WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament: March 15th, 1987

March 15, 1987


Your hosts are Jimmy Hart, Johnny V, and Gorilla Monsoon

At this time, the WWE were doing tag team tournaments at house shows with the winner getting a title shot. This was one of those shows and it was televised due to it taking place at the Maple Leaf Gardens.

There were also two other matches on this card: Sivi Afi vs. Red Demon and Hillbilly Jim vs. Dino Bravo that were not on this broadcast but featured on future episodes of Prime Time Wrestling.


Opening Round
Kamala & Sika w/Kimchee vs. Killer Bees


I think the Wizard as gone at this point, which is a relief. Brunzell grabs Sika in a side headlock to start. Sika breaks then runs him over as this match is been wrestled at a snails pace so far. Kamala is in the corner and is struggling to grasp the rules of a tag team match. Blair tags and works the arm but that doesnt last long as Sika regains control. Kamala tags and beats on Blair, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Johnny V. seems absolutely tanked on commentary as the heels are neutralizing Blair. Sika holds up Blair but he avoids a charging Kamala as the heels collide. Blair makes the tag as Sika had him in a headlock ten Brunzell dropkicks Sika for the win (7:32) 1/2*.

Thoughts: This match sucked and the ending looked awful. The Bees tried here but Sika was just a slug at this point yet worked a majority of the match.





Opening Round
“Golden Boy” Danny Spivey & Jerry Allen vs. Can-Am Connection


The crowd loves the Can-Ams. They gave Allen & Spivey a light smattering of boos. Spivey and Martel start off the match. Martel hits a crossbody for two then tags out. Spivey and Zenk trade suplexes then end in a stalemate. Zenk gets two off of a backslide as Johnny talks up Spivey on commentary. They both get into a shoving match as Spivey is showing a bit more aggression than usual and has Jimmy Hart cheering for him on commentary. Spivey takes control as he drops an elbow for two. Backbreaker gets two then he puts Zenk in a bearhug. Allen tags in and gets two off if a suplex then locks on a bearhug of his own. Zenk fights back but Spivey tags then they completely botch an abdominal stretch spot. Martel makes the save after a double-team move then the match breaks down. Spivey tries to whip Zenk into Martel but he ducks and ends up hitting Allen with a crossbody for the win as Martel trapped Spivey in the corner (10:31) *1/2.

Thoughts: A lot of the focus was on Spivey as they hinted at a heel turn with him here with Johnny V and Jimmy Hart openly cheering for him on commentary and due to him taking control of the match and acting a bit more aggressive than usual. The problem with Spivey was that he just sucked at this point in his career and was not ready for any sort of push at all. The match itself was too long.





Opening Round
Demolition w/ Johnny V. vs. British Bulldogs


Demolition attacks the Bulldog from behind to start the match. Demolition works over Dynamite with a few restholds as Dynamite still appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain. Ax grabs a bearhug as this match is a bore. Dynamite makes the tag but the referee did not see that and orders Davey back as Smash grabs a bearhug. Dynamite breaks free after a couple of headbutts then make the tag as Davey runs wild. Davey looks great out there as he hits them both with the running powerslam. Johnny V. trips him up and that causes Jimmy Hart to laugh hysterically. Davey avoids an elbow drop then uses the chair that Dynamite slid into the ring as he takes out Demolition, causing the referee to ring the bell for the DQ as Demolition gets the win (4:50) 3/4*.

Thoughts: Davey looked great after the hot tag but due to Dynamite’s physical condition Demolition only used restholds and it made for a really boring match.






Opening Round
Don Muraco & Cowboy Bob Orton vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & King Kong Bundy


No Heenan tonight. Match starts with Orndorff and Bundy beating on Orton. Bundy sets up for the Avalanche but Orton is able to duck outside. Muraco sneaks in and rakes the eyes of Bundy, who tags Orndorff. Muraco tags and distracts the ref so Orton can choke out Orndorff. Muraco and Orton isolate Orndorff in their corner until Muraco locks on a bearhug. Orndorff breaks free and tags Bundy, who cleans house. He hits Muraco with the Avalanche but Orton punches Bundy to prevent a pin attempt. Muraco drops a few elbows then tags Orton but Bundy makes the tag as Orndorff runs wild. The match breaks down as Fuji slips Muraco the cane. He swings but Orndorff ducks and he accidentally hits his partner as Bundy takes Muraco out as Orndorff covers for the win (6:20) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Neither of these guys seemed to give a fuck out there as the match was disjointed. This is the first time they have teased any sort of tension between Muraco and Orton.






