Last year, Pro Wrestling Illustrated created their first-ever ranked tag team list, the PWI Tag Team 50. Now, in 2021, PWI is celebrating their second annual tag team ranking.
Tag teams were evaluated during the period between Nov. 1, 2020 and Oct. 31, 2021. The criteria utilized when ranking teams were momentum, wins and losses, chemistry, creativity, overall activity, and “it” factor.
Teams were required to compete as a unit for a minimum of 10 matches, or at least six matches in six separate months during the evaluation period.
Similar to last year, nine women’s wrestling tag teams made the cut. Below are all nine tag teams, ranked lowest to highest.
#48 – Decay (Havok & Rosemary)
Two members of Decay, Havok and Rosemary, had a scary good year.
A mainstay on IMPACT, the duo dethroned Fire ‘N’ Flava to become the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions in July, holding the belts for a little over three months.
The pair lost the titles to the Impact-debuting The IInspiration in October.
#46 – Natalya & Tamina
Made up of second-generation wrestlers, this team teamed together 30 times during the evaluation period, defeating Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships in May.
The two held the titles for 129 days, marking Tamina’s first real title reign (she held the 24/7 belt for less than a day in 2019).
The team didn’t stay together long, though, after the WWE Draft split the pair up. They last paired together in a losing effort against Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox in mid-October.
#43 – Las Fresa de Egoistas
Two members of the SEAdLINNNG faction Las Fresa de Egoistas had a remarkable year as standouts in a joshi promotion full of stars.
As a team, VENY and Makoto reached the semifinals of the Get A Dream Tournament, and won the Beyond the Sea tag titles from Arisa Nakajima and Nanae Takahashi.
They held the gold for nearly four months, even surviving a lumberjack match against the dynamic Rina Yamashita and Yumiko Hotta.
#41 – Team Sea Stars
Sisters Delmi Exo and Ashley Vox are two of only three female wrestlers who made the PWI 500, PWI Women’s 150 and the PWI Tag Team 50.
The duo are reigning and defending champs of SHIMMER and Battle Club Pro, retaining their titles throughout the year against talent like The Hex.
The team was seen just about everywhere this year, including AEW Dark and MLW Fightland, and continue to be a dominant force on the indie scene.
#37 – Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sayaka)
Another Stardom team that took the tag team, and trios, world by storm.
The trio reigned as Artist of Stardom champs for nearly a year, and set a new record for successful defenses with huge wins over the likes of STARS and Queen’s Quest, battling Donna Del Mondo throughout the year, as well.
The faction is pretty new, so there’s no doubt the team will continue to remain dominant and grow over the next few years.
#21 – NEO Biishiki-gun
If you asked Mei Suruga and Saki Akai, they would tell you they’ve only dreamed of meeting superstars Mei Saint-Michel and Sakisama, but don’t let them fool you: their presence as the NEO Biishiki-gun has rocked the tag team division of Tokyo Joshi Pro.
Mei is the third person to have ranked in all three 2021 PWI lists, as this aristocratic duo ended 2020 on a roll, and dominated throughout 2021.
The duo defeated Maki Itoh and Miyu Yamashita in the final of the Max Heart Tournament, and had a nearly six-month reign as the Princess Tag Team Champions from April to September.
#18 – Fire ‘N’ Flava
The over-the-top duo talked a big game, but they backed every word up.
The team, consisting of Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz, won an eight-team tournament to win the revived Knockouts Tag Team Championships in January.
After two reigns, and a slew of successful defenses on the indies and Impact, Fire ‘N’ Flava dropped the belts to Decay.
The pair disbanded after Hogan’s contract with Impact expired.
#7 – Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, though they could never quite seem to get along, held the titles most of the evaluation period, and held them longer than any other team in the title’s history.
The duo dethroned Golden Role Models to start their first reign, and had a huge win over Tamina and Natalya during this year’s WrestleMania.
The team eventually split a year after being formed, and it looks like Jax won’t return to wrestling any time soon after being released from WWE.
#5 – ALK (Alto Livello KABALIWAN)
Giulia and Syuri, arguably the two most high-profile members of STARDOM faction Donna Del Mondo, formed their own tag team ALK, clear that the duo had undeniable chemistry.
They defeated fellow DDM members Himeka and Maika in April at Stardom Yokohama Cinderella In Spring, and have held the titles ever since, defending against various members of Queen’s Quest and STARS.
With Syuri’s background in MMA, and Giulia’s incredible starpower, ALK became the top team in STARDOM. The duo continues to dominate and steal the shine, regardless of whether they compete in singles or tag team competition.
Though only nine women’s tag teams made the list, the upcoming year looks promising with new tag team belts, revived tag team belts, and new tag teams debuting on the indies scene. Most women who ranked this year didn’t rank last year—driving home how ever-changing the women’s wrestling scene really can be and ensuring us next year will prove to be even better for women’s tag team wrestling.
You can listen to Bell To Belles Co-Founder Warren Hayes break down the teams further with JPQ, and Krista and Patricia of Those Wrestling Girls, on the new women’s wrestling podcast from PWI, “Get The W” here.
Be sure to order your digital edition, or pre-order the print edition, of the PWI Tag Team 50 issue today here.
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