Do you realize that there are now five different tag team titles across WWE’s various brands? You might also be surprised to learn that even before the company split its roster into separate brands, there were a multitude of tag team titles in the promotion.
Prior to 2002, there had been such now-defunct championships as the original Women’s Tag Team Titles, the International Tag Team Titles, the United States Tag Team Titles, the Intercontinental Tag Team Titles, and the subject of today’s induction…
…The Tag Team Championship of the Universe, and its inaugural champions…
The story of this obscure championship began in October 1998 during a match between The WWF Tag Team Champions, the New Age Outlaws, and the Legion of Doom. While the bald-headed DOA battled with the well-coifed LOD, the Headbangers snuck in to deliver a sneak attack to Road Dogg…
…smashing him in the face with a boom box, which shattered upon impact.
Not coincidentally, one of WWF’s sponsors at the time was the JVC Kaboom Box.
Trouble was, the stereo broke into a dozen pieces, implying that the Kaboom Box was a flimsy piece of junk.
The announcers scrambled to point out that, for that reason, it couldn’t have been a JVC product that the Headbangers used.
Still, it was a step up from the WWF’s efforts to sell Super Soakers to kids that summer.
Whatever brand the portable stereo…
…it must have had some pretty advanced features, as the Headbangers complained that they could no longer listen to their Marilyn Manson CDs backwards for all the secret satanic messages.
At Judgment Day the following Sunday, Road Dogg evened the score by smashing Mosh in the face with another boom box. This handed The Headbangers a disqualification victory over the champions, but of course as we all know…
…that broken boom box was obviously not a JVC, either. If it had been, it would have held solid, and it would have been Headbanger Mosh’s skull that lay in pieces in the ring. Now there’s a selling point!
But also, the Headbangers didn’t win the tag team titles.
Being the doofuses they are, the Headbangers bought replica belts and wore them the next night like it was some kind of accomplishment.
In the days before realistic replica championship belts, the ‘Bangers had to settle for the cheap toy belts sold in the merch catalogs in WWF Magazine.
But credit where credit is due, Mosh and Thrasher defended those fake titles against the Legion of Doom that night on Raw…
…and against the DOA on Sunday Night Heat.
The following Raw, the Headbangers were at it again with the mockery of the New Age Outlaws. You remember D-X’s Nation Impersonation, but do you remember the Headbangers’ D-Generation X Impersonation…
Making DX look like the Algonquin Round Table by comparison, Mosh and Thrasher put on a quite idiotic parody. I wouldn’t even call it sophomoric, as that would imply at least a tenth-grade education.
In a baffling high-pitched voice, Mosh referred to his rival faction not as D-Generation X but as Stupid D-Generation X…
… and the tag team champions as the “New Age Idiots”. Mosh played the role not of the Road Dogg, but the Puppy Dogg, whose real name was not Jesse James but “Jerky James”.
And his partner, Bad Ass Billy Gunn? No sirree, that’s The Dumb Ass, Rockabilly…
…a reference to Gunn’s old gimmick that the future Beaver Cleavage thought he’d never live down.
Thrasher delivered the coup de grace, however, with his disparagement of the Bad Ass’s, uh, ass.
“The only reason I have a nice ass”, said the Billy Gunn impersonator, “is because I have implants.” Apparently, for Thrasher, the fact that Billy Gunn had a fine ass was beyond dispute. While Mosh could mock Road Dogg’s non-existent high-pitched voice all he wanted…
…any implication that Billy Gunn’s ass was less than a 9 out of 10 would have made Thrasher look foolish and ruined the audience’s suspension of disbelief. Thus, Thrasher reasoned, Billy Gunn’s ass looked so good that it couldn’t possibly be natural.
It looked like Headbangers’ historic reign was over when they suffered their first defeat as champions to the official WWF Tag Team Champions, the New Age Outlaws.
In a three-way tag match at Survivor Series, the Billy Gunn pinned Mosh to prove not only that his ass was real, but also that the Outlaws were the rightful tag team champions. Strangely, though, Road Dogg & Billy Gunn didn’t show up the next night with both sets of straps.
The toy belts wouldn’t reappear until the following month, when the Headbangers, now calling themselves the Tag Team Champions of the Universe, defended against D’Lo Brown.
(D’Lo’s partner Mark Henry was unavailable due to sexual torture)
Shane McMahon put over the titles on commentary on Sunday Night Heat, but erroneously called them, “The Intergalactic Titles”, as if the names were interchangeable. As you’re well aware, the Intergalactic Titles were an entirely separate championship first awarded in a one-night tournament on planet 52 AG-f (“The Rio of the Andromeda Galaxy”).
No great title reign can last forever, and neither did the Headbangers’, which came to an end in early 1999 after Thrasher suffered a knee injury.
So the Tag Team Championship of the Universe just disappeared from TV? Wrong! The Headbangers actually carried on the time-honored tradition of dropping the titles (even joke titles) on the way out…
…with Golga & Kurrgan winning the championships in a match where the secretly-injured Thrasher never tagged in.
The Headbangers were miffed, I guess. But hey, you can’t have a champion who can hardly walk…
…although the WWF did put the title on Giant Silva, as apparently The Oddities held their new titles as a trio via the Freebird Rule.
So laugh all you want (please), but the Tag Team Championship of the Universe was the only belt that Silva ever held, and the last that John Tenta did.
Quick note – with this Thursday being Independence Day in the good ol’ US of A, our next new induction will be posted July 11. We’ll have fun before then here on the site for sure, but we are hoping to get back to our normal Thursday night induction schedule then.