Semifinals
Can-Am Connection vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V. 


Demolition beat on Martel to start the match. That lasts for a while and it is quite boring. He tries to make the tag but the ref did not see that as Demolition double-team Martel behind the referee’s back. Martel dodges an attack and finally makes the tag as Zenk runs wild. The match then breaks down as outside of the ring, Ax rams Zenk into the post then rolls back inside just to beat the ten count as Demolition gets the win (9:21) *.

Thoughts: This was pretty bad and sleep inducing as well. Demolition is not really doing much in the ring tonight to impress. And the end was a lame way for a team to win.





Semifinals
Paul Orndorff & King Kong Bundy vs. Killer Bees


The Bees put on their masks before the match as Johnny V is screaming about that from the apron then when he rejoins the booth. Orndorff misses a charge as the Bees use quick tags to work the arm. Orndorff puts on the brakes as Brunzell tried a dropkick then tags out as Bundy knocks around Brunzell. Orndorff tags in again as Hart proclaims that Jim Neidhart throws the best dropkick in wrestling. The heels work over Brunzell in the corner as Johnny V repeatedly ask if the Bees get “stingers.” Bundy hits Brunzell with the Avalanche then taunts the crowd for the piledriver as the heels get distracted then Blair rolls himself in and plays possum as he catches Orndorff with a rollup for the win (4:22) *.

Thoughts: Messy but it was mostly action and at this point of the show that was a huge plus. Bundy was never a great worker by any means but he was putrid in this tournament.





Finals
Killer Bees vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V.


Ax and Blair go back and forth in a slugfest to start. Ax knees Blair and grabs a front facelock then tags Smash, who tosses Blair through the ropes. Johnny V. cheapshots Blair, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Ax distracts the ref is Blair makes the tag then Smash knocks him through the ropes. The Bees are on the mat as they put on their masks while out on the floor. Brunzell is in as he dropkicks Ax for two as Smash made the save. The ref orders Smash on the apron then Blair heads up top and gets a sunset flip on Ax for the win (6:21) *1/4.

Thoughts: If you think the finishers are lame today then watch this tournament. It will seem like Eddie Graham booked RAW last night by comparison. The Bees won this unimpressive tournament and get a title shot. This match was alright compared to the other garbage we have seen.





WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis vs. Killer Bees


The Bees come out with their masks as the Hart Foundation head up the ramp. They do come back when the Bees remove them as they break huddle in the ring before starting the match. Neidhart and Brunzell run into each other to start as they are both down on the mat. Brunzell has Anvil up for a slam but Bret sneaks in ehind the referee’s back and dropkicks him down but Brunzell rolls through and gets a nearfall. Bret tags and hits a backbreaker for two then slaps Blair across the face before tagging out. Bret tags back in and has a front facelock but Neidhart distracts the ref so he missed the tag. Bret then accidentally knocks Neidhart off of the apron as Brunzell makes the tag. Blair runs wild then the match breaks down as the Bees clear the ring. The Bees put the masks on as Jimmy is screaming as the Bees use stereo sleeper holds on the Hart Foundation. Davis jumps up on the apron as Blair knocks him off then the ref struggles to maintain control as Blair has Bret in a small package, Davis runs in and reverses the move then the ref finally notices and counts to three as the Hart Foundation retains (4:20) **1/2.

Thoughts: All action and good but very short. No idea why they didn’t have matches this short for the rest of the tournament. Bret was phenomenal in this match and might have been the best in-ring technician the company had at this point. He was definitely top 3.






