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 - Bill Camp

Okay, this time I swear this is the last segment of the history of the WWF tag team titles.  Starting next month I'll do the WWF's Intercontinental Title.  I last left off with The Wild Samoans' third title reign.  They were a dominant team, who soundly defeated every team that got in their way.  Tony Garea came at them with various partners, and a few times I thought he and his partner would get an upset on The Samoans in non-title matches.  But little did I know that things were changing behind the scenes at this time.  Garea was being depushed and would eventually be used almost exclusively as enhancement talent, then as a road agent.

Anyway, two big singles stars began tagging on occasion, Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson.  They meshed well together, especially with Johnson's speed and Atlas' power.  Eventually they received a shot at the champions on television.  Atlas and Johnson had things going their way when Samoans turned things into a schmoz and got disqualified. Atlas and Johnson vowed revenge, and challenged The Samoans to a rematch with no disqualification.  When the match came about, it was obvious it was supposed to be a match where the disqualification rule was waved, rather than it be a no disqualification match.  The difference being that if The Samoans got disqualified the titles change.  During the match, the ref was bumped and here we got the now infamous scene where Albano came into the ring to hit Atlas with a wooden chair, but accidentally nails his own man splintering the chair and causing the titles to change.  The Samoans never forgave Albano for the mistake, in a situation that becomes important later.

Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch were a makeshift tag team.  I think they had only one TV match before getting a shot at the title (and I may even be wrong about that, but I remember them wrestling Garea and S.D. Jones, and I think it was prior to winning the belts). Anyway, they defeated Atlas and Johnson when Atlas was fighting Murdoch on the outside, distracting Johnson, so Adonis rolled him up from behind.  Adonis and Murdoch were one of my favorite tag champions of all time.  They looked like two fat, out of shape guys but boy could they work.  I still think Murdoch was one of the best big men the sport has ever seen and Adonis is one of the best workers ever, period.  Albano wanted to manage them, but for whatever reason, Adonis and Murdoch always put off signing with him as a manager.  Meanwhile The Samoans wanted their titles back and they had a lengthy series with the North-South Connection.  It was a great series of matches too, with The Samoans playing unbeatable monster babies and North-South playing crafty rulebreakers.  After many months the feud finally cooled off and Adonis and Murdoch still had their titles.  The Briscos came in and after winning a few TV squashes got a non-title shot at the Champs.  They soundly won the match with a double figure four.  But they couldn't capitalize on a tag title reign because another team beat them to it.  Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, the U.S. Express, also came in around this time.  They had a few TV wins and an exciting natural match against Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik.  They got a shot at Adonis and Murdoch, and beat them in a long-winded match in January of 1985.

But Windham and Rotundo's reign would prove short-lived as their natural enemies caught with them again at WrestleMania, when Freddie Blassie's cane was used to put down Windham and Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff reigned the tag team division.  The U.S. Express received many shots, but a disqualification usually kept the belts on the anti-American duo.  Finally at another TV taping in Pougkeepsie, NY (Mid-Hudson Civic Center), Winham and Rotundo outsmarted the champions when Rotundo got a small package on Sheik.  Volkoff reversed them, so Sheik had the move, but as the ref outed Volkoff Windham reversed them back, and we had new champions.  More...

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