#1 The Xperience (John Skyler & Gunner)-John Skyler & Gunner get their first taste of #1 in tag team competition as for a second straight year, the SWA Rhymer Cup has produced the official #1 in the Tag Team Top 5. In Round 1 they defeated James Ryan & Michael Spencer on 3/11, then beat CC Godell & TJ Boss in Round 2 on 3/12, then defeated ADHD-Attention Deficit Hillbilly Disorder (Stumpy & Jamie Lee) in Round 3, and then beat High Profile (Will Demented & Shea Shea McGrady) and A Case of the Killjoys (Ethan Case & Rob Killjoy) in a Triple Threat Final to win the tournament. Their perfect 4-0 weekend was then ruined by The Revolt when they teamed with Corey Hollis, Adam Page, & CW Anderson in WAR GAMES at PWX on 3/13. A 4-0 weekend as a 2-man team and 4-1 overall…is absolutely amazing given the fact that they competed in 5 matches in 3 days. Props to this impressive tag team who could really make a splash in some of the promotions around the Carolinas if they put their minds to it.
#2 Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto)-The Daily Sports, JWP, and International Ribbon Tag Team Champions get their first-ever ranking this week after a solid week in Japan. They defeated Hanako Nakamori & Makoto at JWP on 3/9 to retain both the JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Titles and then beat Maki Narumiya and Risa Sera at Ice Ribbon on 3/11 to retain the Ribbon Tag Team Titles. A 2-0 record on another not so great week in tag team wrestling helps them this week. This has honestly been a year where no teams have truly dominated, but that has opened up a lot of opportunities for rankings for teams that have been flying under the radar prior to 2016. This is one of those teams.
#3 Taishi Takizama & Kotaro Yoshino-We’ve got three for three in the top three as we have three first-timers to the Tag Team Top 5. This tag team gets their first ranking after they defeated Taka Michinoku & Hi-69 at K-Dojo on 3/13 in the semifinals of the BO-SO Golden Tag Team Tournament and then defeated Tank Nagai & Yuma in the finals to win the tournament to go 2-0 for the week. This is a team that has popped up out of nowhere on a week where you don’t see teams like The Hooligans or The Young Bucks doing big things, which helped to open up spots for new teams. Japan produced two of the top 3 teams this week…and maybe more? Read on…
#4 Happy Motel (Konosuke Takeshita & Tetsuya Endo)-This is a team that has really been mentioned quite a bit in 2016, but really had yet to break through with a good ranking. They get a decent ranking at #4 this week after they defeated Hiroshi Fukuda & SAGAT at DDT on 3/8 and then defeated Kazusada Higuchi & Shunma Katsumata on 3/13 to go 2-0 for the week. After two mentions in 2016, they finally get their first official ranking which could help propel them into the Tag Team Top 50 in 2016. If they can build on this momentum, they have a great shot at a very high ranking this year.
#5 Monster Express (Akira Tozawa & Masato Yoshino)-The only familiar faces we see in the Tag Team Top 5 this week come to us from a familiar place…Dragon Gate. The #3 team in the 2015 Tag Team Top 50 get just their second ranking this year this week…but it’s an important one. With so much parity in this year’s tag team rankings, consistency is key. They just edge out another Monster Express combination for the #5 spot after defeating Don Fujii and Kaito Ishida on 3/11 and then Over Generation (El Lindaman and Kaito Ishida) to go 2-0 for the week. They are the FOURTH team from Japan to get ranked this week, meaning that 4 of the 5 official rankings come to us from The Land of the Rising Sun. Japan appeared to be down a bit in terms of tag team wrestling earlier this year, but they are definitely not out.
People’s Champs. Elvis Harrison & Orión-We get Spanish representation in the People’s Champs spot again this week as this tag team got onto the ballot by defending and retaining their WWW Tag Team Titles vs. Lethal Tackle 2.0 on 3/12 in Spain. They then collected 32 votes to win the online voting competition for the second time as a team. Their last win was on the week of December 28th, 2015 which actually counts towards the 2016 Tag Team Top 50. With them racking up fan votes and mentions, there’s no doubt that consistent teaming could land them in this year’s Top 50.
Just missing out/Others Receiving Votes:
Monster Express (T-Hawk & Big R)
Team NRG-#2 in the online voting competition with 22 votes
Shean Christopher & Ace Haven
Onita & Hosaka
Sadist & Ben McCoy
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Listen to the 2015 Tag Team Top 50 Reveal here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2016/01/01/indy-power-rankings-2015-tagteamtop50-reveal