Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Boo: Demolition

Smash & Ax: Demolition
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

It's October 1, and that means it's time to kick off the month with a daily "Boo Blog."  Each day there will be a Halloween related blog posted, many will be wrestling related, but we're opening it up to all sorts of pop culture and entertainment this year.

The original team
Photo courtesy: WWE
I'm starting off with a wrestling one, and perhaps one of the greatest tag teams in the history of the WWE: Demolition.  At least they are one of my all time favorite teams.

I didn't know it at the time, but when the team debut back in 1987, Ax was played by Bill Eadie, the man behind the Masked Superstar and Super Machine.  Smash was Randy Colley, who had been Moondog Rex previously.  According to Barry Darsow, who replaced Colley, fans recognized the former Moondog and wouldn't let him forget about it.  So the WWF replaced him with Darsow, who I knew as Krusher Khruschev in the NWA.  Got all that?  Good.  Let's continue.

Ax and Smash were big, burly guys, decked out in leather and spikes and had their faces painted.  They were first led to the ring by "Luscious" Johnny V, but really his character didn't really fit the role with these two brutes.  Soon after their debut, Mr. Fuji took over their contracts.

It didn't take long for fans to take notice of Demolition.  They tore through the competition, eventually earning a shot at the tag team champions, Strike Force at Wrestlemania IV.  With the help of Mr. Fuji's cane, Ax and Smash became the WWF tag team champions.  I'm pretty sure the two set a record for holding the tag team titles the longest in WWF history, with their first reign lasting well over a year.  Demolition ended up dumping Mr. Fuji during a double switch at the 1988 Survivor Series.  The Powers of Pain were the faces that night, but by the end of the match, ended up walking away with the devious manager.

Demolishing Mr. Fuji
Wrestlemania V
It was that night that I really took a liking to Demolition.  I was 15 at the time, and still tending to root for the babies over heels.  One of my favorite Royal Rumble moments came in 1989, when Ax and Smash were participates one and two.  They beat the hell out of each other for the first two minutes, before Andre the Giant entered, and then the champs focused their attention on him.

Ax and Smash ended up facing the Powers of Pain at Wrestlemania V.  The Warlord and Barbarian not only had Mr. Fuji in their corner, but as a partner that night.  The champs won the handicap match, pinning their former manager.

They beat everyone they faced until the Brain Busters used a chair and Andre the Giant to win the gold.  It didn't take long for Demolition to regain the belts and eventually drop them again to Andre and Haku.  But at Wrestlemania VI, they once again reigned supreme.

Smash, Ax, & Crush
Photo courtesy: WWE
The team added a third member in Crush who was brought in to presumably replace an aging and health weary Ax.  This new incarnation lost its luster in my view.  I think you could say it's when Demolition jumped the shark. It wasn't long before they lost the titles and quickly plunged into obscurity.  Less than a year later Ax was gone, Crush became an orange spandex wearing Hawaiian strong man and Smash was stealing things that didn't belong to him as the Repo Man.

In the early years of Demolition, the team drew criticism for being Road Warriors rip offs.  As a young fan back then, I never really viewed them as wanna-bes.  Demolition wasn't the only team sporting war paint and leather look.  I really think the long title reign and the dominance over some of the best WWF tag teams like The British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation, and Powers of Pain helped bring some legitimacy to this tandem.  Eventually when Hawk and Animal arrived in the WWF, they dominated Demolition, who were already on their way out for the most part.  Never the less, Ax and Smash remain one of the best as far as I'm concerned.

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