Abandoned: The History of the WCW Six-Man Tag Team Championship
Throughout history, professional wrestling has seen many championships.
In WWE, there are six major titles. Not many know that the company has had a total of at least 19 different titles, 13 of which have been abandoned for one reason or another.
The other two major companies owned by WWE are WCW and ECW, which have at least 15 abandoned and forgotten titles between them.
For as long as it takes, I will be concentrating on those forgotten titles.
Each slide will feature the champion, who they defeated, where and when they won it, the length of their title reign, any special circumstances that happened during their reign and a bit of commentary.
Belts with a lengthy history will get their own articles and may be broken up into two depending on the length.
For this edition of Abandoned, I present the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.
The original NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship appeared in 1974 in the Tennessee territories.
After being abandoned in 1981, the belts were revived by Jim Crockett Promotions in 1984.
Champions from 1974 to 1981 will not be recognized, as JCP is the only NWA territory to recognize the titles that would become WCW.
The titles were primarily used as something to do for the main singles stars between their reigns with singles titles.
The titles were abandoned in 1991 for unknown reasons.
Throughout its seven-year history, the titles have seen 11 champions. So let’s get started!
Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff and Don Kernodle
When: August 1984
Title Reign: ~11 months
While they were billed as defeating the Fabulous Freebirds, it is believed that the Koloffs and Kernodle were awarded the titles upon the belts' revival.
A month later, Krusher Khruschev replaced Kernodle as the Koloffs' partner when Kernodle was injured.
Ivan Koloff is an extremely accomplished wrestler who has wrestled and won titles all over the world since debuting in the early 1960s.
Nikita Koloff would spend most of his career in the NWA/JCP/WCW, winning seven titles under the JCP banner.
Don Kernodle is mostly known for his time in the NWA and can still be seen on occasion on the independent circuit.
Manny Fernandez, Buzz Tyler and Sam Houston
Defeated: Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff and Krusher Khruschev
When: July 1985
Title Reign: anywhere between one day and five months
Manny Fernandez would win titles throughout the United States as well as Puerto Rico. I was unable to find out what he is doing now, but it seems like he pops up on the independent circuit from time to time.
Buzz Tyler had a relatively short career, debuting in 1977 in the NWA. He would retire in 1985 after winning 12 titles.
Sam Houston is the son of Grizzly Smith, half-brother of Jake “The Snake” Roberts and brother of Rockin’ Robin. Despite his relatives' successes, Houston would spent time in the NWA and WWF throughout his career as a jobber.
Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff and Krusher Khruschev
Defeated: Manny Fernandez, Buzz Tyler and Sam Houston
Title Reign: ~6 months
Ivan Koloff would reach the top when he defeated Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Championship, ending his almost eight-year reign as champion.
Nikita Koloff would retire in 1992 but will still make appearances here and there. He was last seen on a semi-national scale in 2003 playing Mr. Wrestling IV in TNA before unmasking.
Krusher Khruschev is best known as Demolition Smash during his time with WWF. After Demolition split he became Repo Man and has also spent time in WCW.
Krusher can still be seen in the independents performing alongside Ax as Demolition.
The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) and Dusty Rhodes
Defeated: Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff and Baron Von Raschke
Where: Baltimore, Md.
When: May 17, 1986
Title Reign: 636 days
Von Raschke replaced an injured Khruschev for the title defense.
The Road Warriors are considered one of the best tag teams ever to step foot inside of a wrestling ring. When you were scheduled to face the Legion of Doom, you knew that you were in for the fight of your life.
They would become the first team to hold all major Tag Team Championships, winning them in the AWA, NWA, NWA Mid-Atlantic (later WCW), and WWF.
Dusty Rhodes is one of the most accomplished and popular wrestlers in the business. He has won so many titles that it would make you head spin.
Ivan Koloff and the Powers of Pain (Barbarian and Warlord)
Defeated: The Road Warriors and Paul Ellering
When: Feb. 12, 1988
Title Reign: 158 days
It’s not noted as to why the Road Warriors manager Paul Ellering replaced Dusty Rhodes.
The titles were vacated later that year when the Powers of Pain jumped to the WWF.
Ivan Koloff would retire from the ring in 1994 and is now an ordained minister.
The Powers of Pain left for WWF where they feuded with tag champions Demolition. They would never win the gold, though.
The team can still be seen together sometimes on the independent circuit.
The Road Warriors and Dusty Rhodes
Defeated: The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard)
When: July 9, 1988
Title Reign: 151 days
Since the Road Warriors and Rhodes were feuding with the Horsemen at the time, JCP set up the match to fill the vacancy.
The Road Warriors were last seen together in May 2003 when they appeared on WWE Raw in a losing effort against tag champions Kane and Rob Van Dam.
Road Warrior Hawk would unfortunately pass away five months later on Oct. 19.
Dusty Rhodes would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 and has been working for them in a backstage role.
He will also make the occasional appearance on television.
