WWE created the Ruthless Aggression as a way to introduce the viewers to some changes headed their way. New stars were being made after Steve Austin and The Rock retired with a youth movement in the main event picture elevating talents like Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Batista. The tag team division also endured many changes with things like the brand split creating a new atmosphere.
There were some instances of tag acts that thrived in the big picture, but WWE often ended them due to wanting to ride with the hot singles acts. Fans noticed some rare acts ending without a big payoff or conclusion to their time working together. WWE had the following tag teams from the Ruthless Aggression Era disappear into nowhere.
10 The Basham Brothers
WWE had high hopes for the Basham Brothers after both wrestlers appeared to be standouts in OVW. The top developmental prospects becoming a team made sense when WWE called them up to play the Basham Brothers tag team with a few bold gimmick choices.
Doug and Danny Basham won WWE Tag Team Championship gold both in the dominatrix act of Shaniqua bossing them around and in JBL’s Cabinet faction as his lackeys. WWE putting gold on them showed the confidence, but fans never got behind them. The Basham Brothers got released and disappeared after a lackluster TNA stint was their final chance.
9 The Highlanders
The Highlanders appeared to be slated to become a future top babyface tag team since WWE was giving them a lot of television time. Rory and Robbie played into their Scottish backgrounds by wrestling in kilts and cutting promos that showed their characters had a lower ceiling.
WWE lost all faith in pushing the Highlanders when Robbie was caught on camera attending a TNA television show of all places. The Highlanders lost their push and eventually got released. Their hope was to have another run lasting longer on the independent circuit, but it didn’t pan out as they disappeared into oblivion.
8 Paul London & Brian Kendrick
Many fans felt that Paul London and Brian Kendrick were the kind of tag team act that would have worked just as well in TNA, ROH or New Japan after WWE. Their push in WWE saw them having the longest WWE Tag Team Championship reign of the Ruthless Aggression Era.
WWE just didn’t fully believe in London and Kendrick to never treat them like a long-term act. The eventual end saw them reuniting on the independent scene after WWE released them both. London and Kendrick didn’t accomplish much outside of WWE as a team, as they had a personal falling out and have all but disappeared from wrestling.
7 The Heart Throbs
WWE got into a phase of introducing quite a few new teams using heel heat to get quick reactions. The Heart Throbs mocking the appearance and intelligence of each live show’s audience led to them getting boos, but it wasn’t ever in a captivating story or noteworthy moments.
Romeo and Antonio had a short shelf life as a secondary tag team on the Raw brand. Ruthless Aggression Era viewers were starting to phase out the outdated acts. The Heart Throbs fall under that umbrella with a lackluster stint on the independent circuit leading to little success before disappearing.
The Shane Twins joined WWE hoping to utilize their impressive and nearly identical looks in the biggest promotion. WWE repackaged them as Gymini hoping to tap into a weight shaming heel gimmick of the fit wrestlers mocking the looks of others.
Gymini couldn’t get over at all with WWE trying a few different methods of tapping into heel heat. Simon Dean joined them as their leader, but the entire storyline was a misfire. Gymini flopped badly in WWE, and they could never rebound for success in another promotion.
5 La Resistance
WWE tried to use politics for heat when La Resistance was formed when many Americans took exception to France not supporting any war efforts. Rene Dupree and Sylvan Grenier were portrayed as cowardly heel characters, but they did manage to win the World Tag Team Championship.
La Resistance changed a few times with Rob Conway eventually joining, and Dupree leaving the act in the brand split draft for a singles push. WWE eventually cut bait with all three members when growing tired of the predictable heel gimmick. Conway and Grenier tried to keep the team going outside of WWE, but they just disappeared with weak results.
4 Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Both Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch were treated as higher end prospects when getting called up to the main roster together. WWE viewed their heel tag team as having strong potential to exist for years, and they were pushed hard enough to win the World Tag Team Championship on three occasions.
Cade and Murdoch did have chemistry, but WWE’s tag team division was so weak at the time. WWE couldn’t book them in strong feuds or matches in that climate. Both guys ended up getting released faster than expected and having a short indie run ending their tag team for good.
3 Spirit Squad
Another group of names that felt like top prospects to get called up together was the Spirit Squad. However, WWE decided to go with five different heel wrestlers this time of all unknown young talents feuding with names like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Big Show and Kane.
The Spirit Squad ended in under a year when D-Generation X embarrassed them past the point of ever coming back from it. Various versions of the group tried to form tag teams since Dolph Ziggler was the only one to have a longer WWE career. None of the other Spirit Squad teams lasted before they all disappeared into oblivion.
2 The Mexicools
WWE wanted to make the trio of Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis and Super Crazy a popular act as the Mexicools obviously playing into their background from Mexico. Unfortunately, everything about the gimmick came off insulting with negative stereotypes and bad comedy.
All three members were elite wrestlers, but fans couldn’t care about it with this gimmick failing them as a team. Super Crazy stuck around longer on his own after Psychosis and Juventud got released. There were various attempts by the remaining three wrestlers to keep teaming internationally, but they were all better off alone.
1 World’s Greatest Tag Team
WWE found the perfect tag team of newcomers Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin working in Team Angle under Kurt Angle’s leadership. Benjamin and Haas both being young hungry rookies with amateur wrestling backgrounds made them perfectly similar to get over. The World’s Greatest Tag Team Moniker only lasted a short while before WWE split up the team since they always viewed Shelton as the star.
Benjamin getting released years after Haas saw them wanting to have a longer run and even winning tag gold in Ring of Honor. Unfortunately, they also started to grow stale and became an afterthought by the end of the run. Shelton achieved more success without Haas when getting to rebuild his career in Japan.