Welcome to the Saturday History lesson, also known as the Phat Daily Column. Today, we discuss one of the best tag teams ever. No, they weren't from WCW, nor were they from the WWF. They were the Eliminators, Perry Saturn and John Kronus. Together, they formed a unique team that was so graceful in the ring. Their ability as a team was unmatched, but it ended too short. So let's hop in the Time Machine, and take that Quantum Leap to when the Eliminators were still around!
The best tag team ever? For the short period of time that they were a team, many considered them that. Why? When you have two individuals with new, and innovative tag team moves which just amazed you for each match they wrestled, then you could think that way. The Eliminators consisted of Perry "Air" Saturn and John "Hurricane" Kronus". Sad thing is that this great team only lasted a few years, and it was just starting to shine for ECW when they broke up.
They were said to have formed somewhere in the independents. They wrestled for the USWA for a short while, which was the WWF's developing federation at the time, or at least they sent "green" people down there. Saturn and Kronus were NOT under any WWF contracts at any time, as they were just there to be part of the show. Slowly, they became an independent sensation, as my PWI or Pro Wrestling Illustrated would put it. They declared them an underrated tag team, with many great years ahead of them. This was the year 1995, so we'll say just two good years.
They became hot in the federation, and USWA gave them the World Titles(defeating Brian Christopher and Eddie Gilbert[may he rest in peace]). About a month later, the Eliminators lost the titles to PG-13, but the Eliminators weren't down and out. Paul Heyman and ECW took notice of their talent, and invited them to join ECW... which they obviously did! During this time, many considered John Kronus to be the more talented wrestler of the team, with his flipping kicks and top rope agility. That would change later....
The Eliminators found immediate success in ECW, as they shot right up to the top of the Tag Team ladder by defeating Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck to become the NEW World Tag Team champions in February of 1996, and they held them for exactly 6 months. They seems to have formed an odd friendship with Taz at this time too, as in the middle of 1996, I was able to watch and enjoy ECW. The first ever telecast that I saw was when Prime Time Brian Lee, Taz, and the Eliminators just clean house. The Eliminators did many "Total Eliminations" on opponents, Brian Lee was chokeslamming people over the fucking top rope, and Taz was choking out everybody! In fact, this crazy scene is what got me watching ECW!
Credit: PerrySaturn.com for the photo
Speaking of Total Elimination, what exactly is it you ask? Looking at the image here, you can see that Perry Saturn is going behind with a low leg sweep, while John Kronus nails the opponent with a spinning helicopter kick, from the front, at the same time as the leg sweep. It's very impressive, especially when the opponent sells it like a bitch! I had the pleasure of seeing the Eliminators perform it live, and damn, it's a sight to behold!
The Eliminators then found the Ganstas to feud with, and together, there were some pretty brutal matches. You may remember seeing a clip of Perry Saturn jumping off a cage onto the Gangstas in the "Natural Born Killers" video clip that used to be on Hardcore TV. The Gangstas eventually won the straps off the Eliminators in August of 1996. This title loss allowed the Eliminators to concentrate on a brutal feud with Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy and Dr. Death Steve Williams, who were both coming overseas for a visit.
Well... the storylines had it that the Eliminators were attacking Gordy, and he then made a call to Dr. Death to help him out. The end product is what you see on Extreme Revolution, which besides the drop from the scaffold, was a bad match. Don't blame Perry or Saturn, blame Bam Bam and Dr. Death, who are sluggish and stiff to work with. Just watch that match and see how they are trying to work with them, but with little reaction from Gordy or Williams. That elbow drop, however, opened some eyes in the wrestling world, and to ECW.
In December of 1996, the Eliminators regained the titles back from the Gangstas to begin some of their best matches ever! Back then, Rob Van Dam and Sabu didn't quite get along, thanks to their "respect match" that they had. But they decided to put all of their personal problems aside, and go after the Eliminators for one of the best series of Tag Team Matches ever: Tables and Ladder Matches. Yes, before the Hardys, before the Dudleys, and before Edge/Christian were even formed yet, these guys were doing these kind of matches....but with smaller space!
The RVD/Sabu vs. the Eliminator matches were just spectacular. For one, both Sabu and RVD look great when they have great opponents, since they are the king of spots. Saturn and Kronus helped to carry them to great matches. You should have seen some of the innovative stuff they did in those matches. This is why I keep crying to ECW to put those matches on tape. Those who haven't seen them yet don't understand how excellent those matches actually were. Thank God my brother was taping Hardcore TV back then, as we have 3 of those matches on tape here at home. But seriously ECW, please consider having the RVD/Sabu vs. Eliminator matches on your next tape.
By the way, the Eliminators won all of those matches with RVD/Sabu, which is probably why we don't see them on any of the ECW tapes.
In early 1997, a new team formed. During some kind of crazy-ass match, the two Dudleys, Buh Buh Ray and Spike were involved with the bad apple of the family, Devon. Devon was the outsider of the family, as he would feud with his "brothers". However, after a match, Buh Buh and Devon started smiling at each other, for some strange reason. Spike was in the ring and confused, because he had no idea what was going on. After their smiling, they looked at Spike, and went after him. They ended up destroying Spike, and officially forming their Tag Team, which rules the WWF today, the Dudley Boyz. They would keep Sign Guy Dudley(now Lou E.), add the returning Big Dick Dudley, and finally, they acquired the services of Joel Gertner to be their ring announcer. Crazy stuff here! The Dudleys also developed the 3D finisher, just after they formed. They were becoming an instant force!
