10 Tag Team Wrestlers Who Held Their Partners Back

Carrying a team is even harder than carrying a match!

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Marty Jannetty gets a bad rap.

Today, Jannetty is mostly remembered as the weak link of The Rockers, the high-flying star who wasn't as good as Shawn Michaels and who never made it as far as HBK. The truth is that Jannetty was also excellent in the ring (many fans felt that during their partnership, Marty was actually the stronger worker), and more than anything else, what held him back were his issues with substance abuse.

Despite all that, the name "Marty Jannetty" has become synonymous with tag team members who didn't reach the heights their partners did, and the weaker member of a tandem is sometimes called the "Marty."

In this history of wrestling, there are many, many tag teams with an obvious talent discrepancy between partners - and while The Rockers aren't one of them, these teams typically contain a member who holds back his partner. Tag team wrestling is a staple of the sport, and teams made of great workers add immeasurably to a promotion, but when a weak link is dragging his partner down, the partner would be better served as a singles star.

Here are 10 tag team wrestlers who held their partners back. In most cases, the talented workers who were stymied could only achieve greatness after the team split. In others, they never got the chance.

10. Luke Gallows

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Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are currently creating quite a stir as WWE's newest tag team, but they've already got years of experience under their belt in New Japan Pro Wrestling. There, the tandem became three-time IWGP Tag Team Champions and essential members of Bullet Club.

Gallows was (and is) perfectly serviceable as a fairly agile big man with some good-looking punches, but sticking him with Anderson on a permanent basis overshadowed just how good "Machine Gun" was. On the rare occasions when Anderson got to wrestle singles matches (such as in the G1 Climax, or when receiving a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight or Intercontinental Titles), he was a compelling worker capable of mixing it up with New Japan's best. Were it not for the fact that the company already had one of the world's best workers in AJ Styles, Anderson would have made a perfectly acceptable foreign ace.

Anderson hasn't really gotten to show his skills thus far in WWE, and while there is money in a run with Gallows, it would be a shame if he never gets to grow beyond the pairing.


Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scottfried. *Best Crowd of the Year, 2013