Tagged: Tully Blanchard

Tag team upheaval for Demolition at Survivor Series 1988

With the 2017 WWE Survivor Series coming up, I decided to watch a match I had not seen in a long time: The epic, 10-team Survivor Series elimination contest from 1988.

The bout culminated in a rare double turn, as Mr. Fuji — “the devious one,” said Gorilla Monsoon during commentary — betrayed Tag Team Champions Demolition and instead sided with opponents The Powers of Pain.

 

Ax and Smash of Demolition had been heels since their arrival, but Fuji’s actions made them babyfaces, and the opposite happened when the Powers of Pain — Warlord and Barbarian — lifted Fuji on their shoulders after winning the match.

The other notable thing that many long-time WWF fans remember about the match is Continue reading

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Bobby Heenan wrestled twice — against Bellomo and ‘Piper Machine’ — in Boston

I’m quite late — two months!?! — in getting up another post about the late Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and the mark he left on the fans in Boston during his WWF heyday in the 1980s.

The first time I ever saw Heenan live was at the old Boston Garden, when he appeared as a manager at a house show in March 1987, just a few weeks before WrestleMania III.

 

Heenan managed Hercules and Paul Orndorff, who teamed up with Adorable Adrian Adonis to face Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper and Billy Jack Haynes in an elimination match. It remains one of my favorite personal matches I ever saw live, largely because it was allegedly Piper’s Continue reading

Demolition poised to lose reign as longest WWE tag team champions

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.

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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

Best wishes to Barry Windham, a.k.a the Widowmaker

As some of you may have heard, former WWF Tag Team Champion Barry Windham has run into some serious health problems.

Windham was found collapsed on his family ranch by relatives on October 26. He had a heart attack, and may have suffered a stroke, also. Wrestling columnist Mike Mooneyham interviewed Blackjack Mulligan, Windham’s father, who noted, “It was a very close call … we almost lost him.” Windham is now facing a long recovery at a rehabilitation facility.

I would have thought most WWF fans would remember Windham from his two reigns at Tag Team Champion with Mike Rotundo in 1985, but I’m surprised to say Continue reading

Saturday Night’s Main Event often featured two-of-three-fall contests

This week on Monday Night Raw, we saw Dolph Ziggler retain the U.S. Title against Kofi Kingston in a two-out-of-three falls bout, which is a match not often seen these days in the WWE. Wasn’t that a surprise to see fans vote for that option?

In the 1980s, it was more common to see two-out-of-three falls, particularly when the WWF would displace Saturday Night Live on NBC with Saturday Night’s Main Event.

All of the three-fall contests on Saturday Night’s Main Event occurred in Continue reading

The WWF/WWE Tag Team Title has always been secondary, even in the 1980s

This comment from a fan on the Wrestling Observer website regarding December’s WWE TLC pay-per-view caught my attention:

The tag belts are so devalued somebody might as well steal them and throw them in the trash can because tag team wrestling in WWE is nonexistent.

I’m not sure the Tag Team Title is devalued as much as it was never really worth a lot to begin with. The WWE and the WWF could never be confused as long-term hot beds for tag team action.

Yes, we lived through points in the late 1980s and 1990s when the WWF had an abundance of good tag teams and there seemed to be a switch in thinking about these types of matches. But generally, the WWF/WWE always was Continue reading

Barry Windham’s Widowmaker gimmick was a big flop in the WWF

Does anyone remember Barry Windham’s brief WWF run as the Widowmaker? It seemed like a very cool gimmick — a tall, tough cowboy, similar to Windham’s father, Blackjack Mulligan — but it never caught fire.

Prior to becoming the Widowmaker, Windham had many years of success in the NWA and WWF (he appeared at the first WrestleMania 1985 with Mike Rotundo, losing the Tag Team Titles to the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff). I remember seeing him debut as the Widowmaker in Continue reading