“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
– Nelson Mandela
What is the oldest gimmick match in pro wrestling history? Is it the steel cage match? Dog-collar? Mud, pillow or cold fish matches?? The answer is so simple, it is almost mundane by modern-day comparisons. The oldest gimmick match in pro wrestling is the “Tag Team Match”. A novel approach in which *two* wrestlers compete as a team against other tandems. Next to the traditional 6-hour matches or never-ending mat holds, this was a revolutionary concept. In the Mash-Up Arena, everything old is new again (and vice versa). Tonight, we take a look at the art of Tag Team wrestling featuring two of the finest teams in the *history* of the game.
INTRODUCING the OPPONENTS
Fabulous Kangaroos (1960)
The Fabulous Kangaroos are pro wrestling and tag team LEGENDS. They were at the forefront of tag team wrestling and really helped popularize the match. They were groundbreakers and trendsetters in that regard. The original FabKangs featured Al Costello & Roy Heffernan, and later featured management figure “Wild” Red Berry. Their “ultra-Australian” gimmick included everything from bush hats to cardboard boomerangs they would toss out to fans before the match. But Outback Jack is no offspring of these guys. The real FabKangs were vicious heels who have been known to jumpstart more than one fan-riot in their day. When it comes to Tag Team wrestling, these guys are kings – and their crown comes in the form of Mash-Up Wrestling tag team championship belts.
MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (2010)
On the other end of the timeline spectrum, blazing forward from the year 2010, comes the next-big-thing in Tag Team wrestling. Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin – the Motor City Machine Guns. Shelly & Sabin were made in Detroit, but the “Murder City Machine Guns” were born in Japan. ZERO-1 Max to be exact, where they held the lightweight tag titles for 2 years. While the two were becoming individually known in TNA on the X-Division stage, the MCMG were still burning up the West Coast (PWG) AND the East Coast (ROH) as a team. It wasn’t until 2007 when the newly-rechristened “Motor City Machine Guns” (PG-version) finally made their TNA debut. You don’t even need a Mash-Up recipe to count the amount of dream matches the Guns have contested – against everybody from the Dudley Boyz to the Steiner Bros. While they are named TNA Tag team of the year in 2007, the Guns really hit their stride in 2010 with their Best-of-5 series against Beer Money and climatic TNA Tag title victory. Further feuds with GenME and another huge win over the Dudley Boyz helped cement MCMG’s position in the Tag Team stratosphere. Pro Wrestling Illustrated crowned the Guns “Tag Team of the Year” for 2010. So it is with this surge of momentum behind them, the All-American MCMG are taking to the Mash-Up Arena where the Fabulous Kangaroos await! Mash-Up Tag Team gold on the line! Enter the ARENA!!
MCMG enter first to a huge pop, as the video highlights of their arrival in Mash-Up Wrestling and feud with the FabKangs play on the intro screen… box-in-picture promo from MCMG putting themselves over and instilling a great importance in this match, not just as Americans but as champions… the FabKangs get a video promo too, still playing up their sarcastic, condescending “love” of America and American holidays by vowing to “drink lots of Fosters beer” on July 4th! They are accompanied by manager “Wild” Red Berry (think “Bob Backlund when he ran for president”), and the FabKangs grand procession is one of the highlights of the entire broadcast! Full ensemble, flag-bearers, Australian-themed entourage and of course, the Mash-Up Wrestling Tag Team championships!!
We start with FabKang #2 (Roy Heffernan) and Alex Shelley… Shelley counters the larger champion with speed and finesse… ducking, dodging, jabbing… Shelley dodges some lefts and rights from FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan, making him look positively primitive and lumbering… Shelley clamps on a side headlock as the fans are chanting for MCMG already… Shelley with a flying forearm, reverses an Irish whip attempt, and takes out FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan with a tilt-a-whirl takedown! FabKang #2 rolls from the ring to regroup with their manager and get the crowd stewing harder… back in the ring, Heffernan takes over with a thumb to the eye! Quick right followed by a scoop slam, and FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan hits with a diving headbutt off the ropes for two… Heffernan tags in Fab Kang #1 Al Costello, but Shelley quickly kicks him, hits an atomic drop (followed by a side leg sweep) and gets the tag to Chris Sabin! Both members of MCMG moving like blurs now… FabKang #1 Al Costello eats a crescent kick from Sabin, but fires back with big Australian left hands… the larger Al Costello is winning this slugfest, so Sabin counters with an amazing overhead Pele kick! Sabin attempts a flying clothesline, but Wild Red Berry distracts him off the ropes… Chris Sabin is still quicker than the FabKangs though, and takes FabKang #1 Al Costello off his feet with a flying clothesline! But Costello is right back up and muscles Sabin into the corner with some stiff chest chops… but Sabin no-sells that, and calls out for “MORE!” So Al Costello retaliates with another stiff shot! Then another! But Sabin fires back with a series of knife-edge chops of his own that go off like the pitter-patter of machine gun fire!!