Final Thoughts: Man, this tournament sucked. Just about everyone involved was uninspired in the ring and the matches all seemed to have the same spots and pacing. The crowd even seemed burned out by the end. While the six-man tag elimination matches were a hit on the house show circuit, the tag tournaments were the exact opposite. Strong recommendation to avoid.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot interview with Blue Meanie and Jasmin St. Claire
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/21/87
Saturday: RoH Wrath of the Racket 8/9/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/22/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/29/87

Being The ‘Marty Jannetty’ Of A Tag Team

It’s the term that every tag team will experience at some point in time. It’s in reference to when the popular tag team known as the Rockers, which consisted of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, broke up and went into the singles ranks. Both men were very talented, but Michaels was the one who achieved higher acclaim while his former partner and friend drifted into obscurity.
Sure, it happened to Jannetty, but throughout history it has happened to seemingly every tag team that has ever been formed. The team will be successful, but when they breakup, only one man achieves anything in the singles ranks.
In this column, which will likely be broken up into several pieces because of so many tag teams, I’ll look at five tag teams shed light on who succeeded, and who dropped down the card.
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They won the WWF World Tag Team Championships on two occasions and were both greatly popular and hated in the world of wrestling in the 80s for the NWA before heading to the WWF and becoming a popular tag team for the company. That tag team was known as the Road Warriors.
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Even dating back to the 80s, it was apparent that officials regarded Road Warrior Hawk more than they regarded Road Warrior Animal. There are probably a few reasons. First, Hawk had a ton more charisma and energy. Whether it be talking, WHAT A RUSH, or his presence in the ring, Hawk kept people interested.
While, Animal was a muscle guy who didn’t provide much of anything for the fans, at least not me. When the tag team was in the WWF, they were kept as a tag team. Neither guy was given more time than the other.
That was completely different when they were wrestling for WCW in the 80s and early 90s. In the NWA/WCW, Hawk got several championship matches against champion Ric Flair, including a title match on pay per view called Bunkhouse Stampede in 1988.
After a two year run with the WWF, Hawk returned solo to WCW without Animal and was involved in a singles feud with WCW International Champion Rick Rude, though he didn’t win the title. He also had a singles run in WCW in 1995, mostly in the undercard before reuniting with Animal in 1996.
While Hawk didn’t win any singles championships, he was still quite popular on his own. On the other hand, any time Animal was working solo, the interest just was never there. Hawk was the guy who entertained fans and Animal was seemingly just there for the ride, from a fans perspective.
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The next tag team is probably the most popular tag team of the 90s. Rick and Scott Steiner, simply known as the Steiner Brothers, put on classic tag team matches in WCW and WWF during their run that lasted nearly ten years when they split in 1998.
Prior to the split, though, both had runs as singles wrestlers. Dating back to 1991, both men had chances to breakthrough as singles stars. Scott Steiner wrestled Ric Flair on a Clash of the Champions, but failed to impress officials, which many blame Flair for screwing over Scotty. Rick Steiner had a run later on in the year with champion Lex Luger and nearly won the title on television.
It had always been evident that Scott Steiner was far more talented in the ring than Rick. Scott was the first to win singles gold when he won the WCW Television Championship in the fall of ’92 but the team left the company for the WWF where they returned to tag team prominence winning the tag titles there as well.
For six more years they teamed until Scott Steiner turned on his brother and joined the New World Order. By the end of 1998, Scott was the WCW Television Champion and would soon be in feuds with the likes of Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T. Rick Steiner would settle for feuding with guys like Fit Finlay.
They reunited by the spring of 1999, but Scott went out with injury and Rick would garner success with a WCW Television Championship run. However, Scott would be the only brother to win a major heavyweight championship when he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Booker T in November 2000 and held the belt until March 2001.
Sure, Rick Steiner was a successful mid card title holder, but at one point he was seen as the bigger star of the Steiner Brothers, and he very well could have been, but Scott Steiner skyrocketed past his brother with better ability and with the perfection of his heel attitude.
