"DOMINATION" is the perfect word to describe the tag team billed from Parts Unknown called Demolition.
Not a team has ever dominated the WWE tag team division as much as Ax and Smash. From their debut in 1987 to their downfall in 1990, not a tandem could match their pure dominating aggression.
They were to the tag team scene what Brock Lesnar was to singles competition.
Demolition permanently marked the WWE history in less than four years.
In their legendary short run, they became the tag team with the longest reign at Champions in WWE history.
They also hold the record for the most combined days as the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions.
The Origins of Demolition
Originally, Ax (Bill Eadie) and Smash (Randy Colley) brought their Demolition gimmick in WWE on the Jan. 17, 1987 episode of Superstars.
Their run together didn't last long and, few months later, Barry Darsow replaced Randy Colley as Smash.
There are two different versions regarding the reasons behind Colley's replacement by Darsow. In the first version, Colley left the WWE due to contractual issues.
The other version suggests that he was too much associated to his previous character of Moondog Rex by the crowds; Ax wanted a wrestler unknown from the WWE fans to personify Smash.
With their unique looks and uncommon roughness, Demolition started their quick rise to superstardom in the middle of 1987 with Johnny Valiant as their manager.
During their unstoppable ascension to the top of the tag team world, they annihilated all the best duos in WWE. Mr Fuji then replaced Valiant as their manager.
Now with the sneaky Japanese tag team specialist on their side, there was nothing to slow down Demolition.
With Fuji's vast and glorious experience as a tag team wrestler, the duo added a new devious side to their destructive powerhouse style.
The Rougeau Brothers, The Can-Am Connection, The Young Stallions and The Islanders all fell under the boots of Demolition. Not even the British Bulldogs and The Killer Bees could resist the ruthless aggressors.
Who is Ax?
Bill "Demolition Ax" Eadie was an hardcore and powerhouse legend before becoming Ax in WWE. With his 6'3", his 290 pounds, his extreme side, and his superhuman strength, he was the ultimate fighting machine.
He became famous in 1977 by wrestling a series of 12 90-minute cage matches against BlackJack Mulligan. They both wrote a pro wrestling history chapter by being the only wrestlers to battle in cage matches for more than one hour.
As The Masked Superstar, he also made his mark by being one of the few human beings to have bodyslammed Andre The Giant.
Before joining the WWE in 1983, he won a total of 20 NWA Championships and half of them were in the tag team division, so he was perfectly prepared to create Demolition.
His 1983-84 initial run with WWE was not outstanding, but he faced the company's top stars such as The Iron Sheik, Hulk Hogan, and Jimmy Snuka.
In 1986, Eadie came back in Vince McMahon's promotion as Super Machine. He was then a member of The Machines' stable along with Giant Machine (Andre) and Big Machine (Mulligan), who were all masked.
The next year, Demolition was born. The "original" Eadie and Darsow's tandem dominated the tag team scene together until the arrival of Crush, a third member brought in 1990.
He had to replace Ax, who became incapacitated due to an intoxication in Japan that caused him temporary heart issues.
Who is Smash?
Barry "Demolition Smash" Darsow is a 6'2" and 290 pounds brawler who has been trained by the legendary Eddie Sharkey, who was behind the success of many of the greatest wrestlers ever. Rick Rude, Bob Backlund, The Steiner Brothers and The Road Warriors were all his students.
After being trained by the best, Smash built his reputation in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), particularly in Jim Crockett's Promotions from 1984 to 1987.
He learned the ropes by teaming up with Ivan and Nikita Koloff, winning four NWA World Tag Team Titles with them. He also won the NWA US Tag Team Title with Jim Neidhart.
With that background, Darsow was the perfect partner for Ax, who was looking for an established young wrestler to fit in the Demolition Smash character.
The Domination as the WWE Tag Team Champions
After less than one year WWE, Demolition became the tag team to beat. They won their first Tag Team Championship in 1988, on The Grandest Stage Of Them All, at Wrestlemania IV by defeating the face team of Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel).
