June 16, 2010
Matt D & Vic
Legion of the Damned
WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition vs. the British Bulldogs (non-title match)
Oct. 15, 1988 - Milan, Italy
Vic: This was from an Italy only TV special. Demolition attacks the Bulldogs right at the bell with little of the messing around you usually see in tag team matches. Demolition are unusual for WWF heels, because they are not afraid to kick a guys ass right from the start.
The Bulldogs get spurts of offense but Demolition regains control quickly.
Eventually they get Dynamite cornered and work over his back with Boston crabs and bear hugs. Just great tag team wrestling from Demolition. They always feel like they are a real team. Its not just the matching s&m gear. They are always very fluid tagging in and out and using team work. It looks like second nature.
For his part Dynamite is good at playing face in peril. Occasionally getting on offense but not taking the chance to tag. Or getting the chance to tag and Demolition making sure the ref is distracted.
When Davey Boy gets in he takes it to Ax and Smash but its not long til they start pummeling Davey Boy in the corner. Giving Dynamite Kid the chance to hit Ax with a nice looking flying body press for the three. Bulldogs take the belts but Referee Tim White tells them it was non title.
Really enjoyed this match and one of the better Demos/Bulldogs matches.
Matt D: I would have to double check to see if there are more taped Strike Force/Demolition matches or Bulldogs/Demolition matches, but my gut has me leaning towards the latter. There are a bunch of them, and this is the first one we've done save for the kah-razy Warrior six-man. For me, there's something of a reason for that. For starters, it's sort of painful to watch the Bulldogs in 1988. Dynamite's destroying his body and in a good deal of pain. I read Pure Dynamite years ago. It sucks to have to see it play out. The main reason, however, is that more than any other Demolition opponent, there was a formula to matches with the Bulldogs. The Demos have gone on record saying that they loved wrestling the Bulldogs because Dynamite would sell SO much and make them look so good. Well, that led to formula. So when looking at Bulldogs matches, you look for novelty, whether it's Warrior, or the Italian setting for this match, or the outdoor setting for the Wrestlefest one, or the differences to be found in the 1987 Tag Tournament one. In general though, from what I've seen, if you've seen one Demos/Bulldogs match, you've seen most of them. That's not to say they aren't good. Let's get to it.
So the Italian crowd is weird and the ring is super mic'ed. Vic and I really feel like Ax and Smash were working this match very broadly, very openly, very widely. There was a language and culture barrier so they were working the match big. Big movements. There's also a lot more grunting and noise from Demolition. I think these were conscious decisions to connect with the crowd. I really do. When they take the masks off, there's a big grunt from them and the crowd responds in kind. Ax and Davey start out with Ax immediately clubbering him down and hitting a big slam before eating a Davey comeback with big selling and a stuck out tongue. Smash comes in with two hands over his head to show what he's about to do only to get cut off as Davey takes over. Lots of broad stuff here.
Dynamite comes in shortly thereafter and hits some offense, going for a pin only to get chucked halfway across the ring by Smash's kick out, landing right in Demolition's side of the ring, allowing Ax to get some stomps in from the outside. That's the transition to Demos taking over and it's actually pretty cool in its simplicity. This takes us into Standard Demolition/Bulldogs fare, working over Dynamite's back. Lots of clubbering and double clubbering and contorting and a pretty good looking nerve hold to wear him down. Anytime Dynamite fights back, doubleteams or sneaky tactics(like drawing Davey into the ring to allow for illegal double-beatings) keep him down. Davey was always good in his role in the team. Good for the opening shine stuff. Goadable guy on the apron. Good at hot tag offense. But we'll get to that.
Dynamite finally fights back long enough to pin Ax. This time, Ax tosses him right outside the ring with his kick out. Smash with a nice suplex back in followed up by a Boston Crab, which I've never seen him do on anyone but Dynamite. Davey breaks it up, but that allows a phantom switch for Demos and they start doing nasty bearhugs on Dynamite, including one where Ax whips him right into Smash's arms. You feel bad for Dynamite's back. You just do. Davey breaks it up again and the Demos do a phantom switch again, but this time Dynamite hits a move off the ropes and goes in for the hot tag. The ref is distracted, however, and you swear that the Italian crowd is going to riot. Such a great reaction that I'm curious why they don't do it two or three more times, unless they were, in fact, afraid of things getting out of hand. Still, it means that when Dynamite actually does make the tag a minute later, the crowd is pretty molten.
Davey comes in, hitting a lot of great crisp offense, headbutts and dropkicks and clotheslines. Dynamite comes in. They toss the Demos into each other (which is a spot which never looks all that great, unfortunately), but Ax tosses Dynamite out (which does look great). The finish is a bit like the two 88 Six-Mans we went over, as Dynamite quickly climbs the ropes from the outside and hits Ax with a flying body press after he turns around from where they were double-teaming Davey. That gets the three count. Good little match if a bit formulaic.