Now as faces, Demolition plowed through the tag team circuit, including a handicap match against the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji at Wrestlemania V.
But nobody can be champs forever; ask Hulk Hogan. So after a record 16 months (which still stands today) as champions, Demolition dropped the belts to a team known as the Brain Busters.
Losing the championship didn’t diminish Demolition, and after only two months without the belts, they regained them back. Trying to keep contrast, McMahon paired the legendary Andre the Giant with the martial arts stylist Haku.
Andre was nearing the end of his illustrious career, and with his health problems, had trouble carrying a one-on-one match. Thus, Haku would wrestle the majority of the match while Andre would usually contribute with a few body slams and chokes.
But they were the best of what was available for heel tag teams, and they were picked as the ones to take down Demolition, which they did at the end of 1989.
Once again, Demolition’s reign without the belts would be short lived as they regained them at Wrestlemania VI at Skydome in Toronto.
Demolition had three-peated, and the ovation they got from the crowd was just as loud as those for Hulk Hogan and other popular wrestlers. What would follow almost seemed unimaginable at the time.
The Road Warriors decided it was time to jump to the WWF, but had some demands. First, the Powers of Pain, the other Road Warrior inspired team, would have to be broken up, become single’s wrestlers, and lose the face paint.
Second, and most of all, Demolition would have to become the bad guys and allow the Warriors to be the heroes.
Conventional wisdom would say that at this point, McMahon didn’t need the Road Warriors since Demolition was just as popular, if not more so than the Warriors. And also, why make the Road Warriors the good guys?
The circumstances surrounding this are not completely known (at least by me since I was all of six years old during this), but I will try to at least give a good idea to it.
Bill Eadie, who portrayed Ax was having health problems. It was decided by McMahon to bring on an additional member to the team in case Eadie would have to be replaced. Enter Bryan Adams, who would portray Crush.
With this advantage of having three members, the decision was made to turn Demolition back to heels. But it would not be easy.
There was no on screen turn unlike that of their previous face turn, and fans still cheered for them. But suddenly, Demolition’s opponents changed to other popular teams like the Rockers and the Hart Foundation.
Although the turn happened after Wrestlemania VI, during that event, the Hart Foundation issued a challenge to Demolition for the belts.
Which kind of begs the question, what was the original plan? Were they supposed to be turned to heels even before Eadie’s health problems? If that were the case, why have them become champions again in the first place?
The now three members of Demolition began resorting to the cheating tactics of so called bad guys. Suddenly, the gimmick became that all three of them looked so much alike that a referee could not tell them apart.
Ax would be more of a manager to the team as Crush and Smash wrestled. However, if and when they encountered trouble, he would slip in and help the team win.
Such was the case in a match against the Rockers in what seemed like the first big attempt to get the crowd to turn against Demolition. After the match which saw them defeat a popular tag team by cheating, not just one, but TWO other popular face tag teams arrived at ring side to protest.
Those two teams were the Hart Foundation, and the just arrived Road Warriors, who were now called the Legion of Doom. Having all these teams counter Demolition was supposed to send a message to the crowd to drop Demolition as a favorite.
In fact, pro-heel commentator Jesse Ventura, who had previously antagonized Demolition when they were faces, was now behind them. However, it would take much more than that for the crowd to forget about Demolition.
Thus the attempts to bury Demolition intensified. One of the biggest was on a segment entitled the “Brother Love Show” in which a big bellied, rosy-faced character named Brother Love, who was an homage to the televangelists of the 80’s, had them as guests.
Love would always support the heels and try to annoy the faces. In fact, Love did just that when Demolition were still good guys. But now to convince the crowd otherwise, Love now promoted Demolition, calling them the “greatest force in the universe.”
Demolition would then go on to face the Hart Foundation at 1990’s Summerslam and drop the belts in an intense two out of three falls match which saw the Legion of Doom arrive at ringside and foil Demolition’s attempts at cheating.
This would officially be the beginning of the end of Demolition. What gets to me is why not just have Demolition drop the belts to the Legion of Doom in the first place? After all, they were now taking Demolition’s place and were going to be the biggest tag team in the division.
(Conclusion of the Demolition Story to Come Tomorrow)
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