Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Same Tag Team Different Gimmick

Over the years many wrestling tag teams have changed their names from one promotion to another but very little else changes about them.  For instance Hawk & Animal were The Road Warriors around the world but were called the Legion of Doom in the WWE and The Dudley Boys were forced to change their name to Team 3D when they left the WWE.

There are other tag teams though that completely reinvent themselves when they move from one promotion to another if they chose to do so or not.  In this post we are going to take a look at one of those tag teams.

Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom

The duo began teaming together in 1989 in the AWA as the Destruction Crew wearing hard hats and carrying sledgehammers to the ring.  They would defeated Greg Gagne & Paul Diamond to capture the AWA World Tag Team Championships holding them for 314 days.  This would be the only championships the duo would hold.  Although they did win the 1989 PWI Rookie of the Year award, the only tag team to accomplish this. 

In 1990 while still the AWA Tag Team Champions they would travel to the WCW under masks as The Minnesota Wrecking Crew II with manager Ole Anderson.  Here they would challenge for both the NWA World Tag Team and United States Championships unable to capture either titles.  They returned to the AWA dropping the tag titles to The Trooper & DJ Peterson. 

 August 1990 to April 1991 they would tour New Japan Pro Wrestling as The Destruction Crew and wrestled what was the final AWA show on 1991 on May 3rd.  Three weeks later the debuted in the WWE as the bleached blonde tag team The Beverly Brothers Beau & Blake.

They would spend two years in the WWE where they challenged for the Tag Team Championships several times unsuccessfully.  After receiving an initial push in the promotion they were reduced to enhancement talent.

In 1994 & 1995 they would make a few appearances together on the Indies as The Destruction Crew.  In October 1997 in Minneapolis they wrestled on a dark match on WCW Nitro losing to Barry Darsow and John Nord.  

January of 1998 they made there WCW television debut on Saturday Night as Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom wrestling a half dozen matches over the next couple months until their final match as a team in April.  In total the teamed on and off together for nine years winning one tag team championship.

Tag Team Names
The Destruction Crew
Minnesota Wrecking Crew II
The Beverly Brothers: Beau & Blake
Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom

AWA World Tag Team Champions
1989 PWI Rookies of the Year

First Match: February 7, 1989 St. Paul, Minnesota AWA House Show
The Destruction Crew: Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom defeated Top Gun: Derrick Dukes & Ricky Rice

Last Match: April 3, 1998 Orlando, Florida WCW Worldwide
The Public Enemy: Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge defeated Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tag Team Partners as Opponents

It the world of professional wrestling it is very common for tag team partners to break up and feud with each other.  Most famously it happened in December 1991 (aired January 1992) on The Barber Shop when Shawn Michaels attacked his former The Rockers partner Marty Jannetty throwing him the sets plate glass window.  

These incidents are well known, however there had been some former tag partners that wrestled each other in lesser known matches, that is what I am looking at today. 

The Rock n' Roll Express: Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson

The Rock n' Roll Express first teamed together in 1983 and most recently made an appearance together on the August 12, 2020 episode for AEW Dynamite.  For a brief time in 1991 they wrestled against each other in World Championship Wrestling.  Robert Gibson had been on the shelf with an injury and at Clash of the Champions XV on June 12, 1991 Gibson returned and Morton turned on him becoming Richard Morton and joining the York Foundation. 

This lead to a forgotten singles match between the two at the Great American Bash PPV on July 14, 1991 when Morton pinned Gibson in a decent match with assistance from a foreign object.  The two would not have another televised singles match however they wrestled against each other at several house shows in singles and tag team matches.  In fact on August 14, 1991 Morton defeated Gibson inside a steel cage in Fayetteville, Georgia.  I would have loved to have seen this one.  

Gibson left WCW at the end of August 1991.  The duo would reunite in July 1992 and it doesn't appear they have any intention to stop wrestling.

The Fantastics: Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton

The duo first teamed in 1984 in Mid-South Wrestling, they would travel the territories and capture several championships along they way.   They would team on and off until 1996 and then reunited for a match in 2004 and 2005.  The last time they teamed together was for World Championship Wrestling on the October 21, 1996 Monday Nitro losing to the Faces of Fear.  They would then lose a dark match to High Voltage the next night.

On the June 16, 1997 episode or WWE Raw is War Tommy Roger and Bobby Fulton would wrestle a random match against each other in the new Light Heavyweight Division.  Both McMahon and Ross acknowledged that they had previously teamed together as the Fantastics.  Ross would put over the championships they had won and some of the great teams they wrestled.

The match was short, just over two minutes, but it was pretty basic.  Fulton played the heel on this night, however Rogers would pick up the win with the tomikaze.

