On September 29th, 1985, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Road Warriors were defending their AWA World Tag Team Championships with the result being a fabulous robbery. The duo held the title for exactly 400 days as of this match. The Legion of Doom, the Road Warriors were the most dominant tag team in wrestling at the time.
But on this night the duo would face a tandem and be victim to a result that made those in attendance and in the ring so irrate that the events after would leave those disappointed hunting for blood!
Even knee lifts to the stomach of Hawk went unphased by one-half of the champions. Garvin eventually locks up Hawk into the corner and he makes a tag to Steve Regal. But Hawk immediately is able to fight back and knock both challengers off their feet to the floor.
Animal is tagged in, and he wrenches on the head of Jimmy Garvin, once again wearing him down in the middle of the ring. Garvin tries to toss Animal off of him, but Animal refuses to let him go. As soon as Steve Regal is tagged in, Animal immediately wrenches the head of one half of the challengers.
Regal attempts to shoulder tackle Animal, but he bounces off of him. Animal was unphased. As it was referred to as ‘water off a ducks back’ when it happened. It should be interesting to note even commentary shared that the Road Warriors weren’t even thought to have reached their peak. Regal once again tried to kick Animal but was caught his boot.
After Hawk is tagged in, Regal rakes his eyes repeatedly, forcing him into the corner turnbuckle. But as soon as Regal tries to whip Hawk into the corner, Hawk reverses it and is whipped hard into the corner. But Jimmy Garvin is tagged in, and the challengers work over Hawk.
Garvin drives knees in the midsection and even lower on Hawk. But Hawk makes a comeback and hits a power slam on Garvin. But Garvin is able to make a tag to Steve Regal, who hits a series of fits, which temporarily affects him, only leading to him recovering.
Each time Animal comes in he is forced out by the referee leading to Regal and Garvin using the tag rope on Hawk. It was at this point where Hawk makes the tag in and goes after Garvin in the corner. He hits a flying shoulder block on Garvin. Animal then hits a clothesline.
This leads to Steve Regal and Hawk both coming into the ring leading to all four men making their way in the ring. A double pinning attempt is made with both of the challengers kicking out. This was when all chaos broke loose.
Animal and Garvin begin to brawl, but the referee is distracted by what is happening outside of the ring with Precious, Paul Ellering, and The Fabulous Freebirds, Buddy Roberts, and Michael Hayes.
Animal powerslams Jimmy Garvin and then hits a clothesline on Steve Regal. Back in the ring, we only catch a glimpse of Michael Hayes coming in and out of the ring and Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin is covering Animal for the 1…2…3 count and the win.
Winners: AND NEW, AWA World Tag Team Champions, ‘Gorgeous’ Jimmy Garvin and ‘Mr. Electricity’ Steve RegalThere are new AWA World Tag Team Champions. A moment after the Road Warriors were to commence their pursuit of Regal and Garvin, we see a different vantage point.
Michael Hayes came off the top rope and leaped onto Garvin forcing Animal down on the apron. The absolute shock and dismay at the Road Warriors losing the titles and to who they lost them too made it all the more surprising. Their post-match comments about what happened are listed below.
This is the most bizarre, absurd thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw that Precious jumped off, and then the next thing I know, the Freebirds attacked me. Hawk came down to help me, and Animal had the guy beat, and then Hawk came to me, and Animal had the guy beat 1..2..3. The next thing I know, I didn’t see it Michael Hayes jumped off the top turnbuckle, hits Animal as he’s ready to press him and the referee doesn’t see anything and turns around, there’s Animal, and they get the 1…2…3. It’s a robbery! – Paul Ellering
You take a look at my brother Animal here, and you tell me who in the AWA could ever beat him or me in a legal matter unless they had a gun. They didn’t have guns. It wasn’t right. It’s a bunch of bull. And somebody is going to pay, and it’s going to be the Freebirds you’re in our face for the last time. And the only time. You are going to pay a heavy price along with the punks, Garvin, and his old lady Precious. Everyone is going to pay. And sneaking Steve Regal.– Hawk
Hey! I don’t know who in the hell the Freebirds think they are. I had Jimmy Garvin powerslammed and he couldn’t even move. Steve Regal, I clotheslined him so hard, and then I had Jimmy Garvin set for the press and the next thing I know I’m on my damn back. What is going on here? Where is Marty Miller for the 1…2…3? – Animal
To watch the match in its entirety, click the icon below.
Years after their match, ‘Mr. Electricity’ Steve Regal shared his thoughts on facing Hawk and Animal and the emotions that were felt on this particular night. Regal shared that the late tag team had only wanted to drop the titles to them, suggesting that the duo knew the response that was generated by their losing their titles and to such a cowardly duo would send the crowd into a frenzy.
The Night Garvin and Regal ended The Road Warriors 400 Day Reign
We feared for our lives, and that’s the God’s honest truth. Jimmy’s wife Patty, and she was our valet, we said, hey before we get in the ring and anything happens and hey and things get a little rough for you, run for the locker room.
They were young guys, and they didn’t do it on purpose, but they’d pick you up to slam you, and they wouldn’t control it. It was tough working with them, and they were tough. Hawk could knock you out in 10 seconds, and so could Animal.
They were over huge! And when we beat them, of course, we cheated with the help of the Freebirds, but we didn’t get back to our dressing room for like 20 minutes. We had to fight our way through the crowd. We had cops around us fighting people and jumping over us and throwing s**t. It was just incredible the heat we had.
– Steve Regal on facing and defeating The Road Warriors for the AWA World Tag Team Championships