It’s that time. Get set for a little controversy with the March Bashness 2017 Selection Sunday reveals.
What the heck is March Bashness you’re wondering? It’s a combo of two of my favorite things: wrestling and March Madness in action figure form.
March Madness is one of my favorite events of the sports calendar. It’s dramatic, unpredictable and always worth losing hours of sleep trying to find TruTV for that final game. I love the tournament nature and always enjoy a good wrestling tournament like The Crockett Cup. For this year’s March Bashness Cup, I decided to go with tag teams. Mattel has done a great job of cranking out teams and I thought this would be a fun showcase and my own spin on March Madness.
I had a very loose criteria here. Teams had to either: a) have a team name b) have a tag team title reign c) last longer than six months. I also wouldn’t repeat wrestlers so Kane wouldn’t make multiple appearances as one half of Team Hell No or The Brothers of Destruction.
For March Bashness 2017 Selection Sunday, we’re just getting the announcement of the participating teams. Seeds and regions will be announced March 9.
To do this right, I’m going to need your help. Just vote in the polls for the team you think should advance. Then tune in the following Wednesday to see which team advanced. Hopefully, this will be as much fun in reality as it is in my head. Let’s see how it goes. Now, here’s the teams:
The Miz & Morrison
Aligning during an extended war with CM Punk in the WWE ECW, The Miz and Morrison went on to become impact players with multiple tag team title reigns. Don’t be dazzled by the flashy moves and cocky attitude, M&M vol.2 are a savvy duo willing to take any shortcuts to get a win.
Quick Fact: Miz and Morrison dominated the tag team scene during their alliance with both World Tag Team and WWE Tag Team title reigns.
Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson
Regarded as one of the all-time best tag teams, Tully & Arn built their legend regularly defeating Hall of Fame teams like The Rock N Roll Express, The Road Warriors, The Rockers and Demolition. No amount of treachery is beyond this duo and their technical wrestling skills are unmatched in the field. This is a dangerous team and one that some experts predict could win it all.
Quick Fact: Tully & Arn got a little help from their friends in both of their NWA title victories. The Midnight Express beat down Ricky Morton and Barry Windham turned on partner Lex Luger to give the Horsemen the titles.
The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins)
Operating as a single-minded unit instead of two individuals, Reigns and Rollins are another best of both worlds tag team. Between Reigns’ power and Rollins’ aerial and technical talents only rivaled by their desire to show up every team in the tournament. If things look sketchy, teams should keep an eye out for the third man in The Shield — Dean Ambrose – who’s unpredictable nature can devastate Shield opponents.
Quick Fact: Although a three-man unit, The Shield didn’t enact The Freebird rule and only Rollins and Reigns defended the titles during their tag team title reign.
The Hart Foundation
One of the prohibitive favorites of the tournament, Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart look to give the other teams a Hart Attack. Their match ending finishing move that is. With the perfect blend of technical wrestling expertise and power, the Harts are a matchup nightmare for any team in March Bashness. This is definitely one team to watch.
Quick Fact: In their first tag title reign, the Harts were guided by their manager, Jimmy Hart and aided by referee Danny Davis. It took them three years to regain the titles by upending the three-man Demolition squad.
The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Erik Rowan)
Firmly under the sway of their leader, Bray Wyatt, Harper & Rowan use their brawn and fearsome power to batter foes into submission all for the glory of the buzzards.
Quick Fact: Despite a lengthy stint as a team, Rowan and Harper never claimed WWE gold, but were dominant NXT champions.
America’s Team (Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A.)
Close friends Magnum T.A. and Dusty Rhodes frequently put their solo endeavors on hold to partner up to take down The Midnight Express and The Four Horsemen. Both are experienced in tag team warfare having gone to the Crockett Cup finals with different partners. Between their devastating finishing moves — the Bionic Elbow and Belly to Belly suplex — and never say I Quit heart, this is a team that can’t be overlooked.
Quick Fact: When they needed to tap into their outlaw nature, Rhodes and T.A. donned masks and referred to themselves as The James Gang.
Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff
United by their mutual dislike of America and love of torturing opponents, Sheik and Volkoff use their patriotism, power and deviousness of manager Classy Freddie Blassie to leave a liter of broken bones and eardrums in their wake.
Quick Fact: The iconic 80s duo starred in the Hulk Hogan’s Rock n Wrestling cartoon and were so closely linked they went into the WWE Hall of Fame in the same year (2005).
Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and I.R.S.)
These money moguls are all about the cold hard cash and there’s no better way to stay in the black than by capturing the March Bashness trophy. DiBiase and IRS don’t mind easing their journey through the tournament with a few well-placed bribes. But for those opponents and refs who can’t be bought off, Money Inc. is happy to cash out with their superior scientific skills.
Quick Fact: Money Inc. earned their three tag team titles the hard way by beating two legendary teams in The Legion of Doom and The Steiner Brothers as well as the massive duo The Natural Disasters.
Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad Gaspard)
Quick with their hands and light on their feet, Cryme Tyme used their street knowledge to batter opponents. Arguably the tournament’s biggest potential Cinderella, Cryme Tyme could get inspired by fan support and pull off some big wins.
Quick Fact: For a brief stint, Cryme Tyme aligned with John Cena, referring to themselves as CTC.
Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon)
Two former rivals united to combine their forces to flatten the field. Earthquake and Typhoon don’t have the stamina to last for lengthy matches, but they will leave a beat down as massive as their frames if they catch their opponents. Stick and move is the key for their foes as well as avoiding getting trapped in a corner or on their back on the mat.
Quick Fact: Despite a lengthy association with manager Jimmy Hart, it wasn’t until they ditched The Mouth of the South that the Natural Disasters captured tag team gold.
The Sheepherders (Luke Williams and Butch Miller)
The most brutal and vicious team in the field, the Sheepherders don’t mind breaking bones and carving up faces to advance in the tournament. More prone to biting heads than licking them, this duo isn’t afraid to bush whack any opponent to win the March Bashness trophy for their beloved New Zealand.
Quick Fact: In their early days, the Sheepherders competed in Portland Wrestling where they regularly teamed with a young ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and Rick Martel.
Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika)
Immediately putting their opponents at ease with their unorthodox demeanor, Afa and Sika used their power and high tolerance for pain to capture three WWF world tag team titles. Scientific and aerial based teams will fight an uphill battle getting the Samoans to fight their style of match. The brothers are experts at making foes battle at their brutal, blistering pace.
Quick Fact: While competing in the WWF, the Samoans were managed by the tag team guru Captain Lou Albano.
Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho and The Big Show)
With a combination of speed, savvy and unrivaled power, Jeri-Show is the rare team in the tournament that can match any opponent’s style. As unified tag team champions for 140 days, they regularly defeated similarly structured teams like Batista & Rey Mysterio, Crime Tyme and MVP & Mark Henry. Teams won’t be able to outwrestle or outpower Jeri-Show. They’re prone to falling for quick high-impact moves a la Sweet Chin Music, but otherwise this is as stout and versatile a team you’ll find in the tournament.
Quick Fact: Jeri-Show hold a unique history as the only tag team championship duo comprised of two former WCW and WWE heavyweight champions.
Initially written off as mere Road Warriors wannabees, Ax and Smash quickly devastated the WWF tag team ranks en route to three tag team title reigns. Their first was the longest lasting an impressive 478 days.
While not the quickest tag team, Demolition’s impressive power, surprising stamina and fortitude ensure paved the way for victories over Hall of Fame teams like The Hart Foundation, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs and Brain Busters. With favorable matchups, Demolition could very well end up as the last team standing in the tournament.
Quick Fact: Although their longest reign of 478 days as champions was recently beaten, Demolition’s overall days as champion with 698 days will likely go unchallenged in the record books.
The Hart Dynasty
Determined to carry on the legacy of their famous family, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd, these young upstarts hope to be this year’s Cinderella story. Formed in the guise of their idols, The Hart Foundation, the Dynasty features a savvy scientific wrestler and a powerhouse. With manager Natalya on the outside, this trio has the pedigree and stamina to outlast opponents who think they’ve got an easy opponent.
