Friday, July 8, 2011

Fantasy Friday: Bulldogs vs. Road Warriors

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

This week's submission features two of the greatest tag teams in the history of the business.  And they were both pretty big at the same time, just dominate in different organizations.  Of course of I'm talking about the British Bulldogs and the Road Warriors.

Sadly, unlike the two previous Fantasy Friday submissions, this match could never happen today.  Davey Boy Smith died in 2002.  Road Warrior Hawk passed away in 2003.  And Dynamite Kid has been in a wheelchair for years.  So this week it will truly be a fantasy.

The British Bulldogs:

Photo courtesy: WWE

My favorite tag team of all time is the British Bulldogs.  Although they weren't very good on the mic, they backed it up in the ring.  Dynamite's speed and agility as well as his pure wrestling talent coupled with Davey Boy's brute strength and developing in ring skills made them top dogs.  Pardon the pun.  Seriously though, their matches with the Hart Foundation are some of the finest tag team matches in the history of the WWE.  I think the series between Edge & Christian and the Hardy Boys and the Rockers vs. the Brain Busters may be the top 3 tag team rivilaries of all time.

Their time in the WWF was brief.  They appeared in the company for about 4 years, from 1984 until 1988. In that time they only held the tag team titles once, beating The Dream Team of Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine at Wrestlemania 2.  The Bulldogs held the titles for about 9 months before dropping them to the Hart Foundation.

They defended the belts against the Dream Team, the Harts, and the Iron Sheik & Nikoali Volkoff.  Those are the big opponents I remember.  I think they even beat King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd by DQ on Superstars once.  There were also plenty of wins over jobber teams (including Mick Foley) during their run.

Even after they lost the belts, they had more great matches against Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart.  They also entered a feud with the Islanders and the Fabulous Rougeaus Brothers.  They left the WWF before really getting another shot at the gold.  I had hoped they'd get another run and maybe challenge then champions Demolition.  It never happened.

The pair held the Stampede tag titles a couple of times too.  But for some reason the duo split and had a mini feud in Stampede before Davey Boy returned to the WWF to embark on a solo career.  Like I mentioned before, their time together was short (well, a lifetime by today's tag team standards), but they were my favorite team.

The Road Warriors: 


An even more dominate force was tearing through the competition in the AWA and NWA.  The Road Warriors won the tag team gold in the AWA first.  They beat Crusher and Baron Von Raschke in 1984 and then steamrolled through the competition.  They held those titles for just over a year before dropping them to the unlikely duo of Steve Regal (not William) and Jimmy Garvin.  But for those 13 months on top, they kicked a lot of ass.  The Road Warriors were different for sure.  They didn't look like any other tag team at the time, and certainly like no one else in the AWA.  The company was starting to struggle at that point, losing big names like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Ken Patera to the WWF.

The Warriors were young, strong, and tough.  They snacked on danger and dined on death.  And in 1986 they left the AWA and continued to dominate the tag team ranks in the NWA.  It didn't take long for them to win the first ever Crockett Memorial Cup.  They also feuded with the evil Russians Ivan & Nikita Koloff and Jim Cornette's team of the Midnight Express.

It wasn't until a heel turn that they won the tag team titles by beating the face Midnight Express.  They lost their gold again to another unlikely team, this time Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams.  It was long after that the Warriors left WCW and headed to the WWF, where they also won the tag team gold.  They're the only tag team in the history of the business to hold the titles in AWA, NWA, and WWF.  Quite a feat.

Now if this match would have been held at the height of both teams careers, which was roughly the same time, it would have been a dream match.  The Bulldogs would have obviously kept it a high speed match with quick tags and lots of technical wrestling.  Davey Boy wasn't quite the power house he was at the end of his WWE run, so I don't think he would have been able to match Animal's brute power.

Because I was such a Bulldogs mark (and still am) it's hard for me to say this, but I'd have to pick the Warriors to win this contest.  I base it mostly on their dominance over so many tag teams during their run in the AWA and NWA.  The Bulldogs had some great opponents, but I think the Warriors were better for a longer period of time.  Dynamite's premature injury is partly to blame I think for the Bulldog's early plunge from the top of the WWF tag team division.

What are your thoughts?  Who would have won this epic tag team battle?  Weigh in here or on Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. I agree.
    The Bulldogs were a great tag team, but I don't think they could match what Hawk and Animal had at that time.

    ReplyDelete