May 19, 2010
Matt D & Vic
Legion of the Damned
Demolition vs George "the Animal" Steele and The Junkyard Dog
Matt D: I know the look you're giving me right now. Why would I want you people to watch this match? Why would I be reviewing and showcasing something that looks so dire on paper (if that paper was an old Observer, I guess). It's simple. The point of this project isn't to cherry pick the best possible matches and ignore the rest. It's to try to convince people that Bill Eadie and Barry Darsow were a first-rate and highly underrated tag team. So yes, I AM going to take a look at this match which, on paper, seems like it's a disaster waiting to happen. Let's see if it tells a good story. Let's see if the Demos work holds up in the face of what they're up against. Let's see if they can entertain and keep the MSG crowd. Let's see if they can show a whole different side of their work dealing with Steele.
The match footage starts out with a pre-taped interview with Lord Alfred where the Demos seem to be having fun talking about how they'll take the Animal back to Fuji and what have you. The Fink gets a cool drop-down Mic. And we're off. Lots of posing and goofiness with Steele's tongue to begin with. Mind games, Monsoon calls it. If the Demos return the Gene Simmons tongue, we don't see it. And NOW we're off. Ax clubbering back and forth with JYD to begin. Stands toe to toe with him. The announcers mention that JYD's put on some weight as of late and how that'll help him in this match. I refrain from comment.
The moment of the match comes early. JYD corrals Ax into his corner and Steele bites his face. He takes a whole bunch of Ax's facepaint with him and I have to admit, it's really quite funny. Given Ax' larger than life selling of it (which may or may not be him cracking up), it probably wasn't intended either. They milk it for all its worth though, giving heel Demolition more of a chance to stooge than they get against guys like the Bees or the Rogs. The stooging leads to Ax distracting Steele so that Smash can get him from behind. The match calls for Demolition to go way over the top with the heel tactics, and that's exactly what they're doing.
After more cheap heel tactics, Steele catches a Smash clothesline with his teeth and makes the tag to JYD. He and Smash do everything big. Smash's selling is big and exaggerated, playing to the crowd. Finally, they get JYD into the corner and take over on him, making quick, visually well-timed tags, clubbering and cutting off comebacks. What Demolition does best. The double-teaming, legal and otherwise, is in full force, and Steele is getting enraged on the outside. After a double-clothesline, JYD makes it in for the hot tag, but Ax has the referee distracted. Steele loses it. Demos double-team him and he gets tossed. He comes back with a chair, gets caught hitting Smash, and the Demolition pick up the DQ win.
The match itself wasn't great, but really it could have been surprisingly decent if they just gave a few more minutes to the heat segment on JYD. As it was, the match stands out because it shows another side of Demolition. They were so good at changing up their style depending on who their opponents were, both as faces and heels. Their believable range, from match to match, is really just amazing. It still surprises me so late into the project. In this match they were over the top and almost cartoony, larger than life, stooging and heeling and playing to their opponents and the crowd. Not a great match, no, (though it would have taken very little to make it a good one), but still a good performance by Demolition.