Demolition: The WWF’s biggest tag team… now jobbers.
And we’re back with more Dream Matches- this time, I’m theming it around the unfortunately-low-grade Demolition/LOD feud, which was so, SO disappointing to 1990’s wrestling fans. One of the greatest all-time Dream Match-Ups from schoolyards around the Americas, and there was no PPV blow-off, and it was mostly the Demos turning into wimpy cheating jobbers instead of the epic brawls we were all expecting.
Turns out, the timing just wasn’t right. Ax was being phased out (and soon gave his last fuck), Crush was a newbie who couldn’t do much, and Smash couldn’t lead tag bouts by himself. LOD was the hot new thing, so they were getting the push and that was that. The Demos, triumphant Tag Champions since WrestleMania, were turned heel via some random interviews instead of a big angle, dropped the belts to the Hart Foundation (since LOD were too new to be given the gold just yet) and were more or less sacrificed to the LOD.
What we see here is some of the few times the teams fought each other in a televised fashion.
As always, WWF-owned clips are non-kosher to post on the Blog. These are all on YouTube, though.
THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR & THE LEGION OF DOOM (Hawk & Animal) vs. DEMOLITION (Ax, Smash & Crush):
(MSG House Show, 1990)
* Yes, this match actually happened- it seems to be a regular House Show thing, even, though this is probably the most “complete” version you’re gonna find. This was when the Demos had lost the Tag gold and were just being SO badly de-pushed, as suddenly they were gutless cowards being sacrificed to the LOD around the horn, and the Warrior just makes it even more one-sided. They’ve at least dropped the “Masked Demolition” bit, and Monsoon talks about how they’re the only three-peat Champions in WWF history, but Ax has run out of fucks to give, looking like someone’s dad with the body and hairline to match. Hilariously, the Warrior barrels down a photographer (possibly Bill Apter) on the way to the ring- the WWF Champion at the time, he’s in black gear I don’t recall seeing on him before. And they all clothesline the three Demos before the bell!
Warrior gives Animal a… ceremonial Iron Claw, I guess, and we’re off. Smash hits the Demolition Jumping Axehandles immediately on Animal, but Animal reverses a whip and powerslams him to get the fans right into it. Crush tries next, but Hawk comes down on his arm. He goes to the eyes and gets a backbreaker, however, and absorbs a clothesline but a dropkick puts him down. Jumping shoulderblock & falling punch keep on him, so Crush goes to the eyes and tags out… and Ax saunters in, walking right into the Ultimate Warrior! Warrior beats on Ax then slams all three Demos! However, the Warrior Splash misses and he does what’s actually a really good (if over-dramatic) sell-job, rolling around in agony. Ax wisely dumps him so Smash & Crush can whup him outside, but Warrior nearly fights back on his own before Ax goes to the eyes from the apron to stun him again- see, this is how you can tell he’s the team’s workhorse/match-planner, and why Smash/Crush was so bad a duo by comparison.
Warrior keeps trying fired-up comebacks, but keeps getting pounded down like a tent-peg, but the LOD finally run in and chaos ensues- Demolition Decapitation is stopped and Animal tags in and clotheslines everyone! Monsoon keeps getting the names of everyone wrong, and Crush stops the Doomsday Device and Hawk improvises with a flying axehandle to him. Now Animal takes his turn getting a beating, and that goes on a bit too long, with some stopped comebacks and bearhugs and the like. Demolition pulls off plenty of cheating, but there’s two restholds in a row despite there being three guys on each team. FINALLY, after four minutes straight, Animal comes back with a clothesline… and tags the Warrior! Clothesline Beamspam on Smash! “Changes his mind on the direction four times” jumping tackle! Ax & Crush are knocked off the apron and LOD deal with them, and it’s the Warrior Splash (missed by the cameraman) for the pin at (14:00)!
Man, I love shit like this. Say what you will about the “punch & kick” WWF style, but I love this big, giant cartoon characters with everyone in facepaint laying waste to each other- ideal WWF-style wrestling is “Gods Fighting”, and these dudes looked like Mount Olympus run riot. Sadly it turned into four minutes of slow, plodding shots and restholds, but you can’t win ’em all. Warrior’s big comeback in the end was literally only twenty seconds after the hot tag, too, but at least his team got on the same page finally, grabbing the others so they couldn’t interfere.
Rating: **1/2 (as much for nostalgia as anything. Most of these guys weren’t the most well-rounded at this point)
THE LEGION OF DOOM (Hawk & Animal) vs. DEMOLITION (Ax & Crush):
(WWF “Rarity”, 30.10.1990)
* Oh man, it’s the “Masked Demolition” era, and the YouTube clip is less than 4 minutes long, lol. And they don’t even get their famous WWF theme song! This doesn’t bode well.
