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Demolition (Coliseum Video)

by Scrooge McSuck

- Demolition has long been one of my favorite tag teams, despite their obvious distinction of being a "Road Warriors clone." They were definitely one of my frist experiences of cheering a heel because they were cooler than most of the babyfaces. Oddly enough, as babyfaces, they were alright, but as heels, they were so much more awesome. Heck, I didn't mind the Crush version either, but that came after this Coliseum Video, so our cut-off appears to be the summer of 1989.

- Bret Hart tells us to be a Survivor, and don't smoke. I figured better advise would be do the job when asked to, but I digress... I still think the ad featuring the Ultimate Warrior was the best. It looked as if he was chewing the cigarettes, rather than tearing them apart.

- Ax and Smash host the tape, in front of the green-screen from the Event Center Promos. They basically run down the opponents of each match, and then... we get the match. That seems most logical, right?

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Strike Force vs. Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji):

(Rick Martel & Tito Santana vs. Ax & Smash)
Pulled from WrestleMania IV, home for quite possibly the worst crowd in the history of professional wrestling. Strike Force won the titles back in November of '87 from the Hart Foundation, while Demolition has been steadily going over most of the midcard teams on the roster. Even the intro of Girls In Cars might be the wussiest music in wrestling. Lockup, and Smash quickly pounds on Martel. Santana adds a dropkick to assist Martel's cross body. Everyone brawls, but the crowd is dead. What a surprise. Double clothesline to Smash gets a two count. Strike Force take turns working the arm of Smash, then Ax tags in and more of the same for him. Smash walks into a hip toss, then back to the arm. Santana comes in, and gets nailed with a clothesline from Ax from the apron. Santana takes a beating in the corner as the crowd wakes up for about three seconds. Ax with a front powerslam for a two count. Santana continues to take a beating, but nothing worth noting. Smash takes him over with a suplex for a two count. Smash with a slam, but he misses an elbow drop. Whip to the ropes, and Santana with an elbow to the back of the head of Ax. Whip to the ropes, and Santana with the flying Jalupeno. "Chico learned that move in the Mexican Football League, the MFL." Martel gets the hot tag, and takes Smash over with a back drop. Martel with dropkicks to both members of Demolition, followed by double axehandles. Martel slaps the Boston Crab on Smash, which brings Santana and Ax in. Ax ends up getting the cane from Mr. Fuji, bashes Martel across the back of the neck with it, and Smash throws an arm on top for the three count and their first reign as WWF Tag Team Champions at 8:03. Seemed less enjoyable than I remember it, but it was an OK match. Having a completely heatless crowd doesn't help much. The Strike Force/Demolition program would continue, until Martel was "injured" on an episode of Prime Time, taking him off television until January '89.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation:

(Ax & Smash vs. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)
Pulled from SummerSlam '88, and I recapped this quite recently. Forgive the lazy attitude of Copy and Paste: The Hart Foundation were transitioning into being a babyface team, having dumped their manager, which would lead to a program with the Rougeau Brothers, which explains why Jimmy Hart is at ringside for the match. You see, he still owns their contracts, and is thus allowed to be at ringside. Demolition just killed Strike Force, and were a few weeks away from kicking off a program with the Powers of Pain, that was extended thanks to a double-turn at the Survivor Series, and kept things going through WrestleMania V... I'm rambling, sorry. Ax throws Bret across the ring to start, and pounds him to the canvas. Bret avoids an elbow drop, unloads on Ax, and a roll up gets a quick two count. Smash tags in, and walks into a pair of arm drags. Neidhart tags in, and has his way with Smash, as well. Ax kicks the Anvil across the back of the head, and it's Demolition's turn to control the action. Bret tags in, and after a brief flurry of offense, gets whipped into the ring post, which also included Fuji's cane, and now the real heat segment is underway. Why does Graham constantly refer to Fuji as "The Man from Japan?" Listening to him for nearly 2-hours at this point is becoming a chore. Smash with the oddball submission move of the night: a step over arm hold... think the toe hold, but on the arm, instead. Demolition continues to target the left arm, ramming it into the ring post once again. Back in the ring, and Bret lays Ax out with a diving clothesline. Neidhart gets the tag, but the referee didn't see it. Sucks for him. Bret gets sent shoulder first to the buckle, but manages to boot a charging Smash, and now we get the real hot tag. Neidhart throws a dropkick on Ax, then plants both opponents with slams. Smash gets knocked out of the ring, and Bret sling-shot's Neidhart to the floor, on top of him. Back in the ring, and Neidhart with the powerslam for a two count. Smash continues taking a beating, but won't stay down for more than a two count. Things get out of control, the megaphone comes into play, and Ax KO's Bret with it. Smash has just enough in him to throw an arm across the chest, and its over at 10:50. Started off pretty sluggish, but the last few minutes were pretty hot. The replay shows Jimmy Hart actually went back to the locker room, before returning at the end of the match for the big finish.

