The SmarK DVD Rant for The Road Warriors: Life and Death yada yada
– $25 was too much for a WWE-ized history of the Road Warriors DVD, but $8 in a discount bin? Now you’re talking my language.
– It’s the usual verbal blowjobs from the usual suspects, including professional DVD soundbite machine Steve Lombardi. Seriously, is that his JOB now or something? Do they keep him locked in a cage in Titan Towers until their next DVD comes out, so they can release him long enough to talk about how, say, Harley Race was a huge influence on his career?
– Animal takes a break from cashing in on his partner’s death long enough to host the DVD, introducing their childhood in Chicago and how they moved to Minnesota early on. Apparently they used to train with Barry Darsow, and MAN did he get old. The gym they trained in turned out quite a roster of guys, including Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Scott Norton, Barry Darsow and the Berzerker. It’s pretty funny hearing Darsow giving a laid-back interview without being in character.
– The story about working as bouncers and having a contest to see who can throw out bums the furthest is pretty funny stuff. It’s just like Roadhouse, man! You have to be nice until it’s time not to be nice!
– Anyway, all the guys were young punks and watched a lot of wrestling, feeling that they could beat up any of the wimps they watched on TV. Apparently, wrestling training is tough. No kidding.
– So Ole Anderson sees Hawk and Animal training and is impressed by their size, and soon they’re in Georgia dressing like Village People until Bill Watts gave them the idea for their spiked leather and paint look.
– Back in 1983, this was terrifying stuff, as they were years ahead of their time in terms of the look and the lack of selling, and soon had jobbers in terror of stepping in the ring with them. Everyone has a diplomatic way to say “Both guys were assholes who were miserable human beings and stiffed the hell out of you without giving anything back.” Jim Ross in particular is the master of phrasing stuff like that in a polite way.
– Jerry Lawler of course tells the story of how Hawk first no-sold the piledriver, with accompanying footage. That’s why having a monopoly on North American wrestling can be a good thing sometimes.
– The story of the Legion of Doom name: It comes from the SuperFriends cartoon. I would not have admitted that on DVD, but Animal is man enough to do so, I guess. Originally it was a stable with the Warriors, Paul Ellering, The Spoiler, King Kong Bundy and Jake Roberts, but got whittled down one by one until it was just the Warriors left.
– Next up, Paul Ellering and his eccentric genius, as he managed the Warrior both on and off screen.
– Onto the AWA, as they talk about the territory system and how you could raise your stock by jumping from promotion to promotion and extending your shelf life in the process. I’m shocked to hear the WWE promoting anything that asserts competition is a good thing.
– So basically in their debut they win the AWA World tag titles from Crusher and Baron Von Raschke, which essentially turned them babyface because they were so dominant in a weak promotion.
– Onto the Freebird feud, although Hayes doesn’t really have much to add.
– Great story about the Warriors changing a finish against the Fabulous Ones, thus pissing off Verne Gagne and helping to expose him as behind the times. At this point, they decide enough is enough with the AWA and go back to the NWA as gigantic babyfaces. This was of course thanks to the brilliance of Nikita and Ivan Koloff in being such evil Russians. I’ve said it before and will probably say it again, but Nikita had potential to go to the WWF and draw millions against Hulk Hogan, but the death of his wife destroyed him forever.
– Onto the promos and Hawk’s talent for thinking up off-the-wall threats off the top of his head. “When we’re done with you boys, we’re going for family members!” is a pretty good one, I’ll give him that. And poor Paul always had to summarize their ramblings.
– And then the Skywalker match at Starrcade ’86, as the scaffold match debuts and Hawk has a broken leg from a Japanese tour. There’s a match stipulation that no one misses, trust me. And poor Jim Cornette up there takes a bump that wrecks his knees for the rest of his life.
– Jim Ross, ever the diplomat, notes that the creative team in WCW at the time probably could have done more with the Warriors v. Midnights feud than they actually did. Indeed.
– And then the bad starts, as Hawk starts enjoying life on the road a little too much and begins a lifelong problem.
– With that noted and brushed aside, it’s onto the Four Horsemen feud. It pains me, on a deep and personal level, that they didn’t put Wargames onto this DVD. The match against Blanchard and Anderson at Starrcade 87 was pretty good, but c’mon now.
