Chuck Taylor and Trent are collective proof that there are few bonds in the world as strong as those between best friends. Though they entered professional wrestling at different periods – Taylor in 2002 and Trent in 2004 – they would meet up years later to form one of the most popular tag teams in All Elite Wrestling.
As is the case with many AEW signees, the paths that these men have taken aren’t short on twists and turns. To better understand how Best Friends came to be, we must briefly detail the paths that both men traveled.
Best Friends – Real Men Hug
Born in Murray, Kentucky, Chuck Taylor began his wrestling endeavors at the young age of 15. From there, he made his rounds across the independent scene, including such organizations as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and CHIKARA. Fans gravitated to Taylor as he won multiple titles.
He wasn’t shy about involved in hijinks, including scaring young children, along the way. In terms of championships, Taylor saw much of his success in IWA Mid-South, where he won the promotion’s Heavyweight Championship twice and even held its Women’s Championship. For readers doing double takes, no, the latter isn’t a typo.
On the other side of the equation, the Mount Sinai native Trent Beretta got his start at New York Wrestling Collection. After winning the NYWC Heavyweight Championship, Trent spent approximately six years in World Wrestling Entertainment. In WWE, he teamed with Caylen Croft to form The Dude Busters.
After working on brands including ECW and NXT, Trent returned to the independents. In 2013, he debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling, becoming a regular for the company in the years to come. He formed Roppongi Vice alongside Rocky Romero, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 4 times.
Best Friends – The Trajectories of Chuckie T and Trent
Given the different trajectories of Taylor and Trent, one may wonder how they formed the team that would become known as Best Friends. One mustn’t look further than the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles event, which PWG held in August. Taylor and Trent teamed for the first time in six-man tag team action.
Alongside Joey Ryan, Taylor and Trent defeated B-Boy, Willie Mack, and Tommaso Ciampa. Best Friends continued to team together in PWG for the remainder of the year, facing AR Fox, Brian Cage, and Roderick Strong, just to name a few talents that came through the promotion.
PWG’s Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament
Best Friends kicked off 2014 by entering PWG’s Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament in January. The tandem of Taylor and Trent thrived in the DDT4, to say the least. They defeated The RockNES Monsters in the first round, Kevin Steen and Adam Cole in the semifinals, and lastly, the Rich Swann and Ricochet in the finals.
Best Friends would go on to challenge for not only the PWG World Tag Team Championship but the DREAMWAVE Tag Team Championships in the months that followed. The following July, Best Friends debuted for Beyond Wrestling, facing Team Tremendous at Beyond Americanrana.
In 2015, Best Friends would wrestle on and off, Taylor and Trent involved in separate efforts in the meantime. Trent spent most of the year wrestling for Ring of Honor and, to a greater extent, NJPW.
Meanwhile, Taylor remained a consistent presence on the independent scene, largely working with his Gentleman’s Club stablemates – these include such names as The Swamp Monster and Drew Gulak – in CHIKARA. Nonetheless, Best Friends worked a few matches in 2015.
In February, at PWG’s From Out of Nowhere event, they bested fellow AEW tag team John Silver and Alex Reynolds. They also appeared for the Battle of Los Angeles event, scoring a ten-man tag team victory alongside Gulak, Aero Star, and Drew Galloway.
Dwindling Their Alliance?
Best Friends wrestled fewer matches together, as a tag team, in 2016. Though they worked with VSK and Dorian Graves in July and War Machine in December, Taylor and Trent remained on their respective paths. Taylor’s work on the independent scene continued. In June, Taylor won a three-way match for the DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship.
Taylor would lose the title to Scott Hall immediately after. In July, Taylor teamed with Galloway to claim the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship. Meanwhile, Trent remained focused on NJPW. Alongside Romero, Trent captured the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship at Invasion Attack in April. He also won that year’s Super Junior Tag Tournament alongside his Roppongi Vice teammate.
In 2017, Best Friends began teamed on a more consistent basis. Following a victory at AAW’s Art of War in February, they made their way to ROH as a unit. Alongside Romero, Best Friends bested Bullet Club’s Hangman Page and The Young Bucks in six-man tag team action.
From there, Best Friends scored victories against the likes of Coast 2 Coast and The Addiction; the latter was comprised of Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. In November, Best Friends entered NJPW’s World Tag League. Defeating teams, including Henare, Togi Makabe, and Guerrillas of Destiny, Best Friends, ended with 8 points in Block B.
Re-emerge and Re-focus
Best Friends ended the year by challenging The Motor City Machine Guns, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, for the ROH World Tag Team Championship at Final Battle. In this ten-minute-plus encounter, Best Friends fell short.
During the first half of 2018, Best Friends wrestled primarily for ROH, working with the likes of The Young Bucks and The Briscoes. Following a six-man tag team victory at NJPW Destruction of Hiroshima, in September, Best Friends worked the following Road to Destruction tour.During said tour, they teamed with CHAOS stable members including Hirooki Goto and Will Ospreay. They returned to ROH to work the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view the same month. In ten-man tag team action, CHAOS fell to Bullet Club. Back in NJPW, Best Friends worked the Road to Power Struggle tour in October.
The following month, Best Friends entered their second World Tag League. Though they failed to win, Best Friends ended the tournament with 14 points.
To say that Best Friends started 2019 with a bang would be an understatement. At All Elite Wrestling’s Las Vegas rally, to hype Double or Nothing, Taylor and Trent announced their signing with the company. The Young Bucks, two of AEW’s EVPs, also announced them as one of their favorite teams to wrestle.
Best Friends’ statement was clear: to change the world through the power of friendship. As AEW was getting underway, they appeared in other promotions. For instance, at PWG’s Two Hundred event in March, Best Friends scored a victory over Aussie Open, Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher.
Best Friends are All Elite
Best Friends made their AEW debut at Double or Nothing in May. They faced, and defeated, Angelico and Jack Evans, collectively known as The Hybrid 2. Though Best Friends won, they were soon thereafter jumped by Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and a legion of Dark Order’s Creepers.
Taylor and Trent continued onward, however, winning a three-way tag team at Fyter Fest’s “Buy-In” the next month. From there, Best Friends reignited their rivalry with Dark Order, facing them at August’s All Out for a bye in the AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament.
Dark Order won this encounter and proceeded to attempt to abduct Trent. The lights would go out; once they reappeared, Orange Cassidy was standing in the ring. He dived out onto Dark Order before accepting a double embrace from Best Friends. Though they lost their match, Taylor and Trent gained a new friend.
It didn’t take long for this new union to become popular among AEW fans. With Cassidy being a beloved figure in the company, not to mention Best Friends’ popularity as a tandem, greatness may not far off for this trio. This can be seen on recent AEW programming.
Taylor and Trent scored victories over the likes of Private Party and The Lucha Brothers. With “Freshly Squeezed” by their side, “The Kentucky Gentleman” and “Trentylocks” are set to make a difference in tag team wrestling, one hug at a time.