The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video Presents: Demolition…WITNESS THE POWER!
Here’s one I haven’t watched in a very long time, originally done in one of the very early Coliseum Video Rants many decades back. Let’s just say I used a little magic box to acquire the entire Coliseum Video catalog because I was sick of waiting for the WWE Network to add everything. Vigilante wrestling reviewer justice!
This is from sometime in 1989, catalog number WF071 for those keeping track.
Hosted by Demolition, unsurprisingly.
WWF tag team title: Strike Force v. Demolition
From Wrestlemania IV of course. Smash pounds on Martel right away, but Strike Force double-teams Smash with their Mexican-Canadian shenanigans to take over. They work the arm in the corner, and Martel continues on with that with Ax. Smash comes in and he gets some armbar from Tito, but a Thesz Press attempt is countered by a clothesline from the apron and the Demos go to work while the Atlantic City sweathogs in the audience check their Blackberrys or whatever people were doing in 1988 when they weren’t paying attention to matches. Did the world exist before smartphones? I don’t think so. Smash chokes Tito out in the corner and gets a suplex for two. He misses an elbow but Ax cuts off the tag and beats him down. Tito hits the flying forearm out of nowhere (“He learned that move in the Mexican Football League!” notes Jesse) and it’s hot tag Martel, although the crowd doesn’t seem to care. He cleans house and puts Smash in the Boston Crab, but Tito foolishly goes after Ax and gets escorted out, which allows Ax to grab Fuji’s cane, whack Martel, and put Smash on top for the pin and the titles at 8:00, drawing one of the biggest babyface pops of the night and kicking off the longest WWF tag team title reign in history. This was very abbreviated but nothing wrong with it. 1 for 1.
WWF tag team title: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation
So now we’re off to Summerslam 88, as Jimmy Hart has left the Harts and is in the heel corner tonight, foreshadowing the screwjob finish a mile away. Ax overpowers Bret to start, but misses an elbow and Bret fires back and rolls him up for two. Over to Smash, but Bret controls the arm and Anvil comes in and slugs him down. Ax gets a cheapshot from the apron and the Demos take over. Bret comes in and Smash quickly whips him into the corner, as Bret takes a rare post bump instead of his patented corner bump, and he’s your face in peril. Ax grinds his boot into Bret’s shoulder while Superstar Graham goes on a bizarre run about how he thought Ax was going to do something else with the arm, apparently putting together entire sequences in his mind that don’t happen. Bret gets tossed and comes back in with the running clothesline on Ax, and it’s hot tag Anvil. However, it’s disallowed by the idiot ref, and Bret has to fight off a charging Smash and makes it on the second try. Anvil runs wild and slams them both before clotheslining Smash to the floor, and I’m about to joke that if this was 2022 he’d do a dive. And then he actually does a dive onto Smash! Well shut my mouth. Back in, powerslam on Smash gets two, and then Bret whips Anvil into Smash in the corner for two. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Fuji gets beat up, but Ax grabs the megaphone, nails Bret, and Smash falls on top for the pin at 10:47 to retain. Turned into a hell of a tag match, actually. 2 for 2.
Survivor Series tag team match:
We’re joined in progress at Demolition & Conquistadors v. British Bulldogs & Powers of Pain, and the babyface side destroys both Conquistadors until Demolition gets tagged in. Davey with a crucifix on Ax, but they double-team him in the heel corner for a bit, until Smash comes in and gets trapped. Back to Ax, but Dynamite clotheslines him and Davey comes in and presses a Conquistador. This sets up the running powerslam, but he doesn’t want the pin and lets Barbarian come in and clothesline Ax for two. Ax bumps him to the floor and then beats on him in the corner, and Smash tosses Barbarian out again. Back in, and the Conquistadors get some offense before Dynamite comes in and elbows Dos down again. Gut wrench gets two. Headbutt gets two. Warlord drops a leg but picks him up again, and that allows Smash to come in again. He pounds on Kid, but misses a charge, and Kid gives him the snap suplex and goes up for a diving headbutt that misses. Smash with a clothesline for the pin at 6:22, which may have been the first clothesline elimination in Survivor Series history, I’m not sure. That leaves the Powers of Pain alone with two teams, and Warlord misses a blind charge, allowing Ax to come in and go right for the arm. Fuji decides to get involved for some reason, which has Gorilla and Jesse confused, but Demolition continues double-teaming Warlord’s arm. Back to Fuji again, as he must have jumped his cue earlier, and of course he pulls the ropes and Smash falls to the floor and gets counted out at 9:51 in a super weak elimination. This leaves the Conquistadors alone while Demolition parts ways with their manager to turn babyface. And the Powers pick up Fuji and dust him off, completing the double turn, although the fans were left more confused than angry at this point. And Fuji trips up the Conquistador, allowing Barbarian to pin him at 12:40 and win the match. In hindsight, this was an incredibly stupid move on Fuji’s part, as he literally gave up managing the tag team champions in favor of a couple of goofs who never got the job done. Still a great match and huge angle for the time. 3 for 3.
