Demolition (professional wrestling)
Demolition is a professional wrestling tag team most prominent during the late 1980s and early 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) made up of Ax (Bill Eadie), Smash (Barry Darsow), and later Crush (Brian Adams). In the WWF, Demolition were three-time WWF World Tag Team Champions, and hold the record for the most combined days as reigning champions with that championship. Their first reign with the WWF World Tag Team Championship is the second longest reign with any tag team championship in WWE history (behind The New Day's reign with the WWE (Raw) Tag Team Championship) and is the longest reign on record for that specific championship (which has been defunct since 2010). Beginning in 2007, Ax and Smash reunited for several appearances at various independent shows and legends conventions.
Smash (left) and Ax as WWF Tag Team Champions
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
|Varied depending on combination|
|Hometown||Denver Colorado U.S.|
|Billed from||Parts Unknown|
|Debut||January 17, 1987|
|Disbanded||May 6, 2017|
World Wrestling Federation (1987–1991)Edit
Formation and early push (1987–1988)Edit
Randy Colley and Bill Eadie created the Demolition gimmick and worked for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). They debuted as a heel tag team on the January 17, 1987 edition of Superstars, alongside manager Luscious Johnny V, defeating the team of Salvatore Bellomo and Mario Mancini. Demolition wore studded black leather outfits and leather-covered hockey masks to the ring, which they removed to reveal face paint usually made up of some combination of black, white, red, or silver colors, though other colors were sometimes included. The tag team wore outfits similar to Lord Humungus of the 1981 film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, while their facepaint was reminiscent of hard rock band KISS. However, in TV interviews the characters generally compared themselves to another hockey-masked horror movie villain, Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th film series, as well as Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street.
After only a few matches, Colley was replaced with Barry Darsow in a match aired on the February 14, 1987 edition of Superstars. In an RF Video shoot interview with Eadie and Darsow, Eadie said that Colley was replaced because he was too recognizable to the fans as the man who previously performed as Moondog Rex. The WWF pitched a few potential replacements to Eadie, but he thought fans would recognize the suggested replacements. However, Eadie felt that many WWF fans would not recognize Darsow, who had been working for Jim Crockett Promotions as Krusher Khruschev alongside Nikita Koloff. Darsow had left Crockett following a dispute in order to take over the role of Smash. On the March 14 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Demolition participated in a battle royal, won by Hercules Hernandez. Around that same period, Johnny Valiant (who went on to manage the "new Dream Team" of Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo before leaving the WWF at the end of 1987) sold their contracts to Mr. Fuji who became their manager.
Demolition became known for their aggressive style in the ring and the way that they dominated their matches. Their first feud was with the team of Ken Patera and Billy Jack Haynes, which started after Ax and Smash brutalized WWF jobber Brady Boone (billed in storyline as the cousin of Haynes), during a televised match and then battered first Haynes and then Patera when they each tried to come to the rescue. Demolition claimed victories over all of the established face tag teams in the WWF at the time, including The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair), The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond), British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith), The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers), The Islanders (Haku and Tama), and The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk).
Demolition made their pay-per-view debut at Survivor Series in an elimination tag team match where 5 babyface teams faced 5 heel teams. Demolition was part of the heel group. They were disqualified for shoving down referee Dave Hebner during the match and the face team went on to win the match.
Tag team title reigns (1988–1990)Edit
At WrestleMania IV, Ax and Smash defeated Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) to win their first WWF World Tag Team Championship. Ax struck Martel in the back of the neck with Fuji's cane while he had Smash in a Boston crab (Fuji had dropped the cane into the ring while taking a beating from Santana who carried on oblivious to what was happening in the ring). Martel was knocked out and Smash covered him for the pin while Ax hid outside with the cane. As champions, they defeated a number of the top teams of the WWF, which at the time had a very talent-rich and hotly contested tag division, most notably the British Bulldogs and Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart). The Demolition-Strike Force feud ended in July after Martel took a leave of absence from the WWF to care for his wife, who was suffering an illness; to explain, Martel took a Demolition Decapitation on the floor and suffered a kayfabe injury.
