July 10, 2010
Legion of the Damned
WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition vs. Andre the Giant & Giant Baba (non-title)
Tokyo, Japan; Tokyo Dome; 4/13/90
This is a great Demolition performance. It's obviously not a great match, but it's a great performance. Eadie and Darsow are hugely giving for Baba/Andre, and that in itself makes this worth watching in any sort of comprehensive look at Demolition.
So, they're at the Tokyo Dome for the an All Japan/New Japan/WWF summit. We're outside my general knowledge base here, so bare with me. My guess is that the Japanese crowd knew little about Demolition, but they sure did like the theme music. A big chunk of the crowd seems to be clapping along for it. We shoot to the back where they interview Baba and Andre, except for Andre wants no part of it and the interviewer can't physically get himself into the right position around the two giants to interview him. Funny stuff.
Smash and Baba to start. Smash gets in a few blows before getting whipped off the ropes and eating a chop. He goes down, flips three times, gets up, realizes he's in Andre's corner, and let's loose this awesome facial expression before stumbling back as Andre just stands there bemused. Baba goes for the arm on the rope, hits a bit head chop, and amazingly, Smash is fighting back. This, despite the setting, is still a Demolition match, and they're going to make Baba and Andre work for it, at least to an extent. Smash is in Andre/Baba corner, fighting back. And it's all for naught as Andre tags in. A headbutt and a spasm sell. Stepping on Smash. A big punch. But Andre misses the butt drop (again) and Smash rolls over quickly to Ax.
Ax clubbers and Andre does a great bit of selling like he can't get up. He hits Ax in the throat, and Ax stumbles back to his corner and tags Smash. Smash clubbers. Gets kicked. Tags. This is awesome. Everytime Andre touches them, they tag. It's a more extreme version of the MSG Colossal Connection tag match. It's just brilliant. It gets over Andre as being godlike as forcing a tag with a touch. It gets over Demos as being brilliant for not taking even one hit from the giant for granted. It's just fun and unique and it lasts 4-5 tags before Ax hits an elbow drop but then Andre doesn't let go of him, rolling them over so he can make the tag.
Baba steps all over Ax's stomach and he sells it great, only to fight back in the corner, and yes, Demolition is attempting to control the ring against Giant Baba, with tags and double clubbering and cheating behind the ref's back. Classic Ax right here. It doesn't last long, though. Baba manages to knock Ax off the apron, ending the possibility of a double-team and allowing him to escape and make the tag. It's subtle and logical and Demolition in droves.Anyway, Baba hits a neckbreaker on Smash and the crowd goes nuts, before he tags in Andre. Smash tries to hit him but Andre's not down this time, and he just laughs and punches Smash who does a spiraling sell. Ax gets tagged in and Andre chokes him, before moving him around the ring with the costume strap. Andre chokes Ax in the corner, causing Smash to come in, but Baba responds. Still, it's enough to allow Ax to tag Smash who hits a big clothesline, staggering Andre. Smash keeps working on him in the ropes, causing Baba to come back in. This brings Ax in and we have the slowest pandemonium you shall ever see. A pretty good looking "Demolition whipped into each other spot," better than usual, leading to the finish.
Andre headbutts Ax and he rolls out. Baba tosses Smash off the ropes and hits a kick. Andre hits the big elbow drop. Baba stands in the middle of the ring like the world's biggest pitbull blocking off a whole side of the ring with his size, and there's the match. It's actually a really good Demolition showcase that shows off both men's strength. Smash hams and sells big and uses his energy. Ax does things smartly and logically and gives the match story and meaning. Everything he does adds to the logic of the match. They fight back at every turn and give when they should be giving. Worth watching in the midst of a lot of other Demos matches. It really is.