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Breakup Breakout / Pro Wrestling

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When a wrestling tag team or stable are inevitably split up, it's almost a guarantee that this trope will come into play.

NOTE: In the case of a female wrestler or valet becoming the breakup breakout to the male wrestler(s) she managed/teamed with, that is Smurfette Breakout.

  • The Rockers are the most infamous example of this in professional wrestling, so much so that they were the former Trope Namers (it used to be called "The Jannetty"). Shawn Michaels is one of the biggest stars of all time. Marty Jannetty hasn't been relevant in years, and what he's most famous for is being the man that the left behind half of any broken up tag team is compared to. The impact of this breakup is so prevalent that to this day, the rise of any hot new Tag Team will inevitably result in speculation about which member will end up as "The Jannetty" when they inevitably breakup. There are some wrestling fans who attribute the floundering of modern tag team wrestling (both within and outside the WWE) to this speculation of betrayal the moment two wrestlers form a pair and, by extension, the Rockers. In some circles, the phrase "Shawn Michaels killed tag teams" is uttered without irony.
    • In Jannetty's defense, relegating him to irrelevancy while pushing Michaels wasn't the original plan. At the time The Rockers broke up, Michaels and Jannetty were considered equals in ability and charisma, and the then-WWF expected to get two singles stars out of the breakup. However, a couple of poorly timed injuries hamstrung Jannetty's biggest pushes and his partying lifestyle ended up getting the better of him. And considering Michaels' antics at times in his career, that's saying something.
  • In 1996, Jannetty teamed with Leif Cassidy to form the New Rockers. The team wasn't successful and Jannetty ended up being released after losing a WWF Championship match to his former partner Shawn Michaels. Cassidy was sent to ECW after the breakup and went back to his original persona as Al Snow. He became a main eventer in ECW and was a moderately successful mid-carder during the Attitude Era, while the high point of Jannetty's post-WWF career was losing a PPV match for the WCW Cruiserweight Title against Chris Jericho.
  • During their NWA and AWA days, Terry Bollea and Ed Leslie were a tag team of kayfabe brothers, known alternately as Terry & Ed Boulder, and Hulk & Dizzy Hogan. Bollea, of course, became Hulk Hogan. Ed Leslie became best known as either Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, or "that guy with no talent who only has a job because he's friends with Hogan".
    • Fortuitously, Brutus Beefcake would go on to play host to the break up of the Rockers, as Shawn Michaels's heel turn happened on his barbershop set (note the barbershop pole in the image above).
  • The Blade Runners were a tag team between 1985 and 1986, a pair of former bodybuilders trying to break into wrestling named Steve Borden and Jim Hellwig, who you may know as Sting and Ultimate Warrior. Although both men became huge stars, Sting is arguably the breakout star. Sting became one of the biggest stars of WCW and one of the main draws in The '90s and early noughties, Warrior was a big success in The '90s, but is now best known for his controversial personal life and a series of crossover episodes between Atop the Fourth Wall and The Spoony Experiment. They were simultaneously World Heavyweight Champions in 1990. Sting simply accomplished more because he was more stable.
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  • Before the Blade Runners, Sting and Warrior (or "Flash" and "Justice", as they were then known) came into wrestling as part of a five-man group of bodybuilders-turned-wrestlers known as Power Team USA. The other three members ("Commando" Mark Miller, "Glory" Garland Donoho, and "Fury" Ed Brock) went on to do absolutely nothing. Jim Ross joked that they retired to "Parts Unknown."
  • The Hart Foundation - OK, this team had Bret Hart, who went on to become a multiple-time world champion and hall of famer, and... Who?note  Exactlynote .
  • Edge & Christian have multiple examples of this relating to them.
    • Christian has had an extremely successful career and would have been the Breakout had he been teaming with anybody besides Edge, who became one of the most successful wrestlers of all time. Edge has had three times the amount of World titles Christian has, and in a bigger company at that. Christian has held more independent titles and is a first generation Grand Slam Champion, the one accomplishment that Edge never managed (though he did manage to become a second generation Grand Slam Champion, albeit retroactively).
    • They've both gone on to far, far more success than their original leader in the days of the Brood, Gangrel. Despite being the leader of the Brood, Gangrel was never expected to become a future superstar like E&C though - he was brought in so they got the benefit of working with a veteran.
    • During their indy days, E&C were part of a stable called THUG Life which also contained Rhino Richards, Joe E. Legend, Bloody Bill Skullion and Zakk Wylde. Rhino (without the "Richards") had a successful career and held the ECW World Title although he didn't come close to the success that E&C did. On the other hand, Legend only had a short stint in WWF as Just Joe. Neither Skullion or Wylde ever did anything important enough to warrant having a Wikipedia article, but Skullion bounced around the Canadian indies for a decade and a half while Wylde last wrestled in 2002.
    • Edge and Christian is also a "rivals" version of this with the Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boys, at least on a collective scale. Of those three teams, E&C have gone on to have the greatest amount of success, sharing over a dozen world titles between each other and one of them even being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. The Hardy Boyz would've been their equal, especially Jeff Hardy, who is arguably the most popular singles performer out of all three teams, had it not been their notoriously troubled personal lives, which put them in second place. The Dudley Boys are in a firm third place, and while they've had their share of singles success (particularly Bubba / Bully Ray, who is multi-time world champion in TNA), they've always been more concerned with their success as a team than any individual accomplishments. Considering how E&C won both of the trio's TLC matches, those matches become oddly prophetic in hindsight.
  • The Hardy Boyz — Jeff Hardy was WWE Champion (and a two-time World Heavyweight Champion later on) while Matt had the WWE "Platinum Phoenix" version of the ECW Championship, which is relatively meaningless in comparison. Earlier in the decade it looked like Matt was the one who would become the breakout star, as he started the immensely popular Version 1 character while Jeff got fired and went to TNA, scratching its main event but ultimately not breaking any glass ceilings there. But then the Matt / Edge / Lita debacle happened and Matt's career got completely derailed, and Jeff redeemed himself long enough to return to WWE and win a World Title at least. History would repeat itself when the two would both move on to TNA. Both would let their personal demons get the best of them, but Matt Hardy would go on to get himself blacklisted from the company by faking a suicide while Jeff Hardy got a second chance and managed to redeem himself and become a mainstay in the main event scene. As of early 2014, Matt had been getting himself back on track, and got himself back into the wrestling scene, eventually getting a tag team title run in TNA with Jeff. His comeback continued into 2016 with his first TNA world title, his loss of said title, his subsequent (kayfabe) mental break leading to the incredibly popular "Broken Matt Hardy" persona, eventually getting a second TNA tag title run with Jeff, a brief ROH tag title reign (after their departure from a near-broke TNA) and the team's return to WWE at Wrestlemania 33, wherein they won the Raw tag titles in their first match back. If anything, Matt has been the driving force of the brothers' renewed success, currently carrying the Hardy's legacy on in AEW (even returning once again to TNA, now Impact, thanks to their partnership with AEW) while Jeff is still signed to WWE but injured.
