What a sad weekend for fans of 1980s WWF wrestling, as we mourn both the “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff and George “The Animal” Steele, both of whom died after lengthy illnesses.
These guys played strong heel characters in the WWF in the early ’80s. Koloff went on to feud with the Road Warriors in the NWA in the mid-1980s, while Steele turned babyface and had a long TV feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage over the affections of Miss Elizabeth.Embed from Getty Images
George "The Animal" Steele
Steele, whose real name was Jim Myers, was 79 when he died on Feb. 16, 2017, while Koloff’s birth monicker was Oreal Perras and he was 74 at his death on Feb. 18, 2017.
Both wrestlers were outright mean during the 1970s for the WWWF. Steele actually did menacing Continue reading
Way back in 1989, I was at a Saturday Night’s Main Event taping in Worcester, MA, when Demolition lost the WWF Tag Team Championship to Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson (the Brain Busters). It was the first time I had seen a title change hands live.
That loss marked the end of one of the WWF’s all-time greatest records, as the face-painted Ax and Smash had held the tag titles for 478 days and cemented themselves as a classic tag team, albeit one with unlikely origins.
Now, current WWE Raw Tag Team Champions New Day are in line to break Demolition’s record if they retain they titles through Dec. 14, 2016. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E have held the tag straps since Aug. 24, 2015. By the way, Kingston grew up in the Boston suburb of Winchester, MA, which at one point was also the home of Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
The New Day: Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods
Even back in the ’80s, it was rare to see tag champs go so long holding the belts, but Vince McMahon had made it his mission to put Demolition in the same league as Continue reading
Demolition debuted as a tag team 25 years ago this month at the old Boston Garden, defeating the Islanders (Haku and Tama, a.k.a. the Tonga Kid).
The face-painted team comprised Ax (Bill Eadie, a.k.a. the Masked Superstar and Super Machine) and Smash (originally Randy Colley, a.k.a. Moondog Rex, but quickly replaced by Barry Darsow, a.k.a. Krusher Krushchev). They were Vince McMahon’s imitation of the Road Warriors, who had taken the NWA and AWA by storm. But Demolition became a good tag team in its own right, because with Continue reading
Monday Night Raw’s angle with WWE Unified Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels and Triple H arguing about who would win the 2010 Royal Rumble reminded me of another title-holding tag team that got off on the wrong foot during the Rumble.
In 1989 — the first year that the Royal Rumble was on pay-per-view — entrants 1 and 2 were Ax and Smash, collectively known as Demolition and the current WWF tag team champions at the time. Demolition was Vince McMahon’s middle finger to Continue reading