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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (The Brain Busters)

By @OmegaShammgod 

My favorite style of wrestling comes from the throwback era of great brawlers. I love guys who can punch you so hard in the ring, they'll knock your freaking tooth out. That's one of the reasons why The Revival is one of my favorite tag teams today. They can beat you up and wrestle you down to the mat. However, it has always been said that history repeats itself and it seems as if The Revival are the current incarnation of one of my favorite teams of all time.

Every wrestling fan should know of the great stable, The Four Horsemen and their dominance throughout the National Wrestling Alliance. Two of the original members, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson,  formed a tag team of their own after Ole Anderson was kicked out of the group in 1987. By the end of September, Blanchard and Anderson had become NWA World Tag Team Champions by defeating the Rock n' Roll Express. Shortly thereafter, they started a feud with the Legion of Doom, who they defeated at Starrcade that year. They would then drop the titles to Lex Luger and Barry Windham on the first ever edition of Clash of the Champions in March of 1988.

A month later they regained the titles when Windham turned on Luger and joined The Four Horsemen. The team's run lasted until September, when Blanchard found out their manager JJ Dillon received 3 times more money than them for the uninterrupted Great American Bash PPV. On screen, the Midnight Express were the ones to take the belts from Anderson and Blanchard, who quit the company shortly after.

Anderson and Blanchard crossed over to WWF a month later, and was given their Brain Busters nickname while being managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. They made their debut at Survivor Series and eliminated the Hart Foundation in a 10 man elimination tag match before being eliminated by the Rockers. This led to a feud between the two teams which (weirdly) ended in a double count out match on the March 11, 1989 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. At Wrestlemania V, Blanchard and Anderson dominated Tito Santana after Rick Martel walked out on his partner during the match. After Mania, The Brain Busters received their shot at the WWF Tag Team titles, defeating Demolition by disqualification and again, in a personal favorite match of mine, in a Two out of Three Falls match which they won 2-1. After defeating the Hart Foundation at Summerslam, they dropped the titles back to Demolition in October. The team would be split up after Blanchard failed a drug test before Survivor Series and Anderson left the company.

One of the things that held this team back from being named a top tier team was their lack of competition when they were starting out. No one wanted to see them face Sting, Nikita Koloff and Steve Williams every week. However I could watch them beat up the Legion of Doom every week and not get tired. The move to WWF both helped and hurt them in my opinion. They went from being the central guys in the best storylines with the Horsemen in NWA to being outshined by Heenan at times in WWF. They did receive better competition in the WWF by taking on The Rockers, The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, Demolition (who had their record breaking 478 day record as Tag Team Champions ended by the BB's), and others. These guys were rough. They came out there every week with one goal in mind, which was to bust your skull open and pin you to the mat. Their punches and elbows were stiff. Their piledrivers were as blunt as their I don't give a shit attitude and I loved every second of it. These guys were the original no flips, just fists.



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