  • Inverted with The Radicalz: Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn. Yes, the first two went on to become major stars. Guerrero died. Benoit killed his entire family and himself. Malenko retired in the early 2000's and is still respected for a wrestler of his build and skill. Saturn disappeared, was homeless for quite awhile, and is just now granting public interviews.
    • Saturn was previously the breakout star of The Eliminators, his tag team in ECW. Saturn had runs in WCW and later WWE, and while he barely did anything in either company it's a lot more than his partner John Kronus ever got.
  • "Stunning" Steve Austin and Brian Pillman of the Hollywood Blondes. Austin became six time WWE champion and the only man to win the Royal Rumble thrice. To be fair, the main reason for this was Pillman's untimely death at age 35. At the time, both Pillman and Austin were both very over high mid-carders (Austin being only a few months into developing the foul-mouthed, beer-swilling, anti-hero we know him as today). In fact, Pillman's death came at the beginning stages of a feud between the two.
  • The Thrillseekers: Chris Jericho and Lance Storm. Not a total example. For one thing, they teamed very early in their careers and the team broke up before either of them became famous. Also, Lance Storm became quite a star - he briefly held every undercard title in WCW at the same time and he's still very respected within the business. However, Jericho would become a multiple time WWE World Champion, and acquire fame outside of wrestling as the lead singer of his band Fozzy.
  • When Yoshi Tatsu and Hiroshi Tanahashi were teaming as the New Japan Dragons, the basic observation was that Tanahashi was the more talented of the two, and the common speculation was that Tanahashi would be signed to WWE while Tatsu would fade into obscurity. Instead it was Tatsu who WWE signed, and while he didn't fade into obscurity, that was only because he reinvigorated his career after leaving WWE by teaming with Tanahashi again, who by then was a world renowned superstar, proving WWE isn't the end all be all of pro wrestling.
  • Beer Money, Inc. is made up of two Breakup Breakouts in itself:
    • America's Most Wanted - One would be a very popular homegrown face in Impact Wrestling; the other was Chris Harris, who went on to become IWC phenomenon Braden Walker, who is only remembered for telling a knock knock joke during his insanely brief one-month run in WWECW.
    • Team Canada - Bobby Roode is easily the biggest star of the bunch, became the longest reigning Impact World Champion before his popular "GLORIOUS" run in WWE. Eric Young has been a solid worker as both heel and face throughout his career and also won the TNA world title.note  Jack Evans didn't do too badly but never saw other national TV work until his appearances in AEW. Teddy Hart's career was marred by backstage issues, while Petey Williams continued to be a solid indie regular and the originator of the Canadian Destroyer. Meanwhile, Johnny Devine, Tyson Dux, A-1, and Ruffy Silverstein have all done nothing.
    • As for Beer Money itself, for the reasons listed above, the breakout is easily Roode. Though James Storm hasn't had a bad recent career himself working Impact and NWA.
  • D-Generation X - Not a total example as Shawn Michaels was already a big star when the group started, but of the other members of the group only Triple H discovered any real long term success. Road Dogg got stale and couldn't get over either as a singles wrestler or with other tag team partners. Billy Gunn did only a little better than his fellow New Age Outlaw, as his popular team with Chuck Palumbo flopped pretty hard after their pseudo-homosexual partnership gimmick ended. Chyna had one of the most notorious falls from grace in wrestling history, and X-Pac became the Trope Namer for X-Pac Heat.
  • During the last days of WCW, AJ Styles was half of a tag team called Air Raid with a guy named Air Paris. He even briefly renamed to Air Styles. After WCW closed, Styles was scooped up by TNA but Paris wasn't. Styles is a multi-time world champion in Impact and WWE, whereas Paris hasn't had so much as a stint in any of the "big six" (WWE, TNA, ROH, CZW, PWG, Chikara). Paris has done well for himself in some NWA promotions but then, Styles has done so too.
  • The Steiner Brothers: Scott Steiner (HUH?) became a WCW Champion in 2000 (HUH?) and worked in the WWE (HUH?) and in TNA (HUH?), while Rick (HUH?) is currently (HUH?) in a local school board (HUH?). Ironically, before the split, Rick Steiner was considered the better of the two. Then Scotty put on 100 pounds of muscle, bleached his hair, reinvented himself as a Kavorka Man with "freaks" in every city, and started giving insane promos (likely fueled by the stuff that gave him that 100 pounds of muscle). Rick, on the other hand, floundered about in the upper midcard and then turned heel. Although he was a pretty good face, as a heel he was a complete heat vacuum.
  • Harlem Heat: Booker T becomes a six-time, six-time, six-time, six-time, six-time, six-time World Heavyweight Champion, and who knows what Stevie Ray is doing currently. note 
  • The British Bulldogs broke up when Dynamite Kid had to retire due to chronic back injuries and a falling out with his tag partner (and real-life first cousin) Davey Boy Smith. Smith renamed himself to The British Bulldog and had a fairly long run as an upper midcarder in WWF. However, outside of WWF/E, Dynamite Kid is a legend for all the right(great wrestler, great feuds, many accomplishments, made lots of money), and wrong(Napoleon sydrome, domestic disputes) reasons.
  • The Second City Saints: CM Punk is a six-time World Champion and was one of the top faces of WWE before leaving for an MMA career, Colt Cabana (aka Scotty Goldman) got released from WWE after a brief run as a jobber. Oh, and did you know there's a third Second City Saint named Ace Steel? Though Colt did eventually become a two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, so there's that.
  • Punk was also this to the heel stable The New Breed in 2007 — which he, admittedly, joined for all of two weeks. By that point everyone knew that Punk was the only one of them that had any future in the company as a wrestler. Matt Striker was the only one who lasted a notable length of time, and he did so as a TV personality, having not wrestled in years by the time he was released in 2013. Elijah Burke has had reasonable success in TNA as the Pope, and is easily the second-most successful member of the group, but could never compare to the levels Punk reached.
