My first memories of sports entertainment (or as the late Dusty Rhodes would say “professional wrestling if you will”) go all the way back to Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. While most of the evening is now a haze the lone remaining entry of witnessing the awesomeness known as Andre the Giant as he thrashed his helpless foes remains one of the true clear and vivid images that stays with me even to this very day. It was then a young boy was introduced to the spectacle, pageantry and excitement that only this genre can bring and along with it has come a lifetime of memories worth cherishing as the years of action in and out of the squared circle has unfolded.
For years I have followed the exploits of the professional wrestling scene through many federations spanning the globe, each with its own differentiating style and cast of characters. In order to do this, countless hours of television and video has been consumed and almost as many magazines, newsletters and circulars have been read trying to stay current with the continually trending topics both in and out of the ring. But one thing has eluded my grasp in all those years constantly nagging me like an old sports injury always ready to rear its ugly head at any given time. So many within the profession have laid claim (both on camera and off) to be the greatest of all-time yet so little has been done by those in the know to put together a veritable Mount Rushmore that could be agreed on by the majority as being the best that has ever been.
It had always been a hope of this writer for the media directly responsible for covering this venture to come together and decide on just who would reign supreme. Since that day seemingly will never come the opportunity to recently became part of a group on social media with a more than adequate list of professional wrestling fans, media, podcasters and even current and former performers themselves seemed like an opportune time, if given the right nudge, to finally come together and decide on just who the ultimate winner of wrestling’s star-studded battle royale would be.
As the decision process was being made the opinions began to fly and the rationale behind the choices began to stir a debate that proved both informative and entertaining as the comments began to roll. Ultimately a clear winner emerged so now is the time to unveil some of those results and on this occasion we’ll look at the choice made for the GREATEST TAG-TEAM OF ALL TIME. Much love and attention was given and discussed with the names of the Hardy Boyz, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, the British Bulldogs and the Steiner Brothers as names being bandied about. But when push came to shove, there was one team who stood tallest among them all and got their hands raised in victory in this all-encompassing vote.
Whether it was the crushing manner in which they decimated opponents, the distinctive designing of face paint that would truly be identified as their own or the physically intimidating style which never ceased to change whether portraying the good (“face”) or bad (“heel”) side of the spectrum the Road Warriors always amazed and delighted audiences in a fashion that only the “Legion of Doom” could create. Countless others tried to follow that same formula but none could ever match the heights that the late Michael “Hawk” Hergstrand (who passed away in 2003) and John “Animal” Laurinaitis achieved on their path of decimation and destruction in the ring. As Chris Ripka of Saloon Studios put it “Arn (Anderson) and Tully (Blanchard) were great but I am all about the entertainment value and the sheer we will f— you up (style) of the Road Warriors Animal and Hawk.”
Often led by their manager “Precious” Paul Ellering, the Road Warriors achieved greatness both in the United States, Japan and all throughout the rest of the world. As being the only team to garner world and international championship gold together in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF now WWE) Hawk and Animal’s continued success for nearly twenty years (1983-2003) solidified their place at the very top of the mountain and set a bar at such a high point it will be difficult for any duo to ever surpass. For fans everywhere that witnessed first hand the adrenaline-fueled excitement only this team of destructive beasts known as the Road Warriors could create, “Oh….. what a rush” for them it was indeed.
Thanks to all the voters (Please check out all of their awesome programming):
David Butcher Gillam