NIAGARA FALLS, ON – Two of the greatest tag teams in WWE history reunited to appear at the Niagara Falls Comic Con this past weekend. The Killer Bees, B. Brian Blair and Jumping Jim Brunzell, were joined by their wives at the event where they met fans, signed autographs and sold classic Killer Bees masks. At the table next to them sat the team that has pain and destruction as middle names, Demolition. Bill Eadie (Ax) and Barry Darsow (Smash) wore their trademark face paint and struck a fearsome countenance.
Both squads took the time to talk with the fans who remembered them for their action-packed bouts and contrasting styles on the WWE programming of the 1980s and 1990s. These legends of the ring had many interesting stories that entertained the crowds.
Looking around the comic convention, fans could find trading cards and action figures of both teams from decades past. One of the figures you couldn’t find was Jim Brunzell’s 1985 Remco doll. The Remco doll line was put out by the AWA and the figures were primitive at best. Each wrestler was the same height and had the same chiselled physique. The only difference would be the colour of the tights, boots and a different head on each doll.
“Verne Gagne was trying to fight Vince (McMahon),” recalled Brunzell. “They signed a deal with Remco and I had already left the AWA and Greg signed my name because the production could not have happened without both names. I was involved in litigation with Greg and Verne (Gagne).”
In the same year the WWE produced a line of highly-detailed wrestling figures made by LJN. “Vince McMahon was very upset with me because Brian and I would have to delay our Bee dolls because there was the Remco doll with me. In the end everything was solved but we had to wait six months to get our doggone LJN dolls which hurt us financially.”
When B. Brian Blair was asked about a favourite moment he quickly recalled the build-up to Wrestlemania II. The Killer Bees would participate in a battle royal which featured NFL players.
“At Wrestlemania II when the (Chicago) Bears came down to wrestle around,” said Blair. “Watching the [Iron] Sheik stretch [Bill] Fralic was a fun moment for me. To watch the Bears (and other NFL players), who thought that wrestling wasn’t a very tough sport and Bill Fralic was one of their tough guys. Sheik pretty much manhandled him. Even though I don’t really care for the Sheik I enjoyed that moment.”
Barry Darsow (Smash) a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was amazed that Verne Gagne and his AWA wouldn’t use him on his wrestling shows.
“I was from Minneapolis and he (Gagne) didn’t want me to work for him because I lived in Minneapolis,” recalled Darsow. “So when I lived in Charlotte and Atlanta I would go in and do shots (shows) for him. I could wrestle anywhere else but never in Minneapolis because he didn’t want too many local Minnesotans to get over there.”
Bll Eadie (Ax) remembered Verne Gagne wanting him to relocate and work for him full time. “I could move to Minneapolis but my wife wasn’t going to move,” said Eadie with a smirk.
During the Ric Flair question and answer session at the Niagara Falls Comic Con, Flair recalled causing problems for Eadie.
“I wrestled Eadie as the Masked Superstar many times. It was great and he is such a good guy,” said Flair. “I watched Bill get stabbed one night saving my ass in Richmond. I look around and a guy stabbed Bill trying to get to me.” Later Flair related the story to Eadie at Demolition’s table. Eadie just shook his head and smiled.
The Killer Bees and Demolition pleased the crowds at the Niagara Falls Comic Con this weekend. Long-time wrestling fan Scott de Haan of St. Catharines attended the event hoping to meet his childhood heroes and he was not disappointed.
“The Bees were nice guys,” said de Haan. “We joked around about how crazy the Iron Sheik is.” He came with his friends dressed as the Four Horsemen circa 1985. “Demolition asked who my friend Woody was supposed to be and we said Barry Windham. They laughed and though he looked more like Terry Gordy. What good guys! They were all very friendly and grateful.”
The Niagara Falls Comic Con was a success that pleased the wrestling fans of Niagara. Who knows what former WWE great they will bring in next year? The fans can hardly wait.