Quick Fact: Occasionally, the Dynasty will bust out The Hart Attack, the signature finishing move of their idols, The Hart Foundation.
Edge & Christian
Cue up your cameras! Often considered the greatest tag team of The Attitude Era, E&C reek of awesomeness and tag team dominance. One of the prohibitive favorites of the tournament, look for Edge and Christian to use whatever means available to advance. They may come across like a couple of wild and crazy guys, but this duo can also be deadly as they cue the band and strike a con-chair-to. The seven time tag team champion look to continue their winning ways and have all the cunning and elite tag team skills to raise the tournament trophy.
Quick Facts: Edge and Christian grew up together, but share a more unique bond as the only multiple-time tag team champion duo to also see both members become multiple-time world champions.
The Dudley Boyz
The most honored tag team in wrestling history, Bubba Ray and D-Von captured every tag team championship available during their run. From ECW, WWE, TNA and even New Japan, the Dudley Boyz have dominated. Using extreme brawling tactics and an unrivaled lust for carnage, these Boyz don’t back down from any opponent and ready to get the tables to stack their ultimate crown — the March Bashness Trophy.
Quick Fact: The Dudley Boyz didn’t compete in WCW, but have a WCW title reign thanks to capturing the titles during the Invasion Era.
The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg)
You betta call somebody. The Outlaws might not be the most imposing team in the field, but victories over teams like The Legion of Doom, Cactus Jack & Terry Funk and Cody Rhodes & Goldust are enough proof that this shifty team is resourceful enough to pull off some stunning upsets in the tournament.
Quick Fact: Mick Foley probably shouldn’t have been as willing to defend against the Outlaws. Three of his title reigns were ended at the hands of Mr. A$$ and The D-O-double G.
Legacy (Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes)
The sons of two iconic stars, Legacy looks to write its own legend. Aligning with Randy Orton, this devious duo is only growing more and more confident in their skills and talent. With youth and years of learning from two Hall of Fame fathers, Legacy could possibly achieve their birthright with a respectable showing in the tournament.
Quick Fact: Rhodes lost his tag team title by becoming a tag team champion thanks to an underhanded plan with DiBiase where he turned on his champion partner Hardcore Holly.
Sons of Hall of Famer Rikishi, Jey and Jimmy use their hi-flying, dynamic tag teamwork to dazzle fans and befuddle their opponents. The Usos utilize sudden strikes, their fearlessness and their special brand of Twin Magic to stack up win after win. Already having captured multiple tag team titles, The Usos look to further establish their case as one of the all-time great tag teams by surviving the tournament.
Quick Fact: The Usos wear face paint in honor of their late uncle Umaga and incorporate several of their father’s moves, including a corner smash, into their matches.
The Allied Powers
(Lex Luger and The British Bulldog)
Two of the strongest athletes in the history of the WWF, these super patriots won’t be overcome physically and their united love of their respective countries helps power them to victory.
Quick Fact: The union of the two powerhouses shattered when The British Bulldog betrayed Diesel and Lex Luger departed to shockingly return to WCW Nitro.
Part of the vaunted Smackdown Six era, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero are battle tested in the art of intense tag team wars like few other duos. The wily relatives can outwrestle most opponents in the field, but they’d rather outwit them. In homage to their creed of Lie, Cheat and Steal, teams absolutely cannot turn their backs on Eddie and Chavo otherwise they’ll be left wondering why they were disqualified without even touching their opponents.
Quick Fact: Los Guerrerros were the dominant team of the Smackdown Six era. Their shorter of two reigns (35 days) was more than Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle (16 days) and Edge & Rey Mysterio (12 days) combined.
The Wolfpac (Sting & Kevin Nash)
At the peak of the nWo faction wars, future Hall of Famers Sting and Kevin Nash teamed up to represent the red and black. Their partnership led to one WCW tag team title reign. What the Wolfpac lacks in experience as a team, they make up for with speed, power and a variety of quick impact finishers.
Quick Fact: After defeating The Giant in a singles match to determine the new WCW tag team champions, Sting selected his longtime rival Kevin Nash to be the co-holder of the belts.
