Monday, October 24, 2011

Blade Runners

In talking about the greatest Tag-Team in history, and which teams should have been but never were... there is one team that most don't even know ever existed, but should have been the greatest Tag-Team in wrestling history!

Blade Runners
The Blade Runners were a professional wrestling tag team consisting of future superstars, Steve Borden and Jim Hellwig, that existed in 1985 and 1986. Their look was from the "New Wave" music scene with black eye paint and spiked hair with a rat tail (Sting's bleached blonde and Rock's dyed black).
Borden and Hellwig originally teamed as part of Powerteam USA, a group of four wrestlers who debuted in 1985 after being trained by Red Bastien and Rick Bassman. In addition to Borden and Hellwig, the group consisted of Garland Donoho and Mark Miller. The team was managed by Bassman as they tried to break into the wrestling business. After only a short time in the business both Donoho and Miller quit due to lack of success and business savvy. Manager Rick Bassman would eventually become a pro wrestler himself and a wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts promoter in California where he founded and runs Ultimate Pro Wrestling. Hellwig and Borden remained, teaming together as they traveled to Jerry Jarrett's Continental Wrestling Association and later on to Bill Watts Universal Wrestling Federation.

Ultimate Warrior & Sting
Initially, they wrestled as The Freedom Fighters (Hellwig was known as Justice and Borden was called Flash) in Memphis' Continental Wrestling Association under manager Dutch Mantel. Because they were essentially bodybuilders and lacked thorough training, the team was raw and brutal, easily hurting opponents with their stiff maneuvers which led to their stay in Memphis being a short one.The team began working for Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling (renamed the Universal Wrestling Federation shortly after) in early 1986. In Mid-South, they became known as The Blade Runners (Hellwig was called Rock and Borden became Sting). The Blade Runners were managed by "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and as part of "Hot Stuff International, Inc." the team feuded with Ted DiBiase and Steve Williams.

Less than 6 months after arriving in Mid-South, Hellwig and Borden split up with Hellwig moving on to World Class Championship Wrestling, where he became known The Dingo Warrior, laying the foundation for his famous Ultimate Warrior gimmick in the WWF.

Ultimate Warrior
Sting remained in Mid-South and under the tutelage of Eddie Gilbert for a while before turning face.

They reunited, although not officially under the Blade Runners name, for one match on WCW Monday Nitro on October 11, 1998 against Hollywood Hogan and Bret "The Hitman" Hart of nWo Hollywood. Since the two had become very popular on their own and in entirely different promotions, during this event, Mike Tenay referred to them as "teaming up for the first time since 1985." The match was initially boasted as one of the biggest tag team matches in Nitro history; however, it featured little variety or in-ring use of Warrior. Sting and Warrior won the match via disqualification due to interference from the nWo.

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