This tribute video of The Road Warriors just made me all giddy.
I loved them as bad guys. They were so damn scary. It felt like no one could beat them. When they premiered in the AWA the whole "big man" paradigm changed. The 70's big armed, big bellied strong man that was a symbol of badassitude for many years became laughable, overnight. The Road Warriors ran over them like deer in the headlights. Watching them as a kid, these were the guys that could beat up anyones dad.
I had an old bootleg VHS compliation of their first tour of Japan and it is like a comedy. While the U.S. was going through a cartoonish, WWF infused, trend in the 80's, Japanese wrestling was going through a brutal and hard hitting change. The Road Warriors followed Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen into Japan and just ran over the Japanese wrestlers. Some of the matches are truly uncomfortable to watch. It's wrestling, the Japanese wrestler is giving his body to you to beat on for entertainment and The Road Warriors took full advantage.
I love Hawk taking the piledriver and then jumping up like it didn't hurt. HA.
Haters say that The Road Warriors were impossible to work with and couldn't actually wrestle their way out of a paper bag. I say, they had a strong gimmick that limited the stories their matches could tell, but if they had a strong opponent or someone willing to tell the right story, their matches were incredible. That is why they were best as heels. No one cares if a good guy defeats someone weaker than him. He needs to defeat a monster!
Great promo after this squash match. "I had a girlfriend once. She tried to break my heart so I broke her jaw." Nice.