– So in 1988, the Road Warriors turn on Dusty Rhodes and brutalize him so badly that they nearly get thrown off TBS as a result, and even that can’t make the fans boo them. So at that point the Warriors decide that it’s time to move onto bigger and better things.
– Into the WWF era, as they tone down the violent matches and become sports entertainers. This leads into a discussion of Demolition and the feud that should have been and really never was. Darsow also points out that the styles were totally different, as Demolition were more traditional workers in the ring.
– Summerslam 91 sees the LOD winning the tag titles for the first time in a pretty good match, and they talk about how special it was to win the belts in MSG after such a long wait.
– Paul Ellering joins them in the WWF in 1992, and thankfully they gloss over Rocco the Dummy and subsequent retardedness like “The New LOD” with Animal and Crush.
– They play Summerslam 92 up as the peak of the team, at which point Hawk self-destructs and gets fired for violation of the drug policy. That sounds pretty iffy to me, if only because time has shown that it takes a LOT to get someone fired for drug violations in the WWE.
– So Hawk quits and disappears into the Hell’s Angels for a few months, resurfacing as a single in WCW in 1993 and in Japan with Kensuke Sasaki. JR the Diplomat notes that Hawk’s career in the 90s wasn’t good for him.
– Jumping ahead to 1996, they reunite in WCW and Animal and Bischoff disagree on whether they were offered special contracts to wrestle for them. Bischoff disputes their value, which I have to agree with at that point in their careers, and it’s back to the WWF.
– It’s portrayed as them returning at Wrestlemania XIV as “LOD 2000”, but they’re of course skipping an entire year of lame feuding with the Godwinns and winning another tag title before dropping it to the New Age Outlaws and basically passing the torch. Well, that attempt to reinvent themselves went over like a fart in church, and we get into the very sad end of their career as a team with the lame DOA feud. Animal claims they didn’t know about the Ellering turn. Yeah, right.
– JR admits that the LOD 2000 revamp was intended as a vehicle to launch Darren Drozdov into stardom rather than reviving the original team. No shock there. We of course know how that one turned out. Even sadder was turning Hawk’s personal problems into a tasteless angle.
– So Hawk leaves the promotion in disgrace, finds Jesus, but as usual there is no happy ending in wrestling, as they do one last match as a team in 2003 against RVD and Kane, and Hawk is found dead a few weeks later.
As usual, it’s kind of a schizophrenic look at the team, as sometimes they’re talking about how miserable Hawk was and other times they’re talking about how generous he was, and a LOT of pretty important stuff was skipped over or ignored entirely, so it’s not really a definitive history of the team or anything, but as a nice look back at their career it’s a good DVD, so you can’t ask much more of it. I wish they would have told the story about how they never sold anything until a match against Jerry Blackwell and Larry Hennig changed their attitude for good, for instance. Also, nothing about the Powers of Pain? What was really kind of sad for me, though, was the contrast between the bad-ass Road Warriors of the 80s and the cuddly, kid-friendly cartoon characters that they became upon entering the WWF in 1990. You knew that Animal wasn’t gonna say anything given his relationship to Johnny Ace and all, but it would have been nice to have someone step up and say “They lost their edge and became a self-parody” instead of trying to shoehorn their “peak” into a period where they were clearly on the downside of their careers.
– The Road Warriors v. Joe Young & Randy Barber.
From June 1983, this is during their Judas Priest phase, before the mohawks and spikes. The Warriors just totally overpower the jobbers, stiffing the hell out of them.
(Road Warriors d. Young & Barber, Hawk big splash — pin Barber, 2:00, 1/4*)
The Road Warriors v. Arn Anderson & Paul Jones
Again from 1983, well before Arn was anything of note. Face paint is now evident, and Animal finishes Jones quick.