  • A third example relating to Punk: His debut in professional wrestling was as part of a tag team called The Chick Magnets alongside CM Venom in a tiny promotion that ran shows out of a warehouse called Lunatic Wrestling Federation. Venom never made it out of the LWF.
  • Buddy Roberts has been on both ends of this trope. He teamed with Jerry Brown as the original Hollywood Blonds, but when they split up, Brown stayed in the Florida indy scene and Roberts went on to form The Fabulous Freebirds with Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy. Once the Freebirds formed, they were notorious for their refusal to break up - if a promoter tried to split the team all three of them would leave the promotion. That being said, Roberts was primarily on the team as the "workrate guy" - Michael Hayes was a great talker but a poor worker and Terry Gordy was a great worker, but as the big man of the team his ability to sell without losing his mystique was limited. When the Freebirds finally split up - on their own terms - it was with Hayes and Gordy turning face on Roberts. Roberts retired shortly after the Freebirds split while Hayes and Gordy went on to mixed success elsewhere.
  • El Bronco #1 and Rico Suave, Los Compadres, were both very successful on the Caribbean circuit in their own ways before and after teaming up. However, in 2003 they took on two valets, Black Rose and Destiny. Black Rose became one of Puerto Rico's top women wrestlers in the wake of La Tigresa's arrest(rivaling Génesis, La Amazona and Killer Kat), managed several other successful wrestlers besides Bronco(Los Fugitivos de la Calle, La Zona Illegal, Huracán Castillo Jr), got television work outside of pro wrestling and has done...decently in other regions. Destiny disappeared.
    • Among Tigresa's "successors", Rose and Amazona are the best known due almost all fifty state or foreign women in WWC during their "era"(Roxxi Laveaux, Melissa Coates, Sarita, Mickie James, Serena Deeb) being pitted against Rose (only Sara Jay went after Killer Kat insead) while Amazona defeated Moxley Mox for IWA PR's Hardcore Title belt. Between them, Amazona was the breakout in IWA PR, where they had been a tag team but Rose is the breakout elsewhere.
  • "Dark Angel" Sarah Stock is the breakout to Christie Ricci from their "Sexy Girls" tag team and to Rosita from their time as Las Primas. Ricci has done pretty well for herself and has been featured on television specials in Mexico, but Dark Angel is considered one of the greatest luchadoras of all time. Rosita's career highlight basically was being Sarita's partner, although it's debatable if Rosita's tenure in WWE as Zelina Vega, valet to Andrade, will allow her to step out of that shadow. Concerning her other team with Taylor Wilde, it's debatable who the breakout was (definitely Wilde in TNA but Stock out of it) but Io Shirai was the breakout to Stock concerning their time in Planet.
  • MNM: Johnny Nitro became John Morrison, won the ECW World Championship back when it meant something, joined another successful tag team with The Miz, was an upper-midcarder on WWE SmackDown, left WWE to become Lucha Underground Champion, AAA Mega Champion and Impact World Champion, and rejoined WWE in 2019.. Joey Mercury... had a few spots returning to ROH, and later joined CM Punk's Straight Edge Society and was part of a two-man team of enforcers (with Jamie Noble) for Seth Rollins. Even their valet Melina did better than Mercury, winning the WWE Women's and Divas titles on a couple of occasions and later joining the NWA.
  • Subverted with Morrison's tag team with The Mizeveryone figured Miz would be lost in the midcard on Raw after the tandem broke up while Morrison moved on to bigger and better things on SmackDown. However, The Miz became the breakout star of the two, winning the WWE Championship in 2010. Morrison left the company the following year. But then Miz got dropped back down the mid card and Morrison won the aforementioned belts and more outside of WWE, ended up still pretty even with Miz wrestling wise. Miz continues to get more media appearances outside of wrestling due to being more PR friendly and being in far fewer behind the scenes disputes. His run since Wrestlemania 32 has been considered the best of his career, playing the perfect obnoxious heel, with multiple IC title reigns and feuds that have re-elevated the championship back to its historical prestige.
  • WCW had Three Count, a boy band stable consisting of Evan Karagias, Shannon Moore, and Shane Helms. Of the three, Helms has had a moderately successful WWE career as The Hurricane and as Gregory Helms, Moore was mostly a jobber in WWE but had some tag team success in TNA, and Karaigas hasn't done anything. Although, Helms' status of Breakup Breakout came during his WCW days, when he started using the Vertebreaker as his finisher and was given an elaborate entrance and custom theme song.
  • This happened with Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder as the latter was established as a hot new heel on ECW with his memorable catchphrase and theme music, while the former completely disappeared from WWE television and returned to FCW. Hawkins would later return as part of a very unmemorable tag team with Vance Archer which would later break up with Hawkins going nowhere on Superstars while Archer got released. However, it was during that short period of time that it would look like Hawkins might have a shot at surpassing his partner as ECW went off the air and was replaced by NXT, leaving Ryder stuck on Superstars as well. However, Ryder would become an underground hit when he debuted his Web Original series, Z! True Long Island Story. With a huge following on the IWC, Ryder would eventually turn face and get featured on both RAW and Smackdown as a result (Ryder defeated Dolph Ziggler at the 2011 WWE TLC PPV for the United States Championship), all while Curt Hawkins made sporadic appearances as a jobber-to-the-stars before getting released. Hawkins came back to WWE in 2016, but never came close to the heights his former tag team partner had reached five years earlier before being released in 2020. Ryder was also released at the same time. Both have gone back to their birth names and it remains to be seen how much success they find on the indies.
  • Even if he had moderate success, Billy Gunn hit superstardom in comparison to what happened to Bart Gunn from The Smoking Gunns. Bart Gunn won the (real fighting) Brawl For All tournament, then lost to Butterbean in 30 seconds and was immediately fired - he hasn't worked in the USA since. Billy also outlived Road Dogg in the WWE and they later reunited in TNA. Bart Gunn actually did fairly well for himself, but in Japan. Since Bart knocked out "Dr. Death" Steve Williams in the Brawl For All and Williams was a very big name in Japan, he gained instant credibility, and he received decent pushes in both All Japan Pro Wrestling and NJPW.