In the summer of 1988 The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) entered the WWF and challenged them for the Tag Team Championship. During the elimination tag team match at the 1988 Survivor Series, Mr. Fuji attacked Demolition and joined forces with the Powers of Pain. A double turn took place as Demolition turned face while the Powers of Pain turned heel. Interviewed after the contest, Fuji claimed that he had turned on Demolition because, since winning the championship, they had become insubordinate and disrespectful towards him, whereas the Powers would be utterly obedient and loyal apprentices. For their part, Demolition denounced their former manager as a parasite, labelling him "Fuj the Stooge." Ax and Smash also memorably squared off against each other as entrants #1 and #2 in the Royal Rumble match at the Summit in Houston in 1989, tearing into each other for the full two minutes before being joined in the ring by the third entrant André the Giant, where they once again joined as Demolition and targeted the big man.
Demolition defeated the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji in a tag team handicap match at WrestleMania V to retain the WWF World Tag Team Championship when they caught Fuji in the "Demolition Decapitation". That day, Demolition became the longest reigning WWF World Tag Team Champions after breaking the previous 370 day record of The Valiant Brothers (Jimmy and Johnny). Subsequently, on May 12 Demolition's reign exceeded the 409-day third reign of The Fabulous Kangaroos with the WWWF United States Tag Team Championship, thus becoming the longest running holders of any tag team championship in WWF/WWWF history. They would eventually last a reign of 478 days, and while the general record for any tag team championship has since been broken (by The New Day in 2016), this still stands as the specific record for the "classic" World tag team title.
After WrestleMania V, Demolition started a feud with The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Boss Man) and then a feud with the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), who were managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. On the May 27, 1989 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, the Brain Busters defeated Demolition by disqualification. They finally dropped the titles to the Brain Busters in a two out of three falls match on the July 29 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event following outside interference from André the Giant with a chair. As well as looking to regain the belts, Demolition sought revenge on André and closure on The Twin Towers. At SummerSlam 1989, King Duggan and Demolition defeated André and the Towers in a six-man tag team match (already advertised prior to the title change) where Darsow showcased his strength by body slamming both of the Twin Towers. Demolition focused on regaining the tag titles and restarted their feud with the Brain Busters. On the November 4 edition of Superstars (taped on October 2), Demolition defeated the Brain Busters to regain their tag titles and win their second WWF Tag Team Championship.
Demolition next feuded with the new Heenan Family team, the Colossal Connection (André the Giant and Haku). On the December 30 edition of Superstars (taped on December 13), Demolition lost the tag titles to the Colossal Connection. At WrestleMania VI at the SkyDome in Toronto, Demolition defeated the Colossal Connection to regain the titles and win their third and final WWF World Tag Team Championship, and finally put an end to their feud with the Heenan Family. Due to his deteriorating physical condition, André never tagged in during the match with Haku facing Demolition on his own.
Addition of Crush and aftermath (1990–1993)Edit
After WrestleMania VI, Demolition quietly turned heel for the first time since 1988. This intensified when Brian Adams debuted in WWF and joined the team as Crush. In kayfabe it was claimed that this was a heinous scheme to gain a three-on-two advantage over other tag teams, but it was actually because Eadie had developed an allergy to shellfish (which he attributed to his frequent trips to Japan) which hospitalized him, and WWF owner and head booker Vince McMahon wanted to add a third member to the team just in case the illness put Eadie out of action for an extended period of time.
Crush soon took a more active role, teaming with Smash while Ax faded into the background, becoming more of a manager. At this time Demolition used the "Freebird rule" to allow any two members to wrestle the matches. Smash and Crush defended the titles in the summer of 1990. On the July 28 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Smash and Crush defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) to retain the titles after Ax interfered on their behalf and attacked Michaels. The next month at SummerSlam 1990, however, Demolition lost the titles to Hart Foundation in a two out of three falls match. In that match, Smash & Crush started, but Ax secretly came down later on to substitute himself into the match behind the referee's back. Ultimately, the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal), who had signed with the WWF a month earlier, interfered and snuffed out the deception. Demolition never recaptured the titles after this loss.