(Road Warriors d. Arn Anderson & Paul Jones, Animal powerslam — pin Jones, 0:52, DUD)
– Texas Tornado match: The Road Warriors v. The Brisco Brothers
From August 1983, and Jim Ross and Animal are on commentary. Still early in the Warriors’ career. The Warriors double-team Jack and Animal pounds him with a kneelift, and they go to a double neck vice. The Briscos make the comeback and whip them into each other, but the Warriors still won’t sell. Jack drops a knee on Hawk until Animal clobbers him from behind to save, and it’s choking time. Man, they just didn’t work a traditional match at all at that point. The Warriors do a pair of extended chokes on the Briscos and Hawk drops a leg on Gerry, for two. Gerry fights back with mule kicks out of the corner while Jack whips the Warriors into him, and the Briscos try another comeback. Gerry puts Hawk in a figure-four, and amazingly Hawk sells it for about two seconds before ignoring the pain and going back to choking. The Warriors repeatedly slam the Briscos in tandem, and both of them get a two count. The Briscos come back again, going for the knees in an attempt to take the Warriors down, and the Warriors look totally lost out there. Jack puts Animal into a figure-four, but Hawk saves this time. Double clothesline gets two on Gerry. Jack tries to save, so they dump him, and Gerry grabs a chair, triggering a big brawl. Warriors won’t even sell chairshots, and just decide to walk out.
(Briscos d. Road Warriors, countout, 9:19, *1/2) Nothing interesting by today’s standards, as the Warriors were just totally clueless out there back then.
The Road Warriors v. Tracy Store & Mike Jackson
You know the drill here. I should note that you’d think a guy named “Mike Jackson” would have went into a totally different career direction as far as gimmicks go.
AWA World tag team titles: The Crusher & Baron Von Raschke v. The Road Warriors
From August of 1984. This was of course their first World tag title, won almost the day they debuted in the AWA. Warriors attack to start and it’s a slugfest, which the Warriors immediately lose. Animal recovers and powers the Baron into the corner, but gets hiptossed. Animal backs off from the threat of the clawhold, which is of course day and night from how they would approach the situation even a year before. Hawk comes in and grabs a headlock, and he too fears the POWER OF THE CLAW.
Crusher comes in and suplexes Hawk for two, so Animal comes in and tries pounding on Crusher before grabbing a headlock. Crusher powers him back into his own corner again and Baron slugs it out with Animal, but Animal goes to the choking to take over on him. Hawk drops a fist for two and goes to the chinlock as they cut off the ring. You will note, as JR does, that basic tag team strategy remains unchanged after 20 years of tag teams, because it works. They cut off a tag attempt from the Baron and Animal stomps and chokes, as they do the standard heel stuff behind the ref’s back. Animal drops an elbow for two and goes back to the chinlock. More good stuff with Hawk using the tag rope to choke Baron down while Animal distracts the ref. They’re doing nothing out of the ordinary but the match works because the basic principles of tag team wrestling will always apply and the crowd will always get behind a babyface who’s getting the crap kicked out of him.
Baron finally fights Animal off with a kick out of the corner and it’s hot tag Crusher, who goes to the eyes and pounds on Animal for two. Baron comes back in, which JR notes might be a mistake in hindsight. Backdrop for Animal and it’s goosestepping comeback time, setting up the CLAW~! You have to love the Baron. Alas, the Crusher diverts the ref by accident, and Hawk clotheslines the Baron to break up the claw, and it’s all over but the crying.
(The Road Warriors d. Crusher & Baron, Animal clothesline — pin Baron, 12:51, **1/2) Not spectacular by today’s standards or anything, but a good, solid tag match that shows how easy it is to become a decent worker when you stick with the basics.
– And now, some promos. The Warriors griping about no-DQ matches in Georgia in 1983! (Why, no, Hawk, I haven’t actually ever woken up with a rat gnawing on my arm.) The Warriors threatening Baron & Crusher leading up to the title match in 1984! The Warriors yelling at Larry Nelson in 1985! Anyway, another half hour or so of promos in WCW and the WWF, as well as the Hawk piece from Confidential and the Road Warriors music video from the NWA in the 80s.
All matches on this one.
