Tag Team TV Series

Do You Remember the TV Show Tag Team?

In the mid – late 80’s, professional wrestling, and the WWF in particular, was big business. A lot of the WWF superstars were becoming household names thanks to Vince McMahon and his traveling circus. Two of the better known superstars were “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Piper had spent years as the biggest bad guy wrestler on the roster, while Ventura was well-known as one of the voices of the shows as color commentator. Each broke out of the WWF world to become moderate successes in Hollywood. Piper had starring roles in B – Movies like Body Slam, Hell Comes to Frogtown, and They Live. Meanwhile, Jesse was becoming a solid back up man in action flicks with Running Man and Predator.  In 1991, they teamed up on the small screen in the pilot episode of Tag Team.

The shows premise was simple. These two wrestlers couldn’t wrestle for a living anymore, so they decide to become cops. That decision was made after they used their wrestling moves to stop a robbery at a grocery store. It was a simple idea, but one that a television series could conceivably be based around.

 

As the air date for the pilot episode drew closer, Vince McMahon was hyping the debut of the show on his wrestling shows, and as a 13-year-old wrestling fan, I was salivating. I marked the date and time on my calendar so I wouldn’t miss it. Here was another chance to inject more wrestling into my world, and I wasn’t going to miss it. Although I can’t recall what night of the week that this premiered on, I DO remember getting everything set up in my room for it. My chair was at the right angle, I had a frosty beverage at my side, and some sort of snack at the ready. I was pumped.

As I remember it, the episode was pretty good, and I thought it was really cool that these two wrestlers were going to be in a television show every week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of just how exactly television worked at that time, and was quite disappointed when the show never aired again. The series wasn’t picked up, and the show was thrown into the huge pile of “could have been’s” with hundreds of other series that were never picked up.

Tag Team TV Pilot

I listened to a podcast featuring Ventura and Piper a while back just before Piper passed away, and Ventura explained why the series wasn’t picked up. The two companies who were producing the show together, Disney and Corelco, got into a lawsuit with each other over something not even remotely related to the Tag Team series, and while in litigation, the show was left in limbo since neither side was doing business with each other at the time. When the lawsuit dust settled, too much time had passed and the Tag Team series was abandoned.

It’s a real shame, because the two had great chemistry together in the pilot, the premise was solid for an action/comedy show, and would have probably drawn decent enough ratings to keep the 13 – episode first season on the air. Whether it would have been picked up beyond that is anyone’s guess, but I know one 13 year old who would have watched religiously.

Check out the pilot and see what YOU think.

3 Count Bout Marquee

Can you Survive a 3-Count Bout of Wrestling?

Pro-Wrestling is no stranger to the world of video games. Most formats find themselves hosting a number of games that grapple with men in tights. SNK’s Neo Geo settled on just the one human-powered wrestling title, 3 Count Bout (Fire Suplex in Japan). Released in 1993 to arcades and the home, this was a game that really knew how to play the hype game!

The Flames of Battle Dance in the Ring!

Seriously, who doesn’t want to play a game with a tagline as poetic as that found in the advertising? The FLAMES OF BATTLE, in a wrestling game!

3 Count Bout Wrestling

Not all of the hype sounded as good, but it was certainly bullish. Can you survive the Ultimate Battle? Steady now!

10 wrestlers, each equipped with Power Attacks and Malevolent Moves rage in the ring. Biting, kicking and punching their way to the top spot.

Biting?? What’s next? Oh yes, the wrestlers:

Wrestlers who wrestle

More Wrestlers Wrestling

You can’t have a wrestling game without some really cool fighter names. Blubber Man! The Red Dragon!! And Terry Rogers. They can’t all be winners.

Unless you supplement their wrestler names with suitable descriptions. Hot Gentleman, the Human B-52 and the Wild-Maned Maniac all sound like they mean business.

Fire Suplex Wrestling

These ‘warriors of the ring’ can be found only on the Neo Geo as the game was never ported. Take a look at The Red Dragon in action below:

Sadly the SNK Wrestling Federation (SWF) is no longer hosting matches.

This post continues a new series from me:
An irreverent and artistic A-Z of Neo Geo Gaming.

The Dead Wrestlers Society

I can’t profess to be a huge fan of wrestling. I did catch the bug when I was young with British champs ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Giant Haystacks’ and my interest was later ignited with the early days of Hulkmania, but I’m largely immune to the pleasures of the sport. I’m not however immune to the joys of viewing exceptional art, and so when that crosses path with wrestlers of the past, I have to admire it.

dead_wrestlers2

The Dead Wrestlers Society website is presented by London-based art studio I LOVE DUST and contains a dozen posters of those wrestling heroes who are no longer with us. The originals were presented in the Aspex Gallery back in 2011 but the website remains for you to appreciate the amazing art.

dead_wrestlers3

From the website:

Professional Wrestling has given us some of the most colourful and charismatic characters in sports history. Defying all attempts at labelling or categorisation these huge writhing muscular masses of outrageous behaviour clad in ever-changing wardrobes of flamboyant costumes and crazy color-ways.

dead_wrestlers4

If you like what I Love Dust do, I’d recommend you follow them on Tumblr.

WWF Wrestling’s Main Event is at a corner near you!

LJN Wrestling

I’ve never been a big fan of WWF Wrestling, though I knew all the main wrestlers of the era that this 1987 advert is from. The various WWF lines from LJN were pretty cool; the Sling’em Fling’em Wrestling Ring, the Bendies Action Figures (that let you Twist’em, Turn’em and match your favorite holds) and the Thumb Wrestlers so you could Pin’em – just like the real thing. I’m quite surprised that my younger self didn’t want’em and get’em!

The real gem from this advert is the Hulkmania Workout Line which included everything you needed to get in shape including Hulk’s own 40 minute personal excercise fitness program! I would have wanted that as a child – I still do!

Advert from a 1987 magazine found here.