It's Saturday! You know, the Saturday columns are somewhat like therapy for myself. It's a good way to get away from the stresses of the big 2 organizations by talking about the past. The past is and was fun to look back on, and especially write a column about.
It's funny though... because I see a certain columnist setting aside one day to write histories too. Wow, smell the originality! That same person also happens to use the grading system for his show reviews, which I made famous from the start. You know, I wonder where half of the two-bit columnists out there would get their ideas if I never started writing columns.
Here comes the Ax... here comes the Smasher... If you watched wrestling in the 1980s/early 1990s, you'll probably know of the team that I'm going to discuss today. The team of Demolition was the dominant tag team of the WWF back then, and many have forgot about them. Today, we'll try to rekindle some memories.
This history comes at the request of about 5 readers. Keep in mind that I have no other biographies out there as reference, so with the use of the handy PWI Almanac, I'll see what I can whip up.
You'd think that Demolition consisted of two original members, right? Wrong. The Demolition as most people know it are Smash (Barry Darsow) and Ax (Bill Eadie). Actually, they weren't. There was a different Smash from the beginning, named Randy Culley. Just a little bit after the WWF formed the team, he was fired for whatever reasons. Barry Darsow was brought in to be the NEW Smash.
Now that's the team you all know of now. Eadie and Darsow.... where did each come from? Bill Eadie took part of the odd duos or trios of the "Machines", to which individuals like Hogan, Andre, Piper, Blackjack Mulligan, and others would put on masks. I don't know who was in the brains department then, but Bill Eadie or Ax was called the Super Machine back before he was in Demolition. Barry Darsow was named Khruscher Kruschev, which didn't do much for his career.
I believe that the WWF was so in love with the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors of the NWA that they went ahead and made their own badass team with face paint. So they gathered two very large wrestlers and created Demolition. Their facepaint somewhat was made to resemble that of KISS, and the same with the tights. They didn't sign a deal with KISS, though, like WCW unfortunately did. They were brought in as heels, being managed by the evil Mr. Fugi.
Demolition was thought to be an unstoppable heel team. Well, a problem occurred that has changed the careers of the Rock, Steve Austin, and many others. They were too popular with fans to be heels. The fans immediately connected with their looks and the raw power they displayed in the ring. The fans kept cheering them on and on, and the WWF began to really notice in 1988. The original plan was to have the newly bought duo called The Powers of Pain come in and be the faces against the heel team of Demolition. But again, the fans loved Ax and Smash!
For Wrestlemania 4, Ax and Smash had a World Title shot against the duo of Strike Force. Demolition defeated Strike Force that night, and won their first Tag Titles. The match is funny, though, in that Strike Force are supposed to be the faces, and Demolition was supposed to be the heels. Who did they cheer for? Demolition! Strike Force, Tito Santana and Rick Martel, would then break up and feud with each other for a nice time.
Demolition, still managed by Fuji, then went on to face the tough Hart Foundation at Summerslam 88. Now the Hart Foundation are REVOLVERS, in that they used to switch back and forth from being heels or faces. Hart Foundation just ditched Jimmy Hart, so I guess they are faces for this one. The WWF recognized how over Demolition truly was, and they booked Ax and Smash to defeat the elite Bret Hart and Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart. The team of Demolition were still considered to be the heel team....
Now, I mentioned the Powers of Pain above. Well, the WWF had problems getting Warlord and Barbarian over with the fans (you know, lack of charisma), and they were about to do something about it. At Survivor Series 1988, Demolition and the Powers of Pain would start their feud.... but only on a double heel/face switch! Mr. Fuji turned on Demolition in the match, by pulling Smash off the ring apron to get the team counted out of the match. Powers of Pain would eventually win that huge tag team Survivor Series match, but they celebrated with, you guessed it, Mr. Fuji! Demolition charged the ring after the match.
Now, instead of a face Powers of Pain against a heel Demolition, we now have a face Demolition against a heel Powers of Pain. Funny how things play out in wrestling. They had a large build up for these two badass teams for Wrestlemania 5. Demolition would win that match, obviously, as they were in the pinnacle of their success.
A couple months after that, the WWF had big plans for the team of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, the great Horseman duo the WWF grabbed up via free agency the year before. The Brainbusters, as they were called, would weasel the titles away from Demolition on what I believe was a Main Event or some kind of television taping. Demolition would then act as an over team, just like the Dudley Boyz were doing without the titles for a while there. As Arn Anderson and Tully Blachard wanted to get out of the WWF, Demolition won back the titles on what I believe was another TV taping of sorts.
Ax and Smash were later a part of the team Hogan at Survivor Series 1989, somewhat helping Hogan to win the match. Well, not really since it is Hulk Hogan, who can hulk up from anything! But the fans STILL loved their Ax and Smasher. The tag team scene was stacked beyond belief, too, but with face teams. You had the Hart Foundation, the Rockers, and many more. No heel teams, now, right?
Not with Bobby "the brain" Heenan around, because he's the manager of champions! Heenan gathered his family, and stacked a team duo of Andre the Giant and Haku.... The Colossal Connection! Heenan helped to lead the team for a screwjob victory on the Main Event against Demolition. The fans were pissed in the crowd, too....
Demolition was down, but not out yet. They would later go on for a rematch against the Connection at Wrestlemania 6 in Toronto. Demolition won their 3rd Tag Titles, as Haku messed up by giving Andre a thrust kick during the match. Andre blamed Heenan and Haku for the loss, and beat the hell out of them for it.
