Monday, October 24, 2011

Powers Of Pain... Should Have Been Champions!

The Powers Of Pain
Terry Szopinski and Sione Vailahi were put together as a tag team called the Powers of Pain by Ivan Koloff and Paul Jones in the National Wrestling Alliance's Jim Crockett Promotions in late 1987. Szopinski was named "The Warlord," while Vailahi was known as "The Barbarian."

The Powers then began feuding with the Road Warriors. During their feud, they attacked the Road Warriors during a bench press contest between the two teams. Later during their feud, the Powers won the World Six-Man Tag Team Championship with Ivan Koloff from the Warriors and Dusty Rhodes.

They feuded for several more months until the Powers left the NWA while still the champions with Koloff when the Powers refused to do scaffold matches. As a result, the Powers and Koloff were stripped of the titles.

Warlord & Barbarian
Upon their arrival, the Powers were faces initially managed by Tito Santana, introduced during an a WWF Event Center promo on WWF Superstars of Wrestling. They feuded with WWF World Tag Team Champions Demolition (Ax and Smash) who had defeated Strike Force (Santana and Rick Martel) for the titles and then injured Martel (kayfabe). The Powers were introduced as mercenaries to help Martel and Santana gain revenge on Demolition for both the title loss and the injury to Martel. Then later they were managed by The Baron.

They became heels while Demolition became faces when Mr. Fuji attacked Demolition at Survivor Series and aligned himself with the Powers of Pain. The Powers of Pain went on to win the match when they eliminated the foreign heel team The Conquistadors, The feud with Demolition ended at Wrestlemania V when the Powers Of Pain teamed with Fuji and lost to Demolition when Ax pinned Fuji.

They failed to win the titles and were eventually split up in 1990, with the Barbarian being managed by Bobby Heenan, while the Warlord paired up with "The Doctor of Style" Slick. The double turn between them and Demolition back at the 1988 Survivor Series was seen to many as the catalyst of their sudden loss of popularity and subsequent push down the card.

 The rumor of the Powers of Pain's split was when the Legion of Doom were negotiating with the WWF in June 1990, they reportedly demanded that the Powers of Pain be split up and repackaged in different gimmicks due to thinking that they [the Warriors] would look like Powers of Pain-ripoffs when they entered the WWF due to their similar appearances. Thus, the Powers were split up, repackaged in different ring attires, and lost their familiar face paint until they both left the WWF.

Upon returning to the independent circuit, The Powers of Pain won the WWWA Tag Team Championship together on the independent circuit in the early 1990s before later debuting for World Championship Wrestling. During their time in WCW, they wrestled under masks as the Super Assassins and were managed by Col. Rob Parker. They later reformed their team in 2005 for Gladiator Championship Wrestling.

I remember when I was a kid watching the WWF and Demolition was my favourite Tag Team. Then this new team called Powers Of Pain showed up and were huge monsters known as The Warlord and The Barbarian. They had the face-paint and look of Demolition but twice the size and strength. They were on the verge of becoming my new favourite Tag Team. I figured it was only a matter of time before they faced Demolition for the Tag Team Championship and I assumed they would beat Demolition and take over as the new power house in the World Wrestling Federation. This seemed like an obvious passing of the torch. It would have worked out quite well considering Ax of Demolition was having health problems and getting ready to retire. Instead, they split up the Powers of Pain and added a new member to Demolition named Crush who sucked and killed all the popularity of Demolition. 

I never knew as a kid there was another Tag Team out their known as The Road Warriors that were the original power-house, destructive, monster-team. Apparently, Vince McMahon tried to buy The Road Warriors but they turned him down, so Vince being Vince decided it would be easier to just create his own version of The Road Warriors which would be Demolition. So the team I loved was really a rip off of this other team I had never heard of. And this new team, The Powers Of Pain, were actually created to be the enemy of The Road Warriors, but went on to defeat The Road Warriors and then went on to sign with the WWF instead of the Road Warriors. 

So again, I saw this team as the next Demolition, but really they were the next Road Warriors and they should have walked into the WWF and defeated Demolition the same way they defeated The Road Warriors in the other promotion. Unfortunately, they were never given that chance. Demolition screwed them out of their spot in the WWF first by switching and making them the heels and taking the baby-face roll for themselves and keeping the Tag Team Championships. Then when the WWF finally signed The Road Warriors and renamed them The Legion Of Doom, they decided to destroy The Powers Of Pain once and for all by insisting that Vince split up the team and disguise both wrestlers so that they looked nothing like The Road Warriors? That's so pathetic! 

The Powers Of Pain should have stayed together and been WWF Tag Team Champions! They should have wrestled both Demolition and The Road Warriors (aka Legion Of Doom)... and none of those bullshit six man tag matches, but real tag team matches for the belts! Just imagine a few years worth of matches between those Tag Teams, all leading up to huge Wrestlemania matches! It would have been amazing!

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