Speaking of skyrocketing, that brings me to another WCW tag team known as Harlem Heat. Probably the most successful tag team for the company when it came to tag team title reigns. It’s one of the easier examples of knowing who was the stronger talent and who was there just to be body for a tag team.
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Stevie Ray was a power oriented wrestler and had some charisma during his run, but Booker T was younger and just incredible in the ring. Booker was able to flashy moves and really pop the crowd. That became prevalent when Stevie Ray was out with an injury in late 1997. WCW wasted no time putting the WCW Television Championship on Booker T, who brought prestige back to a championship that had suffered with reigns by the likes of the Renegade in previous years.
Booker had classic matches with Chris Benoit and Fit Finlay throughout 1998 and worked with Bret Hart at the Bash at the Beach pay per view in July. His success almost made you forget about Stevie Ray, who would fall down the card, and fall down hard.
They’d briefly reunite in 1999 and win the tag titles again, but fans wanted to see Booker T and not Stevie Ray. In one of the rare times that WCW got something right, and the same thing can be said for Vince Russo, Booker T won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Bash at the Beach 2000 pinning Jeff Jarrett. Booker won the title five times in less than a year for a company that he should have been champion for years prior.
What did Stevie Ray do that was memorable? Well, he had a feud with Vincent and Horace Hogan over who would be the leader of the NWO Black & White when the group consisted of nothing but jobbers. By the time Booker won the top championship Ray was a commentator for WCW.
Sometimes a tag team will split up and the person the company wants to push a singles star just fails. That was the case with the popular tag team the New Age Outlaws. After winning the WWF World Tag Team Championships and being a huge part of the companies growth in 1998, the duo ventured off into singles roles in 1999. Road Dogg was able to win both the WWF Hardcore and Intercontinental Championships.
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Billy Gunn won the WWF Hardcore Championship in 1999, but also was the 1999 King of the Ring winner. Billy was pushed up the card to work with The Rock at SummerSlam, but quickly came back down to the midcard. Throughout his career he would get more single pushes as he also won the WWF Intercontinental Championship in late 2000 for a month.
It may have been because Billy had a better look or better ability for why he got a push and Road Dogg fizzled out as a singles star. When I think about it, Road Dogg was far more charismatic and wasn’t far off talent wise from Billy.
What is funny is that Billy was highlighted as the star of the 90s tag team the Smoking Gunns with “brother” Bart Gunn. When they split up, Billy became the forgettable character Rockabilly, but he was clearly not setup to succeed with that garbage. The New Age Outlaws are an example of two guys better off being in a tag team.
The last tag team that I’m going to highlight this time around is a tag team that accomplished a lot for Total Non-Stop Action. America’s Most Wanted consisted of Chris Harris and James Storm. Their tag team lasted from 2002 to early 2007.
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In 2004, James Storm was hurt and Chris Harris was given a chance to shine in a singles role. I remember at the time reading that TNA saw Chris Harris as their future with very little mention of James Storm. When they would tag, fans reacted to Harris while Storm didn’t get much of a reaction it seemed.
But in 2004, Harris shined as he wrestled NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett a couple of times but came up short in singles match. Even though he lost, he was still seen as a credible wrestler who could become a main event guy for the company.
Fast forward three years and the two of them feud with James Storm turning on Harris. They have a great Texas Death Match at Sacrifice in May of 2007, which Harris won. With the victory, many though that Harris was destined to rise up the card, but by the fall Harris was in the midcard and wasn’t elevated. Soon enough, Harris was out of the company and his career was effectively killed off when he had a short, but somehow memorable, run as Braden Walker for the WWE’s version of ECW.
James Storm, on the other hand, became one of the most entertaining heels in the company and while he formed an entertaining tag team with Bobby Roode known as Beer Money Inc., he would be the one who became the singles star.
After a split with Bobby Roode, James Storm became a highly popular baby face and managed to become the TNA World Champion, even if it was for only eight days. When Storm won the championship in October of 2011, he was the top baby face for the company and had really found his groove in wrestling as a singles wrestler.
Today, Storm continues to entertain on TNA programming while Chris Harris hasn’t been heard from in years.
Similar to a once popular wrestling star, Marty Jannetty.
What are some more tag teams that had one partner outshine the other that was memorable? Leave your thoughts below!
Thanks for reading.