Rogers would wrestle one other match in the WWE and it was taped this same night in a loss to Brian Christopher for Shotgun Saturday Night.  Fulton had wrestled twice previously in the promotion, 1979 and 1984 losing both matches. 

The British Bulldogs: Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith

The British Bulldogs are one of my all time favorite tag teams.  They are real life cousins and wrestled several matches against each other prior to forming the team.  They even feuded over the Stampede Wrestling British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championships and the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling. 

They began teaming the summer of 1983 in Stampede and later in New Japan.  They signed with the WWF in 1984 and would stay with the promotion until 1988.  They then returned to Stampede and New Japan before jumping to All Japan Pro Wrestling.  They last match together was January 28, 1990 in All Japan at Korakuen Hall. 

In June 1989 between tours of All Japan, the Bulldogs wrestled a series of matches against each other in singles and tag matches in Stampede.  

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Unique Wresting World Championship Stats

Back in the day my wrestling friends and I would sit and chat about odd wrestling statistics for fun.  I've been thinking about a few of them the last few weeks and decided to do some research and jot some down.

This rabbit hole I plunged myself into is extremely steep so I'm going to stick with to stats in my lifetime for the sake of sanity. 

This first set looks at wrestlers who have held the World Championship or top championship of major promotions from around the world.  I don't count anyone that held the WCW or ECW Championship when it was under the WWE banner.  The other difficulty to determine is what quantifies as a World Championship?  Back in the PWI days it was easier as a fan because they told you what they considered the World Championship to be so that I what I am going to run with. 

During it's lifetime Pro Wrestling Illustrated has recognized the NWA, WWE, IWGP, AEW, WCW, ECW, AWA, TNA, Universal, and WWE World Heavyweight Championships.  I am going to recognize the WWE, Universal, and WWE World titles as just the WWE.  It's the same promotion after all.  

Most World Championships

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair 16 time champion for 3,735 days
NWA Worlds Championship 10 for 3,116 days
WWE Championship 2 times for 118 days
WCW World Championship 8 times for 501 days 

I know what you are thinking, that adds up to 20 reigns.  WWE and previously WCW, therefore Ric Flair recognize 16 reigns with 8 NWA, 2 WWE, & 6 WCW.  

John Cena 16 time champion for 1,392 days
WWE Championship 13 times for 1,254 days
World Heavyweight Championship 3 times for  138 days

Longest Reigning Champions

Combined:  Lou Thesz three for 3,749 days
Single Reign: Lou Thesz for 1,941 days

Shortest: Shane Doulgas is recognized as champion for less than one day


Combined: Verne Gagne ten for 4,677 days
Single Reign: Verne Gagne for 2,625 days

Shortest: Verne Gagne, Mighty Igor, & Dick The Bruiser held the title for 7 days


Combined: Bruno Sammartino two for 4,040 days
Single Reign: Bruno Sammartino for 2,803 days

Shortest: fourteen wrestlers have held the titles for less than one day


Combined: Hulk Hogan six for 1,177 days
Single Reign: Hulk Hogan for 469 days

Shortest: Sting, Kevin Nash, & Ric Flair held the title for less than one day


Combined: "Franchise" Shane Douglas 4 for 874 days
Single Reign: "Franchise" Shane Douglas for 406 days

Shortest: Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman held the title for less than one day


Combined: Kazuchika Okada 5 for 1,790 days
Single Reign: Kazuchika Okada for 720 days

Shortest: Kensuki Sasaki for 16 days


Combined: Jay Lethal 2 for 707 days
Single Reign: Samoa Joe for 645 days

Shortest: Kyle O'Reilly for 33 days 


Combined: Kurt Angle 6 for 608 days
Single Reign: Bobby Roode for 256 days

Shortest: Kurt Angle was champion for one day


Combined: Jon Moxley for 197+ days
Single Reign: Jon Moxley for 197+ days

Shortest: Chris Jericho for 182 days 

Multi-promotional champions

"Phenomenal" AJ Styles:
WWE, NWA, TNA/Impact, & IWGP
One of the greatest world champions in wrestling holding all the titles a combined nine times. 

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair: NWA, WCW, & WWE
The first man to hold the three biggest world championships, at that time.  

Sting: WCW, NWA, & TNA/Impact

Sting is the only man to hold the NWA World Championship in different eras.  In the early days of the WCW before they withdrew from the NWA and then during the NWA/TNA days.  

Kurt Angle: WWE, IWGP & Impact/TNA
Some will argue that Kurt Angle wasn't the read IWGP Championship, that NJPW had stripped Brock Lesnar of the Championship and crowned a new champion.  However, after Angle defeated Lesnar for the championship he defended it at the WrestleKingdom II defeated Yuji Nagata.  Also Kurt never held the NWA World Championship, yes when he became the first ever TNA world champion he held up the NWA title belt, but he was announced as the TNA World Champion.