  • In a "rivals" version of this, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Psicosis. They debuted together, feuded all through Mexico, Japan, ECW, WCW... then 2001ish WCW released all their luchadors except for Mysterio (and Juventud Guererra). Mysterio later got scooped up by WWE and eventually became a World Champion. Psicosis, on the other hand, got a short WWE run and nothing to show for it. When they met in a Royal Rumble, Mysterio just kinda backhanded Psicosis out of the ring. Mysterio's still a major superstar. Psicosis isn't as big in his native Mexico as Mysterio is in the US.
  • The Rock started out as part of The Nation of Domination alongside Faarooq, D'Lo Brown, The Godfather, and Mark Henry. Rocky of course first became arguably the most popular wrestler of all time, and then made it into Hollywood. The Godfather never really did much in the ring (although his post-Nation gimmick made him a favorite during the Attitude Era, leading to induction in the WWE Hall of Fame), and D'Lo Brown was a successful upper midcarder during the Attitude Era, but never broke into the main event and his star faded around 2003 or so. Mark Henry won the World Title in 2011, putting him in a clear second place.
  • The World's Greatest Tag Team: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. After the team split up Shelton got three consecutive victories over Triple H, became a three time Intercontinental champion, a former United States Champion and was the highlight of the Money in the Bank match at every Wrestlemania (he, tied with Kane, appeared in more MITB matches than any other superstar). Charlie Haas was primarily used as a jobber-to-the-stars and occasionally part of an unsuccessful make-shift tag team. He was even released and re-hired a couple times before being released for good in 2010. A strange subversion here in that the WGTT as a tag team actually has more drawing power than either Haas or Benjamin separately. When they reunited in Ring Of Honor, the Fandom Rejoiced.
  • Not to say that Chuck Palumbo has had an extraordinarily successful career, but he's had a better one than that of his tag partner in The Perfect Event, Shawn Stasiak. Palumbo had a good run as WWE Tag Team Champion with Billy Gunn, was later part of the WWE incarnation of the Full Blooded Italians, and was part of the Voodoo Murders stable in AJPW. Stasiak got to play a gimmick where he was deliberately clumsy, and now works as a chiropractor.
  • Dragon Gate had a stable called the Royal Brothers, with Anthony W. Mori, Henry III Suguwara, and Phillip J. Fukamasa. Fukamasa barely lasted an entire year, leaving Mori and Suguwara a tag team. Then Suguwara turned heel on Mori (and started using his real name Takuya Suguwara). Mori won their feud fairly heavily, and Suguwara was fired for unrelated reasons, leaving Mori as the breakup breakout. But since then, Suguwara re-invented himself on the Japanese indy scene while Mori slid down the rankings to jobber-to-the-stars. Suguwara returned to Dragon Gate after a half a decade absence, and is now somewhere between upper midcarder and main eventer, and leading the Real Hazard stable. A rare case of the breakup breakout situation reversing itself.
  • The British Invasion: Brutus Magnus, Doug Williams, and Rob Terry. Terry, the Butt-Monkey of the stable, went on to become TNA Global champion and the longest reigning champion in the belt's history before it was retired, then worked mainly as Robbie E's bouncer and part of the Menagerie before being released in 2015, and has not wrestled since 2017. Doug Williams is a two-time X-Division champion who became one of the top guys of the division before leaving Impact in 2014, and wrestled a few matches on the independent circuit before retiring in 2018. Magnus was taken off television following his PPV loss to Terry; however, he became a prominent midcarder after teaming with Samoa Joe and winning the Tag Team titles. He would go on to become Impact World Champion and despite losing the title retained a prominent role until his release in 2015. After his release he had runs in Jeff Jarrett's ill-fated Global Force Wrestling and a brief return to Impact before becoming a two time NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion under his real name Nick Aldis.
  • WWE had the Spirit Squad, a five-man stable consisting of male cheerleaders Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky, and Mikey. Out of the five only Nicky has been continuously employed in the WWE, having been repackaged as Dolph Ziggler, enjoying singles success and eventually becoming a Triple Crown champion. Ironically, the whole Spirit Squad gimmick was used to put over Kenny. That worked to his disadvantage, as he forever became associated with the gimmick. Even years after the breakup, Kenny Dykstra was still the butt of Spirit Squad chants and jokes. Mikey, although never as popular as Ziggler, had a solid career on the independent scene as Mike Mondo. Kenny and Mikey eventually returned to WWE in 2016, but they were brought it basically as a joke to Ziggler for his past in the Spirit Squad, and they still never came close to Ziggler's popularity.
  • Averted with The Acolytes/APA, as Ron Simmons (aka Faarooq) was already a former WCW Champion prior to the team's creation. However, after the APA's second breakup in 2004, Bradshaw reinvented himself as the Corrupt Corporate Executive John "Bradshaw" Layfield, when he held the WWE title for almost a year.
  • Played straight with Legacy, though not in the way people expected. Ted DiBiase was initially planned to be breakout with him turning face against Randy Orton and he had starred in the Direct to Video sequel to The Marine. The plans got derailed when Orton's popularity caused him to be booked as a face against DiBiase and Rhodes. After WrestleMania 26, Ted was given his father's gimmick and failed to get over even with Virgil and later Maryse by his side. Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes was drafted to Smackdown and became "Dashing". Cody's been a mainstay of the show, winning the WWE tag team championship for the fourth time with Drew McIntyre, being in World title contention, getting another gimmick overhaul, and winning a WrestleMania match against Rey Mysterio. Rhodes won the Intercontinental Championship on an episode of SmackDown on August 12, 2011 and has become one of the top heels in the WWE. DiBiase left wrestling in 2013, while Rhodes later found success as a face and with a new heel gimmick "Stardust" before leaving in 2016. Since then? ROH World Champion and Executive VP of his own promotion All Elite Wrestling.
  • The American Males: Marcus Bagwell would turn on his tag team partner Scotty Riggs to join the New World Order. The newly rechristened Buff Bagwell would become a capable hand in the nWo and would enjoy a run in the upper-midcard upon the group's dissolution until WCW was bought out by WWE. Scotty Riggs would join The Flock as a job guy for Raven and toil in obscurity upon that group's dissolution. After Riggs jumped from WCW to ECW, he was put in an angle with Rob Van Dam and it looked like he might avert this, but the match between Riggs and RVD was underwhelming, and ECW folded not too long afterwards.
  • Inverted with LayCool. Michelle McCool was already a big player in the women's division when the team formed but Layla was mostly just there as another heel diva. She started out as Michelle's sidekick but was eventually promoted to an equal. When they split it was played straight since Layla retired Michelle and became the top face on Smackdown, until an injury took her out. Layla got hurt (torn ACL and MCL) the same night she retired Michelle. Sitting out for a year recovering killed her momentum and even though she was made Divas Champion when she came back, she was never as over as she was with Michelle.
