Watching this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, including a brawl between The OGz and LAX, following up on their incredible bout at Slammiversary, got me thinking.
Where exactly do Homicide and Hernandez stack up amongst Impact’s best ever tag teams?
After originally utilising the NWA World Tag Team Championships in the early years of the company, the current tag team titles came into existence in 2007. Since then they’ve had a variety of names and have been held by 35 different teams for a total of 49 reigns. The shortest reign belongs to Kazarian and Eric Young, who held the belts for under a day, whilst the longest reign was Beer Money’s fourth in 2011, spanning 212 days.
A number of great tag teams have come and gone over the years, often disappearing and staging multiple comebacks, and Hernandez and Homicide are currently enjoying an excellent renaissance of their own, 12 years on from their first reign with the NWA titles as the original incarnation of LAX. As such, I thought for this week’s column I’d look at six other great teams from the Impact annals before giving my opinion on where I think this Hernandez and Homicide tandem fit in.
Honourable mentions go to teams from the early days of Impact like The Naturals, 3Live Kru and Triple X as well as teams of a more recent vintage like Bad Influence, the Dirty Heels and Decay. It is also worth mentioning the current LAX team of Santana & Ortiz, who seem to be coming into their own and if they keep up their current output level, could outstrip most who’ve gone before them.
America’s Most Wanted
The tandem of ‘The Wildcat’ Chris Harris and ‘The Cowboy’ James Storm, the team that put the Impact tag team division on the map. AMW are probably the best team Impact has ever had for a variety of reasons. They were always compelling, engaging in some brilliant feuds with The Disciples of the New Church, Team Canada and of course Triple X, notably highlighted by that Six Sides of Steel bout in 2004. Their consistency and longevity, holding the belts five times for a combined 517 days between 2002 and 2006, also gives them an advantage over many other teams.
AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels
Whilst both men enjoyed considerable success as singles competitors, their run as a team in 2006 was so good that they are worthy of consideration. The two men were and are tremendous in-ring competitors and their high-paced offence gelled so well together, making their matches crisp and dynamic. They managed to win the old NWA belts twice, enjoying an excellent feud with Homicide and Hernandez highlighted by their Ultimate X match at No Surrender in 2006.
Whilst I’m less of a fan of the Dudleys than many, it is hard to deny that Team 3D were a key part of Impact’s tag team scene between 2007 and 2010. They were the inaugural holders of the current tag belts, and of only two teams to win both different tag titles used in the company. They had entertaining clashes with the Motor City Machine Guns and Ink Inc during their reigns that put them amongst the teams that stand out most.
Motor City Machine Guns
One of the great disappointments looking back at the history of Impact is that Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin only had one reign with the tag team titles. That was back in 2010 and lasted 182 days, making it the fifth longest in company history. Sabin and Shelley were wildly entertaining and excellent no matter who they were in the ring with. They had a long feud with Generation Me (The Young Bucks) in 2010 and early 2011 and whilst Shelley has recently retired and Sabin lost a few years to injury, they should be given tremendous credit for their work.
One of the company’s more recent success stories. Snapped up when the WWE didn’t seem to want them, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards were rightfully positioned as the team to beat from the get-go. In a little under two years, the tandem managed to win the belts on five occasions, totalling over 400 days. Both men suffered injuries during those runs but they were a breath of fresh air in a company that was desperately short of inspiration. Perhaps the highlight of their run was the five-match series with the Dirty Heels team of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode that culminated in them beginning their fourth reign.
Beer Money, Inc.
Another one of Impact’s legendary tag teams, again featuring James Storm. Beer Money were front and centre of Impact when I began watching the company in early 2009 and were a key factor in me remaining interested. Both men thrived in a tag team setting and the team worked equally well as faces and heels. They’ve had reigns in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2016 and at 514 days, they’ve held the current titles longer than anyone else. A brilliant team with some quite brilliant entrance music.
So where do Homicide and Hernandez stack up with these teams? Alongside Team 3D they are the only team to have held both the NWA and TNA/Impact tag team titles, and like a couple of the other teams they’ve managed to come and go over the past decade and remain hot and interesting. Consistently when put in big spots they’ve delivered and whilst both men now have considerable miles on the clock and aren’t what they were earlier in their careers, they showed at Slammiversary that they’ve still got an awful lot to give this industry. Hernandez has enjoyed tag team reigns with Matt Morgan, Anarquia and Chavo Guerrero but none of them came close to the bond he had with Homicide and consistently the best tag team feuds in this company have usually enjoyed the boys from the clubhouse.
At the moment I’d put this combination as #3 in a list of these teams, behind AMW and Beer Money but ahead of the Wolves, Team 3D and the Motor City Machine Guns. However, depending on the length of this run and what they manage to achieve alongside Santana & Ortiz, that may change.
Hasta la muerte, y despues!
The Week in Review
- This week’s episode was not good. Four tag team matches and only one singles matches that was basically an angle, it’s not a surprise that viewership dropped below 250,000 for the first time in 2018.
- The current Grado/Joe Hendry/Katarina storyline isn’t for me and it’s a poor use of Eli Drake, but I am all for Grado being as Scottish as possible. It’s of great amusement that he managed to use the word ‘fud’ on a TV wrestling show. It’s yersel.
- Whilst this week deserves to be panned as a poor show, I did enjoy the main event between OvE and the Lucha Brothers. Fenix and Pentagon are so good and I think the Crists are currently doing some of their best ever work.
- I thought the character development this week with Scarlett Bordeaux couldn’t have been any more cringe, but the bit at the end with Killer Kross was superb.
- Next week we’ve got Austin Aries vs Eddie Edwards for the world title (on the back of two weeks of minimal build, I might add), The Desi Hit Squad against Taiji Ishimori and Petey Williams, Matt Sydal against Pentagon Jr and Alisha Edwards taking on Tessa Blanchard.
Well, until next time…