June 11, 2011
Matt D & Vic
Legion of the Damned
Demolition © vs The Bolsheviks - 10/26/88 - Salisbury, MD
Matt D: This is a very weird match. It comes a month before Survivor Series 88, so Demolition are still heels. They were feuding with the Powers of Pain and heck, the British Bulldogs TV angle where Davey and DK save some jobbers from Demos aired on 10/8. Mike McGuirk announces them coming out with Fuji but he's nowhere to be found. They interrupt the Bolsheviks' singing (and the camera cut in real close to Nikolai because there was a guy behind him in the crowd saluting). They get face pops. The fans had wanted to cheer them for the better part of the year. Now they get their wish.
This is off of the Demolition CV tape, as a way to show how formidable Demos were without Fuji. Pre-Match, Ax and Smash introduce the match (and the match after it which seems to be WM V) talking about how they don't need Fuji anymore. Tony and Lord Alfred are the announcers and they mention the break almost immediately, with Alfred saying it was probably a good thing. Though Alfred also says that the Bolsheviks are the #1 contenders so his credibility wavers here.
Bols attack at the bell but Ax hits Boris off the ropes in the gut with a punch and he does the Bad Bull sell all the way out of the ring. Clubbering on Nikolai and then immediately onto the arm. This match is all about control, controlling the ring, controlling the arm, controlling the body. Demolition dominates. Quick tags. Wrenching the arm. Using the rope. Using an armbar with the neckvice. Some over the shoulder arm-breakers. Goading Zukov so they can illegally doubleteam. Ax hits a great head chop too. This lasts until Smash gets overzealous and loses focus, snapmaring Nikolai into the center of the ring. He tries to cut the ring back off but Volkoff is one spry dude and hops around to make the tag.
This is Demolition and a Demolition showcase at that, so it's not so easy. Zukov gets outpunched in the corner and Ax tags in, hitting a slam, shouting to the receptive crowd, and nailing a big clothesline. Smash tosses him out an then distracts the ref allowing Ax to attack him on the outside. Demos are wrestling as nasty as ever. They see their opponents as the same generally. I'll say this. Smash goes back to the arm a little too much at this point, even after Ax had already moved on. Kayfabe, I'll blame his mistakes on the match on Fuji not being there. Non-kayfabe, I'm not sure. Do I lose street cred if I point out how Zukov really does look like a giant Hornswaggle? Nevermind then. Right about here Smash makes loud disparaging remarks about Commies which is ironic in its own way. I guess he'd know, right? Anyway, his arm offense on Zukov looks really good, at least. He's wrenching away and even grinding his knuckles into the shoulder as part of the hold. Zukov had tried to pull Ax's hair, in a hold before, but Ax went right to his eyes. Now, Zukov goes right for Smash's eyes but Smash immediately makes the tag, preventing Boris from making the tag. It's never easy with Demolition. still, Nik's had enough and comes into kick Ax... and all that gets his partner for for his trouble is a phantom Demos tag.
FINALLY Boris gets his foot up and tags Nikolai. Boris does this cool blocking with his body to keep Smash on their side of the ring as Nik kicks him. It's all for naught though. They double-clubber Smash and Ax just isn't having any of it in this match. He charges into the ring and pandamonium ensues. Really good double collision by the Bols. Nik tosses his shoulder into it hard. Ax takes a bump to the outside but then pulls the rope down as Volkoff went off for a double team. Nikolai does the Wilhelm scream on the way out. No lie. Both bumps are pretty good. Smash slams Boris with ease and then sets up the Decapitation for the win. The crowd is happy about this.
First time I saw this match, I liked it. Second time, I really didn't, and this time, I sort of did, so I'm not sure what to tell you. It's a squash. It involves Boris Zukov. And just like in early 87 when the team was coming together, you could get the sense that the Demos were still working out their babyface feel. That said, it was very effective at doing what it was supposed to do, gauging how over the Demos would be as faces and presenting them as a dominant force.
Vic: This match is about a week before Demolition is turned face at Survivor Series 88. I guess its a dry run to see how it goes.
Bolsheviks are in the ring singing the Soviet national anthem when the Demolition theme interupts them. Smash is wearing cool looking road uniform face paint. One thing I wanna say about the Bolsheviks is I do not think Nicolai is a bad worker. He is not spectacular but he gets things done. Also has my favorite back breaker in wrestling. I imagine he was pretty good at one point.
Boris looks like a giant Hornswaggle it is just uncanny.
This is a very strange match. Its a heel Demolition match with the Bolsheviks as underdog faces. Bols attack them from the start. Demos get the advantage quickly. Boris gets popped in the gut and keeps running. Then Demos double clubber Volkoff into the mat.
The match now is mainly Demolition working over the arm. I like Volkoffs selling of the arm wringer. I do like Smash going on these commie rants "I'll break your stinking commie arm!!!!!!"
Boris tries his luck and he is quickly beaten down. Crowd is dead here because they do not know how to react. Only think they respond to is the clubbering. Is odd they got more support beating up Tito and Martel.
"STAY DOWN YOU STINKING COMMIE!!!!" gets a good response.
AX really does some nice arm work. Love the rarely seen pump handle arm breaker.
Eventually Bris catches Smash with a boot in the corner and makes the hot tag. Which is a weird thing to see. Nicolai and Boris double team Smash. Thi brings in Ax. They whip the Commies into each other. Smash clotheslines Nicolai and double clothesline Boris and hit the Decapitation for the win even though Volkoff was the legal man.