- We join the Survivor Series '88 10-on-10 Match already in progress, with it down to Demolition and the Conquistadors against the Powers of Pain and the British Bulldogs. Dynamite Kid ends up missing a headbutt, allowing Smash to lay him out with a clothesline for that elimination. Suddenly, Mr. Fuji becomes a burden to his team, hopping on the apron shouting something incoherent. Smash refuses, so Fuji pulls the ropes down, causing Smash to spill to the floor and get Counted-Out. Fuji takes a shot at Ax, gets slammed for it, and the Powers of Pain, babyface captains of the other team, help him to their corner. Fuji returns the favor by tripping up a Conquistador, allowing the Powers of Pain to finish them off for the tainted victory. Demolition return after the match to brawl, because Demolition are faces, and the Powers of Pain are now heels. About 10-minutes of the match was shown, by the way.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition vs. The Bolsheviks:

(Ax & Smash vs. Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov)
Ax refers to this as one of their first matches without "Fuj' the Stooge", but it was taped on October 26th, 1988, a month before Survivor Series took place... oh well. At least they had the intelligence to put them against another heel team that would never get cheers. Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes are calling the action here, with it being a Coliseum Video EXCLUSIVE. The Bolsheviks attack, but Demolition fights the attack off, and end up pounding Volkoff into jelly. Ax and Smash take turns working the arm of Volkoff. Ax takes him over with a snapmare, then goes back to the armbar. Zhukov gets the tag in and gets some token offense in on Smash. Ax tags in, plants Zhukov with a slam, and wipes him out with a clothesline. Smash tags in, gets some shots in and Zhukov, and tosses him to the floor. This one is dragging pretty bad. Ax tags back in, and slaps on a chinlock. Smash tags in, takes him over with a snapmare, then back to the armbar. Zhukov escapes with a rake of the eyes, but Ax comes in for another chinlock spot. Smash back in, and he meets the boot on a charge attempt. Volkoff tags in, and they double team Smash for their first real offense of the match. Ax comes in to even the odds, and the heels get whipped into each other. The Bolsheviks get the upper hand for a few seconds, but Demolition recover and Zhukov is put away with the Decapitation elbow drop at 8:12. Wow, that was as paint-by-numbers of a match as you could get out of Demolition.

Demolition (Tag Champs) vs. Honkytonk Man & Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart):

Recycled from the May 14th, 1989 episode of Wrestling Challenge. I love when the SNME banner is still hung up... makes you wonder what matches were considered for the broadcast before the final cut is put together. Smash and Valentine start, and a lockup leads to a stalemate. Smash shoves Valentine down, connects with an atomic drop, and pounds away with rights. Valentine with a knee to the face on a charge attempt, followed by a clothesline. Valentine with a Figure-Four attempt, but Smash counters, and "smashes" on the Honkytonk Man. Ax tags in for some patented double team pounding. Irish whip, and Ax with a back elbow. Smash with a snapmare, and it's chinlock time. Ax tags back in with more of the same. Honky eventually gains control, and quickly tags out to the Hammer, who "hammers" away on Ax, you could say. Ax continues to play face-in-peril, despite very little of interest happening. Ax and Valentine blow a spot, leading to the hot tag. Smash nails everything walking and we get a referee bump. Demolition work over Valentine until Honky bops Ax with the megaphone, but referee Ron Garvin comes to ringside and physically breaks things up and calls for the Disqualification against Honky and Valentine at around the 5:00 mark. I know it was a Challenge feature, but how hard is it to put the unbeatable champions over a make-shift team? Ugh...

