Here Comes the Ax, and here comes the Smasher. The Demolition walking disaster. Just those two lines bring back memories of one of the most dominant tag teams of the 80s, Demolition.
With Mr. Fuji in their corner, Ax and Smash became the longest-reigning WWF tag team champions in history. They won the titles on three different occasions. Everywhere they went, bodies were beaten and bruised.
No-tag team was safe from their destruction. Tag Team wrestling’s contributions kind of get overlooked today. Let us take a look back at this fearsome tag team.
Demolition’s Early Years
It might be surprising to learn that when Demolition made their in-ring debut on January 4, 1987, it was Ax, aka Bill Eadie, but Smash was Ron Colley. Colley was recently in a high-profile tag team called the Moondogs, and despite all their efforts, the fans recognized this immediately.
They chanted “Moondog” whenever Colley was in the ring. After three matches, Colley was replaced by Barry Darsow, who became the Smash everyone knows and fears. Another fun fact is it was not Mr. Fuji who managed Demolition at the start. It was Johnny V.
Randy Colley went on to try his own version of Demolition in CCWF. He called his team Detroit Demolition. He did win the CWF tag team championship along with Bob Carter.
He had a long feud with Lord Humongous, aka Sid Viscous or Psycho Sid, and newcomer Shane Douglas. They ended up losing the title to Humongous and Douglas after that, Colley went to WCW with the Moondog gimmick again.
Demolition had that intimidating look. Clad in leather and spikes, complete with face paint and a bad attitude, they intimidated most opponents. Ground and pound was an understatement when getting in the ring with these two masters of destruction.
After the addition of Darsow, Johnny V sold Demolition’s contracts to the Devious one himself, Mr. Fuji. At that moment, a triple threat of terror was unleashed on the WWF. Demolition went on a winning streak until June 6, 1987, when they lost to the Can-Am Connection Rick Martel and Tom Zenk.
The Demolition captures the Championship.
It didn’t take long for Demolition to regroup. Throughout most of 1987, Demolition had rivalries with all the great tag teams of that time. This included the Killer Bees, British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation, The Islanders, and The Rogeaus.
Eventually, Demolition’s trail of broken bodies led them to the WWF Tag Team Championship at Wrestlemania IV. Once again, Ax and Smash were facing Rick Martel. This time Martel was a part of the Team Strike Force.
Aligned with former Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana, the duo captured the WWF Tag titles from the Hart Foundation. Demolition had not forgotten that Martel ended their winning streak the previous year.
When Martel had Smash trapped in the Boston Crab finisher, Ax used Mr. Fujis’s cane to whack him in the head. The referee never saw the devious act, and Smash covered Martel for the win. Demolition was the new WWF tag team champions.
Rivals of Pain
The Demolition seemed unstoppable, taking on all challengers. One by one, they fell until another team with the same philosophy of seek and destroy arrived. The Powers of Pain Warlord and The Barbarian seemed like the next big thing in the tag team division.
They, too, wore face paint and leather gear. The two teams were set to clash during a Tag team elimination match at the Survivor Series 1988. In a surprising turn of events, Mr. Fuji turned on Demolition and joined the Powers of Pain. Fuji claimed Demolition were no longer “obedient and loyal.”
As a result of Demolition no longer associated with Master Fuji, the team’s popularity skyrocketed. At the 1989 Royal Rumble, Ax drew #1, and Smash was number #2. For a full 2 minutes, WWF fans were treated to a Demolition derby.
That is until Andre the Giant entered, and the team had no choice but to do what they did best and break down the Giant. A year later, Demolition was still the tag team champions.
At WrestleMania V, they got a measure of revenge when they defeated The Powers of Pain and now Master Fuji. Their reign in total was 478 days as stage team champions.
Busting Some Brains and Wining Championships
On July 29, 1989, In a 2 out of 3 falls match, Demolition was defeated by the Brain Busters Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard with help from Andre The Giant. The team was managed by Bobby The Brain Heenan. Finally, on November 4, 1989, Demolition regained the WWF tag team title from the Busters.
After getting their championship back, Demolition set their sights on Andre The Giant. The eighth Wonder of the World teamed up with Haku, aka Ming. Haku was as tough as they come. To this very day, you do not want to mess with Haku.
Dubbed the Colossal Connection, Andre and Haku defeated Demolition for the tag team championship. As amazing as Andres’s career was, this was the first and only time he became a champion in the WWF.
