iron sheik nikolai volkoff tag team

Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff

Members: Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff
WWE Debut: 1984
Manager: “Classy” Freddie Blassie
Tag Team Titles Won: 1(1985)
Finishing Moves: Camel Clutch, Iranian Drop

Even if you were not a big wrestling fan back in the 80’s you almost certainly have seen the Iron Sheik at some point, one of WWE’s most iconic characters. When Vince McMahon paired him up with Nikolai Volkoff he created perhaps the most hated tag team in WWE history. The pro American crowd back in the eighties despised the Iranian, Russian combo which made them the perfect heels. I loved this tag team known as the “Foreign Legion” and even though they weren’t the most talented in the ring their persona’s more than made up for it outside of the ring.

the dream team tag team

The Dream Team

Members: Brutus Beefcake, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
WWE Debut: 1985
Manager: Johnny Valiante
Tag Team Titles Won: 1(1985)
Finishing Moves: Figure Four Leg Lock

The Dream Team was a classic 80’s heel tag team in the WWE. Greg Valentine played the role perfectly and this may have been Brutus Beefcake’s best role in the WWE. They had some great matches with the Killer Bees and British Bulldogs over the years and a long title reign that lasted 226 days back in 1985.

the islanders tag team

The Islanders

Members: Haku, Tama
WWE Debut: 1985
Manager: Bobby Heenan
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Moves: Savate Kick, Diving Headbutt

No not the NHL hockey team, back in 1986 The Islanders debuted in the WWE as baby faces. Besides their standout floral pattern tights, The Islanders never really had a big impact during their run. They got lost in an era where the WWE were full of great tag teams. Bobby Heenan joined them eventually and they did a heel turn which was the highlight of their time together.

los conquistadores tag team

Los Conquistadores

Members: Conquistador #1 & #2
WWE Debut: 1987
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Slingshot Catapult Clothesline

Only diehard wrestling fans will remember the cult classic team Los Conquistadores. Played by Jose Estrada & Jose Luis Rivera they may have been the originators of the spandex bodysuits. The outfits were everything for this duo as they really didn’t have any success in the WWE as they played the role of the constant “jobbers”. More recently in the 200’s, tag teams like Edge and Christian brought back the Conquistadors outfits to provide some comedy and nostalgia for the fans.

the mega bucks tag team

The Mega Bucks

Members: Ted DiBiase, Andre The Giant
WWE Debut: 1988
Manger: Virgil
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: None

Two iconic wrestlers joined forces for a brief period of time back in 1988 to form The Mega Bucks. Andre and DiBiase were created after a long running story between Ted DiBiase and Hulk Hogan. Eventually, Macho Man Randy Savage would get involved and the ultimate Tag Team Match was set between the Mega Bucks and the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Macho Man). I think the most memorable thing to come out of the Mega Bucks was their appearance in the now cult 1989 arcade game WWF Superstars.

powers of pain tag team

Powers of Pain

Members: The Barbarian, The Warlord
WWE Debut: 1988
Manger: Mr. Fuji
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Running Powerslam followed by a Diving Headbutt

The Powers of Pain debuted in the WWF in 1988 and you could clearly tell their look was inspired by the Road Warriors. The team consisted of two huge monsters in the Barbarian and Warlord and were eventually managed by Mr. Fuji. They were a powerhouse team that got a decent run but never achieved great success.

young stallions tag team

The Young Stallions

Members: Jim Powers, Paul Roma
WWE Debut: 1987
Manger: None
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Flying Cross Body

A rather forgettable tag team of the eighties that never really took off. Paul Roma was the stand out of two muscle men as Jim Powers lacked the charisma to be a star. They had a couple titles shots vs the Hart Foundation but lost every match.

road warriors tag team

Road Warriors

Members: Animal, Hawk
WCW Debut: 1988
Manger: None
Tag Team Titles Won: 6
Finishing Move: Doomsday Device

One of the best all-time tag teams to ever lace up the boots. The Road Warriors had it all for their time – Face Paint, Outfits, Intimidation, Theme – they were a main draw for the WCW for years. They never quite had the same impact in the WWE in 90’s but their impact will never be forgotten.

mega powers tag team

The Mega Powers

Members: Hulk Hogan, Macho Man
WWF Debut: 1987
Manger: Miss Elizabeth
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Leg Drop, Flying Elbow

For a brief period of time the WWF universe was turned upside down when the two biggest stars at the time joined forces to create The Mega Powers.

Hogan and Savage will always be remembered as one of the very first Super Teams and they created one of the best storylines of all time. Ultimately, Savage would turn on Hogan of course out of jealousy because of the lovely Miss Elizabeth.

strike force tag team

Strike Force

Members: Tito Santana, Rick Martel
WWF Debut: 1987
Manger: None
Tag Team Titles Won: 1
Finishing Move: Figure Four Leg-Lock

The team of Tito Santana and Rick Martel was your classic babyface tag team of the 80’s. They had great in-ring ability and were talented performers.

They had one long title run but ultimately Strike Force was a nice launching pad for both their single careers after the team broke up.

bolsheviks tag team

The Bolsheviks

Members: Nikolai Volkov, Boris Zhukov
WWF Debut: 1987
Manger: None
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Bearhug

The Bolsheviks are one of the least remembered tag teams of the eighties and for good reason. They were rather boring and just trying to copy the success of Volkov’s former tag team with the Iron Sheik.

They were more of a comedy duo who are most remembered for singing the Russian national anthem before each match.

rockers-tag-team-wrestling

The Rockers

Members: Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty
WWF Debut: 1988
Manger: None
Tag Team Titles Won: 0
Finishing Move: Rocker-Plex, Double Superkick

The Rockers was the tag team that helped launch Shawn Michaels singles career creating one of the WWE’s greatest icons of all time.

The tag team themselves had a good run in the late eighties and were a fan favorite for many years. They will forever be remembered more for how they broke up, however. Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through Beefcake’s barbershop window is one of the more legendary moments in wrestling history.

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