The concept of tag team wrestling has always been a huge part of the wrestling industry. A strong singles division is, obviously key, but a great tag team roster can be the difference between success and failure. We can see a great example of this during the Golden Era of WWE. The 1980’s was a huge success for WWE and the tag team division was a massive part of it. The depth of the roster and larger-than-life personalities made it a must-see division that added another layer of excitement to the card. The tag division was so deep that it included teams that were good, teams that were great and teams that were not so great. These teams were separated by many qualities but one of the main ones was their finishing move. There were some truly great tag team finishers in WWE and some that were awful. Here are some examples.

    Worst: Battering Ram (The Bushwhackers) | Tag Team Finishers

    The former Sheepherders were a brutal tag team that would have their opponents quivering in fear. Their run as The Bushwhackers, in WWE, had this nasty streak taken away and they were saddled with a comedy gimmick that never saw them as serious contenders.

    This comedy gimmick led to them having one of the worst tag finishers in WWE history.  Using Lukes head to ram into their opponent never seemed like a serious threat. Especially with the tandem moving at a snail’s pace towards their opponents. It was one that was fitting with their gimmick but one that never saw them as serious contenders.  

    Best: The Doomsday Device (Road Warriors/Legion of Doom) | Tag Team Finishers

    As the Golden Era was coming to close the Legion of Doom already had built a massive reputation. Their runs in the NWA and WCW were epic and included some of the most intense action that anyone had seen before.

    Hawk and Animal used their tremendous size to overwhelm their opponents. Their offense was centered around this strength, and it continued with their finisher. The Doomsday Device was one of the most feared finishers of its day. The agility exhibited by both men as they performed their dazzling high impact maneuver was impressive. It was one of the best of their day and has continued to be one of the best of all-time.

    Worst: Flying Crossbody (The Young Stallions) | Tag Team Finishers

    There were a few teams that used this as a finishing move, but the team of Jim Powers and Paul Roma were the ones that stood out. They were pushed as one of the new great things for a short period, but this push was quickly snubbed out. No one took them as serious contenders and their finish was a big reason for it.

    The crossbody is a cool move to pull off during a match but is not one that should be used as a regular finish. Trying to use this, as a convincing finisher, against the large teams of the Golden Era was a fool’s errand. It made the team look weak and did nothing for their characters. It was a mistake to saddle them with one of the worst tag finishers of the Golden Era.

    Best: Spike Piledriver (The Brain Busters) | Tag Team Finishers

    Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were a fantastic pairing. As a tag team there were few better than the tandem. They worked their matches beautifully and utilized one of the best finishers of the Golden Era, the Spike Piledriver. It was a devasting move that took an already dangerous maneuver and ramped up the intensity.

    Visually the move was one of the better-looking ones. The pile driver was an impressive enough sight but add to that a man jumping off the second turnbuckle and pushing down on the victims’ feet, for more pressure, and you have a truly dangerous move. A move that would have put anyone down for the three count.

    Worst: Double Drop Kick (The Killer Bee’s) | Tag Team Finishers

    B. Brian Blair and Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell didn’t exactly light the world on fire with their Killer Bee’s gimmick. Visually it was an interesting look but one that wasn’t treated seriously by the powers that be or the audience. It also didn’t work that they were given a weak tag finisher.

    A drop kick is an impressive move and looks great, but it isn’t one that would put an opponent down for a three count. Especially in the era of massive men being in a WWE ring. With their high-flying moniker, it would have been better to utilize the top rope for something instead of using a move that most anyone could kick out of.

    Best: Cannonball Crash (The Fabulous Rougeau’s) | Tag Team Finishers

    The All-American boys were a detestable bunch. Led to the ring by Jimmy Hart they would sing along to their entrance theme while waving small American flags. Normally, this would get cheers from the audience, but it was done with such smarminess that everyone watching new it was disingenuous.

    As much as they were hated, as a team, one must marvel at their fantastic finisher. One brother would pick up and hold their opponent facing the top rope while the other would jump off butt first carrying the opponent to the mat. It is a deviation from the Doomsday Device but one that was great. It would surely knock one down for a three count and was a flashy way to end the match.

    The Rougeau’s may not get the credit they deserve in the Golden Era, but they sure should get recognition for one hell of a great finisher.

    Worst: Figure Four Leglock (The Dream Team) | Tag Team Finishers

    The thrown together tag team of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake was a serviceable tag team during their time. They were pushed to the top of the tag team division quickly but there wasn’t much to the team. They wasn’t a ton of chemistry between the two men, and it rolled over into all aspects of their presentation, including their bottom of the barrel finish.

    There was no signature finish from the team, that was the problem. To present the men as a legitimate threat one would assume there would be some tandem offense. There was very little in their repertoire outside of the figure four leglock. A cool move but one that should have included both men. It was a misstep for a team that held the straps for over 200 days.

    Best: The Demolisher (Demolition) | Tag Team Finishers

    Ax and Smash were mainstays of WWE’s tag team roster. They were always near the top of the division and their tag title runs were the thing of legend. Coming to the ring dressed in Mad Max inspired garb was an impressive sight. Everything about their presentation was aggressive and this was a thought process that inspired their devasting Demolisher finish.

    Standing 6’2 and 6’3 respectively and weighing in over 300 lbs both men were massive. This is why their finish was so effective. Smash holding their victim over his knee while Ax drives an elbow into him from the second rope would always be effective, but it was their size that took it to the next level. It was a fantastic sight to see and one that helped their finish to be one of the best of all-time.

    Worst: None… No Really. Andre & Haku didn’t have one (Colossal Connection) | Tag Team Finishers

    The tandem of Andre the Giant and Haku were only around for a short period of time, but they managed to leave one heck of an impression. They captured the tag team championships and engaged in great feud opposite Demolition. As great as this was their aura was hampered by the fact that the team utilized no specific finish.

    With the size and reputation of both men it would have made sense to have some sort of high impact tandem move. Even Andre splashing a man followed by a side kick from Haku would have preferable to nothing. It showed terrible planning for the team and would have gone along way to making them a better fit.

    Best: The Heart Attack (The Hart Foundation) | Tag Team Finishers

    The Hart Foundation will always be considered one of the best tag teams of the Golden Era. Their presentation was so different from others of the era that it was hard not to be drawn to them. Add to that an incredibly impressive movie set and you had megastars.

    Their tandem offence highlighted the strengths of both men. Everything they did was strategized towards the strength of Neidhart and the technical prowess of Hart. This was especially evident in their classic Heart Attack finish.

    The Anvil would hold their opponent up while Hart wound bound off the ropes and deliver a thunderous clothesline. It was an effective finish that also looked great. It used the best attributes of both men and was the measuring stick for all other tag finishers of the Golden Era.