Ten Best Tag Teams of All Time: Number 2
They grew up as childhood friends– even if they were depicted as brothers early in their careers. Adam Copeland, better known as Edge, and William James Reso , Christian, would go on to form one of the greatest tag teams in professional wrestling history.
In the 1990s, Copeland and Reso wrestled and formed a tag team in the Canadian independent circuit using the names of Sexton Hardcastle and Christian Cage, respectively. By 1998, they would win the Insane Championship Wrestling Streetfight Tag Team Championship twice and the Southern States Wrestling Tag Team Championship once before their eventual signing with World Wrestling Federation.
On the June 22, 1998 episode of Raw is War, Edge made his debut as loner-type who emerged through the crowd. In no time at all, he began a feud with Gangrel. At In Your House: Breakdown, during a match with Owen Hart, a character looking a lot like Edge came out and distracted Edge, allowing Hart to gain the victory. This character was revealed to be Christian, Edge’s storyline brother, and Gangrel’s vampire follower. After some confrontations, Edge “came home” and joined Christian and Gangrel to create the stable known as the Brood.
For a time, the Brood joined the Ministry of Darkness but left after Christian was flogged and nearly sacrificed for revealing Stephanie McMahon’s whereabouts to the Corporation’s Ken Shamrock. After a short feud with the Ministry, Edge was kicked out of the Brood and attacked by Gangrel. Though Christian was told to do the same, he turned on Gangrel and joined his “brother” to create a tag team– turning them “face.”
Shortly after leaving the Brood, they began their first feud against the Hardy Boyz– who had joined Gangrel to create the New Brood. Even as part of the Brood, the Hardys were more interested in winning the managerial services (and $100,000) of Terri Runnels through the Terri Runnels Invitational against Edge and Christian– a best-of-five series of matches to determine the winner. Edge and Christian would win the first two matches before the Hardys won the next two. The fifth match would be a Ladder Match at No Mercy. Gangrel attempted to interfere but would fail and the Hardy Boyz would come out victorious.
Shortly after winning the services of Runnels, the Hardys would turn face. In order to continue the natural progression of the feud, Edge and Christian became heel. They would also change their personalities into comedic, surfer-style characters. Their comedic antics included making fun of their opponents and whatever town they happened to be in, or by creating new phrases (such as “reeks of awesomeness”). Their most famous antic was the unforgettable “five second pose”– in which they would pose in odd or comedic poses for five seconds for those in the crowd “with the benefit of flash photography.” They were involved in several matches with the Hardy Boyz at Survivor Series and No Way Out.
At Wrestlemania 2000, they defeated defending champs the Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz in a Triangle Ladder Match for their first WWF Tag Team Championship. At Backlash, they retained their titles against the D-generation X team of X-Pac and Road Dogg Jesse James. After beginning a feud with Too Cool (Scotty too Hotty, Grand Master Sexay, and Rikishi), they would drop the titles to Scotty and Sexay at the May 29, 2000 edition of Raw is War.
At King of the Ring, they would beat Too Cool, the Hardys, and T & A (Test and Albert) in a Four Corners Elimination Match to regain the tag titles. At SummerSlam, Edge and Christian would take on the Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz in the first-ever Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) Match for the tag titles. Edge and Christian would come out on top and retain the belts. In celebration, they would hold a special “37-second pose” in which four midgets depicting both the Dudleys and Hardys bowed to Edge and Christian.
After losing the belts to the Hardys at Unforgiven and lose the right to challenge for the titles after losing the rematch in a ladder match, Edge and Christian would disguise themselves as Los Conquistadores and defeat the Hardys at No Mercy to again possess the Tag Team belts. However, the very next night, Los Conquistadores would come out to defeat Edge and Christian for the belts. In a nice twist, Los Conquistadores would unmask themselves to reveal they were in fact the Hardy Boyz.
They would win their fourth WWF Tag titles at Armageddon, by defeating Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan and the Goodfather), the Dudleys, and the makeshift team of Road Dogg and K-Kwik in a Four Corners Match. A week later they would drop the belts against The Rock and the Undertaker, but regain shortly thereafter. At Royal Rumble, however, they lost the titles to the Dudleys.
They would aid the Hardys in winning the belts from the Dudleys, only to get the belts from the Hardys two weeks later. That would set up the final historic encounter with the Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz. At Wrestlemania X-Seven, the three teams would face off against each other in the second TLC Match. During the match, Spike Dudley would interfere on his brothers’ behalf, Lita would enter to assist her Team Xtreme mates the Hardys, and Rhyno would interfere on behalf of real-life childhood friends Edge and Christian. The second TLC match would end up surpassing the first encounter and lead to Edge and Christian winning the belts yet again.
After Edge won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, Christian seemed to become jealous of Edge’s singles success. He would end up attacking Edge and hit him with a “one-man con-chair-to”– a move that Edge and Christian had made famous on their opponents (a double, simultaneous chair shot to the head). They would split up and feud over the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
In 2005, Christian would join Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (TNA) and would win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship twice. Edge would enjoy WWE success that began when he won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 21 and winning the WWE Championship at New Year’s Revolution– his first of eleven reigns as world champ.
Christian would return to WWE in 2009 to win the ECW Championship– his first world title in WWE. On April 15, 2011, Edge would announce his retirement from professional wrestling due to a career-ending neck injury– vacating his World Heavyweight Championship. At the 2011 Extreme Rules, Christian would go on to defeat Alberto Del Rio to win the vacated World Heavyweight title. Edge and Christian would embrace in the ring on final time in celebration. On March 31, 2012, Christian would induct Edge in the WWE Hall of Fame. At the end of Edge’s speech, he did a five second pose to end the ceremony.
If nothing else, Edge and Christian helped to revive the tag team division in WWF/E– along with the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz– and became key cogs in the WWF Attitude Era. Other than their seven WWF Tag Team titles, Edge would win 11 WWF/E world titles, and Christian would four total world titles (two NWA World Heavyweight titles, one ECW title, and one WWE world title) before the eventual retirement of Edge.