AWA World tag titles: The Road Warriors v. Larry & Curt Hennig
From April 1985. It makes me sad that Larry Hennig came to outlive his son. Larry starts with Animal and gets headlocked, but Animal can’t overpower him. The challengers here beg the question — has there ever been a father and son duo to win one of the “major” tag team championships? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Hawk pounds on Larry and facelocks him into the corner, but eats an elbow to break that up. So now they try the test of strength as the announcer ponders which of the Road Warriors was stronger. This was actually quite the point of contention in my junior high school, liable to spark violent debates over lunch. Ah, those were the days when you could discuss wrestling in a serious light without getting laughed at. Anyway, Curt comes in and goes for the finesse technique against Animal, ducking and dodging before taking him down with an armdrag. Animal is having none of it and brings Hawk back in, but Curt catches him with a cross body for two. Dropkick and Hawk is stunned, and Curt tries a sunset flip, but gets punched in the face and appears to be YOUR face in peril.
Animal switches in and holds a facelock, and gets a nasty powerslam for two, which prompts Larry to charge in and save. This allows the Warriors to do some cheating behind the ref’s back, and Hawk chokes Curt out and pounds away in the corner. Rod Trongard seems to have some issues keeping Hawk and Animal straight. Hawk takes Curt down with a back elbow, and Animal cuts off any potential tag with a rear chinlock. Curt takes him down, but again his father’s impatience proves to be a problem. Curt reverses a press slam into a rollup for two, but that just pisses Hawk off, and a beating in the corner results. Animal comes in with some forearms, but Curt whips him into the corner and still can’t tag his dad. Animal just kills him with a lariat for two. Hawk comes in with a flying fist and goes back to the rear chinlock, but Curt fights out. And again the Warriors cut him off, drawing in Larry and allowing a double-team from the Warriors. Animal misses a splash, however, and finally it’s hot tag to the Axe.
He of course pounds the hell out of Animal and drops an elbow, but he tags Curt back in right away for a missile dropkick, which gets two. Bad move. The Warriors double-team him in the corner while Larry beats on Paul Ellering, and the Warriors get thrown over the top rope.
(The Road Warriors d. Larry & Curt Hennig, over the top — DQ, 12:16, **1/2) Pretty basic stuff, but Hennig showed what kind of a worker he was becoming.
AWA World tag titles: The Road Warriors v. The “Fabolous” Freebirds”
Gotta love typos on DVD menus. Anyway, this is from the first SuperClash show, September 1985. This is the famous match where the Freebirds have painted their faces with the Confederate flag. Hawk beats on Terry Gordy to start, and that quickly brings Hayes into things. He too gets pounded, as Hawk messes up his hair and makeup in the corner! Some things are just going too far. Back to Gordy as he tries with Animal, and Gordy tries for the power approach, which gets him whipped into the corner and beat up again. The Warriors double-team him and Gordy tags out again, so Hayes tries a headlock for lack of anything better to do. He tries a sunset flip, but gets punched out and pinballed in the Warrior corner. Hayes tries to tag out to Gordy, but it takes some convincing to get him back in there.
Gordy pounds on Hawk in the corner, and gets Hawk to charge him, which results in Hawk hitting the post. Gordy suplex follows and Hayes comes in to press things, but Hawk is done selling again and elbows Hayes down. Hayes gets a sideslam for two and they double-team Hawk with an elbow, setting up a piledriver from Gordy. Hawk only does a half no-sell of it, so he must not have met Jerry Lawler yet. However, Hawk fights back on both Freebirds, but can’t tag. Hayes clotheslines him down again and goes up, you just know that’s not going to accomplish anything. And indeed Hawk slams him off. Gordy comes back in and collides with Hawk, and both are out.
Hot tag Animal and he beats on Gordy and gets the powerslam for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and even Buddy Roberts and Paul Ellering are brawling, but heel miscommunication results in Gordy getting press-slammed by Animal. Hayes nails him off top, however, and Gordy covers for the pin and apparently the titles. However, this being the AWA where no title change went unreviewed for weeks on end, Verne Gagne comes out and reverses the decision. Dude, that’s bullshit — Hayes wasn’t legal, but at worst it should have only drawn a warning from the ref. The Freebirds were clearly screwed out of a clean win and the AWA tag team titles there. And it takes a lot to make me sympathize with Michael Hayes.