  • Another example that includes Layla - Extreme Expose. The dance trio on ECW included her and Kelly Kelly who was arguably the most popular diva on the roster. The other girl, Brooke Adams, got released just after they split. However, Brooke joined TNA in 2010, becoming a three-time Knockouts Champion, arguably the best wrestler of the three, and was the last one to retire. Much like the Edge and Christian scenario, Brooke is the breakout in terms of in-ring accomplishments, but since Kelly and Layla worked on the bigger stage, the are the de facto breakout stars.
  • In 2004, the tag team "Los Guerreros" was broken up after Chavo Guerrero Jr. attacked his uncle Eddie. Their feud culminated at the Royal Rumble, with Eddie winning. About a month later, both of them became successful at No Way Out, with Chavo winning the Cruiserweight Championship and Eddie winning the WWE Championship. Chavo never quite became as successful as his uncle in the long run (Eddie was already more popular anyway), but was nevertheless a good wrestler.
  • Averted with the Funk brothers, Terry and Dory Funk Jr. While Terry is more well-known than Dory Jr. for his inability to stay out of the ring and his hardcore matches, both were equally successful singles stars in their primes.
  • One odd example that's not born from either a tag team or a rivalry. In 1989 a midcarder for New Japan Pro-Wrestling named Keiichi Yamada was reinvented, giving him a gimmick based on a Go Nagai anime that was getting ready to air. Today, Jushin Thunder Liger is one of the most celebrated, accomplished and innovative wrestlers in history while the anime series his gimmick is based on, Jushin Liger, is practically a footnote known more for spawning his gimmick than anything else.
  • Despite showing equal charisma as singles stars, when Team 3D broke up, Brother Ray became Bully Ray and one of the top heels of the company whereas Brother Devon languished in the midcard, only getting a very brief push as TV Champion (the push coming a month after he won the title and being forgotten about after two months). When their contracts expired in August 2012, Ray stayed and Devon left, both with good reason: Ray was in the Bound For Glory tournament for the World Title, and Devon's Television Title was getting no television time. He came back, but ultimately as a lackey for Bully Ray as part of Aces & Eights, and came nowhere near Ray's level, as Ray became TNA World Champion, and when Devon chose to retire and become a backstage producer for WWE, Ray became a third of ROH's Trios Champions with The Briscoe Brothers.
  • GLOW
    • The tag team of Hollywood and Vine. After GLOW closed, Vine did nothing of note. Hollywood stayed in the wrestling business in various capacities, and is very easy to find on the Internet to this day, although most of her work is in pretaped and often NSFW matches.
    • T&A was made up of Tina Ferrari and Ashley Cartier. Tina spent years in various women's promotions before arriving in WWE in 1999 as Ivory and would go on to become a 3x WWE Women's Champion. Ashley never accomplished much beyond her and Tina's run with the GLOW Tag Team Titles.
      • Tina/Ivory could actually be considered the breakout member of the entire GLOW roster, as she's the only one to go on to have a respectable career in wrestling after the promotion closed its doors, and the only one to wrestle for WWE.
    • Of Thunderbolt and Lightning, Lightning showed up more as a singles wrestler and continued to show up in post Glow promotions such as the short lived LPWA, sometimes as Cheryl Rusa.
  • When Men on a Mission broke up, Mabel became King of the Ring, and then had midcard runs in WWE as Viscera and Big Daddy V. Mo on the other hand never did anything of note again - he spent several months as Mabel's manager Sir Mo, and then quietly disappeared never to return to WWF/E.
  • Claudio Castagnoli started out in the European indy scene as part of a quartet called Swiss Money Holding with Ares, Marc Roudin, and Don Heavy. Obviously, Claudio is the breakout - he got a WWE job as Antonio Cesaro (later shortened to just Cesaro). Ares, however, is a breakout compared to Roudin. Ares was a fairly successful indie wrestler in the States before retiring in 2014. Roudin stayed semi-active in Europe through the early 2010s before retiring, but even he's a breakout compared to Don Heavy, who only lasted a couple years and was retired by 2004.
  • Same thing with the Kings of Wrestling. Cesaro actually made it to the main roster in the WWE and has had several title reigns, primarily in the tag team division. Chris Hero, on the other hand, was on NXT twice (in addition to competing on its UK brand during his second time in the company) and got released both times without ever making it past said brands. Ironically, Castagnoli was at best Hero's equal and at times the lackey of the Kings, one time unwillingly.
  • Club 7 was a tag team in New Japan Pro-Wrestling formed by Giant Silva and Giant Singh who acted as Masahiro Chono's bodyguards. After the team's break up, the two took separate ways: Giant Singh went to became WWE's uber-hyped giant, The Great Khali, while Giant Silva (a former WWF wrestler himself) joined to Fighting Opera HUSTLE and tried his hand in Mixed Martial Arts before fading into the darkness. Although Silva is considered the better wrestler of the team (or, at least, is not as bad as Khali is), he unofficially retired in 2011 and only a few remember him, while Khali still enjoys his WWE fame and would have reached legend status in India even without it.
  • The Nexus. This was a fairly large stable and provides plenty of examples, so here goes:
    • Daniel Bryan, the first to be kicked out of the group, is also the first one to win a world championship and in less than four years became the most over wrestler in the entire company, even beating out CM Punk and John Cena. Now, he's arguably the most over wrestler since Stone Cold and the Rock.
    • In second place is latecomer Husky Harris, who was repackaged as Bray Wyatt, formed The Wyatt Family, and got a huge push, though in 2014 he racked up a nasty PPV losing streak that hurt his momentum and credibility pretty badly. Fortunately, he regained momentum around 2016 thanks to a revived Wyatt Family and won the WWE title in 2017. And in 2019 he was successfully repackaged again, becoming insanely over as a Depraved Kids' Show Host with a Wrestling Monster alter ego "The Fiend", eventually capturing his second world title a few months after his reintroduction.
    • Third place goes to Wade Barrett, the former leader and ironically the one the stable was suppose to propel to superstardom, who became a five-time Intercontinental champion and a King of the Ring (2015) winner before leaving the company in 2016. He returned as an announcer in 2020, although he is no longer an active wrestler.