Crowd is revving behind Sabin, but FabKang #1 Al Costello counters with a HUGE release German suplex that sends Sabin over the top rope! Shelley & the ref get tied up on the apron, allowing FabKang #2 & manager Wild Red Berry to get their shots in on Chris Sabin at ringside… back on the apron, Sabin attempts a sunset flip on FabKang #1 Al Costello – but FabKang #2 breaks it up! He tags in, and the FabKangs take Sabin out with a side slam/leg drop combo on Sabin… only a 2 count, as Shelley breaks it up… Sabin and Shelley attempt a double suplex on FabKang #2, but FabKang #1 pushes his partner back down and FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan hits a HELLACIOUS double clothelines on Sabin and Shelley, completely spinning each of them 360 degrees!! FabKang #2 puts the boots to Shelley in the corner – but Chris Sabin saves his partner… FabKang #2 & Chris Sabin are the legal men… Sabin starts choking FabKang #2 and breaks it up after three… he tries to catch his breath and grind FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan out with a side headlock… Tag back to Shelley who takes over on offense… but ultimately runs into a double clothesline that takes both Alex Shelley & Fab Kang #2 Roy Heffernan to the mat… Tags back to FabKang #1 and Chris Sabin… Sabin still showing the effects of his earlier beat down, and FabKang #1 levels him with two clotheslines and a high back body drop… but after pausing to taunt and talk trash, FabKang #1 Al Costello takes a counter kick from Sabin… just as quickly though, Costello dodges a clothesline and connects with a huge Full Nelson Bomb on Sabin for 2… completely stuffed the babyface comeback… Shelley breaks it up, but gets tossed out for his troubles.
Now the Fabulous Kangaroos are zoning in on the kill… with Wild Red Berry at ringside directing traffic, they snatch Chris Sabin up in the middle of the ring for a 3-D attempt! But at the last moment, Alex Shelley comes vaulting BACK into the ring to disrupt the move – and hit a tornado DDT on Fab Kang#1 Al Costello! Chris Sabin reverses FabKang #2 into a sunset flip for a close nearfall! Shelley gets tossed out again as FabKang #1 scoop slams Sabin near the corner… FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan actually goes to the top rope, and hits a flying headbutt! But STILL only gets a 2 count! So now, Wild Red Berry is rabid at ringside – calling for an added offensive dimension… he directs FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan to leave the ring – where he pulls out a table from under ringside! Crowd anticipation growing, as the announcers remind you of the FabKangs previous wooden table-related assault on the MCMG (see XPW Online #20).. but just as he gets it erected in the center of the ring, Alex Shelley rebounds out of nowhere to BLAST Heffernan in the face with a springboard kick… FabKang #1 Al Costello catches Shelley by the hair, but Sabin comes from behind and slams FabKang #1 with a hurricanrana! Cover by Sabin but FabKang #1 Al Costello kicks out at two! MCMG combine to unleash another series of high-impact, synchronized double-teams and then pose and cheer for the appreciative crowd… Shelley hits a backcracker on FabKang #1, and goes to the top rope where he hits a scintillating hurricanrana on FabKang #2! Almost immediately, Chris Sabin comes off the opposite turnbuckle and connects with a picture-perfect frog splash into cover… 1!.. 2!.. and FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan kicks out! Crowd exhales big time there, thinking it may have been the finish… Sabin and Shelley combine to prop FabKang #2 up on the top rope, but FabKang #1 is back on the scene to knock the smaller Guns aside and save his partner… Shelley is ejected from the ring, and Chris Sabin is caught on the top rope… the FabKangs set it up – and hit a DOOMSDAY DEVICE on Chris Sabin! His body spun like a top in the air before crashing to the mat! 1!.. 2!.. Sabin kicksout! Unbelievable! Al Costello starts arguing with the referee, as Wild Red Berry jumps on the apron to join in… but Alex Shelly grabs him – throttles him – and to the crowds growing cheers, SMACKS Wild Red Berry off the ring apron! Alex Shelley didn’t see Berry drop his CANE in the center of the ring, where FabKang #2 Roy Heffernan picks it up! But as he’s sneaking up on Shelley from the rear with the weapon, Chris Sabin appears out of nowhere to SPIT FOSTERS BEER IN HEFFERNANS FACE! It blinds him! He drops the cane, and staggers right into a MCMG modified 3-D through the table! They used the FabKangs own finisher against them! Shelley executes a final suicide dive over the top rope onto Costello & Berry on the floor, and Sabin swoops in for the pin on Heffernan! 1!.. 2!.. 3!! We’ve got new champions!
Winners: MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS
AFTER the BELL
In the great annals of tag teams and unfiltered pro wrestling history, there are few teams who can claim space in this rarefied air. You may never see them recognized in the WWE Hall of Fame, or have their matches replayed on demand, but these two teams not only existed – they thrived. The FabKangs underwent numerous incarnations, as the demand for the gimmick was so high it stretched for generations. The MCMG took off like a comet, and while their reigns at the top wasn’t as long as the FabKangs, in today’s microwave society it’s still an accomplishment. Fans in the future may not realize this, but for a very brief time in 2010, the MCMG helped make “Tag Team Wrestling” the hottest thing going in pro wrestling. Their impact on the genre, and the incredible body of work they left behind will stand the test of time. Whether known as “Motor City”, or Murder City, these Guns are for real. And so is Mash-Up Wrestling – the realest in izh in fantasy wrestling today. This is MSD reminding you a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (unless she’s underage). Goodnight!
Mash-Up Wrestling by MadStepDad
Match description by: MadStepDad