Demolition’s Ax recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard to promote his virtual signing with ’80s Wrestling Con. Ax and Smash took the WWF by storm in the late ’80s, winning the WWF Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions, although the third reign was shared by all three members of Demolition.
Towards the end of the team’s run in the company, Demolition added Crush to the mix, a backstage reaction to Ax’s health issues related to an allergic reaction to shellfish. Ax explained how serious the situation was for him and why it happened, as well as commented on how he would have handled things instead of reacting so quickly.
“The whole situation developed—I don’t know if the fans are aware—but I had been going back and forth to Japan as The Masked Superstar. I probably made 40 trips anywhere from two to four weeks [long], up to eight weeks over there. I consumed a lot of shellfish and sushi, and I developed an anaphylactic reaction shellfish, iodine. Just before one of the WrestleManias, my wife and I went out and we had dinner and I had shrimp for dinner, and I had an allergic reaction and I almost died. I think Vince and the office—fortunately, we were popular—I think they didn’t know what to do and they started panicking. What they should have done was given me and Barry a month or two off, and by that time,” Ax said, “I think it was six weeks that I had been cleared by the doctor here in Emery, to resume activities. They pushed the panic button and contacted Crush and brought in a “substitute” Demolition.”
“I think that they just jumped the gun. I think that it would have settled down if—and Barry was not as affected—but a month or two off because they were running us ragged. By that time, everything would have been OK and we could have continued the run, but once everything got into swing we couldn’t keep up with it and I don’t know if we would have had another Ax On How He Would’ve Ended Demolition’s Run, Why WWE Jumped The Gun By Bringing In Crush run or not but I think that we could’ve continued. They heard the fans cheering for us when we were heels and they thought, ‘Well, these guys are getting cheered, we’ve got to make them babyfaces!’ No, you don’t, control the fans and control the crowd. We could’ve been coming out of the heel locker room for another year and a half but there, again, they jumped the gun. They do that quite often,” Ax said, “not only in WWE, but a lot of promoters and bookers do that. They listen to the fans and instead of guiding the fans, they think that the fans are pushing them, so that’s my take on that.”
Demolition is still fondly remembered for what they brought to the ring, and Ax talked about how the concept of a real “team” is lost on some people. There are notable exceptions, but overall Ax feels like some teams are put together without purpose and broken up later on.
“I don’t think they have teams as much as they have two individuals [working together] that are waiting for a spot and so they don’t put them on the shelf. They just put them together and lump them together and neither one of those guys really want to be in a team, they want to be an individual. For a team to be successful, you can’t be selfish and you can’t be looking out for yourself. You have to be willing to sacrifice a little bit for the team. Nowadays you get some teams that could possibly work, but for one reason or another, they break them up. Or they push this one team and break them up, push another combination, and I don’t think they have an emphasis or a desire to have a tag team division.”
Check out our full interview at the top of this post; the upcoming schedule for more ’80s Wrestling Con Virtual Signings can be viewed below:
- 12/14 – Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine
- 12/28 – Koko B. Ware
- 1/11 – Ted DiBiase
- 1/25 – Mike Rotunda
- 2/15 – Ron Simmons
- 2/22 – Powers of Pain
- 3/8 – Wendi Richter
- 3/22 – Bob Orton