The LOD clothesline Ax & Crush down immediately, then work over Crush’s arm- Hawk runs into the post, but tags right out to Animal, who tosses both guys. Ax attacks both guys outside the ring, and Crush hits the backbreaker on Animal, then goes up- Flying Kneedrop!! Double Clothesline and they set up Demolition Decapitation, but Hawk charges in and pounds away, Animal gets the foot up, and Hawk hits clotheslines and a jumping tackle. Flying Clothesline… and we’re done at (2:23)! Jesus that’s sad, lol. And Ax just casually rolls out of the ring and walks under his own power to the back, clearly just DONE with it at this point.
Rating: * (just a handful of moves and someone does the quick job)
MR. PERFECT vs. THE BERZERKER:
(WWF, Jan. 1993)
* Another weird one, as Berzerker was all but gone from the company at the time (I have little memory of him after SummerSlam ’92, and he apparently went AWOL for a while), so here he’s being fed to Mr. Perfect in anticipation of the Royal Rumble. I mean, he doesn’t even have Mr. Fuji anymore.
Amazingly fast start, as Berzererker throws a chop, sells a punch, then Perfect ducks under a big boot from a criss-cross, then a clothesline, then dropkicks him and Berzerker goes SAILING over the top rope backwards in a huge bump. Berzerker hammers away to come back, and Perfect charges into the ringpost shoulder-first after reversing a whip. Berzerker then tries to FUCKING DECAPITATE HIM with a sword, shattering it on the ringpost! God I love this gimmick so much. Lawler marks out on commentary over the possibility of a beheading while Savage makes him laugh over a remark Lawler made earlier (“Speaking of THROWING KNIVES…”).
Berzerker hits a running boot, but ends up backdropped over when he tries the version in the ropes, then Ric Flair comes out to call out Perfect for the upcoming Rumble. Berzerker keeps hitting him from behind, but Perfect just keeps no-selling and hitting him back, sending Berzerker falling all over the place, and FINALLY he gets nailed with a proper shot and we take a break- back with Berzerker dragging Perfect into the ring as Flair is finally gone. World’s Strongest Slam gets two, Berzerker puts his head down for a back bodydrop and BOOM- beautiful Perfect Plex finishes at (4:28). Wow that was nice- Savage marks out over it on commentary, too. Perfect then dropkicks Berzerker over the top AGAIN, as that guy’s just a bump machine.
Funny match, as Berzerker played it more like a quick, spritely heel, going up for all kinds of stuff and taking huge bumps even though his character was toast by this point. Perfect just slugged him around repeatedly and didn’t even use any holds and such, then hit a sweet come from behind move for the quick victory.
Rating: ** (fun, quick match with some insane bumping from the big man)
John Nord in his weird “Giant Jobber” WCW phase.
JOHN NORD vs. LIZMARK, JR.
(WCW Saturday Night, 17.01.1998)
* And now we go to the flagging days of WCW, as the WWF started winning the war and never gave up, while WCW splurted out its ponderous roster in all sorts of bizarre “WTF?” matches. Case in point, John Nord, formerly Nord the Barbarian in the indies, and The Viking & The Berzerker in the WWF, versus Lizmark, Jr., the most forgotten of WCW’s luchadores. I mean, they had a lot of forgotten lucha guys, but at least Silver King was deceptively-stocky, Super Calo was a botch machine, Damien was in that great MEXICAN Hardcore Match (cue announcer laughter for 15 minutes straight), El Dandy couldn’t be doubted, and that Villano suffered a bad neck injury. Lizmark was just “there”. He’s a perfectly good wrestler, but never expressed any charisma. He’s probably most recognizable for being REALLY put together, physique-wise, compared to most of his fellow lucha guys.
Nord, here, has short hair and a douchey ’90s ‘stache, and is sporting a stylish “If you don’t like me… there’s something wrong with you” shirt and shades. He’s in white undies but still has his furry Berserker boots! He’s a fair bit taller than Lizmark, who’s in silver.
Nord brawls away and hits a big boot after missing two clotheslines, but misses a dropkick then hits a shoulderblock and a Samoan drop. Lizmark hits kicks, dropkicks and a Springboard dropkick to bring the big man down. Nord keeps yelling at the fans and saying dumb stuff like “Beat me… if you CAN!” as if he read about how heeling works from a book or something like that. Lizmark tries a Running No-Hands Springboard thing… but bounces off awkwardly, as he’s no Manami Toyota. Nord hits an ugly Kneeling Powerbomb (almost a safer Ganso Bomb), then calmly sits on him and does a Camel Clutch… for the win (2:40). Who the hell gave a 6’5″-ish guy a CAMEL CLUTCH as a finisher?
Rating: 3/4* (pretty poor-ass match, as Nord looked clumsy and Lizmark buggered what was probably his big comeback)