The blossoming bromance between Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne has quickly become a highlight of NXT TV. Their rambunctious road trip to TakeOver Portland was some of the most entertaining vignettes produced by WWE in the modern era, rallying fans behind the Broserweights for their big title match with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish of the Undisputed Era. I don’t think anyone expected the makeshift team of ‘The Bruiserweight’ and ‘The Original Bro’ to become so electric in such a short space of time; perhaps we’ll put that down to the pure bromance on display, friendship goals we should all aspire to.
Professional wrestling has seen some beautiful bromances over the years; odd couple tag teams soon realising that they have more in common than they once thought, putting their differences aside in favour of loyalty and respect, a bond that will never be (bro)ken.
From strange duos to best buds, we run down the 5 best bromances in wrestling history. Make sure you show some love to your bros in the comments down below, bro.
1. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane)
Perhaps the most iconic makeshift tandem of the modern era, Kane and Daniel Bryan were brought together for the first time in 2012 as part of an anger management course. Dr. Shelby’s best cure for their respective issues, ranging from pyromania to veganism, was for them to compete together rather than against each other. Soon after graduating from anger management, Team Hell No was born and they quickly picked up their first Tag Team titles from Kofi Kingston and R-Truth at Night of Champions.
Everyone was having fun with the Team Hell No angle, fans and performers alike. Daniel Bryan and Kane have both expressed how much they enjoyed working together and their instant chemistry as a tag team. Their bromance allowed them to remain Tag champions for the best part of a year, prior to Daniel Bryan breaking off from the team and starting his monumental rise to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 30.
Whether they were bickering over who owned the Tag Team Championships or keeping fans on the edge of their seats as they battled the need to hug it out in the middle of the ring, Team Hell No was quite possibly the strongest and most entertaining bromance we’ve ever seen in pro wrestling.
2. Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo
This was quite possibly the deepest bromance of the early 2000s. Billy and Chuck came together to help each other’s floundering careers, but nobody expected their nothing tag team to quickly become one of the most heart-warming partnerships on television. With their stylist-turned-manager Rico by their side, Billy and Chuck’s bromance captured the hearts of wrestling fans across the world.
The tag division wasn’t exactly at its best in 2002, with WWE choosing to split their top 3 teams in The Hardys, The Dudleys and Edge & Christian, but Billy and Chuck managed to hold things down as one of the most promising tandems on the roster. They only managed to capture the Tag Titles the once, but it was the bond between the two performers that was the true reward of their time together.
WWE even decided to blur the lines slightly in a time when homosexuality wasn’t as widely broadcast as it is today, allowing Billy and Chuck to ‘tie the knot’ as a tag team in the middle of the ring. For wrestling fans who had gone on this journey with Billy and Chuck as they developed this bromance, it was genuinely quite an emotional scene, albeit a little insulting towards the end.
Fans loved it, though, and I’m sure the majority wanted to see Billy and Chuck actually come out as the first-ever homosexual tag team.
3. Booker T & Goldust
Another odd couple tag team that took over the tag division was the team of BookDust. There was just something about these two that was so magnetic, fans couldn’t help but fall in love with their bromance as their on-screen relationship developed each week. Goldust pined after the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion in various vignettes that put them in a range of kooky situations; where Goldust would disguise himself as the likes of Darth Vader or Booker T’s lovers to help get some bro time in.
When Booker eventually succumbed to Goldust’s charms, BookDust became one of the most entertaining on-screen duos and was another situation where the fans just couldn’t help but rally behind them during their feuds with Chris Jericho, Christian and The Un-Americans. Booker and Goldust would finally capture the Tag Titles at Armageddon 2002, making for one of the most emotional victories ever to take place in the tag division.
BookDust’s bromance would never die, even after Booker went on to bigger things on the road to WrestleMania 19. I hope we get to see more from these two one day, both men are equally hilarious and their backstage vignettes were truly magical.
4. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
There’s no greater sign of bromance than the looks that Paul Heyman gives to his client Brock Lesnar. Arguably, Brock Lesnar wouldn’t be as big of a star as he is now if it weren’t for Heyman and his incessant ability to hype ‘The Beast’ up as one of the most imposing athletes ever known to man. Heyman and Lesnar have developed such a strong bond backstage that there’s no surprise that Lesnar refused to work if he didn’t have Heyman in tow.
Heyman might not be the most devious of ringside managers, not that he needs to tug on anyone’s legs or help prop Brock’s limbs onto the bottom rope for a pin-break, but his sheer excitement and joy whenever Lesnar nails a few German Suplexes is something to behold. Brock may not show it often, but you know there’s nothing but love for his advocate.
I hope we never see the day when Heyman betrays Brock for another client. Looking back on the shocking heel turn at Survivor Series 2002, when Heyman traded his ‘Beast’ for a Big Show, it genuinely breaks my heart. These two should forever remain inseparable as Brock continues to break countless opponents with a crushing trip to Suplex City.
5. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
One of WWE’s biggest success stories of the modern era was the bromance between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. A list, a scarf, a couple of championship reigns, a festival, all things that came from the gorgeous relationship that developed on Monday Night RAW in 2016.
Owens and Jericho put together some of the most fun segments on Monday nights, making themselves the headline attractions for the best part of a year, holding down the main event scene alongside the likes of Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.
Inevitably their best friendship came to an unfortunate end during the build to WrestleMania 33, when Kevin Owens turned on Jericho during the ever-popular Festival of Friendship, but we still have the many beautiful memories of JeriKO berating backstage announcers and picking out new names for Chris’ List.
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