WWF tag team titles: Demolition v. The Bolsheviks
Demolition introduces this as a match that was just after they dumped Fuji, but it was a Challenge dark match that was filmed on 10.26.88, or about a month before Survivor Series, as they left Fuji in the back to have footage ready without him. Everyone brawls to start as the Russians attack like it’s the Ukraine, and Smash fights them off and goes to work on Volkoff’s arm. Volkoff manages to bring in Zhukov but he gets walloped as well. They toss Boris and then beat on him outside on the apron and Smash calls him a STINKING COMMIE. Well that’s the pot calling the kettle communist. The Bolsheviks get about 5 seconds of offense, and then Demolition casually fights them off and finishes Zhukov with the Decapitation at 8:06. This was like a house show match. 3 for 4.
WWF tag team titles: Demolition v. Greg Valentine & Honky Tonk Man
We are in April of 1989 now, with a dark match from a Challenge taping in Des Moines, that was also an SNME taping judging by the banners hanging everywhere. Honky gets double-teamed by the Demos and sells his ass off as usual, but Ax gets caught in the heel corner and Hammer pounds on him. Ax catches Hammer with his head down and makes a hot tag to Smash, resulting in a ref bump, and then Honky goes flying out as well. This brings troubleshooting ref Ron Garvin out to maintain law and order, and he catches Honky using the megaphone and calls for the DQ at 5:00. This was a lot of nothing. 3 for 5.
WWF tag team titles: Demolition v. The Brainbusters
From Saturday Night’s Main Event, oddly enough the exact same taping from the match we just saw, in Des Moines in April of 89. Smash immediately chases Tully out of the ring and then catches him with a bearhug in the ring, but the Busters try some double-teaming and get chased off again. Arn comes in and Ax beats on him in the corner. Over to Smash, but Tully knees him from the apron and Arn gets a suplex, which Smash no-sells. And then Demolition double-teams them and chases them out of the ring again. Back in, Tully tries chopping on Ax and that goes nowhere for him, as Ax whips him into the corner for a Flair Flip to the floor, before Smash throws him back in, and then Ax clotheslines Tully out again and takes out Bobby Heenan in the process! So they help Bobby to the back and we take a break. Back with Ax continuing to beat on Tully before going to a chinlock, but FINALLY Arn sneaks in and clips Smash’s knee to go on offense. The Busters go to work on the leg and Arn gets the spinebuster for two. Tully makes sure to go annoy Ax before bringing Smash into the corner for some double-teaming, and Arn drops a knee for two. Smash powers out of a wristlock and goes for the tag, but Arn keeps control of the leg from the mat and makes the tag to Tully, cutting off the ring again. That’s classic. Arn slugs away in the corner as Vince declares it a SEE SAW MATCHUP BACK AND FORTH, but Smash fires back and both guys are down, so Tully sneaks over to the other corner and takes out Ax to prevent a tag. And then Arn nails him as well, so Ax freaks out and comes in for the double-team, before throwing Joey Marella around in frustration. And that’s a DQ at 11:20, although beating up Marella is always worth an extra ½* or so. The Brainbusters were too beautiful for the WWF at this point and this was a really great tag team match. 4 for 6.
WWF tag team titles: Demolition v. The Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji
And we wrap things up with the handicap match from Wrestlemania V. Ax pounds on Warlord to start, getting a teenie reaction from the crowd, and the Demos add a double-team beating and Smash chinlocks him. Ax adds his own chinlock. Barbarian comes in and gets smashed by Smash, and axed by Ax. Smash elbows him down and they add a double-elbow, and Ax goes to the neck vice. Barbarian comes back with a chop to Smash, but Warlord can’t follow up, which results in the champs hitting him with a double clothesline. Ax goes after Fuji, however, and gets hit from behind to turn the tide. Fuji finally tags in and chops Ax down, then adds his falling headbutt. Over to Barbarian, who starts working the back and boots Ax down. Jumping clothesline and Warlord comes in and stays on the back, choking him down for two. Barbarian powerslams him into a Fuji flying splash, but it misses and it looks like the hot tag until Warlord cuts it off. Smash gets it anyway, although the crowd doesn’t care, and he clotheslines everyone. They clothesline him on the top rope and Smash gets two, but Fuji comes in, armed with salt. And maybe pepper, I’m not sure. However, it goes awry, and Demolition Decapitation ends it at 8:45. Watchable, I guess, but not much more. 4 for 7.
Kind of a disappointing tape for me, as I was hoping for more dark matches and rarities instead of the usual Wrestlemania matches we’ve seen a million times. The Demos worked a LOT, doing a few hundred matches in their prime 88-89 years and it would have been nice to have more of them chronicled here. Oh well, what’s here is pretty good stuff, and a good introduction to them as a top team of the 80s. Thumbs up.