Pat O'Connor
Gene Kiniski

"Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers

The Great Muta
Satoshi Kojima
Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Cody Rhodes

NWA & Impact/TNA
Nick Aldis

Shane Douglas
Steve Corino
Terry Funk

Jeff Jarrett

Hulk Hogan
The Giant/Big Show
Kevin Nash
Sid Vicious

Bret "Hitman" Hart
Randy "Macho Man" Savage
Chris Benoit
Booker T

Daniel Bryan
CM Punk
Kevin Owens
Seth Rollins

Brock Lesnar

WWE & Impact/TNA
Mick Foley
Rob Van Dam
Jeff Hardy
Alberto Del Rio
Drew McIntyre

Chris Jericho
Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley

Big Van Vader

Jerry Lynn

TNA/Impact & ROH
Samoa Joe
Austin Aries
Eddie Edwards

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Final Matches Of Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan is one for the greatest wrestlers of all time.  Even if you are not a fan of his in ring work, you can't deny he elevated wrestling to previously unseen heights in the 1980's national expansion of the then World Wrestling Federation, also known a when the territories died.

I was a huge Hulkamaniac when I was a kid, but even I became disenchanted with Hogan in the early 1990's and I stand by me feelings that he ruined WCW when he arrived in the promotion.  I'll also be the first to admit I popped big time during his nostalgia run in the WWE in the mid 2000's.  I was lucky enough to see him wrestle live twice during that run.

One would have thought that Hogan would have wound down his in ring career in the WWE, but sadly that was not the case.  In fact Hogan's last match was for TNA and not even in the United States.

Hulk Hogan had returned to the WWE with the NWO in 2002 and by that Summer he had returned to the Red & Yellow as a fan favorite.  He left in 2003, wrestled a match for New Japan, and returned in 2005 teaming with Shawn Michaels against Hassan & Davari at Backlash May 1st in Manchester, New Hampshire, I was at this show.  He worked more tag matches with Michaels on RAW that summer until HBK turned on Hogan leading to their match at SummerSlam that year.

Hogan left WWE after SummerSlam but returned in the Summer of 2006 at Saturday Night's Main Event setting up a match with Randy Orton in Boston at SummerSlam 2006, I was at this match as well.  This would be Hulk Hogan's final WWE match.

On April 27, 2007 Hogan wrestled what could be considered his only ever Indie show in Memphis, Tennessee.  It was supposed to be against Jerry "The King" Lawler but WWE pulled him from the event.  Hogan would pin Paul Wight to win the match.

Hogan's next series of matches would be of his own doing.  November 21, 24, 26, & 28, 2009 in Australia during the Hulkamania Let The Battle Begin Tour Hogan would wrestle and defeat Ric Flair every night.  I really can't believe that none of these shows have ever been commercially released, really seems like they dropped the ball on this.

On January 4, 2010 Hogan made is TNA television debut with the thought that he was going to be the savoir of the promotion, truth is he wasn't.  He's credited with having TNA move to Monday Nights live to go head to head with WWE, getting rid of the six sided ring, and bringing in a ton of his buddies.  In the end Hogan hurt TNA way more than he helped and it took the promotion years to recover from the damage that was inflicted.

However it would be in TNA that Hogan would wrestle his final matches:

March 8, 2010 Universal Studios, Orlando Florida

AJ Styles & "Nature Boy" Ric Flair wrestled "Immortal" Hulk Hogan & Abyss to a no contest

March 8, 2010 Universal Studios, Orlando Florida

No Disqulification: "Immortal" Hulk Hogan & Abyss defeated AJ Styles & "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

October 16, 2011 Bound For Glory Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sting defeated "Immortal" Hulk Hogan by submission with the Scorpion Death Lock

In the build to this match Hogan had turned heel, leader of the heel faction  Immortal and was the "president" of now Impact Wrestling.  During this match if Sting won Dixie Carter would regain the presidency of the promotion.  Immortal would attack Sting post match and Hogan would make the save turning face.

January 26, 2012 Nottingham, England

"Immortal" Hulk Hogan, "Cowboy" James Storm & Sting defeated Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, & Kurt Angle

January 27, 2012 Manchester, England

"Immortal" Hulk Hogan, "Cowboy" James Storm & Sting defeated Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, & Kurt Angle

These were house show matches, and they talent on both teams was stacked, but it's not the final in ring send off that one would expect for someone the caliber of Hulk Hogan.  There is a clip from the 27th on YouTube of Hogan doing his post match pose down with James Storm and Sting while Eye of The Tiger is blaring over the sound system.

Hogan last match was released on DVD by Impact on their Hulk Hogan DVD release, so at least any major Hogan fan can own this piece of history.

Until Next Time!