For more columns and wrestling reviews, head over to WRESTLING RECAPS. Over 3,000 reviews from all the major companies! 

Tag Team Tourney: The Sweet Sixteen!

Down to the nitty gritty.  Sadly, Kid & Jannetty lost ANOTHER nail-biter, 49-51 to the Eddie-Rey team, and no last minute surge saved them this time.  But really, Eddie Guerero and Rey Mysterio?  On with the tournament!  Now there’s some bigtime showdowns on display. http://challonge.com/bodtag Tag Tournament Group DI Tag Tournament Group DJ Tag Tournament Group DK Tag Tournament Group DL Tag Tournament Group DM Tag Tournament Group DN Tag Tournament Group DO Tag Tournament Group DP

The David Crockett Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament 2014!

Just for fun, I thought I'd generate some discussion by running another massive tag team tournament, this one featuring all the teams to ever hold a version of the WWE tag team titles from the start of the Hulkamania era until now.  That gave me a nice 128 team limit to work with.  
The bracket is as follows, and it was generated completely at random:
So we'll throw up polls every day to hopefully generate some discussion and have fun.  Rules for the tournament are that each version of a wrestler is a different person for the purposes of matchmaking (so Big Show & Undertaker can face Undertaker & Kane or Big Show & Kane), and voting criteria is whatever you want.  Pick whoever would be booked to win, whoever you like best, who would win in a real fight, whatever.  Polls will run until there's a clear majority or until I feel like it.  As a reminder, last time we ran this years ago, The Hart Foundation defeated Edge & Christian in the finals.  
Good luck to all!

Paramount kills Team America: World Police

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/12/18/team-america-world-police-screenings-canceled/

Given that the makers of this movie are the guys behind South Park, it seems only fitting that they are trying to capitalize on the revolutionary Cartmanland Marketing System:

“I’m sorry, you can’t see this movie!  Nobody can see this movie!  Even I can’t see this movie!”

Congratulations to North Korea on securing some of the prophet Mohammed’s special goo.

The Clique in tag team action on Action Zone in 1994

Scott,
You wanted it, you've got it. Here's the HBK & Diesel/Razor & 1-2-3 Kid tag you referenced in your latest RAW review from '94.

The Odd Couple: Why Bray and Bo Dallas Should be Paired Up as a New Tag Team

Like those who work in a circus or live entertainment environment,
WWE has a long-standing tradition of having wrestlers who are related to
one another (or, in some cases, just unrelated duos they want to bill
as siblings) wrestle as tag team partners. The Usos (part of the Anoi’i
Family which has featured talent such as The Rock and Roman Reigns), The
Rhodes Brothers and The Bella Twins all come to mind. After watching
last night’s Money In The Bank opening monologue (and seeing Bray go
nowhere), I figured now would be a good time as any to have one of the
most unusual, yet interesting true life sibling pairings to date debut:

Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.

I know what you’re thinking: Danielle, can I have a cookie? Sure, go ‘head.

Otherwise,
you’re thinking that Dallas and Wyatt couldn’t have gimmicks further
apart and that’s true. On one hand, you have Bray Wyatt, a southern
redneck radical cult leader who lives in darkness and preaches to the
“lost” (and also walks around like a spider when he should be wrestling)
and on the other, Bo Dallas who seems to think he’s the official
Motivational Speaker for the Earth. Bray has a gimmick that works, fans
love him and sing along with him to “He’s Got the Whole World in His
Hands” while Bo gets laughed at, booed and ignored.

However,
there’s a huge difference between someone whose gimmick works as a heel
and someone whom the audience wishes would get on a bus and leave the
WWE forever. Right now, Bo is obviously the latter, dismissed for coming
off as a complete wuss.

The problem is that the average wrestling fan doesn’t know Dallas’s history.

Spoiler Alert: he isn’t a slouch.

Bo wrestled
under his real name, Bo Rotunda before he came to WWE. If the name
sounds familiar, it’s because he’s part of the Windham/Rotunda wrestling
dynasty.