(Road Warriors d. Freebirds, reversed decision, 10:12, **1/4)
1986 Crockett Cup Finals: The Road Warriors v. Magnum TA & Ron Garvin.
Forget if I’ve ever reviewed this one before, but I probably have. Anyway, it’s complete and unclipped, so let’s give ‘er. JR and Animal are on commentary here again. Animal starts with Magnum and hiptosses him, but misses an elbow and gets dropkicked down. Animal backs off and comes back with a wristlock. Garvin and Magnum stay on the arm, and Hawk comes in. Lockup battle and they hammer on each other, which Garvin gets the worst of. It’s mostly a stalemate as Magnum trades with Animal, trying to keep him down, but falls victim to a bearhug. An announcement of “10 minutes” at 6:50 shows that either they’re using a magic timekeeper or it’s not as unclipped as thought. I think the timekeeper was just off, actually, because it happened a lot in the NWA. Hawk comes in and puts Magnum in a body vice, then adds a big boot. Animal goes to a chinlock and that goes on for a while. Powerslam gets two as Animal works on the back in the corner. Magnum finally fires off the belly to belly for two, but Hawk saves. Tags on both sides and Garvin has a headbutting contest with Hawk, which proves to be a draw. Abdominal stretch attempt misses, but Garvin punches Hawk out with a broken hand and he’s toast. Animal clotheslines him for the pin and the $1,000,000.
(Road Warriors d. Garvin & Magnum TA, Animal clothesline — pin, 9:48, **) Pretty dull stuff.
Russian chain match: The Road Warriors v. Ivan & Nikita Koloff
Again, I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed this one before and it’s on an old Bash 86 compilation tape put out by Crockett, but it’s short so let’s do it again. Everyone chokes everyone else out with chains to start, and Animal gets two on Ivan. Nikita chokes Animal down for two. Hey, more choking, as Ivan chokes Animal out. Really weird, overly aggressive sound mix for this one, as the ring must have been miked six ways from Sunday and they didn’t compensate for it. Animal chokes Ivan right back, and he’s all “take that, foul Russian knave” and Ivan is all “Just a sec, I’m bleeding.” And more choking gets two. Hawk chokes Nikita and vice-versa, but Animal slams Ivan off the top for two. Hawk varies the offense by whipping Nikita with the chain, but it’s just not a chain match unless someone gets hit in the junk with it. And Ivan obliges on Animal as I type that and gets two. Damn I’m good. More punching and kicking and Nikita gets two on Hawk, and the Russians stop to double-team each Warrior in succession. And more choking, of course. Hawk comes back out of nowhere with a fistdrop off the middle rope, but you have to think that would hurt his fist as much as Nikita’s head, given that chains are hard and all. The ref gets bumped and Nikita gets a Russian Sickle on Animal, but Ivan takes too long to capitalize and chooses to go up instead. Ellering knocks him down and Animal finishes.
(The Road Warriors d. Ivan & Nikita Koloff, Animal pins Ivan, 5:37, 1/2*) Dull, dull, dull.
Skywalker match: The Road Warriors v. The Midnight Express
Skywalker match: The Midnight Express v. The Road Warriors. This match has somehow acquired a historic slant that it doesn’t deserve. The Express takes forever to climb up. They all slug it out while crawling around. Condrey and Eaton both toss powder at the Warriors. Hawk gets close to falling off the scaffold, as does Eaton. Both grab a ladder and hang on, however. Both of the Express blade soon after. Dennis crawl away to escape, so Hawk kicks him in the head and they fight on the ladder. Now Animal and Eaton join them, they chickenfight under the scaffolding, and the Express falls off at 7:16. Cornette climbs up to escape Ellering soon after, and gets knocked off himself, buggering his knee for the rest of his life as a result. *
NWA World tag team titles: Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson v. The Road Warriors
I’ve done this one before, but I don’t like the rant so I’ll redo it. To repeat what I said there, however, this was from Starrcade 87, and being that the show was in Chicago and the Warriors were chasing the titles, this was pretty much absolutely, positively, without a doubt going to be the time when the Warriors would win the titles and make the crowd happy. How little we knew. Arn quickly goes up and gets pressed by Hawk, and bails just as quickly. Arn tries a headlock next, but gets overpowered into a wristlock and bails again. Funny bit as JJ swaggers up to the camera and goes “I’ll handle him!” when Ellering shoots him the stink-eye, and then immediately backs off. Tully comes in, bails, and then gets pressed back into the ring by Animal in a great spot. He tries walking away but Hawk chases him back in and dropkicks him for two. Animal comes in but runs into a knee, and Tully now goes up. God, they’re not thinking tonight. Animal of course powerslams him for two. Tully has had enough and goes back to AA, and the crowd is just all over the Horsemen. You’d have to be an idiot to try and screw with this crowd. Keep that in mind.