    • Skip Sheffield, who was kicked out after breaking his leg (causing him to be out for well over a year), was repackaged as the uber-monster Ryback. Ultimately his success was short-lived, and by 2014 he was only on TV as a tag team jobber with Curtis Axel. Though he had his push rebooted by the end of the year and became the Intercontinental Champion in 2015, he pissed off management by complaining about his salary and place on the card before being taken off of TV and eventually released in 2016.
    • The only other member to have any real success was Michael McGillicutty, who joined the group months into its existence and eventually became Paul Heyman protege Curtis Axel. See Ryback's section above on where Curtis Axel ended up, though. The rest are either released or jobbers, the most prominent being Heath Slater, who formed the heel stable 3MB with Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. However Slater is still a very popular Ensemble Darkhorse despite his release from WWE in 2020 and has continued to be popular in Impact and the indies.
    • And speaking of 3MB, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre, who got hired back later and surpassed Heath Slater in the company: Jinder bulked up, became the Modern-Day Maharaja, and held the WWE Championship for 170 days; after kicking around the indies and TNA for awhile, McIntyre returned and had a reign as NXT champion, then teamed with Dolph Ziggler and won the Raw Tag Team Championships, then wins the 2020 Royal Rumble, and finally the WWE Championship itself from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36.
  • Brian Kendrick was briefly the breakout of London and Kendrick (although London was a more established solo star at the time of their formation); he hung around for about a year after the team split, and got a decent singles push as The Brian Kendrick. Paul London, meanwhile, was released just a few months after the team was broken up. In the long term, they have about an equal amount of success, in an out of WWE, athough it Kendrick who has the concellation prize of an expy in Fire Pro Wrestling based on his time in Pro Wrestling ZERO1 as Leonardo Spanky.
  • Damien Sandow got his start in WWE under the name Idol Stevens as half of the Teacher's Pets. He's had a far more successful career than his tag partner KC James.
  • Eric Alexander, later known as Mr. E, was a perfectly acceptable mid card wrestler in IWA Puerto Rico and WWC on his way to the main event who equaled or out shined all his tag team partners everywhere he went, excepting his Puerto Rican Nightmares tag team partner Eddie Colon in WWE. While Primo's WWE career is hardly the stuff of legend, "Eric Escobar" was seemingly called out of developmental just to reintroduce Vickie Guerrero to WWE TV and to mock his pre WWE success.
  • When the Norfolk Dolls broke apart, both Britani Knight and Melody started to slide nearly into jobber status but Knight bounced back next year and went on to win multiple title belts in many countries and get invited to SHIMMER while Melodi wouldn't get a big break for another five years. Britani later joined WWE's FCW and formed the "Anti-diva Army" with Sofia Cortez as Paige. They broke up when NXT replaced FCW and it seemed like Sofia was going to leave Paige behind. Then Cortez got injured and released while Paige became NXT's first Women's Champion. Paige is a two-time Divas champion and a 1 time Women's champion who unfortunately had to retire in 2018. Ivelisse was a third of Lucha Underground's first tercias champion team and still works the independent circuit.
  • The Shield broke up in 2014. Roman Reigns was being pushed as the next top babyface and Seth Rollins joined The Authority and won the World Title at Wrestlemania XXXI. Dean Ambrose on the other hand, despite being arguably the most popular of the 3note  went on to feud with with fellow almost-but-not-quite main eventer Bray Wyatt before being moved back into the midcard as part of the effort to revitalize the Intercontinental and United States championships. It's later subverted as in May 2015 he challenging his former Shield teammate for the WWE World Heavyweight championship and even pinned him for the title before the latter was disqualified. By mid-2016, it was completely subverted as all three members have become world champion. In fact, all three were champion within three minutes of each other. Seth won the title off the defending Roman, only for Dean to cash in his MITB briefcase (the second after Kane to do so within the same night they won it) to win the title off him. With this, the Shield officially became one of the most successful factions in the history of the company and easily the most successful since Evolution. For further proof, Dean even ended up becoming the first of the three to become a Grand Slam Champion. Dean left the company in 2019 and continued his success, becoming the second ever AEW World Champion.
    • Speaking of Rollins, as Tyler Black, he was the breakout of several other stables/tag teams in the indies. He was this to the Black and the Brave in AAW (admittedly because a back injury put Marek Brave into retirement for four years, causing Black to pursue a singles career), and was this to the Age of the Fall, which propelled him into Ring of Honor's main event scene while Jimmy Jacobs languished in the upper-midcard. He's even this to the entire cast/roster of Wrestling Society X, which, while boasting what would become major names on the independent circuit, of whom none not named Ricky Banderas could compare to his success in the WWE, and Ricky had already made his name anyway, WSX hurting his reputation more than anything when the show was canceled over his use of fireballs. The closest would be Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne), who would at least get signed to the WWE and actually win a title during his time there.
    • Ambrose also outshined his tag partner in the Switchblade Conspiracy, Sami Callihan. Callihan did get signed to NXT as Solomon Crowe with a promising black-hat hacker gimmick, but for whatever reason WWE bookers never got behind Crowe and used him so rarely that he requested his own release. Callihan would go on to become Impact World Champion and run his own promotion in Ohio. Ambrose became a major star in WWE, becoming one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster, winning numerous titles and even becoming world champion. You could argue that Ambrose is also this to CZW as a whole, as he has outstripped nearly every major wrestler of that promotion in success and is the first CZW alumnus to become world champion in WWE.
  • For an extreme example, Roderick Strong started in the Florida independent scene with his "brother" Sedrick. Roderick went on to success in TNA, Ring of Honor, and WWE NXT, while Sedrick faded into obscurity in the Florida indies.
  • Raven's The Gathering in TNA is a bit of a mixed bag. Raven himself doesn't count, as he was a long-established multi-time world champion by the time the group was introduced. Mickie James eventually became one of the hallmark female wrestlers of the 2000s, being the only woman to have ever held every major women's title in the USA. Julio Dinero, however, faded into obscurity after leaving TNA. However, none of them can compare to the success achieved by the fourth and final member of the stable: CM Punk, who became a star that can only be matched by John Cena and Daniel Bryan.
    • CM Punk may be the breakout compared to them but Julio Dinero, and Chris Hamrick, are the breakouts from the Hot Commodity stable compared to EZ Money and Elektra, while James is definitely the breakout from her BBOW tag team partner Candie.
