May 15, 2010
Matt D & Vic
Legion of the Damned
Demolition © vs Strike Force
Oakland 6/1/88 (Aired on Prime Time Wrestling 7/11/88)
Vic: Strike Force to me were visually the perfect arch rivals for Demolition. Wearing white trunks and boots. their peppy little theme song, completely bland and milquetoast. A really stark contrast to the face paint, the black S&M wrestling gear and heavy metal satanic theme song having Demolition. If tag team wrestling was this living being and was split into a good and evil half. Strike Force and Demolition is what you would have. At Wrestlemania IV Demolition won the tag team titles from Strike Force. They had a bunch of rematches in Philly, Boston and MSG. But they could not beat Demolition.
This is the version from Best of the WWF #17.
Strike Force comes to the ring and there is something in the air that someone is getting hurt. This is going to be the last Strike Force/Demolition match one way or another. Match starts with Martel and Ax. Martel manages to get in the first hit on Ax, Catching him with a flurry of punches. But he gets cocky and Ax beats him down. Strike Force get the temporary advantage with some team work. This match is simular to the Brain Busters matches. Strike Force has no idea how to effectively deal with Demolition. So at most they contain them with arm bars trying to work a plan out. Demolition always regains the advantage. Whether its thru brute Force or with Fuji helping at just the right time.
They get Santana down and really work him over. My second favorite part of the match is Tito just barely dodging an elbow. But before he can get to his feet Ax punts him in the ribs. Ax always seems like the baddest man in any match regardless if he is Ax or the Masked Superstar. Tito gets worked over something good. Great thing about Tito in a tag team is he can hit the flying forearm at anytime to get the big tag. Martel clans house like at wrestlemania. He gets Ax in the Boston Crab like at Wrestlemania. But this time Smash knocks him out of the ring with a big clothesline. This brings in Tito who starts fighting both Demos at the same time. Hebner is trying to seperate Ax and Tito. Fuji has Smash clock Martel with a chair. He held it upside down so it looked really painful. Fuji goes and gets in the middle of the fracas, giving Ax the chance to go help Smash. Fuji and Demolition were a great pairing. They moved like a well oiled machine. The inteference comes across well in this with it looking like the referee was really distracted rather than I can't look at the ring now.
They hit Martel with the Demolition Decapitation on the floor. It looks brutal. Ax's elbow hits Martel's throat before he hits the floor. I have no idea how they did that without really injuring him. Its so brutal you believe it could take him out for nearly a year. Demolition return to their corner like clock work while Martel gets counted out. Watching it I don't blame Rick Martel for betraying Tito. This was his fault. If he had kept his firey temper in check, Martel would not of been
A: Hit by the chair that knocked him out.
B:Injured by the Decapitator on the floor.
Martel looks like he is really hurt. They are not moving him. Oddly their appears to be a little girl dancing in joy as the paramedics put him on a gurney.
Matt D: Vic was spot on when talking about the first part of the match. Strike Force is just trying to contain Demolition. You'll see that now and again with faces going up against them. They grab onto the arms for dear life because they know if Demolition gets the advantage, they're going to get clubbered to no end. It should be noted that Ax does do a great job selling Martel's flurry of punches early on, ending up draped in the ropes right before he starts pounding back. I also like how Strike Force goes to for cross body block twice. The first time Ax catches Martel only to get knocked over by a dropkick by Tito. The second time, it works. Strike Force is literally throwing themselves at Demolition since they know they can't hold back at all if they're going to have a chance.
Santana makes a great face-in-peril and Demolition lay into him and Martel is pretty good at the fiery babyface after the hot tag. I don't think we can go on enough about how great the Flying Forearm is as a lead in to the hot tag. Anyway, the finish is just amazing. It's got to be one of the nastiest WWF chairshots of the decade. It just looks all wrong and backwards and devastating. There's nothing held back. The angle is just a bit off from what you'd normally see and it's almost unsettling to watch it. Good camera work. And of course, it's followed by the Decapitation off of the canvas. Martel does a great little flip sell on it. This is my first time seeing this match. I started watching WWF a couple of years later, actually, and I'm glad, because I know I would have been a Strike Force fan as a kid and this was such an effective match/angle that I would have been completely and utterly traumatized by it. Good stuff.