Arn tries slugging it out, but Animal just casually clotheslines both of them and the Horsemen bail again. Arn badmouths Hawk, who responds with a choice loogie, but the Horsemen jump in and do the old backstabbing double-team. Hawk clotheslines them both and covers Tully for two, however. So much for that one. Poor Tully gets pressed into an Animal bearhug, and it’s a great spot with Hawk punching Tully in the mouth while in the move, and Tully heads for the hills again. He tries slugging it out with Animal and loses that in short order. Arn goes back to a headlock and Animal dumps him again, but gets suckered into a chase. Arn tries a piledriver, but gets nowhere, and Animal presses him for good measure. Back to Tully, same result from Hawk, but finally cheating pays off as Arn clips him while Tully is in the air. And now the Horsemen have a target — the knee.
They go to work on it and drag him out of the ring for some good punishment, including Tully smashing a chair on it on the concrete. Back in, Arn gets a DDT for two. They stay on the knee and Tully tries a figure-four, but Hawk reverses for two. Tully is relentless, however, keeping on it and keeping Hawk in the corner. Classic stuff from the Horsemen here, combining the two biggest fundamentals of tag team psychology: Cutting off the ring and working a body part. Figure-four from Tully, and it’s hot tag Animal soon after. The ref gets wiped out and Arn is dumped over the top rope with no ref, that we can see. Doomsday Device finishes…but no. It’s a Dusty Finish, because one ref saw Arn going over the top while another counted the pin. And it’s nearly a riot in Chicago. Gotta love Dusty.
(Blanchard & Anderson d. The Road Warriors, DQ, 13:40, ***) Solid outing from the Horsemen and two of their favorite opponents, retarded finish aside.
-NWA World tag titles: The Midnight Express v. The Road Warriors
In retrospect I would definitely call this the peak of the Road Warriors’ career and the point where it started going downhill for them in terms of cool factor and in-ring abilities. This is in New Orleans just after the Warriors murdered Dusty Rhodes and turned on Sting to go “heel” again, although everyone is still cheering them. However, the moveset has been taken back to 1983 and then turned up to 11, as a more mature Hawk and Animal now know how to do everything better than when they were starting out. The result is a MASSACRE of the tag champions. Eaton gets sent into the post right away and starts bleeding, taking him out of the match. Lane fights off the challengers alone, holding them off with kicks and help from Cornette, but the Warriors won’t be denied tonight. A cheapshot from Hawk allows some vicious double-teaming and Animal drops elbows on Lane until Bobby Eaton climbs back up on the apron and tags himself in to save his partner. And sure enough, Animal simply clotheslines him and pins him to win the titles.
(Road Warriors d. Midnight Express, Animal clothesline — pin Eaton, 4:33, *1/4) That was a really noble move on Eaton’s part, and sadly the Midnights never made it back to the tag title again.
And now, onto the WWF.
The Legion of Doom v. Demolition
From a non-notable episode of Wrestling Challenge in 1991, long after the decline of Demolition. This is the Smash & Crush version in their final days as a team. The Demos hammer Hawk in the corner to start, but he fights out, only to get dumped by Smash. Back in, Crush gets a backbreaker and drops a leg. Smash pounds away and Crush comes in for a quick double KO spot, and it’s hot tag Animal. Clotheslines result and the Doomsday Device looks to finish, but Fuji comes in to break it up. The Demos bail and the ref disqualifies them. Yup, that’s what we got to pay off a four year wait.
