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The Road Warriors: Greatest Matches

To honor the passing of Road Warrior Animal, I will deviate from the hijinks of the UWF and the steamroller that was WCCW from 1985 and devote this week’s reflection to the team whom I believe was the greatest tag team of all time.

Yes, that title can be argued as there were many a tag team that could hold that distinction. For example, the Midnight Express are not far behind the Road Warriors due to their accomplishments. However, the Road Warriors hold one distinction over them and other tag teams.

They won the AWA, NWA and WWF tag team titles.

To accomplish this feat, the Road Warriors not only traveled the world but were also known for many things. The main reason for their success was their ability to sell tickets on their name alone.

While I could offer some of their best matches such as WarGames, the scaffold match at Starrcade ’86, their battle with the Horsemen at Starrcade ’87, Freebirds, or the final match of the 1986 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup, I want to show my gratitude to a team that won the most prestigious titles in the three biggest promotions in the 1980s.

Match 1 for the AWA World tag team titles: The Crusher & Baron Von Raschke (champions) versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)


Rating: **½

Summary: This match occurred very early in the Road Warriors’ career as the veterans walked them through the match. Also, it was intriguing to see the Warriors using heel tactics and not playing to the fans. For those who are fans of Crusher, he did NOT leave his feet as he was too tough.

Match 2 for the NWA World tag team titles: The Midnight Express (champions w/ Jim Cornette) versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)


Rating: ***

Summary: The story being told in this match dealt with the Warriors being on the verge of a heel turn and playing the heels in this match. To demonstrate their devilishness, they decimated Eaton so that they could dominate Lane during the match. Although Eaton made a valiant comeback, too much starch had been taken from him, and the Warriors prevailed.

After the match, the Warriors celebrate, and Hawk bashes Eaton’s head in further with the tag belt.

Back at Techwood studios in Atlanta, David Crockett interviews the NEW NWA World tag team champions. While Animal is “tired” of Dusty Rhodes’ and Barry Windham’s calling upon the Road Warriors for their help, he makes an open challenge to anyone who’s man enough to face them. Hawk is “reaping (the) benefits” of becoming World champions. To cement the heel turn, Ellering namedrops IBM and General Motors as he believes the bottom line to “any business is money” instead of friendship.

Match 3 for the WWF tag team titles (no DQ/no countout): The Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Road Warriors (w/o “Precious” Paul Ellering)