May 15, 2010
Matt D & Vic
Legion of the Damned
Demolition © vs BrainBusters SNME #21 4/25/89 (aired 5/27/89)
Matt D: This is one of my favorite WWF matches of the 80s. As I said above, it's just about the perfect mix of match and angle. That is, the angle stems from the work in such a cool, organic way. Let me try to explain.
We start off with an interview with the Brainbusters and Heenan. Tully is awesome, acting all earnest about how Bobby told them they could do anything if they believed in themselves. They're confident having gotten a title shot so early into their WWF run and they're going out to the ring thinking that they're going to win the titles. The Demos get interviewed and they're confident they're going to beat the tar out of the "eggbeaters." They just ran through Fuji and the Powers of Pain at Mania so there's little reason for them to think otherwise.
The match starts and it is ALL Demolition. Tully gets overpowered and beaten around the ring. Arn can do nothing. The initial Busters gameplan is a complete and utter failure. There's some great stooging in here with Smash attempting a double clothesline on Arn and Tully only to have Arn duck but then get nailed a second later. Fun stuff.
The Busters start to cheat like crazy and even then, none of it is working at first. Eventually, however, the eyepokes, the ref distractions, the illegal doubleteams, and the Heenan interference takes its toll and the Busters finally get on top. Once on top, they keep on cheating like crazy. There are over ten distinct acts of cheating in the ten minute match, including one of my favorite things in any match ever. Arn holds down Smash's leg and Tully hits the "Double Axe-Handle off the Top on a Prone Opponent." I swear that, for me, this was like seeing heel Flair hit a top rope move for the first time. It was an instant vindication of every time a heel flies off the top rope with a double axe handle only to have the face get his foot up and nail him. The move actually worked once! Amazing.
Anyway, back to the story of the match. Cheating. Lots and lots of cheating. The Busters came in confident. They quickly realized that on this night they simply could NOT beat Demolition. They weren't prepared. They weren't ready. They weren't doing the damage they needed to do. So the gameplan shifted. Instead of trying to beat the champs. They enraged them. Cheating. Aggravating. Cutting off the tag to Ax however possible, including running around the ring and pulling him off the canvas so that he's not there when Smash finally makes it. You can just see Ax getting more and more furious until finally he storms into the ring, tosses the ref out of the way and that's the match. Totally believable.
Brainbusters beat the champs by DQ. They get the winner's share of the purse. They get a rematch on their terms at a time of their choosing and guess what? When that happens, they win the belts. It wasn't their initial gameplan but the audible works great and it's just an awesome example of how smartly put together wrestling can tell a story all by itself.
Vic: This is the first meeting of Demolition and Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson. Thinking about it, this would of been the WWF tag champions vs NWA tag champions a year before.
The story here is the Brain Busters can not match Demolition in power or brawling. But problems set in once they realize Demolition are equal in team work too. So you have Arn and Tully trying various methods to wear down Demolition. Tully getting frustrated and trying to trade punches with Ax. Which ends as well as you can expect. At one point Tully gets thrown from the ring on top of Bobby Heenan which looks like it hurt. Henan loses it and tries to fight Demolition with Tully and Arn holding him back.
There are a few no sell spots here. With Smash getting up after an Arn suplex. But what I like about Demolition doing it is it looks like it hurt but they are so tough they are shaking it off.
Eventually the Brain Busters gain control when Smash gets careless. Now the Brain Busters are in control and are working over Smash good. This is basic great tag team wrestling. Smash gets close to a tag a few times but the Brain busters cut him off.
Tully even attacking Ax on the outside before Smash can get past Arn. I actually use to do that on wrestling video games.This makes Ax go nuts and beat up Tully, Arn and the referee causing the DQ. Demolition is not satisfied and beat up the Brain Busters all the way to the back.