Demolition's fanbase was dying down, though. Well really, the whole wrestling fanbase was. Wrestlemania 6 was the final peak for the WWF, as fans grew older and moved on to other things. There was a problem, though, with the team. Ax or Bill Eadie was having health problems, probably from the many years he's wrestled in the ring or whatever else. With that, the WWF decided to add a 3rd member to the team, which who was introduced at Summerslam 1990.
Good old Crush, or Bryan Adams of KroniK today. He was introduced at Summerslam, and he's substituted for Ax during the match. Demolition sort of turned heel with the addition of Crush, plus they were calling on the newly acquired team of the Legion of Doom, Hawk and Animal. Yes, the WWF purchased the team they tried the model, but I'd argue that Demolition was as popular as them during their peak. At Summerslam 1990, it would be Crush and Smash against the Hart Foundation, who finally had the crowd behind them. I guess the fans were turned off by Demolition at the time, thanks to the new switch with Crush. After a thrilling 2 out of 3 falls match, the Hart Foundation defeated Demolition with the help of Hawk and Animal.
But that match didn't quite happen on TV as planned. Well, at least it did for Survivor Series 1990, where the Legion of Doom and Demolition were on opposite teams. I believe the plan was to have Demolition against the Legion of Doom for Wrestlemania 7. That direction was started with the double DQ brawl of both teams during the match. Could it happen?? Two of the biggest badass teams, ever, fighting in a huge match?
Didn't happen. The WWF, for whatever reason, had internal problems with the Legion of Doom. What those problems were, well, I don't know. Also, the WWF was getting fed up with Ax's bad health, so they set up an angle to where he'd get a release in the WWF. In the ring, the trio Demolition would attack every team they fought. So good old President Jack Tunney(sp?) declared that Demolition could only have 2 members. That was the way out for Ax, with Smash and Crush ruling the team for now on.
Once Ax was gone, so was Demolition. Smash and Crush didn't quite have the chemistry intended to be a good heel team, and the fans didn't care for them after that. The writing was on the wall that Demolition was to be ending soon, and that proved evident with their jobbing to Koji Kitao and Genichiro Tenyru at Wrestlemania 7 (1991), two Japanese wrestlers who the WWF fans had no idea on who they were. Demolition, who won the World Titles just the year before, were over and finished.
The bad gimmick department kept Smash and Crush, though. Smash turned into the famous Repo Man, which I still question today. Crush just remained himself, only with flashy tights and no face paint, and hailing from Hawaii. Ax would actually still wrestle, despite health problems. He'd surf the indies, but calling himself Demolition Axis. I heard he tried to form a NEW Demolition, but the WWF legal team got a hold of that. Ax or Bill Eadie was trying, also, to gain the rights of the name Demolition from the WWF via lawsuit. It obviously failed.
Smash or Barry Darsow would leave the WWF, you know, after the Repo Man failed to get any respect. He would surf the indies, too, as the Blacktop Bully, and have a brief stay in WCW with that character, until getting fired for blading in the famous "King of the Road" match. Darsow kept surfing the indies, until returning to WCW as a "tough" jobber, but using his real name Barry Darsow. The WCW gimmick department put their heads together hard, and gave him the gimmick of "Pain Stewart", an evil golfing wrestler. Darsow has since retired from the ring.
Crush or Bryan Adams, as a face, would turn heel on Macho Man Randy Savage, and feuded with him for a while. Adams was a pretty tough midcard heel, there, for a while, helping to set up guys like Lex Luger to the top. Adams would have a few real life problems, and had a short stop in jail. The WWF gimmick department fed off of that, bringing him back as the Crush who just looked like he broke out of prison. Crush would later join the Nation of Domination, since his manager was Clarence Thomas. Crush later left that to start DOA, a stupid biking stable which failed badly. Crush had some backstage problems with the WWF, and asked for his release... which he was rewarded! Crush then went to WCW as Bryan Adams, and immediately joined the New World Order since he used to be from the WWF. He would be jobbing with them for a while, especially being on the NWO B team, until he got the KISS Demon gimmick. How ironic... he was part of the KISS imitation team in the WWF, and now he's the real thing in WCW! It wouldn't last, though, as a change in management gave the gimmick, later, to someone else. WCW then put Adams with the underachieving Brian Clarke, and that's what we call KroniK today. It should be noted that rumors circulated that Adams and Clarke were possibly going to the WWF to form the NEW Demolition, but they remained in WCW to form KroniK.
Demolition should be remembered, though, as a large part of the WWF empire during it's peak in the late 80s/early 90s. Especially Ax and Smash, who the fans loved then. It was truly a great WWF creation then, and it's a shame the ride lasted just under 4 years.
NEWS ORGY: The Dirt on Eminem, Jennifer Lopez, Puff Daddy, Hillary Clinton, Hulk Hogan, Al Gore, Hugh Hefner and many more! So CLICK HERE to Join the Orgy!!!
Wrestle Palooza Audio Show
LoP T-Shirts: NEW STUFF IN STOCK! Mouse Pads, Sweat Shirts, Coffee Mugs, more T-Shirts, Baby Doll shirts, and more! Also, you can now order via Credit Card!
@That's all for today's column. I hope you enjoyed. I'll be back tomorrow with a Superbrawl Preview column, so just chill till the next episode!
Phat Pharm: It's Phantastic!
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.
San Francisco Demons (1-1) vs. Memphis Maniax (1-1)
One game, with clips of another, will be on NBC tonight at 8pm.