  • The Beautiful People featured three successful members: Madison Rayne (multi-time Knockouts Champion, still with Impact, and bona fide future Hall of Famer), Velvet Sky (also a multi-time Knockouts Champion, now plying her trade in ROH), Angelina Love (also a multi-time Knockouts Champion, but plagued by issues like visa troubles cancelling her push and terrible storylines). They also featured Lacey Von Erich (ate pins for the group and vanished after being released in 2010).
    • Velvet Sky is herself a breakout from another tag team. Born Jamie Szantyr, she was a tag team champion as Talia Madison, with her "sister" Tiffany, in the adult-oriented Women's Extreme Wrestling. Talia saw the success mentioned above while Tiffany faded into obscurity. It's possible that there are people who watched Velvet in TNA who didn't even know of The Madisons.
  • Jay Lethal was originally a member of Special K (a Ring of Honor stable full of rich kid druggie ravers) under the name Hydro. The fact that Hydro clearly had a lot more ability and potential than his stablemates was repeatedly addressed in-universe, and he was eventually adopted by Samoa Joe as his protege. His career went upwards from there, with a long run in TNA followed by a return to ROH as one of its top wrestlers. As for the other full-time Special K wrestlers though, who knows what Izzy, Dixie, Angel Dust and Deranged are up to these days? As of 2016, mostly semi-active or inactive.
  • Crazzy Steve outlasted the other members of The Menagerie (Knux, Rebel and The Freak), and went on to become a tag team champion alongside Abyss as half of Decay. That being said, Knux and the Freak were well-established veterans at that point.
  • One very notable example from New Japan Pro-Wrestling is the tag team of No Limit. Tetsuya Naito has (despite a rocky start) became one of the most popular and dastardly heels in New Japan's history, forming and leading one of the promotions top heel stables Los Ingobernables de Japon and winning every major single's championship belt he was eligible for (the IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontiental and NEVER Openweight titles). Yujiro Takahashi went on to become a member of the Bullet Club...and that's about it.
  • The Latina Loca Mamis are an odd case. Shelly Martinez has had far more high profile television appearances, in and out of pro wrestling, than Mercedes Martinez, but, for whatever reason, it hasn't translated into many pushes for Shelly. Shelly's presence in wrestling promotions tend to be fleeting and she's often treated as a jobber or subject to The Worf Effect. Mercedes has done her fair share of Worf duty as well but is generally treated as a far more dangerous competitor and tends to rack up a far larger amount of bookings, tournament wins and title belts in regions they've both been in since breaking up.
  • In 2013, NXT featured a Girl Posse Power Stable called "the Beautiful Fierce Females" or "BFFs" consisting of Summer Rae, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. Since the group's split, both Flair and Banks became pillars of WWE's revitalized women's division and won the Women's championships multiple times (NXT and main roster combined), while Summer never won the Women's title on both NXT and the main roster and her main roster tenure is mostly remembered for her being the valet of Fandango and the disastrous Gooker-winning Love Dodecahedron Story Arc involving her, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, and Lana before getting injured in 2016 and released a year later.
  • The Funkadactyls, the Tag Team of Naomi and Cameron. The former became a two-time (SmackDown) Women's Champion and a notable player in WWE's revitalized women's division, while the latter became infamous for her troubles outside of the ring (and her prior Q & A stint on Tough Enough with host "Stone Cold" Steve Austin).
  • The defunct WWECW brand functioned as a proto-NXT, a place where new talent was sent to in order to get TV experience. Of its entire roster throughout its run, the most successful alumnus is CM Punk, who became a star comparable to John Cena and Randy Orton. Second place is a tie between The Miz and Sheamus, who both went on to become world champions and have been on the roster for a long time, but never came close to Punk’s standing. After that is John Morrison, who never grabbed a higher title but quickly became one of WWE’s most popular stars, Jack Swagger, who did briefly rise to the main event but fell back down quickly afterwards, and Bobby Lashley, whose first stint in WWE was extremely brief but mostly spent near the top of the card. Guys like Christian, Matt Hardy, Mark Henry, Big Show, and Kane don't count, as they were well-established long before WWECW existed and were only sent there to carry the show for the sake of the younger talent, nor do the ECW originals like Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer, who were mostly there for the nostalgia factor.
  • The stable CrazyMAX, consisting of core members CIMA, SUWA, Don Fujii and TARU, helped to put Toryumon on the map in the year 2000. C-Max split up for good in late 2005, not too long after the promotion rebranded to Dragon Gate. Of the four members, CIMA is the clear breakout, having consistantly been the top billed wrestler in Dragon Gate. Don Fujii may be a distant number two, having held the Open the Dream Gate Title (Dragon Gate's top title) once but been primarily an undercard act. SUWA went on to become a midcarder in NOAH and retired in the early 2010s, and TARU moved over to NJPW where he became primarily a managerial figure. The only member of C-Max to really rival CIMA's success is Shingo Takagi, who only joined the stable for the last couple months of its existence.
  • Originally the breakout of Deuce 'n Domino appeared to be Deuce, as Domino was the first to be released. Deuce would adapt the name Sim Snuka and would join the Legacy stable. That never happened, though, and he was released shortly after and wrestles only sporadically, not at all after 2017. Domino returned to Ohio Valley Wrestling and found success under his real name of Cliff Compton.
  • The Sumerian Death Squad, made up of Dutchmen Tommy End and Michael Dante, were one of the most successful tag teams in the European circuit during the early 2010s. The team split when End went over to WWE in 2016. He quickly found success rechristened as Aleister Black, winning the NXT Title and becoming one of the brand’s top stars. Dante stayed in Europe to compete as a singles star and has maintained a relatively low profile.
  • British independent star Paul Robinson found himself to be roadkill for two stables he was part of. First there was the Leaders of the New School, in which Robinson found himself overshadowed by Zack Sabre Jr. and Marty Scurll (who still use the Leaders name as a duo today). He at least has done better than the fourth member of the group, Nikko Brixton, who quickly vanished from wrestling after he left them in 2008. Later, Robinson was a member of the Swords of Essex, best known as the stable that launched the career of Will Ospreay. That being said, "The Amazon" Ayesha Raymond, one of the other members, has done OK for herself, but certainly not at Ospreay levels.
  • There was a team of Unrelated Brothers in the New England-based ICW/IWCCW promotion called The Madisons (unrelated to Velvet Sky's team above), T.D. and GQ Madison. They were 3x ICW/IWCCW Tag Team Champions. T.D. later made his name in ECW as Tommy Dreamer, GQ disappeared.
