My dad is watching the Road Warriors story on netflix. Its one of those stories that shows that maybe a team can stick around too long sadly. In the 1980's the Road Warriors were bad asses. I mean legit , take no fucking prisoners , lay waste to everyone in their fucking path...BAD ASSES.
The duo dominated whatever promotion/territory they were in of the 1980's. Wherever they went , they laid a path of utter destruction and fans loved it. They were the tag team of the 1980's. Its just sad and pathetic on what the WWF did to this team in the early 1990's.
When Hawk and Animal jumped to the WWF in the early 90's the fans expected the same destruction and that tag teams were in trouble. Namely the team of Demolition "Ax" and "Smash". Nothing against Demolition , but fans more or less saw them as Road Warrior clones. Within no time did Animal and Hawk crush them and win the WWF tag team titles. Becoming the 1st tag team to win the NWA , AWA and WWF tag team titles. But what started the derailment of the Road Warriors ? Several causes...
1.) The theme music and name - The Road Warriors have the name. Ass kicking , take no prisoners . Of course like most talents who came into the company , Vince wanted to establish them a new identity in a sense. The RW used their moniker "The Legion of Doom" to inspire fear . It was a nickname in the NWA. In the WWF it became their new name. For fans they shrugged their shoulders and wondered why the Road Warriors were now going by their nickname. But the loss of the theme music was a bigger surprise.
Something says pure ass kicking like coming down to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". The new theme tried using some of the beats and having Hawk growl "What a Ruuuuush !" It paled in comparison.
2.) No Precious Paul Ellering : Precious Paul was that genius who held these 2 growling , angry beasts and made them smart. Its clear he was someone that traveled and kept both men together on business dealings and being a friend. The loss of Ellering (who decided he wanted to run Alaskan sled dogs in a race there then) was a blow. The fans wondered where he went and his direct promo skills were sadly missing.
3.) Ellering returns , brings puppet.
The Road Warriors were ass kicking animals. By 1992 Vince had brought the manager back for them and decided they needed something else to appeal to children. They needed Ellering to have a puppet named Rocco. The utter horse shit of this pissed Hawk off so much he walked from the company after Summerslam 1992. The fans image of the mighty Road Warriors kicking such ass was shattered . They were now a comedy act who carried a puppet around.
The downfall started that moment. Sure they went to Japan there awhile and had some great success. But sadly in America the illusion that the Road Warriors were fucking beasts and could kill anyone in ring ...died the moment the puppet was seen. Animal and Hawk would return to WCW and WWF for the rest of the 90's and they were never able to have the success and win the tag team titles again. The curse of Rocco seemed to hang over them.