Their first reign, the longest in WWE history, lasted an astonishing 478 days.
During that historic reign, they even had to become faces due to the crowds' reaction. They also parted ways with Mr. Fuji, who betrayed them.
To give you an idea of the amazing length of their reign, the previous record was 370 days. In fact, only three teams in WWE history had a more than 300 days Title reign.
They won two other Championships after their first reign, ended by the heel Brain Busters at a Saturday Night Main Event show presented on July 29, 1989.
Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard accomplished the unthinkable by beating the unstoppable Champions in a best-of-three falls encounter.
Demolition's second reign started three months later, on Oct. 2 after they won their rematch against The Brain Busters.
Also in 1989, on the Dec. 13 episode of Superstars, Andre The Giant and Haku, called The Colossal Connection, became the new Tag Team Champions.
Then, for a third time, they gained back their gold by defeating The Colossal Connection on April 1, 1990, at Wrestlemania VI.
Their last reign, started once again on The Grandest Stage Of Them All, abruptly ended 148 days later against The Hart Foundation, at Summerslam.
However, the Championship match loss was not against the "original" Demolition; it was against the Smash and Crush's duo, applying the Freebirds Rule.
If it was not enough, Demolition also hold the record of the most combined days with the belts around their waist with an unreal total of 698 days.
In comparison, the runner-up team is Mr. Fuji & Professor Tanaka with a total of 569 days, which pictures the meaning of the word "DOMINATION" when I describe Demolition.
With Ax's health issues in 1990, Demolition became the shadow of what they were in their glorious years. Crush was brought in, but with Ax on the sideline as manager, the "Demolition" concept was just not the same anymore.
The magic was lost and their prime time was over.
With the arrival of Legion of Doom (L.O.D.) the same year, there were high hopes for an historic confrontation between the two most dominating tag teams of the era.
The unforgettable encounter however never happened because Ax didn't recover and he ultimately left the WWE after Survivor Series 1990.
Demolition continued with their diluted version and jobbed to The Rockers and L.O.D.
Smash and Crush tried hard, but they were not the "real" Demolition. It was impossible for Smash to get even the half of the chemistry he had with Ax. Even Mr. Fuji was back with the now-heel Demolition after Crush joined them.
Finally, the inevitable disbanding followed in 1991. Several months later, Smash became Repo Man, a low-card wrestler used to put over other talents, and Crush was repackaged as a face Hawaiian surfer.
Years later, various forms of Demolition existed, but the 1987-90 fame never came back. Ax and Smash are even still together today, and they are the current United States Xtreme Wrestling (USXW) Tag Team Champions.
Demolition's downfall will never erase their unmatched supremacy on the WWE tag team scene. Their reign of terror in the biggest and most important promotion in pro wrestling history will never be seen again.
Even L.O.D., a tag team considered by many as the best ever, never came close to dominating WWE as Demolition did.
A tag team can brag to have won 10 Titles but it also means it lost 10 Championship matches.
Demolition only reigned three times as the Champions, but they were more about quality than quantity.
As I said, Demolition means domination. 698 total days as the Champions in only three reigns says it all. They only lost their titles three times, which proved they were the most dominant tag team ever.
Their finisher, the Decapitation, will always stick in the memories of those who got the chance to see it. Their unique and instant chemistry made of them the most feared and dominating tag team in WWE history.
As a team randomly put together, they achieved in three years more than any other duos in 20 years. They established two unbeatable records and they won two Championships at the Showcase Of Immortals. All that in three years.
That's why Demolition are the greatest tag team in pro wrestling history.
To conclude, I let you go on a quote from their entrance song, written by Derick Derringer:
"Here comes the Ax
Here comes the Smasher
The Demolition, Walking disaster
Pain and destruction are our middle names
Search and destroy you
Run and we'll find you
There's no place to hide" (1)