Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: The Tag Team Champions of the Universe

The Tag Team Champions of the Universe – WWF, 1998

History
We actually have to start out with this one a little earlier than the actual gimmick. We have to go back to September 21st. On this night we had the Headbangers scheduled to take on Giant Silva and Kurrgan of the Oddities. The Headbangers, ever their fun-loving selves, started passing out silly string and dancing with Silva and Kurrgan. Even Luna and Golga started getting into the fun. Unfortunately, the fun came to a quick end when the Headbangers pulled out two more cans – cans that were filled with mace. Mosh and Thrasher quickly obliterated the Oddities and shredded Golga’s Cartman doll for good measure.

The next week, the Oddities got revenge as Kurrgan and Golga got the easy win. However, this time the Insane Clown Posse came out with the Oddities. Post-match we got to see the ICP and Bangers get into a verbal confrontation…

…and since this is the WWF, that leads into a match. Sure enough, the next Raw saw the Headbangers taking on ICP in an impromptu match. The Headbangers obliterated the clowns and then headed out.

The Headbangers took on the New Age Outlaws a week or two later at Judgment Day, and scored a win by disqualification. The next night, Headbangers came out to face the Legion of Doom while wearing toy belts and declaring themselves Tag Team Champions of the World, even going so far as to rip off the NAO’s entrance verbal shtick. The Bangers got the win, advancing the Hawk-Droz feud in the process.

On November 2, the Headbangers took on Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown in a #1 contender’s match for the tag team titles. Unfortunately, there was no clear winner as Kane was on another one of his periodic rampages and destroyed both Mosh and D-Lo.

The Headbangers continued chasing the tag titles for a little while, but we were back on track on the 23rd of November. Once again, the Headbangers were taking on Golga and Kurrgan. This time, however, the ICP turned and joined the Headbangers. Together, they sprayed paint into the Oddities’ eyes and sheared off Luna’s… well… hair.

After getting stunnered by Steve Austin the next week, the Headbangers took on Gangrel and Edge the following Monday. The Oddities showed up, and we had a disqualification.

On December 20, The Headbangers beat the Oddities (and retained the titles) by DQ. To prove they were fighting champions, The Headbangers retained their titles (now calling themselves the Tag Team Champions of the Universe) against Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown. Well, actually just D-Lo. You see, Mark Henry was in the back with a vise clamped down on his sack – you know what? Never mind.

The feud continued on Sunday Night Heat for the next few weeks – first Mosh beat Golga by DQ. Then George Steele (yes, that George Steele) beat Mosh the next week.

Finally, on January 10, the Oddities (Kurrgan and Silva) finally got the win over the Headbangers and took the titles. Of course, it wasn’t long after that that the Oddities would vanish, as would the titles. Thrasher would also get injured, which would prompt Mosh to be reinvented as a 50’s sitcom child star in love with his mother… but that’s another story.

Analysis
You know, there’s really very little that can be said to defend this, other than it was a perfect example of WWF programming at the time. Crash booking, insane turns, and it still somehow hung together. How mocking the New Age Outlaws turns into a feud with the Oddities happens – well, I’m still not sure on that. Still, it was kind of fun in places (Mosh and Thrasher’s imitations of the Outlaws were dead on), even if it did drag on way too long. Just goes to show that they had nothing else for them to do.

Where are they now?
Today, the Headbangers have broken up. While Mosh continues to make the rounds on the indy scene (wrestling both as Mosh and Chaz, his real name), I’ve heard rumors that Thrasher has retired from the wrestling scene.

As for the Oddities?

Kurrgan has returned to his native Canada.

Giant Silva has competed in Mexico for CMLL and Zone-1 in Japan.

I wasn’t able to find much information on Luna past her release. If you can help me out with what she’s been up to, send me an email and I’ll post it next week. The same goes for Thrasher.

Under the mask, Golga was really John Tenta, formerly known as Earthquake. He is currently involved in a battle against cancer. There is also a forum for Mr. Tenta at www.wrestlecrap.com that he does frequent and reply on.

Mail Call
We’ll close out this week by taking a look in the old mailbag… Let’s see… “Urgent Respone,” “Dont miss out on low rates,” “You’ve been selected for a low rate…” Hey! There’s nothing worth reading in here! Shoot me an email with your thoughts on the column or something you’d like to see covered, and it very well may show up here in the future. Let’s face it – right now there’s not a lot of competition. Unless you want to count that Nigerian general who keeps begging me to take his money.

Next Week
Perry Saturn gets in touch with his feminine side.

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