Real life brothers Booker T and Stevie Ray joined WCW in 1993 and established themselves as the preeminent team of the 90s. Harlem Heat captured the WCW tag titles a record 10 times. With the guidance of Sister Sherri, Booker and Stevie utilized powerful striking kicks and high-impact aerial moves to take down their foes. Opponents should look to score a quick pin Fall otherwise they’re likely to get burned.
Quick Fact: Harlem Heat earned the respect of fans worldwide when they were named the Pro Wrestling Illustrated tag team of the year in both 1995 and 1996.
The Road Warriors
Hawk and Animal, lay a legit claim to greatest tag team of all time. Dominating from the start of their careers in Georgia, the AWA, NWA, All-Japan Pro Wrestling and finally the WWF, the Legion of Doom were always top contenders in the rare times they weren’t champions.
Look for Hawk and Animal to try and quickly overpower the tournament field and secure victories with The Doomsday Device.
Quick Fact: The Road Warriors are the only team to win the NWA, AWA and WWF tag team titles as well as winning the first Crockett Cup.
The New Day
Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods maintained a stranglehold on the WWE tag team titles using their guile, the Freebirds Rule and even a trombone to become the dominant tag team of the modern era. Teams shouldn’t be distracted by New Day’s fun-loving antics as they will shrewdly use their numbers advantage to pull off several upsets.
Quick Fact: New Day held the WWE tag titles for 483 days, which set records for both the WWE and WWF tag team divisions.
Don’t be too quick to write Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags off as a couple of garbage wrestlers. The devious duo might not know 1,000 holds, but they’re unafraid of any foe fearlessly battling The Outsiders, Legion of Doom and The Steiner Brothers. And with a resume that includes title victories over The Hart Foundation and The Four Horsemen, they’re a team that could go on a hot streak.
Quick Fact: The Nasty Boys have Hall of Fame connections as they’ve been managed by Jimmy Hart and Sherri Martel.
Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty took the baton from their inspirations of The Midnight Express and Rock n Roll Express and took tag team wrestling to another level. One of the last great tag team champions in the storied AWA history, The Rockers ventured to the WWF and engaged in legendary matches with the Brain Busters, Demolition and Twin Towers. The Rockers are the one team most teams won’t want to see matched up against them in the tournament thanks to their limitless endurance.
Quick Fact: The Rockers actually won the WWF tag team championships, but due to a faulty ring, the result was overturned.
The Von Erichs
Legendary brothers Kerry and Kevin Von Erich have partnered together since childhood, which aided the World Class Championship Wrestling tag team champions in their wars against The Fabulous Freebirds, The Dynamic Duo and Devastation Inc. Kerry’s discus punch can send opponents spinning like a tornado while Kevin’s aerial assault primes foes for the Iron Claw.
Quick Fact: Kevin and Kerry often were viewed as the measuring stick for foes in WCCW and their war with the Freebirds is considered one of wrestling’s greatest rivalries.
Kane and X-Pac
One of the WWE’s greatest odd couples, Kane and X-Pac battled with power, fire and brimstone, educated feet and tons of heart. After competing against some of the biggest and toughest in the WWE, don’t count this team out for making a major impact in the tournament.
Quick Fact: To solidify their team, X-Pac incorporated Kane’s fiery control of flames into the typical DX entrance.
The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Bossman)
One of the few teams big and bad enough to challenge Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, the Twin Towers are a massively overpowering duo capable of laying down a beating on any team. What they lack in quickness and technical wrestling, the Twin Towers make up for with brutality. If these maulers get hold of an opponent, it’s as good as over.
Quick Fact: While a team for over a year, they dominated with their manager, The Master of Styles, Slick.
APA (Bradshaw and Farooq)
Farooq and Bradshaw are equally content tossing back a cold one as they are cracking skulls. But booze costs money and there’s no greater payday for these hardcore brawling protective agents than winning the tournament. It’s going to be a tough day at the office for whoever lines up against them.
Quick Fact: Initially part of The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness, Farooq and Bradshaw broke off and established themselves as a dominant team while trading tag title reigns with Kane & X-Pac.