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SLAM! WRESTLING: Guest Columnist

SLAM! Sports
SLAM! Wrestling







Wednesday, August 26, 1998

SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column

L.O.D. past their time

By STEVE DICKER -- For SLAM! Wrestling

Road Warriors stab Dusty Rhodes L.O.D. 3:16-- Will job for food!!!!!!!

That phrase perfectly sums up the tag team scene in the WWF today. The legendary Road Warriors, more commonly known in the WWF as L.O.D., are the doormats in the weakest tag team scene that the WWF has ever had. Hawk and Animal, without a doubt the most successful tag team in the history of wrestling, are jobbing more often than the Brooklyn Brawler nowadays. If the greatest team of all time can't buy a win in the WWF, it's time for Mr. McMahon & Co. to make SERIOUS changes to the WWF roster.

Sure, the WWF is enjoying its greatest success since the peak of Hulkamania, but wrestling has changed drastically since then. No longer are its TV programs filled with jobber matches (with the occasional One Man Gang vs. Koko B. Ware thrown in just to tease us). These days, interviews take up more of the shows than the actual matches. The Warrior spoke more this past Monday on Nitro than he spoke during his entire WWF tenure. Wrestlers' ring entrances are longer, their gimmicks are more elaborate, and merchandise sales are at an all-time high. Both the WWF and WCW now hold pay-per-views every month rather than three or four a year. Each episode of Raw and Nitro just builds up the next PPV. Yes, wrestling is once again the booming business it was back in the mid-to-late 80's. Both Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff will do anything to ensure a ratings win for their respective companies.

Nowadays, the wrestling matches themselves have taken a back seat to the angles surrounding them. Unfortunately, this has led to the demise of a once proud tag team division.

At the WWF's first-ever Survivor Series, there was a tag team match involving no less than TEN tag teams. With the exception of the Conquistadors, all 10 were full-time, legit WWF tag teams. The Killer Bees. The British Bulldogs. Demolition. The Hart Foundation. The list goes on. All of these teams were contenders for the titles. Today, the WWF can boast a tag team division consisting of:
  • Southern Justice, two jerks whose pushes have included stints as pig farmers (The Godwinns), overweight outlaws (Tex Slazenger & Shanghai Pierce in WCW), and now "Bodyguards" to Tennessee Lee, another WCW retread
  • Kane and Mankind (not anymore?)
  • Steve Austin and the Undertaker
  • the Harris twins (currently DOA, but their incarnations are too numerous to mention)
  • The Headbangers, two Marilyn Manson-wannabe college grads
  • The New Age Outlaws
  • The aforementioned Legion of Doom
  • The Quebecers
  • And various combinations of D-X and the Nation.
None of the above teams should put fear into any opposing team. Roaddog and Billy Gunn were two wrestlers who were almost booed out of the WWF until their push with D-X (give them credit for making the most of it).

Kane/Mankind and Austin/Taker are two makeshift teams who were paired up just to give heat to an already stale angle.

Back in the 80's, the LOD would have DESTROYED any of these teams. Today, the once proud Road Warriors are the biggest joke in wrestling. No matter what the WWF does to try to improve them, they just plain and simple SUCK. Has anyone figured out yet?????? OH, YOU DIDN'T KNOW? WELL YOUR ASS BETTER CALL SOMEBODYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! That's why.

Road Warriors 2000 The Road Warriors have no place in today's WWF. "OOOOH, WHAT A RUSH!" just doesn't have any pizzazz to it anymore. Hawk and Animal are overweight. They're old. They've laid down on the mat once too often "for the good of the company", and now not even a Goldberg-esque push can get them back over again. Making Hawk look like a drunk isn't doing them any favors, and neither was aligning them with Tammy Sytch, the since-departed Sunny. Instead of going out in style, the LOD is hanging around WAY too long. Instead of being remembered as the baddest team in the history of wrestling, they will be remembered as, well, the baddest team in the history of wrestling. The team that should have known when to call it quits. The Road Warriors have brought this on themselves.

Don't get me wrong, I was always a fan of the Warriors. I always preferred tag team wrestling over singles. Nowadays, a good tag team match consists of Mark Henry and Kama getting a DQ victory over X-Pac and Hunter Hearst Helmsley when Chyna hits "The Godfather" with one of her steel breasts. This is a sad cry from the great battles between the teams of the 80's.

D-X vs. the Nation? I'll take the British Bulldogs vs. Demolition anyday!

Steve Dicker is from Paradise, Newfoundland. He can be emailed at stunningsteve@roadrunner.nf.net

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