2017 has been a great year for tag team wrestling, with even the once barren wasteland of the WWE tag division managing to flourish. It has also been a year where a lot of teams either had a great a great first half to the year, or a great second half, be it because of injury, break ups, or even visa issues. I will be focusing on match quality, ability as a team, and how well they play their gimmick. I watch a lot of wrestling but by no means have I watched it all so there may well be teams that I have missed, or you may well not agree with my ranking. Either way let me know in the comments. Let's do this.
30. OI4K/oVe (Jake & Dave Crist) - Independent
While OI4K are by no means my favourite team they have had some really good matches this year, a lot of which were in 6-man tags with Sami Callihan. They held a number of titles this year, including the TNA/Impact/GFW/whatever tag titles while wrestling as oVe. Jake Crist does possess one of the sweetest cutters in the business though.
29. Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr) - NJPW
KES are a team that aren't to everyone's liking, and they frequently appear as though they are half-arsing it, but when they are in there with certain teams they are actually a fun team. Lance Archer spent a large chunk of the year injured, so the team were restricted in their matches this year. They did have a number of good matches for the IWGP tag titles at the end of the year with Guerrillas of Destiny and War Machine.
28. Chosen Bros (Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb) - Independent
Now, this is a team that would be much higher in this list if they had more than 7 matches this year. Riddle and Cobb are both excellent wrestlers and this team is a blast to watch in PWG, having great matches almost every time they perform. Their match with Keith Lee & Donovan Dijak at Battle of Los Angeles is fantastic and they recently won the PWG tag titles from the Lucha Bros in another excellent match.
27. Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) - ROH
Shelley and Sabin have been a consistently good team for years and while they haven't had the high level of matches that they have had in previous years, they have been a team that puts in good performances on a regular basis. Their best match this year came against the Young Bucks at ROH Death Before Dishonor XV.
As I mentioned in the intro I'm giving points for playing the gimmick and these two play the gimmick like nobody else. The Fashion Files segments are mostly great fun to watch and both of them put their all into it and seem to really be enjoying themselves. They are a pretty good team in the ring too but they don't get that many opportunities to show it.
25. Catch Point (Fred Yehi & Tracy Williams) - Independent
Things are about to get slightly odd as there is about to be 2 teams with the same name. They are both from the same faction but have different members. The Yehi/Williams team is probably the better of the two from an in ring standpoint but they were less active as a team. The two Catch Point teams had a really good Evolve title match against each other.
24. CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) - Independent
CCK have been travelling everywhere plying their trade this year, from ATTACK! Pro Wrestling to CZW. In their first appearance in PROGRESS they were treated to a hero's welcome and they proceeded to have a number of high quality matches in the company on the following shows. Their matches with British Strong Style were well worth checking out.
23. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Barreta) - NJPW & ROH
This is the first of two appearances on this list for Trent Barreta. This team started the year with a match against the Young Bucks, where Barreta took one hell of a bump from the ring to the floor. In fact it was against the Young Bucks that most of their best matches this year came, though one of those matches also featured the Hardy Boyz prior to their return to WWE.
22. Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark Briscoe) - ROH & NJPW
I know some people don't like the look of the Briscoes but I think it's great. They have had much better years than this but they have still been a team that you can be assured will put on good performances regularly. Their best match this year was probably an 8-man Bullet Club vs Chaos tag match in ROH in February, though their match with Ringkampf in wXw was great too.
21. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) - NJPW
I'm going to get this out of the way now, Tama Tonga is possibly the coolest looking wrestler in the world. GoD are another team that is involved in both great and interminable matches. Consistency isn't their friend. They are an incredibly hard working team though, having wrestled in over 80 matches this year, while consistently being at the top of the NJPW tag division. When they are on they are great.
20. SAnitY (Eric Young, Killian Dain & Alexander Wolfe) - WWE
SAnitY are the first team on this list that make use of the Freebird rule. I didn't include Nikki Cross because she isn't part of the actual tag team. They have made the gimmick work and have been involved in a number of great matches, delivering on every NXT TakeOver event. They had a cracking match with the Authors of Pain in Brooklyn and were involved in the first major WarGames match in 20 years.
19. Catch Point (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) - Independent
Here are the other Catch Point team. They were more active than the Yehi/Williams and had a great year. They were involved in the Evolve tag title picture throughout the year, and their matches against the South Pacific Power Trip on WrestleMania weekend and Evolve 91 were both fantastic and they have become one of the most reliable acts in Evolve.
18. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) - WWE
There is absolutely no doubt that the Revival would be much higher on this list if they had managed to stay healthy throughout the year. There are very few, if any, teams that have the chemistry and ability that Dawson & Wilder have. They started off the year with a feud against #DIY and followed up with a sensational triple threat tag match at NXT TakeOver: Orlando. Their debut on the main roster was excellent too. Hopefully the injury bug is behind them and they can have a huge 2018.
17. Ringkampf (WALTER, Timothy Thatcher & Axel Dieter Jr) - Independent
Ringkampf is a team that started in wXw in Germany but is getting the attention they deserve in the wrestling world as a whole. For the first half of the year the team featured Axel Dieter Jr, who was then signed by WWE, while the second half was restricted to WALTER and Timothy Thatcher. Whichever pairing went out on any given night they always put in a strong showing. On a side note, Alexander Wolfe from SAnitY used to be in this faction.
16. Best Friends (Trent Barreta & Chuck Taylor) - NJPW & Independent
The second appearance of Mr Barreta on this list. I would place this team higher, as their chemistry and ability is off the chart, but they haven't had a great deal of matches this year. In fact they have more than doubled them in the last month with their New Japan World Tag League run. Their matches against Sabre Jr & Scurll in PWG, and Cobb and Elgin in NJPW are both exceptional and are well worth checking out. Both men have had great years in singles action too.
Check back tomorrow for the second part of this list.