Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

The Shield ends
Photo courtesy: WWE.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Lots of folks are still buzzing about Seth Rollins and his split from The Shield.  I'll be the first to admit, I was surprised by the actions, because I thought either Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose would be the first to leave the group.  I'm sad to see the faction split up, because I really thought they'd hit their stride and still had enough gas in the tank to carry the gimmick a bit further.  But I'm interested to see how this situation is going to develop and instead of speculating on what's next, I'm going to look back on some other big breakups in the world of wrestling.

The shocking turns we all talk about include Hulk Hogan joining the nWo.  Paul Bearer whacking The Undertaker in the head with his own urn back in 1996 is burned in our memories.  And we'll never forget Shawn Michaels superkicking and throwing his Rockers partner Marty Jannetty through the glass window of the Barber Shop set more than 20 years ago.

Paul Orndorff turns on Hulk Hogan
Photo courtesy: WWE
When I was in middle school, Hulkamania was sweeping the nation.  Hogan and Paul Orndorff had formed an alliance after the first Wrestlemania and teamed up to rid the WWF of Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and Bobby Heenan's family.  However, enough was enough and just over a year into their partnernship "Mr. Wonderful" was finished with the Hulkster.  Orndorff claimed he was tired of living in Hogan's shadow and on WWF Superstars, he clotheslined and delivered a devastating piledriver to the champ after they'd beaten the tandem of Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy.  This set the wheels in motion for a memorable feud between the former friends, which was highlighted with that epic steel cage match "tie" on Saturday Night's Main Event.  Hogan would go on to lose more friends through the years like Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, and Brutus Beefcake (in WCW).

Ronnie Garvin and his new friends
 
Besides Hogan, I think Dusty Rhodes is the other face to have lost as many friends.  The Road Warriors attacked him and tried putting out his eye.  Barry Windham turned on him and joined the Four Horsemen.  Even "Hands of Stone" Ronnie Garvin punched out the Dream.  It happened at the Great American Bash in 1988. Garvin walked into the ring, cold-cocked Dusty and left. Windham was defending the U.S. Title against Rhodes and covered the unconscious hero for the three count.  Garvin nor Rhodes stuck around in the NWA very long after so we never really got to see this feud develop.

Chris Adams snaps
Photo courtesy: worldclasswrestling.net
Another trusting group of faces who always had friends stabbing them in the back was the Von Erich family.  The popular and charismatic brothers ended up getting betrayed by the likes of Brian Adias, Iceman King Parsons, and "Gentleman" Chris Adams. While still a good guy, Adams turned to the notorious manager Gary Hart (who also briefly managed the rouge Ronnie Garvin in the NWA) for guidance.  Long time friend and partner, Kevin Von Erich advised against the move.  Eventually Chris got tired of the goody two shoes and blasted his buddy with a chair one night. This set up an epic feud between the two and lead to a partnership between Adams, Gino Hernandez, and very briefly Jake "The Snake" Roberts.  While the feud wasn't as intense as the Von Erichs and Freebirds, the matches were always solid and eventually simmered after Kerry and Kevin beat The Dynamic Duo and shaved their heads.  

These are just a few of the great (again in my opinion) breakups in wrestling.  What are your faves?  Post here and thanks for reading.

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