Like I wrote about yesterday, the WWE was correct in choosing Carlos Colon for induction into the Hall of Fame. Now, with five inductees (Warrior, Lita, Paul Bearer, Jake Roberts and Colon), I wonder if the Hall has room for one more this year?
Bring on Demolition.
Considered the most dominant tag teams of the later 1980s and early 1990s, Demolition was the WWF’s answer to The Road Warriors with their leather garb, rush to the ring and manager Mr. Fuji. Ax (Bill Eadie), Smash (Barry Darsow), and later Crush (Brian Adams) were just what the company and its fans needed to bridge the gap between the end of the Hogan Era and the beginning of the Attitude Era in the company.
At WrestleMania IV, Ax and Smash defeated Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) to win their first WWF Tag Team Championship. Ax struck Martel in the back of the neck with Fuji’s cane while he had Smash in a Boston crab (Fuji had dropped the cane into the ring while taking a beating from Santana who carried on oblivious to what was happening in the ring). Martel was knocked out and Smash covered him for the pin while Ax hid outside with the cane. As champions, they defeated a number of the top teams of the WWF, which at the time had a very talent-rich and hotly contested tag division, most notably the British Bulldogs and Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart.
As part of the appeal of the WWF in its height of popularity, tag teams helped to not only create a buzz within the organization, but it also allowed wrestlers who would not normally get a push to be a part fot eh circus Vince McMahon had created to challenge the NWA, WCCW and the AWA. While the team started out as a duo, the addition of the third member (Crush) gave fans another added dimension of wrestling to enjoy. Like other stables before – like the Freebirds or the Russians (which Darsow was a part of), six-man tag team wrestling became hip again.
As written on the team’s Wiki page, shortly after WrestleMania VI, the team gradually began to turn heel again. This intensified when Brian Adams debuted in WWF and joined the team as Crush. In kayfabe it was claimed that this was a heinous scheme to gain a three-on-two advantage over other tag teams, but it was actually because Eadie had developed an allergy to shellfish (which he attributed to his frequent trips to Japan) which hospitalized him, and WWF owner and head booker Vince McMahon wanted to add a third member to the team just in case the illness put Eadie out of action for an extended period of time. Crush soon took a more active role, teaming with Smash while Ax faded into the background, becoming more of a manager.
At this time Demolition used the “Freebird rule” to allow any two members to wrestle the matches. Smash and Crush defended the titles in the summer of 1990. On the July 28 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Smash and Crush defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) to retain the titles after Ax interfered on their behalf and attacked Michaels. The next month at SummerSlam, however, Demolition lost the titles to Hart Foundation in a two out of three falls match. In that match, Smash & Crush started, but Ax secretly came down later on to substitute himself into the match behind the referee’s back.
Ultimately, the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal), who had signed with the WWF a month earlier, interfered and snuffed out the deception. Demolition never recaptured the titles after this loss.
Soon after, due to the Legion of Doom (L.O.D.) now being on the WWF roster, Demolition’s popularity began to decline, despite regaining the managerial services of Mr. Fuji in the fall of 1990. As a result of the interference by LOD, Demolition began feuding with the Ultimate Warrior and LOD. On the October 13 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Ax, Smash, and Crush lost to the Ultimate Warrior and LOD.
Much has been made over the last 18 months over tag teams being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Degeneration X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H), The New Age Outlaws and Demolition continue to garner support from the fans and the IWC. Cases could be made for The APA (Ron Simmons and JBL) and Brian Kendrick and Paul Diamond. But if the WWE is going to put another “team” in the Hall of Fame, it had better start with the team that started aggression in the first place.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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