There are not many moments in wrestling better than a hot tag. When a valiant babyface desperately crawls towards the outstretched hand of their partner, suddenly, a burst of energy and a tag is made, the crowd erupts. The big guy finally has their chance, without a moment’s hesitation, they single-handedly decimate the villainous heels to much adulation, bliss.
Teams such as Enzo and Cass, The New Age Outlaws and The Hart Foundation had it perfected. It’s one of wrestling’s most enduring tropes, but in this day of synchronised tag-team offences and ‘no-selling gymnastics’, it’s quickly losing its place and I’d say it’d be sorely missed.
So away with The Usos, off with The Young Bucks and be gone to The Ascension, wherever they are. For this is the top five hot tags in present day WWE, enjoy.
5. Luke Gallows
The Good Brothers/The Club/The OC/Bullet Club/Gallows & Anderson, regardless of name, are one of the best tag teams in the world. If you were reading this as someone who’s new to the ‘Sport of Kings’, you’d call me mad. “It’s just those two blokes that follow AJ Styles around,” that’s understandable. However, they are one of the most underrated tag-teams currently wrestling, even as current Raw Tag Team Champions they haven’t been given a platform to show what they can really do, for the benefit of the casual fan. Have a look at their time in Japan for a better look.
You could go as far to say that Karl Anderson is carrying the partnership, he is arguably one of the best technical wrestlers in any promotion, not that you’d know that by watching WWE. But without that big man playing the conquering role, it’d be like a cake with no frosting, just missing that certain something. Gallows was even given the herculean task of getting the Festus gimmick over, of which he did impressively well as a hot tag for Jesse, and we can’t forget that entrance theme, a classic.
4. Jeff Hardy
In the autumn of their careers – more winter in Matt’s case – The Hardy Boyz are still as beloved as ever. Reincarnated as Broken Matt and Brother Nero, they were welcomed back home at Wrestlemania 33 to a rapturous response. You may not see Jeff as the traditional hot tag, but when you’ve such a devout fan base as he has it’s hard to claim he doesn’t get the same effect when that tag comes.
These days, you could say that Matt Hardy has been the brains behind the team all along; a self-made pedestal for his brother, raising him up high in the fan’s eyes, and for a Poetry in Motion.
3. Trent Seven
A staple of the UK indie scene, Moustache Mountain are one of my personal favourite tag teams; alongside Pete Dunne you could call them the current pinnacle of British wrestling. As bold as that may be, it’s well justified, you’d only have to go as far as the 5-star-rated classic on the July 11th 2018 NXT, not even a pay-per-view. Mind-boggling stuff.
I love these two and I don’t mind telling you that. Trent Seven should be considered one of the best hot tags in the business today, partly due to his uncanny ability to make an audience care about what’s happening in the ring; making every match feel Wrestlemania worthy and putting over Tyler Bate -his tag partner- in a way the youngster deserves. God bless you, Trent.
2. Roman Reigns
Vinny Mac got his Big Dog back earlier this year after a forced break- due to a returning battle with leukaemia. Thankfully, Reigns made his return and with renewed vigour; the hostile crowd reactions had ceased, and he was welcomed back with open arms. Reigns in 2019 is predominantly a singles wrestler, so you may be asking me why he is the second-best hot tag in WWE currently? Good question.
Reigns brings something to the table that few can equal in modern day WWE: Legitimacy due to a long spree of high-profile victories, and fan reaction, cheer him or boo him, it’s still a reaction. The polarising superstar also has his time in The Shield, a much-loved stable built on fan adoration and ability; regardless of how much Jon Moxley would want you to forget it.
Roman’s ability to be the hot tag for a battered Seth or Dean puts him firmly on this list and that’s disregarding his ability to work well with just about anyone. So, we all still friends?
1. Big E
The New Day are chemistry personified. Remember at the start when I mentioned The Usos and The Young Bucks? Well, they are examples of teams that have perfected smooth quick-tag-based wrestling, where it doesn’t matter who’s in the ring because they are both equally brilliant and in perfect synchronisation.
The New Day has taken this style of tag team wrestling and paired it wonderfully with the hot tag style. Big E is this hot tag, and wonderful at it to boot. He’s an explosion of charisma, strength, athleticism and a keen tag-team mind. I would also say he has the best comic timing in WWE.
So, here is my personal list of the top hot tags in WWE today. Even in the ever-eroding landscape that is the current tag team division, at least a few beacons of hope linger on. Long live tag team wrestling and long live the hot tag.