Soon after, due to the Legion of Doom joining the WWF roster, Demolition's popularity began to decline. As a result of the Legion of Doom's interference in their championship defeat, Demolition began feuding with Hawk and Animal who would often be joined in six man matches by reigning WWF Champion, The Ultimate Warrior. On the October 13 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Ax, Smash, and Crush lost to The Ultimate Warrior and the Legion of Doom. On the November 10 episode of Superstars of Wrestling, Demolition reunited with Mr. Fuji when they helped Fuji and The Orient Express assault the Legion of Doom. At the 1990 Survivor Series, The Perfect Team (Demolition and Mr. Perfect) was defeated by The Ultimate Warriors (the Ultimate Warrior, the "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich, and the Legion of Doom). Shortly after, Ax left the WWF, with the on-air explanation being an order from kayfabe WWF President Jack Tunney that, as a result of the incident with the Orient Express and the Legion of Doom there could henceforth only be two members of Demolition. Smash and Crush were the two remaining members, and went on to primarily lose to teams such as the Rockers and the Legion of Doom. The team lost a match to Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao at WrestleMania VII. The team's next match was at WWF/SWS Wrestlefest on March 30, 1991 where they defeated Shunji Takano & Shinichi Nakano. Following this match, Demolition would continue to wrestle in both the WWF and the SWS throughout the summer usually on the losing end of matches. The team's final match in the WWF occurred on September 18, 1991 in a losing effort to George Takano and Shunji Takano. Afterwards, they eventually broke up and the members went their separate ways. Crush went on a leave of absence from the WWF, while Smash wrestled in singles matches (usually on the losing end) for a brief time before also leaving the WWF. Crush would return to PNW (where he had previously wrestled as Brian Adams), while also teaming with Smash in the WWC and SWS. Smash would later return to the WWF as the Repo Man a sneaky thief claiming to be a repossessor, in the fall of 1991. Crush would also return in the spring of 1992 as a face, (beginning a run as the popular "Kona Crush" surfer type building on Adams being a native of Hawaii). The two ended up facing off at SummerSlam 1992, with Crush getting the victory over Repo Man. Crush would later turn heel on Randy Savage and rehire Mr. Fuji as his manager in 1993, once again painting his face, only in a different pattern from his Demolition days.
After leaving the WWF, Eadie began using the name "Axis the Demolisher" on the independent circuit and took in Randy Colley, who had originally wrestled as "Smash", as well as Canadian veteran Richard Charland, who adopted the moniker "Blast", in late-1991 in an attempt to resurrect the Demolition name and gimmick, but were eventually sent a cease and desist letter by the WWF. Eadie also teamed with Canadian Giant in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1991. Years later, Eadie, as Ax, began teaming with Carmine Azzato, who also used the name "Blast". This incarnation of Demolition wrestled for Universal Superstars of America, where they held tag team title once.
In the mid-1990s, Bill Eadie filed a lawsuit against the WWF for the rights of the "Demolition" name and gimmick but lost. Ax, Smash and Crush inked a deal with Jakks Pacific to make Demolition Classic Superstars action figures. Ax and Smash were together in a 2-pack for Toys R Us, each had a singles figure from series #14, and were packaged and repainted with Crush in a 3-pack for Walmart.
On August 13, 2007, Brian Adams was found unconscious in his Tampa, Florida home. Adams' wife found him not breathing in his bed, and summoned paramedics. The wrestler could not be revived, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police could not immediately determine a cause of death, but noted no signs of injury.
On April 1, 2007, Darsow and Eadie reunited for the first time in 16 years at a "Meet the Legends" event in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. On September 29, 2007, they appeared as "Demolition" at a United States Xtreme Wrestling event in Orlando, Florida. They once again became tag team champions, defeating the Christopher Street Connection (Buff-E and Mace) to win the UXW Tag Team Championship.
On Friday, February 22, 2008, both Ax and Smash were inducted into the XWF (later Legends Pro Wrestling) Hall of Fame.
Demolition teamed with One Man Gang in the 28-team King of Trios tournament held by Chikara during the weekend of February 29 and March 1 and 2, 2008 in Philadelphia. While losing the three-man tournament they did win the Tag Team gauntlet.
On November 13, 2010, Demolition appeared at WrestleRage VIII in Villa Park, Illinois with POWW Entertainment. They beat the team of Picture Perfect for the POWW Tag Team titles, but quickly lost them after the first match to the team of Trevor Blanchard and Black Iron.