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition vs. The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan):

(Ax & Smash vs. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard)
Pulled from the May '89 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. That episode is probably more famous for the Hogan/Boss Man Cage Match to blowoff their program, and also introduce Zeus to the WWF Universe. Smash and Blanchard lockup, with Smash winning the strength competition. Blanchard runs into a clothesline, and quickly rolls to the floor. Back inside, and Smash catches him off the ropes in a bearhug. Anderson with a knee to the back, but Smash fights off the double team and lays both men out with clotheslines. Ax tags in, and pounds away on Anderson. Whip to the ropes, and he connects with an elbow. Ax with a scoop slam, followed by a clothesline to the back of the head. Anderson gets caught in the corner, and double pounded on by Demolition. Blanchard offers a cheap shot from the apron, allowing Anderson to take Smash over with a suplex. Smash pops right up, and puts Anderson down with a slam. Blanchard runs in, and takes a commbination atomic drop and slam for his efforts. Blanchard slaps Ax across the chest a few times with little success. Ax sends him to the corner, and meets a knee on a charge. Blanchard comes off the middle rope, only to get caught in a bearhug. Whip to the corner, and Ax knocks Blanchard to the floor with an elbow. Smash tosses him back in, only for Ax to clothesline Tully back out, on top of Heenan.

Seems like there was a commercial break/edit there, as Heenan comes back to ringside. Ax snapmares Tully back into the ring and slaps on a chinlock. Smash sends him to the corner, and double-choke lifts him. Anderson clips the knee behind the back of the referee, takes Smash over with a snapmare, and stomps away. Blanchard drops Smash throat-first across the to rope, and Anderson adds his signature spinebuster for a two count. Blanchard chokes Smash across the top rope while Ax distracts the referee. Anderson with a snapmare and knee drop for two. Smash over-powers Anderson, but Blanchard cuts off a tag and tosses him to the floor. Anderson adds insult to injury, coming off the apron with a double axehandle. Smash and Anderson KO each other with rights,but before Ax can get the tag, Blanchard sneaks around the corner to yank him off the apron. You don't see that very often. Ax comes in regardless for a pier-six brawl, then tosses Joey Marella across the ring, triggering the Disqualification at 9:12. To be fair, Demolition had no reason to cause the Disqualification, other than to save the titles. Solid match, but a little sloppy at times. These two teams had a much better match on the next SNME, 2 out of 3 Falls style.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition vs. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji:

Yay, we're ending things with one of the worst matches from WrestleMania V, the sequel of dead crowd from WrestleMania IV. The only reason for Fuji to be part of this match is to take the pinfall. I never really paid enough attention to notice, but Demolition started wearing chaps, along with their vests and masks, after turning face. Ax and Warlord start, with Warlord clubberin' away. Whip to the corner, and Ax returns the favor. Smash tags in for the double-team pounding. Smash with a snapmare, and he slaps on a chinlock. Ax tags in with the same sequence of moves. Warlord brings it to his corner, and tags out to the Barbarian. He eats boot on a charge, and falls victim to more punching. Ax comes in, and lays him out with a clothesline. Ax with a slam, and Smash with a back elbow. Whip to the ropes, and a double elbow from Demolition. Ax with a snapmare, and back to the chinlock. Smash teases taking a beating, but suddenly mounts offense on Warlord, and tags out to Ax. He ends up playing the face-in-peril after taking unwise shots at the men on the apron. Fuji tags in, gets a few shots in, and tags out. Fuji's a bit more of a believable partner than Bobby Heenan as far as "managers in action." Smash eventually gets the hot tag, and lays out the Powers of Pain with slams and clotheslines. Smash drops Warlord throat-first across the top rope for two. Ax clears Barbarian from the ring with a clothesline. Fuji comes in illegally and tosses salt into Warlord's eyes, leaving Fuji alone in the ring. The Decapitation elbow finishes him off right away at 8:55. Total snoozer. I don't consider Ax and Smash bad wrestlers, but damn you're screwed when they have to carry a team with practically zero ability (to be fair, Barbarian is better than Warlord... barely).

Final Thoughts: Mixed bag here... on the plus side, there's quite a few quality matches. While nothing is earth-shattering awesome, the tag title win, the SummerSlam and SNME defenses, and even the clips from Survivor Series are good time fillers. However, for a Coliseum Video, there's way too much recycled from major shows, with only one match being a true exclusive, and the quality of that is easily the worst match on the tape. As a fan of Demolition, I'd recommend it for other fans, but for casual viewers or people looking for something more obscure than "pulled from [insert PPV name]", then this one is a definite pass.

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