The guys over at Indy Power Rankings have listed the top 50 tag teams on the independent wrestling circuit for 2014! Take a look and see if your favorite team made the cut and which teams you should be paying attention to for the year 2015. The list also has a special three part podcast featuring teams from the top 50.
It’s the end of the year/start of a new one so it’s that time! Below is the first annual 2014 Tag Team Top 50 which for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a collection of 50 independent wrestling tag teams based on their previous rankings throughout the year to date. Their rankings in the Tag Team Top 50 are 100% based on where they have been ranked in the Tag Team Top 5 this year. This is not our opinion of who the best tag teams (or “workers”) in the world are based on who we think had the best matches, nor is it a list of names we sat down and collected at the end of the year. Rather, this is a mathematical compilation of how well these talents have done this year based on their rankings throughout the year and the 3 major criteria that we use to rank wrestlers on a weekly basis:
1. Win-loss record for the week & overall
2. Strength of opponents for the week
3. Overall public perception of the wrestler in question (i.e. Young Bucks have a stronger following than a regional independent wrestler who most people have never heard of)
In 2014, we ranked/mentioned 321 tag teams. Out of those 321 tag teams, this list of 50 were the cream of the crop as far as how good their year was in terms of the 3 criteria we rank independent tag teams based on. With that being said, here’s the 2014 Tag Team Top 50:
1. The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter)-This may come as a surprise to some, but very few teams hustled to get booked more places and as frequently as this Midwest-based tag team. With consistent teaming came consistent success in 2014 as they won the JCW Tag Team Titles twice and on two separate occasions held three sets of tag team titles at once. They received (and won) a long-awaited match vs. The Young Bucks at St. Louis Anarchy during the Summer of 2014 and continued that success with several tours of Mexico. They also made their debut at Beyond Wrestling in Rhode Island where they achieved some critical success, as well. Their consistency was truly the key to their #1 ranking as they were not a part-time tag team by any means. Singles success was virtually non-existent and irrelevant to them as they focused 100% on their tag team goals. In 2014 they had 5 number one rankings, 8 number two rankings, 7 number four rankings, 4 number five rankings, and 11 mentions without being ranked. If 2014 was any indication, 2015 could be the year when the whole planet knows about the Bearded Bullies (@BeardedBullys).
2. reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)-Perhaps no team was more successful on the biggest stage than the team who held the ROH World Tag Team Titles and the IWGP Junior Tag Team Titles in 2014. It was a slow start to the year, but they really picked up the pace in the last 4-6 months of the year to break the record set by Juicy Product with NINE #1 rankings. With wins vs. the likes of The Young Bucks, The Addiction/Bad Influence, and many, many other GREAT independent wrestling tag teams, they had arguably the very best year of anyone in the Tag Team Top 50. Heading into 2015 they even picked up the HRW Tag Team Titles (which counts towards next year’s Tag Team Top 50) right at the end of the year. We truly hope that they continue to team outside of ROH & NJPW so that we see them again in the Tag Team Top 5 in 2015! Their year consisted of 9 number one rankings, 3 number two rankings, 3 number three rankings, 3 number five rankings, and 1 mention without being ranked.
3. Juicy Product (JT Dunn & David Starr)-At one point in 2014, this tag team held FOUR sets of tag team titles as they swept through promotion after promotion, winning their tag team titles. They held the FIP, CZW, NYWC, and WSU Tag Team Titles all at once…owning much of the summer and beyond. That being said, some singles goals and a little bit of personal drama (not to be mentioned here) may have shut down the team from truly reaching some higher goals going forward as a team. We hope to see them teaming again in 2015, but if not, you cannot take away how amazing their 2014 was as a team. Historic, even. In 2014 they racked up 8 number one rankings, 2 number two rankings, 1 number three ranking, 1 number four ranking, and 6 mentions without being ranked. They also won one of the online voting competitions at one point.
4. Team IOU (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy)-This team BURST onto the scene in 2014. Yes, they had been teaming before that, but they truly started to get noticed in 2014 after a very successful run with the NWA SAW Southern Tag Team Titles that saw them defending the titles week in and week out in Tennessee. That combined with big victories at CCW and IWA Mid-South (among others) along with some of the most devoted fans in the entire country helped Team IOU have an absolutely STELLAR year. On top of all their many rankings, due to their massive fan support, they won TWELVE online voting competitions. This was a record among all teams. Look for a hell of a lot more of them in 2015 as they have already stated that they are looking to put their nose to the grindstone to continue to achieve their goals. In 2014 “a boy and his dog” picked up 5 number one rankings, 2 number two rankings, 1 number four ranking, 3 number five rankings, and SEVENTEEN (a record) mentions without being ranked. Follow @TeamIOU on Twitter and YouTube!
5. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)-To many, this may seem like a very low ranking for arguably the best tag team in the world. Look at their 2014 a bit closer and you’ll see why they weren’t just a bit higher. While they certainly made huge waves all over the planet, they were on the losing end in a lot of battles, playing second fiddle to some of the local talent where ever they may be flown in. Don’t let that take away from their 2014 as they continued to gain notoriety around the world after they even added the ROH World Tag Team Titles (briefly) to their collection of tag team titles over the last few years. At the end of the day, where ever they ended up this year does not change the fact that they are ABSOLUTELY one of the very best tag teams in the entire world. In 2014 they scored 1 number one ranking, 5 number two rankings, 2 number three rankings, 1 number four ranking, 1 number five ranking, and eleven mentions without being ranked. What more can be said about this team? We hope they continue the independent grind in 2015.
6. OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist)
7. BULLET CLUB (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows)
8. London Riots (Rob Lynch & James Davis)
9. World’s Cutest Tag Team (Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae)
10. Men of the Year (Michael Elgin & Ethan Page)
11. Michael Hayes & Mohamad Ali Vaez
12. The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Mark Angelosetti)
13. Bravado Bros (Harlem & Lancelot Bravado)
14. Country Jacked (Corey Hollis & Adam Page)
15. Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante)
16. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA)
17. Los Ben Dejos/Team Lucha (Eddie Rios & Jay Cruz)
18. The Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Myers & T-Money)
19. Iron Godz (Jax Dane & Rob Conway)
20. Paul London & Brian Kendrick
21. The Decade (Roderick Strong, BJ Whitmer, & Jimmy Jacobs)
22. The Killbillies (Aric Andrews & Evan Banks)
23. Viking War Party (Alexandre Rudolph & Jake Parnell)
24. Devastation Corporation (McMassive, Flex, Smashmaster)
25. Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David Delorean)
26. F1rst Generation (Victor Andrews & James Anthony)
27. Reno SCUM (Adam Thornstowe & Luster the Legend)
28. The Forgotten (BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs)
29. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer)
30. PPRay (Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas)
31. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
32. Helter Skelter (Alex Castle & Markus Crane)
33. The Hystars (Atlas Hytower & Lance Star)
34. The Soul Shooters (Dru Skillz & Appollo Starr)
35. Dylan Bostic & Roberto De Luna
36. Hot and Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr. & Da Mack)
37. The Painkillers (Jacob & Donnie Hollows)
38. Rage and the Machine (Michael McAllister & Mecha Mercenary)
39. AC/DC (Arik Cannon & Darin Corbin)
40. Bad Influence/The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian)
41. HammerStein (Joseph Schwartz & Chuck Stein)
42. #MOTN Lions (Marc Hauss & Nick Ando)
43. Amazing Red & Crimson
44. Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)
45. Best Friends (Trent ? & Chuck Taylor)
46. Chicks Using Nasty Tastics (Kimber Lee & Annie Social)
47. Just Uz (Stevie Xavier & B.T. Gunn)
48. McKenzie Brothers (Bodhi & Byron McKenzie)
49. Premier Athlete Brand (Caleb Konley & Trent ?)
50. Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry)
As we did last year, we announced the 2014 LIVE on Weekly Wrestling Podcast. This year, we announced the Tag Team Top 50 LIVE on Filling the Void Radio Network with HUGE guests coming on to get their rankings and talk about their 2014 & 2015 coming up. Rather than have us explain every ranking to you, it’s best to listen to the shows!
Guests on the shows:
12/29-Tessa Blanchard, Lee Byford, Jesse Amato, Hudson Envy, Benjamin Kimera, Jake Dirden, Ruby Raze, Shane Mercer, Corey Hollis, Adam Page, Lince Dorado, Benjamin Kimera, Ron Mathis, Gary Jay
12/30 (Tag Team Top 50)-Devin Cutter of The Hooligans, f1rst Generation (James Anthony & Victor Andrews), Country Jacked (Corey Hollis & Adam Page), Dave & Jake Crist of OI4K, The Soul Shooters (Appollo Starr & Dru Skillz), Nick Iggy of Team IOU, The Viking War Party (Alex Rudolph & Jake Parnell), Marc Hauss of #MOTN Lions, Joseph Schwartz of HammerStein, Alex Castle of Helter Skelter, Reno Scum (Adam Thornstowe & Luster the Legend), Los Ben Dejos/Team Lucha (Eddie Rios & Jay Cruz), Devastation Corporation (McMassive & Smashmaster)
12/30 (IPR 100)-Chase Owens, Chase Matthews, Heidi Lovelace, James Anthony, Aaron Williams, Ron Mathis, Arik Royal, Shane Strickland, Joey Janela, Mickie Knuckles, Hy Zaya
12/31-Josef Von Schmidt, David Starr, John Wayne Murdoch, Jason Kincaid, Kongo Kong/Osyris with Rodney Rush, Caleb Konley, Matt Cage
Big shout out to Puro Gear who helped sponsor all of the big shows. Give them a follow on Twitter @purowear and buy their shirts at teespring.com/purolaunch
Also search “Indy Power Rankings” for our open Facebook group where anyone on the indies can promote their various merchandise, fan pages, and upcoming events
Our Instagram where we SPOIL the Indy Power Rankings/Tag Team Top 5 every week!