(LOD d. Demolition, DQ, 4:16, 1/2*)
The Legion of Doom v. The Hart Foundation
From March 91, the only meeting of the teams I’m aware of. Anvil & Animal exchange lockups to stat, but neither goes down. Animal takes him down with a shoulderblock and Hawk tries the arm, but Bret comes in. Bret counters the press slam with a rollup, so Hawk dumps him and we get a bit of brawling outside. Back in, Bret with a neckbreaker for two on Hawk. Back to Anvil with the headlock, and Bret decides to take one for the team and go heel, hitting Hawk with a cheapshot from the apron to put him in peril. Anvil clothesline gets two. Bret drops an elbow and a backbreaker gets two. More cheating from the Harts with ref distraction, and Bret drops the middle elbow for two. They do the old facelock spot, as Animal gets frustrated with his inability to tag in, and Bret whips Anvil into Hawk for two. Hawk fights up, but it’s back to the facelock spot again and again more cheating when Animal is lured in. Hart Attack gets two. Bret gets the inverted atomic drop for two. The whip spot fails this time and it’s hot tag Animal, and they do their own corner whip spot, which sets up the Doomsday Device. Anvil breaks it up and Bret slingshots him in, but then Bret makes the mistake of going up top, and gets caught with a powerslam and pinned.
(LOD d. Hart Foundation, Animal powerslam — pin Bret, 12:20, ***1/2) This was all the Harts doing that thing they do so well and carrying the LOD along for the ride.
The Legion of Doom v. Hulk Hogan & Genichiro Tenryu
From Japan in 1991, naturally. Tenryu tries a headlock on Animal and gets tossed around, so Hogan comes in and it’s a brawl. The LOD get stereo press-slams and Animal gets two on Hogan. He comes back with clotheslines and Tenryu hits them with enzuigiris. Hawk comes in with a dropkick and poses dramatically for the Japanese fans, and Animal then tosses him at Tenryu for two. Powerslam gets two for Animal. Everyone brawls outside and Animal chairshots Tenryu to take over, and grabs a chinlock back in the ring. A bloodied Hawk gets a shoulderblock and trades chops with Tenryu, but Hulk comes in with a lariat and a backbreaker for two. Animal gets a shoulderblock for two and hits the chinlock, and it’s a double KO off a clothesline.
Back to Hawk, as a powerslam gets two and he goes back to the chinlock again. Double elbow gets two for Animal, but then Hulk shocks me with a drop toehold and tags out to Tenryu, who gets a lariat on Animal for two. Animal dumps him on the kick out. So back to the floor as everyone brawls again, and Tenryu is in trouble. Back in, a belly to belly suplex from Animal gets two. Tenryu tries a backdrop suplex, but Animal holds on with a bearhug to block it. Tenryu comes back with a powerbomb, and it’s back to Hogan, who drops the leg…for two? Don’t see that very often. Doomsday Device for Tenryu also gets two, and they all go back to the floor and brawl until the LOD beats the count back in. Bleh.
(LOD d. Hogan & Tenryu, countout, 13:34, **1/4) Not much in the way of flow here.
WWF Tag titles: The Nasty Boys v. The Legion of Doom
Yes, from Summerslam 91, as it’s the LOD’s last shot and it’s no DQ or countout. To be honest I’m about at my limit of how much LOD I can take in one shot, so here’s my previous review. LOD attacks
right away and a brawl erupts. Sags sprays Hawk with mace to take control. Hawk takes a drink tray to the back. He’s hardcore! Or something. Now, why would Animal bother to listen to Marella’s warnings if it’s no DQ? Hawk gets beat up in boring fashion for a few minutes. The SHITTY ELBOW OF DEATH only gets two. Hot tag to Animal, who’s a house of fire. Powerslam for two. Pier-six brawl. Megaphone gets tossed in and Animal gets decked. Only two. Hawk steals the motorcycle helmet and cleans house, Doomsday Device and it’s academic. LOD becomes the first and only team to win the tag belts in all three major federations.
(LOD d. Nasty Boys, Doomsday Device — pin, 7:41, *) These teams had zero chemistry together.
The Legion of Doom v. Money, Inc.