So this huge orgy of violence went after the Eliminators, and then immediately won the titles from them. How? This is one of my favorite endings, ever! The Eliminators are pretty much destroying the Dudley Boyz, until Sign Guy comes out of no where and NAILS Perry Saturn with a fucking glass window! It looked so devastating, and it's much worse than any attempts by the WWF to throw guys through glass windows. Sign Guy hit Perry like it was a chairshot or something. This softened up Perry, and the Dudleys would then win their first tag titles ever.
After this, the Dudleys would put the titles on the line, several times, against the Gangstas and the Eliminators for some great 3 Way Dances. This is where many of the New Jack leaps originated from, and I was shocked when seeing them. They Dudleys always pulled the victory out of their asses during these matches, despite the Eliminators almost winning everytime. Hey ECW, how about putting these matches on the tapes too?
Mustafa, New Jack's partner, was either injured or he left the company, so the Gangstas were now down and out. That left the Eliminators to be one-on-one with the Dudleys at the very first ECW Pay Per View, Barely Legal. If you ever want to see the spectacular Eliminator moves, then this is the show to watch. It's a total squash from top to bottom by Saturn and Kronus, as they showcase their great moves for maybe any new ECW viewers out there. Damn it's sweet! The Eliminators win their 3rd Titles here.
During all of this time, however, Perry Saturn starts wanting to be a singles wrestler. It's said that he's asked Paul Heyman, several times, for it, but Paul E. believed that the Eliminator tag team was too hot for him to get out of..... which it was! Also, it was said that Perry didn't believe that John Kronus had the drive for wrestling anymore, as he considered him to be somewhat lazy in his approach to their matches. Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but Perry Saturn does become the better of the duo.... but just because he is improving on his own wrestling ability, and Kronus remains the same as he was before.
They were supposed to continue their feud with the Dudleys, but tragedy hit! Perry Saturn landed wrong at some point during a houseshow somewhere. He ended up breaking bones and tearing ligaments in his leg, thus putting him on the shelf for a while. They had a match with the Dudleys that they MUST wrestle at the event Wrestle Palooza, so it happened. However, it was 2 on 1 now, with Buh Buh and Devon destroying John Kronus for a while. Then, Kronus got on the offense, and put Devon in the middle of the ring. Then, Perry Saturn went to the top rope, with a huge brace on his leg, and BAM, he hits his famous "Perry Saturn Elbow". Despite being in a lot of pain for doing the suicidal move, he makes the cover and the Dudleys retain! Dudleys, however, would eventually get the best of Kronus in the rematch, and win their 2nd Tag Titles.
I don't believe that Perry was too happy with ECW asking him to do that elbow spot and for not letting him be a singles wrestler, plus with the growing differences he had with John Kronus, the door was starting to open... In fact, WCW gave him a nice offer, thanks to Todd "the mole" Gordon, negotiating ECW stars to go to WCW. So Perry Saturn, along with Raven and Stevie Richards, made the jump to WCW, thanks again, to Todd Gordon negotiating for them. WCW promised Saturn a singles career, which he wanted from ECW. WCW was the hottest show during the time, so why not, right?
WCW didn't want John Kronus, obviously, who was now without a partner. The Dudleys taunted him for not having one, and said the only way he could fight them for the titles was to defeat Big Dick Dudley in a "singles" match. Kronus got the HUGE win that night, and he got New Jack as his partner after that, since the Gangstas were eliminated. The newly dubbed "Gangstanators" were formed, and they got a huge win over the Dudleys. However, after that match, Heyman wasn't too impressed with the Gangstanators, and he got the straps off them soon after. Don't know why, as I thought they were working just fine. Kronus would just be a jobber in ECW for a while, and then surf the indies for a while, until ending up at XPW, where many former ECW wrestlers currently are. He's said to be a bit out of shape since his ECW days, but I haven't seen him since he left ECW.
Perry Saturn, on the other hand, had a decent WCW run, with some Tag Titles and Television titles to brag about. Backstage politics really got to him, though, and it eventually made him leave WCW with Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko to the WWF, where he hasn't found the right storyline to work with yet, despite being a European Champion one time and having Terri as a manager. He's probably the only Radical who isn't better off from the jump, if you ask me.
But I do have an idea....... Why not reform the Eliminators? Now look, Perry Saturn is NOT over in the WWF, despite having some good matches. The crowds just aren't responding to him at all. Now what if the WWF were to go out and sign John Kronus, whip him into shape, and reform one of the best tag teams ever to fight against the Dudleys(again), Hardys, Edge/Christian, and whoever else. Now that's a dream for me, but it's stretching it, very much. Saturn is a much larger wrestler than he was before, meaning that he's bulked up way too much. Before, he was as bulky, but he was super fast off those ropes. I haven't seen John Kronus in quite some time, so I don't know if he'd be "WWF material" these days or not.
If you ever get a chance to see some of their classic matches, take that opportunity. For the 3 years they teamed up, they were one of the bests, ever, in that short time span. It's a shame that the team couldn't go higher places, but shit happens all of the time in Professional Wrestling. All I can hope for now is that ECW will add some good Eliminator matches to their new tapes.
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@That's all for today. Next week, I'll discuss the horrible year of 1994 for WCW in the History column. Tomorrow, I'll have my Starrcade predictions and more. Don't expect any quick answers on e-mail, today, as I'll be in Pittsburgh all day for the final Three Rivers Stadium game, which pits the Steelers vs. the overpaid Redskins. I predict a Steeler win for that one, since the Redskins are minus a coach for those overpriced players. Just chill till the next episode!
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Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.