The Road Warriors and Gen’ichiro Tenryu
Defeated: Dusty Rhodes
Where: Chattanooga, TN
When: Dec. 7, 1988
Title Reign: anywhere from 24 days to one year
Dusty Rhodes was set to be fired from the company due to a blading incident on World Championship Wrestling (when it was the name of the show, not the promotion).
Before his firing, Animal defeated him in a singles match to gain possession of the belts. The Road Warriors remained champions and awarded the third belt to Tenryu.
The titles would be abandoned in 1989 when the team split up and Tenryu started to concentrate on the All Japan Pro Wrestling Triple Crown Championship, which was comprised of the NWA United National, NWA International and PWF Heavyweight Championships.
The Road Warriors would get their long-overdue induction into the WWE Hall of Fame when they were inducted alongside their manager Paul Ellering during this year’s ceremony.
Animal still wrestles on the independents and in Japan wearing the Warrior shoulder pads and face paint paying tribute to Hawk.
Tenryu would go onto win the Triple Crown Championship three times as well as multiple titles in Japan. He can still be seen wrestling in his native country.
Tommy Rich, Ricky Morton and the Junkyard Dog
Defeated: Dutch Mantel, Buddy Landel and Dr. X
Where: Atlanta, GA
When: Feb. 17, 1991
Title Reign: 106 days
Now WCW, the company would bring the titles back. The belts would be used in the same way as singles stars would hold them in between their reigns with singles titles.
Tommy Rich is probably best known as being a transitional NWA world champion, holding the title for four days before losing it to Harley Race.
He would win many titles throughout the NWA despite that, though.
Ricky Morton is best known as one-half of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express with Robert Gibson. He has won many titles with Gibson, as well as other partners and singles titles throughout his career.
The Junkyard Dog was without a doubt one of the most well-liked and popular wrestlers of his time. He won many titles before unfortunately passing away in a car accident on June 2, 1998.
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and Badstreet)
Defeated: Tommy Rich and the Junkyard Dog
Where: Birmingham, Ala.
When: June 3, 1991
Title Reign: 62 days
When Ricky Morton was injured, Rich and the JYD went into the title defense making it a handicap match.
The Freebirds were one of the most dominant teams in wrestling history. They were a trio you just did not want to mess with.
They have won many Tag Team Championships together, defending them under the Freebird Rules which stated that any combination could defend them.
Michael Hayes would retire in 1995 and now works backstage for WWE.
Jimmy Garvin retired in 1994 and has done many Legends Roundtable segments for WWE Classics.
Badstreet is Brad Armstrong and was last seen working as a producer for WWE’s ECW.
Dustin Rhodes, Z-Man and Big Josh
Defeated: The Fabulous Freebirds
Where: St. Joseph, Mo.
When: Aug. 5, 1991
Title Reign: 63 days
Dustin Rhodes is best known as Goldust and is a former WWF Intercontinental and tag team champion.
He also spent time wrestling under his real name in WCW as well in TNA as Black Reign.
Rhodes is still with WWE as a producer and still appears as Goldust on television.
Z-Man is best known as Tom Zenk and was an accomplished wrestler in the NWA/WCW and briefly in WWF before retiring in 1996.
Big Josh is best known as the original man under the Doink the Clown makeup. He is considered semi-retired but will still wrestle on the independent circuit as himself as well as Doink.
The York Foundation (Terrance Taylor, Thomas Rich and Richard Morton)
Defeated: Dustin Rhodes, Z-Man and Big Josh
Where: Montgomery, Ala.
When: Oct. 8, 1991
Title Reign: 30 days
The reasons as to why are unknown, but the titles were abandoned a month later.
The York Foundation were backed by Alexandra York, who would later become Terri Runnels.
They dominated WCW for a year before breaking up in 1992.
Terry Taylor would wrestle throughout the United States winning a huge amount of titles before retiring in 2006.
He was last seen in TNA as head of talent relations before being replaced by Bruce Prichard.
Rich was last seen on a national scale in ECW as a member of the Full Blooded Italians. He can still be seen wrestling in the Georgia area.
Morton still wrestles on the independent circuit with Gibson as the Rock ‘n’ Express tag team.
Statistics and Final Thoughts
Most Reigns: The Road Warriors and Dusty Rhodes (2)
Longest Single Reign: The Road Warriors and Dusty Rhodes (636 days)
Longest Combined Reign: The Road Warriors and Dusty Rhodes (787 days)
Shortest Reign: Not available due to incomplete dates
The WCW Six-Man Tag Team Championship never really seemed like titles of importance.
As noted earlier the titles existed for one reason and one reason only.
The NWA was so huge that many of its biggest stars would enter into obscurity if they weren’t in the title picture.
These titles gave them something to do and helped keep them relevant.
It made sense that the titles were abandoned twice since they didn’t serve much of a purpose beyond that.
While it would be cool to see a title like this return, I highly doubt it would ever be considered.
For now the WCW Six-Man Tag Team Championship will remain gone and forgotten.
Thanks for reading! Come back on Sunday for a Christmas edition featuring the Million Dollar Championship.