New doesn't always mean improved, and in the case of the New Blackjacks, they fell straight on their curly-mustached faces.
Formed in 1997 and disbanded a year later, the New Blackjacks consisted of Blackjack Mulligan's son, Barry Windham, and Justin Bradshaw, who was billed as the nephew of Blackjack Lanza and cousin to the Windham brothers, but is better known today as JBL.
The original Blackjacks were a Hall of Fame team that were hugely popular throughout the National Wrestling Alliance during the 1970s and '80s. They brought their rough-house Texas tactics everywhere they went, making tag team gold.
The New Blackjacks were two big men put together because they couldn't get over with their previous gimmicks, none of which had much variety.
Windham was the Widowmaker, an outlaw who lived by his own rules, and Bradshaw copied just about every cowboy that ever wrestled—Stan Hansen, Dick Murdock, etc.
So why does one team succeed while one fails?
The time for rough and tough cowboys was over. This wasn't the Carolinas during the '70s; this was 1998 and the Attitude Era was going into full swing. Two cowboys weren't going to make it in Generation X.
The original Blackjacks were an NWA team favored by southern wrestling fans, many of whom didn't follow the cartoon-like product that the WWF was pushing at the time.
In the the '90s, the New Blackjacks were hoping to bank on the following of the originals, a team that many casual wrestling fans and WWF crowds had never heard of.
The New Blackjacks didn't last long as Windham turned on Bradshaw to join Jim Cornette's fake NWA, which is a story for another day.
Thanks for reading my first article. All comments, opinions, and criticism are welcomed.