After watching Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley reluctantly team up against the Revival these past few weeks, it had me thinking about the other times rivals were forced to team up for whatever reason.
While they usually ended up hating each other more, some formed a lasting partnership and had multiple tag title reigns. Here are just some of the most interesting instances.
John Cena and Randy Orton
Back in 2008, John Cena and Randy Orton were the most bitter or rivals. They would destroy each other every chance they got. Remember when Orton punted the head of Cena’s father?
But on the 3/17/08 episode of RAW, the two had no choice but to team up and fight alongside each other. And who could blame them? You’ll team up with your rival too if it means surviving a handicap match against the entire RAW roster, courtesy of GM-for-the-night Triple H.
Orton and Cena had to deal with juggernauts like Umaga and Gene Snitsky, hard strikers like Carlito and Cody Rhodes, and overall tough guys in JBL and Hardcore Holly. Surprisingly, the makeshift team worked well under duress, but the numbers game and an opportunistic Triple H were too much to bear for the two future legends. It was a memorable rival team-up nonetheless.
Cesaro and Sheamus
GM Mick Foley made an intriguing move on the 9/26/16 episode of RAW when he offered the then-heel Sheamus and the then-babyface Cesaro a shot at the RAW Tag Team Championship. Prior to this, the two were engaged in a hard-hitting rivalry that gave us an exciting best-of-seven series (one of which took place in WWE Live Manila). Obviously, both men didn’t appreciate the gesture and resented each other even more.
Little did they know that this would spark the genesis of one of the most dominant tag teams today. Sheamus and Cesaro ended up becoming multiple RAW Tag Team Champions before being shipped to SmackDown Live in 2018, proving that not every makeshift tag team ends up splitting after a week or two. Let’s just say the two set the bar for future tag teams to follow. Get it?
The Rock and Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho shook WWE to its core when he made his heart-stopping debut in a 1999 of RAW, undermining The Rock in the process. Since then, the two never saw each other eye to eye. They were bitter rivals for years, and the rivalry culminated in No Mercy 2001, when Chris Jericho defeated The Rock to win the WCW Championship. Needless to say, the tension between the two was palpable.
This was weird because on the 10/22/01 episode of RAW, or 24 hours after their WCW Championship match, Jericho and The Rock were forced to team up against The Alliance’s Dudley Boyz for the World Tag Team Championships. This wonderful dream team only lasted for five days as they ended up losing the tag titles to Booker T and Test. It’s a shame this didn’t last long. Imagine the verbal savagery they could have inflicted on the entire tag team division.
John Cena and Shawn Michaels
John Cena has won tag team gold with his rivals in the past, but none of his partners were as prolific as Shawn Michaels. Their rivalry for the WWE Championship back in 2007 produced memorable matches, with their epic 40-minute match in London immediately coming to mind. But on the 1/29/07 episode of RAW, months before they clashed at WrestleMania 23, they were forced to team up against Rated RKO for the World Tag Team Championships.
The seemingly functional dream team of Cena and Michaels were able to capture tag team gold., ut if anything, the titles they won added to the the dynamic of their classic storyline. Michaels ended their reign in style as he casually threw Cena over the top rope in a tag team battle royale on the 4/2/07 episode of RAW. In a parallel universe, these two could have ended up becoming the best tag team in the planet. Someone build a portal to that dimension, stat.
Daniel Bryan and Kane
Before Daniel Bryan started the Yes Movement, he was out there hugging it out with Kane. On the 8/27/12 episode of RAW, GM AJ Lee enrolled the two in anger management classes as part of their weird love triangle storyline. What resulted was a series of funny segments that made a character out of the repressed Dr. Shelby. You know, the guy currently helping out Sasha Banks and Bayley? That, and they also produced a formidable yet always bickering team.
Team Hell No may have been the definition of dysfunctional five years ago, but Bryan and Kane endeared themselves to the WWE Universe with their undeniable chemistry and comedic timing. And to think these two started hanging out in therapy? Only the best Superstars can make this seemingly lame gimmick work. Who else is excited to see them go “I am the SmackDown Tag Team Champions” at Extreme Rules?