You had mentioned some time ago about how the Edge and Christian (or Hardyz; can't remember which) break-up didn't work because people didn't want to see them fight. This got me thinking. Throughout wrestling, there have been some decent tag betrayals (Steiner in '98; Team 3D in 200-Whatever) and of course the awesome Barbershop split. However, IMO, no split has led to anything particularly memorable in terms of a longstanding feud and the matches generally aren't inspired (Benoit and Angle might be considered an exception but they weren't really an established team (Their team was more an excuse to keep them together until they were ready to feud again)). This makes some amount of sense. Splits tend to occur when a team is on the downswing of their popularity and/or workrate. Also, teams are usually formed because either wrestler wouldn't survive in singles, or at least, couldn't maintain, as a single, the popularity he established with a team. Beyond this, team members tend not to have definable personalities while within a team and, thus, have to reestablish a connection with the fans.
But I would be surprised if, in the whole of wrestling history, not one established team ever had an epic break-up and then proceeded to have an awesome feud, if not memorable matches. The stories seem to write themselves. One member grows disillusioned with the team (Jealousy, Disappointment, Feelings of Betrayal) and not only breaks the team but becomes obsessed with destroying his partner. This is then followed by Spy vs. Spy-type stuff where both members know each other so well that they're constantly trying to figuring out each others move.Or you can have one member sell out to a stable, Million-Dollar Man-Style and have the other guy work through the stablemates until the team can finally fight. Etc… Has there ever been an EPIC tag team breakup and subsequent feud?
The team I was originally referring to was the Hardy Boyz. Clearly E&C needed to break up for Edge to become a bigger star.
Anyway, the thing with tag teams is that generally when you have a really successful split it's because they have one guy who they really want to push (ie, Bret or Shawn) and one guy who they don't give a s--- about (ie, Anvil and Marty), so one guy gets sacrificed to the other. In the Hart Foundation's case that didn't happen, Bret just kind of went off and did his own thing. The best ones are when you have guys at the same level who get split up and then feud and both end up at a higher level as a result. So here's my favorite awesome tag team breakups and subsequent feuds:
1) Beer Money. Say what you will about the eventual blowoff and booking mistakes, but Bobby Roode getting tempted into hitting him with the beer bottle and winning the World title was AWESOME. Yeah, they blew the landing, but if Storm had won the belt back at Lockdown this would be one of the all-time great angles and feuds. But it was still pretty great and turned both guys into legit main event stars.
2) Shawn Michaels & Diesel. They broke up, had their blowoff at Wrestlemania over the World title, and both ended up even bigger stars.
3) Strike Force! Yeah, there was a long layoff for the team due to Martel's injury, but it was a pretty good turn for Martel and they milked that feud for a LONG time afterwards.
4) X-Pac & Kane. Yeah, the eventual payoff sucked, but the storyline was pretty solid and they were a really over tag team at the time.
So there's four. I'm sure there's more.