When he was younger, Rotunda won the FCW
Florida Heavyweight Championship three times. He was the first NXT
wrestler to win a spot in the 2013 WWE Royal Rumble by beating Luke
Harper and Leo Kruger (the latter currently rebranded in the WWE as Adam
Rose) at the Royal Rumble Fan Fest. Bo Dallas lasted a very respectable
20 minutes — even besting Intercontinental Champion, Bad News Barrett
(the latter coming back into the ring and eliminated Rotunda sparking a
fued and a title match for the Intercontinental Championship belt which
Barrett retained). Bo held the NXT Championship for 280 days after
defeating Big E.

Bo actually has an interesting
history with Bray in both leagues. He’s wrestled with Bray Wyatt as Bo
Rotundo and Duke Rotundo to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship
twice. (They also wrestled together as Bo Rotundo and Husky Harris
previously). Yet, in NXT, when “Duke” changed his name to “Bray” and set
up “The Wyatt Family”, Bo was actually given the opportunity to join
them. He refused. In response, Bray ruined Bo’s triple threat match
against Conor O’Brian and Corey Graves, leading to a later match between
Bo and Bray. Bo ended up winning that night.

Of course, NXT is not WWE and rarely do the two occupy the same universe or have a parallel continuity.

Right
now, Bo remains undefeated in WWE, albeit against wrestlers that aren’t
taken as seriously as competitors including R-Truth, Fandango and Titus
O’Neil. 

I’d love to see Dallas confronted with his
“past” or, in other words, some of the guys he faced from NXT. It’s not
like the Bo Dallas character has been re-branded the way Isaac Yankem
became Kane. He uses the same name and a silly “Bolieve” gimmick. He’s
not motivating anyone with it, he’s getting heat for it, much as he did
for his last few months in NXT (where he didn’t even try to be Tony
Robbins).

Most importantly, it’s time to have him join
his brother as tag team partner. Last night, they wasted a great
opportunity to get that started. As you may recall, Daniel Bryan came
into the ring to report on his injuries (which had excellent potential
for a Barrett joke) but Bo Dallas interrupted the segment so that he
could condescend and tell Bryan he was “climbing the ladder of life”.
Daniel Bryan humiliated Bo by referring to him as a “Bo-ner”. It was
amazing watching Dallas’s face fall as he realized he was being told
off.

It may have been almost imperceptive, but part of Dallas died right there.

Cut
to the backstage area and Bo walking with his head down, looking
dejected…right past Bray Wyatt who is sitting in his rocking chair in a
dark room, slightly lit, waiting for his big Ladder Match. He slowly
realizes who just walked past the doorway, gets up and watches as Bo
walks. The camera goes back to Bray as he grins. Sheep mask.

Then we go deeper into it on RAW. You can even start a “universe” with RAW and NXT sharing the same space.

This
time is different, though. Bo is starting to realize that his message
and inspiration is falling on deaf ears. Instead of being accepted as
somebody who pushes people to be great, he’s been humiliated, booed and
gotten so little back for such great effort. He realizes that it’s time
for him to accept the invitation. At first, he’ll try to resist, but it
makes a lot of sense. Bray is more over than Bo who realizes that he may
never get over at this rate but, together, they’re an interesting pair.
Bo could be spouting out demotivational thoughts. Might be a little
Sandow-ish and on the comedy side, but you insert a bit of darker humor
to it, it works. He can pop out at the end of matches (both ones he’s in
and ones he’s not) and tell people that they couldn’t win a match
against a first grader and to hang up their costumes.

Bray
could even distance himself even more from Luke and Erick (already
sporting a different theme than the usual Wyatt family’s  “Run and
Hide”) to the point where Bray and Bo could fight Luke and Erick. That
match might set a WWE record for most amount of cheating and
interference, actually.

As a new powerful heel
wrestler, it will be great to see him take on and create some
long-standing feuds with previous NXT opponents either in singles
matches or as part of a tag team with Bray. The possibilities are almost
endless. Daniel Bryan got it half right last night: it was time for a
Bo to leave, but, NOT Bo the wrestler.

It’s time for
the end of Bo-lieve gimmick — and the beginning of a darker, more
cynical Bo Dallas, which fits in perfectly with his brother, Bray.