Barry Darsow, better known as Smash from the tag team Demolition, said he was lucky to be able to work with his friends during his wrestling career.
Darsow appeared on VOC Nation's In The Room podcast where he talked about working for WWE as part of Demolition. He said it's every wrestler's dream to work with his friends and he was lucky to be able to do that as Smash.
"Every wrestler's dream is to be in the locker room and wrestle with your best friends and I was lucky enough to do that with Rick Rude, Curt Henning, the Road Warriors, Brady Boone … there are so many of my friends I grew up with; here I'm wrestling these guys," Darsow said.
Demolition and The Road Warriors, known as the Legion Of Doom in WWE, were often compared to each other when they were in separate companies. They feuded with each other at the end of the former team's time with WWE. Darsow said the clash between the two teams should have been better than it was.
"It was really a different situation going against the Road Warriors because we were two similar teams and the way Vince McMahon put the whole thing together, it didn't really work that well," he said. "I thought that they were going to keep us apart for a while and really make it something special, but it wasn't.
"It was almost like Vince was trying to get rid of Demolition and bring the Road Warriors in, and it was hard to get the Road Warriors over because at that time we were over … but we had really good matches and everything went really well, but it could have been so much better."
The Road Warriors built a reputation for being a stiff team to work with in the ring. Darsow said their reputation made other teams nervous to work with them.
"There'd be a chalkboard before the TV (tapings) and it would have whoever everybody wrestled (that night)," he said. "Whoever the Road Warriors name was next to you could just see their heads hanging down like, 'Oh my God, here we go.' But, (they are) great guys."
The Road Warriors long time manager, Paul Ellering, is an often underrated part of the Road Warriors act. Ellering managed the team for 16 years during stints with WWE, New Japan Pro Wrestling and the National Wrestling Association. Darsow said Ellering was the linchpin in the Road Warriors success, keeping them from signing exclusively with one promotion.
"Paul was so smart," he said. "He's been in the business for so much longer than we were when we got started, and he knew that he had a tag team that was different than everybody and was the top tag team anywhere. He was smart enough to tell these guys, 'We're not just going to sign a contract for just this one company; we are going to go around,' and what ended up happening is they were the top guys in every territory that way.
"They never wore them out. The promoters never beat them to get other people over, so they just kept winning in every territory they were at. You always wanted to work with those guys because then you're in main event matches all over."
With Demolition and the Road Warriors being similar tag teams, WWE fans took some time to warm up to the latter team. Darsow said the WWE fans didn't want to cheer the Road Warriors while Demolition was still in the company.
"When the Road Warriors were coming in, it was tough for them to come in when we were already the baby faces," he said. "They were like heels (to WWE fans) coming in because they were from the southern organization and we were from the WWF at the time. That's where the matches were a little difficult … we were a little bit more over as baby faces than they were, and then Vince tried to put masks on us and we ended up with Brian Adams as a third partner; we had all these different scenarios to try and turn us heel, and still the people didn't really want to root for the Road Warriors yet. It took quite a while to get them over as baby faces and that was around the time that we left."
You can listen to Darsow's entire interview on the In The Room podcast below.