On May 21, 2011, Demolition reunited at Full Impact Pro's debut iPPV In Full Force. Their match against Tony DeVito and Ralph Mosco went to a no contest when local commentator and manager Larry Dallas came out and said his men wanted revenge. The ring was stormed by Manu, Sami Callihan, Blain Rage and Joey Attel. Demolition, Devito and Mosco managed to clear the ring and beat Dallas to end the show.
On September 16, 2012, Demolition returned to Chikara, taking part in the tag team gauntlet match at the 2012 King of Trios tournament, from which they were eliminated by their old WWF rivals, The Powers of Pain.
In November 2013, their finishing move was rated by WWE as the 7th greatest Tag Team Finisher of All time.
In July 2016, Eadie and Darsow were named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury. The suit is litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE. The lawsuit was dismissed by US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant in September 2018.
On May 6, 2017, Demolition wrestled their last match as a tag team. Eadie retired from wrestling later that year.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Tag Team Award (2015)
- Great Lakes Championship Wrestling
- GLCW Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Keystone State Wrestling Alliance
- KSWA Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Legends Pro Wrestling
- XWF/LPW Hall of Fame Inductees – Class 2008 (2/22/08)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Ranked #59 of the 100 best tag teams during the "PWI Years" in 2003
- United States Xtreme Wrestling
- UXW Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Universal Superstars of Wrestling
- USA Tag team title (1 time) – Ax and Blast
- World Wrestling Federation
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Hercules won a 20-man battle royal by last eliminating Billy Jack Haynes when Haynes was distracted by Bobby Heenan on the ring apron; other participants included: Hulk Hogan, André the Giant, Ron Bass, B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell, Demolition, the Islanders, Billy Jack Haynes, Hillbilly Jim, the Honkytonk Man, Blackjack Mulligan, Paul Orndorff, Lanny Poffo, Butch Reed, Sika, Nikolai Volkoff, & Koko B. Ware
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The Powers of Pain, Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy Smith & the Dynamite Kid, Jim Powers & Paul Roma, and Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji), the Conquistadors, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/Bobby Heenan), Jacques & Raymond Rougeau (w/Jimmy Hart), and Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov; Bret pinned Raymond Rougeau by blocking a backdrop attempt and using an inside cradle; Zhukov pinned Powers with the momentum of a flying crossbody put Zhukov on top; Jannetty pinned Zhukov with a sunset flip into the ring after a blow to the midsection by Michaels; Blanchard pinned Bret when Hart pinned himself with a German suplex into a bridge; Michaels & Jannetty fought Anderson & Blanchard to a double disqualification for brawling in the ring and eventually fighting to the backstage area; Smash pinned Dynamite with a clothesline after Dynamite missed a diving headbutt off the top; Demolition was counted-out after Mr. Fuji pulled the rope down, causing Smash to fall to the floor; the Barbarian pinned a Conquistador with a running headbutt off the ropes after Fuji tripped a Conquistador; after the match, Demolition cleared the ring of Powers of Pain and Fuji
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Ax & Smash regained the titles, but Crush joined and defended the titles with Smash.
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WWF Tag Team Champions Smash & Crush (w/ Ax) defeated Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty at 9:31 when Ax interfered behind referee Joey Marella's back, hit a clothesline on Michaels as Michaels had Smash rolled up, and scored the pin; after the bout, both the Hart Foundation and the Legion of Doom came to the ring to dispute the decision
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Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (Crush & Smash) at 14:24 in a Best 2 out of 3 falls match to win the titles; fall #1: Bret was pinned at 6:09 after sustaining the Decapitation; fall #2: the champions were disqualified at 10:06 after Crush physically prevented the referee from counting a pinfall on Smash after Smash sustained the Hart Attack; fall #3: Bret pinned Crush with a school boy roll up after Neidhart hit a slingshot shoulderblock into the ring, moments after the Legion of Doom came ringside and began brawling with Smash and an interfering Ax; pre-match stipulations stated that only two of the three members of Demolition was allowed at ringside but Ax came down mid-way through the contest and hid underneath the ring, eventually switching places with Smash without the referee noticing
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Crush def. Repo Man
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