  • Originally known as The Interrogator, Kurrgan became the breakout star of The Truth Commission, eventually retiring to act in such prominent films as Sherlock Holmes (2009) and 300. Recon (Barry Buchanan) later got a run as Big Bossman's sidekick Bull Buchanan and he and The Goodfather held the WWE World Tag Team Titles as Right To Censor. Sniper (Luc Poirier) went back to Europe and retired.
  • Dan Spivey went through this a few times. He and Scott Hall were a tag team in Florida as American Starship, Eagle and Coyote. Hall, of course, went on to success in WWE and WCW. Spivey also fell victim to this with both of his teammates in The Skyscrapers, Sid Vicious and "Mean" Mark Callous, who became The Undertaker.
  • While the women better known as Ivory and Lita had made anonymous appearances as members of The Godfather's Ho Train before they were officially introduced, Victoria is the breakout from the entourage. She and Mandy (Frostee Moore) were the only ones to be named while part of the group, as part of the "Save The Hos" campaign against Right To Censor. Victoria went on to success in WWE and TNA, Mandy didn't.
  • WCW in 2000 introduced a group called The Natural Born Thrillers, who were a weak Ur-Example of what The Nexus would be ten years later. With the bulk of the group (Shawn Stasiak, Chuck Palumbo, Mike Sanders, Reno [Rick Cornell] and Johnny the Bull) retired, and Sean O'Haire deceased, Mark Jindrak qualifies as the breakout of the group, though it took him a while. After washing out of WWE, he went on to New Japan Pro Wrestling and eventually to CMLL in Mexico, where he reinvented himself as "The Golden Eagle" Marco Corleone, and won the CMLL World Heavyweight Title in 2017.
  • New Jack became a bigger star than his Gangstas teammate Mustafa, though D'Lo Brown, who started as part of their entourage in SMW, has achieved far more than either of them.
  • This was double-averted by Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher, since both guys had reached legend status by the time they stopped teaming in the 1980s.
  • Eddie Kingston became this to his The Wild Cards teammate "Black" Jack Marciano in CHIKARA, due to Marciano retiring.
  • The Barbarian ended up as The Jannetty to Meng, which was why he turned on Meng, breaking up The Faces of Fear in early 1998 WCW.
  • Inverted with Chris Adams, since Gino Hernandez died in February 1986, two months after their team The Dynamic Duo broke up, and, outside of Texas and Mid-South, Adams was never any kind of a star on his own.
  • Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed) broke up after The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) defeated them for the WCW World Tag Team Titles at WCW WrestleWar 91, February 24, 1991.note  Reed disappeared in May 1991 and returned at WCW Clash of the Champions XX on September 20, 1992, when Simmons was over a month into his reign as the first African-American WCW World Heavyweight Champion. That night, Simmons successfully defended his title against Cactus Jack. Reed and The Barbarian defeated Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes. Shortly after this, Cowboy Bill Watts fired Reed for missing a flight. Simmons went on to success in WWE and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. Reed never worked for a major promotion again.
  • Ernest "The Cat" Miller was the breakout of his team with Glacier. While he never won a title in pro wrestling, once he split away from Glacier he got to show a lot more personality, first as a heel, then as a face.
  • Lanny Poffo was the Jannetty to his brother Randy Savage. Savage became a 6x World Heavyweight Champion (2x WWE, 4x WCW). Poffo never won a title outside of a territory or independent promotion.
  • CHIKARA's Juke Joint Lucas Calhoun is a breakout by default. He arrived in 2014 as Volgar, a follower of Jimmy Jacobs in The Flood, the amalgamation of Heel groups out to destroy CHIKARA. He was often seen with a second masked guy named Callux (the first of two), who never wrestled a match in CHIKARA since Eddie Kingston destroyed him under Jimmy Jacobs' orders.note 
  • After the team of Blake and Murphy broke up, both men were stuck on jobber-to-the-stars duty for over a year. Then Buddy Murphy was moved into 205 Live where he became one of its top stars and would win the Cruiserweight Championship, then up to the main roster, and in August 2019, put in a main event angle with Roman Reigns and has scored an upset victory over Daniel Bryan, and after a feud with Aleister Black, became the "disciple" for Seth Rollins's "Messiah" gimmick and won the Raw Tag Team Championship with him. Wesley Blake languished in NXT for many years, eventually joining the Forgotten Sons alongside Jaxson Ryker and Steve Cutler, a group that remained stagnant and unpopular until a surprise call-up to the main roster and tag title fued with The New Day in 2020. However, just as they were gearing up for a Smackdown Tag Team title match, Jaxson Ryker decided to post a racism-tinged pro-Trump rant online during the absolute peak of the Black Lives Matter movement. Fans, staff, and fellow wrestlers were disgusted with Ryker's actions and The Forgotten Sons were immediately removed from TV and their push and fued with The New Day were given to the team of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura who proceeded to get the Tag Title reign that was likely supposed to be for Blake and Cutler. After a few months Blake eventually returned alongside Cutler as King Corbin's "Knights of the Lone Wolf"note  while Ryker eventually returned as Elias' Heavy. There's been no mention The Forgotten Sons since. They were essentially wiped off the slate, never to be mentioned again. The Knights of the Lone Wolf weren't around for long either, as a little over a month after the gimmick debuted, Cutler was released in February 2021 as punishment for breaking COVID protocols while Blake would be released two months later.
  • The Black Lotus Triad of Lucha Underground - Doku, Yurei, and Hitokiri - was the first appearance of Kairi Sane (Doku) and Io Shirai (Hitokiri) on American wrestling. Kairi and Io have both gone on to join WWE, where Kairi won the WWE Women's Tag Titles with Asuka, and Io won the NXT Women's Championship. Mayu Iwatani (Yurei) wasn't interested in relocating to the USA and has remained on the Japanese women's indy scene (although she hung around Ring of Honor's nascient women's division enough to win its women's title once).
  • The tag team of A.R. Fox & Liam Ruff who won the Evolve Tag Team titles. After Evolve became defunct in June 2020 and was bought by WWE, Ruff (now Leon Ruff) signed with NXT, initially used as a jobber before a shock upset win of the North American title from Johnny Gargano of all people and enjoying a good run there. Fox however, continues to enjoy success on the indy circuit, so both are doing well. And Ruff's doing better than his other partner, Adrian Alanis, who seems to have disappeared entirely.

Alternative Title(s): Professional Wrestling


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