Demolition received a rematch at WrestleMania VI in Toronto, Canada. By this time, Andre’s health was deteriorating. He never tagged in the ring. Basically, it was all Haku. Demolition defeated the Connection and became tag team champions for a third time.
As a bonus, WWF fans around the world got to see Andre the Giant turn his back on the Heenan Family.
Triple Threat of Terror
After WrestleMania VI, Demolition felt they were losing their edge. They added a third member by the name of Crush, aka Brian Adams. Adams went on to have a career in both WWF and WCW. On TV, Demolition stated they added a third member to blatantly cheat.
However, in reality, Eadie was not feeling well, and Vince McMahon wanted to have a replacement standing by. Demolition started to use “the Freebird rule’. The Fabulous Freebirds consisted of Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Jimmy Garvin, and Buddy Roberts.
They would defend their championship with any two members; honestly, though, they would use this to cheat their opponents. It could be any combination of the two and the third member would be lurking around somewhere.
At Summerslam 1989, Demolition tried using these tactics in a 2 out of 3 falls match with the Hart Foundation. In the third fall, the trio were exposed by the Legion of Doom when Axe tried to hide under the ring.
This allowed the Harts to get the victory and win the WWF tag team championship. Due to this loss, Demolition began a feud with the Legion of Doom. This was often in a six-man match with LOD teaming up with The Ultimate Warrior. Legion of Dooms’ arrival made Demolition bring back Mr. Fuji.
However, at Survivor Series 1990, they and Mr. Perfect were defeated by LOD, Kerry Von Erich, and The Ultimate Warrior. After the loss, Ax left the WWF. To make up for this, the WWF stated that from now on, only two members of Demolition would be allowed to compete at any given time. Smash and Crush went on to lose a string of matches.
On March 30, 1991, they did pick up a win at Wrestlefest. After that match Smash and Crush decided to try singles matches. Crush went to PNW under his real name Brian Adams and won the PNW championship.
Smash completely changed his image. He became the Repo Man. Repo Man was an almost cartoonish Batman villain-style character. He would go around repossessing items. Most notable was Macho Man Randy Savages hat.
Crush also returned to the WWF, this time as Kona Crush. Crush became an instant fan favorite. The two ended up facing each other at Summerslam 1992, with Crush gaining an easy victory.
Ironically enough, shortly after, Crush would also turn heel, attack Randy Savage, and reunite with Mr. Fuji. Fuji now managed The WWF Champion Yokozuna. If Crush could gain the same momentum, he might become champion as well.
Unfortunately, Crush’s heel turn never gained that momentum, and soon he left the WWF. As Brian Adams, he joined WCW and became a member of the NWO. By 1999 The Nwo was fizzling and Adams partnered with Brian Clark to become Kronik.
Together they became WCW tag team champions. Kronik was also part of the WWE acquisition of WCW in 2000.
In 1987 Randy Colley went on to try his own version of Demolition in CCWF. He called his team Detroit Demolition. He did win the CWF tag team championship along with Bob Carter.
He had a long feud with Lord Humongous, aka Sid Viscous or Psycho Sid, and newcomer Shane Douglas. They ended up losing the title to Humongous and Douglas. After that, Colley went to WCW with the Moondog gimmick again.
After leaving WWE in 1990, Bill Eadie began calling himself Ax the Demolisher on the independent circuit. He also tried to start his own version of Demolition called Demolition Blast with Carmine Azzato.
WWF was not happy and sent him a cease and desist letter. Eadie filed a lawsuit against the WWE for the rights to the Demolition name but lost.
On September 29, 2007, in Orlando, FL, Darsow and Eadie reunited as Demolition after 16 years. They defeated The Christopher Street Connection in Orlando, FL, becoming the UXW tag team champions in the process.
They were also inducted into the UXW Hall of Fame in 2008. On November 13, 2010, they won the POWW tag team titles at WrestleRage. They also appeared at Chikara, where they participated in the 2012 Kings of Trios Tournament and were ironically eliminated by their old rival Powers of Pain. On May 6, 2017, Demolition wrestled their last match.
Demolition was certainly ahead of their time. No matter which version of the team you faced, you knew you were about to be destroyed. When you mention the greatest tag teams in pro wrestling, Demolition would certainly need to be in the top 10.
Their decapitation finisher is one of the best double-team moves in history. They truly were walking disaster.