From Summerslam 92. Again, I just wanna move on, so here’s my previous review. Paul Ellering is at ringside for the LOD…with Rocco. Can’t forget Rocco. If you don’t know what Rocco is, you don’t want to, believe me. Dibiase is wearing his KICKASS alternate white outfit. LOD dominates Dibiase and…oh, hell, I can’t resist: See, LOD was getting stale, so Vince decided to bring back Paul Ellering at WM8. And everyone was like “Hey, there’s no way he can possibly screw up something THAT easy, right?” Well, a couple of weeks later, the LOD began doing vignettes from the mean streets of Chicago, talking about “losing their inspiration” and reminiscing about their childhood. But luckily, when they were in a junkyard, they found their prized…ventriloquist’s dummy? Yes, it was Rocco, and Paul Ellering began bringing it to ringside and doing a really bad ventriloquism act during matches. This was A-Level, brilliant stuff, no? Anyway, this match sucks. Even Dibiase can’t work miracles. Besides, he wasn’t born again until about 1996. Hawk plays Ricky Morton (if Ricky Morton didn’t learn how to sell properly). I think Ted Dibiase should have been brought in as the mouthpiece for the Revolution instead of Shane “Hey, remember when I quit in 1993 and no one could tell?” Douglas. Animal gets the hot tag and they go for the Doomsday Device, but IRS dropkicks Animal to break it up. Dibiase takes a powerslam for the pin to render the previous sequence pointless, much like the match. LOD bailed for Japan very soon after this.
(LOD d. Money, Inc., Animal powerslam — pin Dibiase, 11:58, ***) I actually liked this match much better when I watched it again, believe it or not.
WCW Tag titles: Sting & Lex Luger v. The Road Warriors
From Superbrawl 6, and this match is so deathly dull that again I can’t help but cut and paste. FINALLY Sting and Hawk start. More stalling follows. For those who didn’t have the good fortune to sit through this irriatingly dumb storyline back in 95-96, the idea was that Luger had returned to WCW, but wasn’t trustworthy, and was in fact playing Sting for a fool by using him to win the tag titles while working as a heel with Jimmy Hart behind his back. Thankfully they got bored with that one and turned Luger full face in time for the nWo to arrive. Hawk controls after blowing a neckbreaker here. The Warriors were REALLY starting to show the signs of total deterioration at this point. Luger comes in and gets powerslammed by Animal for two. He gets thoroughly thrashed, so decides to let Sting come back in and handle things. Flying splash from Sting hits nothing but knee, and Hawk gets the hot tag. Sting comes back with the Stinger splash on Animal, but Hawk breaks up the Scorpion deathlock. Sting plays face-in-peril until Luger charges in and a big brawl erupts, until the ref calls for the double-DQ. Way lame ending to a boring match.
(Road Warriors DDQ Sting & Luger, 13:58, *1/2) No flow to the match, no one plays heel enough to get the crowd into it, and it’s just plain dull.
And finally, as this second disc finishes boring the pants off me…
WWF tag titles: The Godwinns v. The Legion of Doom
Last shot at the titles, and the LOD must retire if they lose. Uh huh. Animal fights off PIG and works on the arm of Henry. JR wonders if the LOD will let the hide go with the tallow, as they say. As WHO says? Inbred hicks from Arkansas? Has anyone ever used that phrase before? Hawk slugs away on both Godwinns and Animal gets two. Powerslam gets two on Phineas. PIG fires away in the corner and take a break, although luckily this is on DVD.
Back with punches from Henry and a lariat, and Phineas comes in with a jawbreaker and dumps Hawk. Back in, the Godwinns continue punching and I continue checking my watch. Hawk clotheslines them and gets the false tag. Phineas gets two on Hawk off that. Godwinns work him over in the corner while Animal gets helped out due to an “injury” sustained in the previous fracas, and of course the ref is bumped. But lo, Animal is HEALED by the power of positive thinking, or maybe Jesus, or perhaps both. PIG tries a piledriver on him, but Hawk comes off the top with a clothesline to finish, and thank you to Jesus for that, and give them their last tag titles before they descended into self parody.
(LOD d. Godwinns, Hawk clothesline — pin Phineas, 8:46, 1/2*) Everyone was in slow motion for this one.