The Headbangers

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The Headbangers
Tag team
Members Mosh
Thrasher
Name(s) The Spiders
The Headbangers
The Flying Nuns
The Guardians of Truth
The Sisters of Love
Combined
weight
492 lb (223 kg)[1]
Debut 1994[2]
Promotions WWF
HWA
NWA
USWA
SMW
Independents

The Headbangers are a professional wrestling tag team consisting of Mosh (Chaz) and Thrasher Glen Ruth, best known for their work in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). As the name of the team implied, their gimmick was that they were a pair of metalheads, complete with heavy metal related T-shirts, skirts, piercings, goatees, shaved heads, and black face paint.

History[edit]

Beginning 1994-1996[edit]

They were both trained by Larry Sharpe in New Jersey in the early 1990s. Warrington and Ruth teamed up in 1994 as the Spiders in their home state, New Jersey, for the NWA. They made an Extreme Championship Wrestling appearance in June 1994, losing to Axl Rotten and Ian Rotten. The Spiders had a brief stint in NWA Dallas. Later that year they moved down to Tennessee in USWA. In 1995, they changed their gimmicks in Smokey Mountain Wrestling to the Headbangers. Their slogan was "Real men wear skirts." They won the SMW Tag Team Titles and dominanted the tag division. By December 1995, they debuted as jobbers in the WWF as the Spiders, the Arachnoids,and even used their real names. On a January 1996 episode of Monday Night Raw they got a World Tag Team Title shot against the Smoking Gunns. They returned to USWA.

World Wrestling Federation[edit]

1996–1998[edit]

The team debuted on WWF television on the November 24, 1996 episode of Superstars under their Headbangers gimmick defeating Alex Porteau and Aldo Montoya. Shortly after that, they began wearing nuns' clothing and billed as the Flying Nuns (a play on the television show of the same name), Sister Angelica and Mother Smucker. They were also humorously billed as hailing from a monastery in the Himalayas. On an episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, Brother Love showed up to manage the Nuns. After the Nuns defeated The Godwinns, Love renamed them the Sisters of Love.[3] The gimmick was short-lived, but they kept the skirts when they returned to being The Headbangers in January 1997.[3][4] They later had T-shirts with the phrase "Real men wear skirts" and occasionally wore sports bras over their shirts.[5] The duo often carried a boombox to the ring, and on one occasion, Mosh vomited during an interview.[3]

Throughout 1997, The Headbangers (initially as heels, later as faces) feuded with The Godwinns, as well as Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon, often finding themselves on the losing end. They faced Legion of Doom during their surprise return match on February 24 to a double countout. At WrestleMania 13, The Headbangers won a four-way elimination match for a shot at the WWF Tag Team Championship. The team was seen on New York's WABC-TV in June, which re-aired on WWF programming.

The Headbangers won the vacant Tag Team title at Ground Zero: In Your House due to run-in interference by Steve Austin.[6][7][8] Mosh and Thrasher would lose the titles to the Godwinns at Badd Blood: In Your House in October. They faced the New Age Outlaws in their debut match on October 20 and frequently challenged them into the following the year for the Tag Team title.

The two are seen backstage playing with Bret Hart's son, Blade, in the 1998 documentary film Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows. The footage depicts events from the previous year.

Both Mosh and Thrasher entered the 1998 Royal Rumble and both lasted over 10 minutes before Mosh was eliminated by Kurrgan and Thrasher by Steve Austin.[9] On February 17, 1998, The Headbangers won the NWA World Tag Team Championship from The Rock 'n' Roll Express during a WWF program. They feuded with The Quebecers and the Oddities throughout the year and become the first Maryland Championship Wrestling Tag Team Champions on August 18.[10]

1999–2000[edit]

The Headbangers were both meant to compete in the 1999 Royal Rumble, but Thrasher suffered a (legitimate) knee injury and was shelved while Mosh was (kayfabe) attacked backstage by Mabel as a way to write both men off television. While Thrasher was injured, Mosh would be repackaged as Beaver Cleavage and then Chaz, performed in singles competition and began having problems with his on-screen girlfriend, Marianna Komlos.[11] He was kayfabe arrested on an episode of Sunday Night Heat in September after Komlos claimed he hit her.[2][11] After Chaz's match on October 5, Glenn Ruth (Thrasher) showed GTV footage of Mariana applying makeup to create the effect of wounds.[2][12] This proved her accusations false, and The Headbangers subsequently reunited. They then took on a gimmick where they dressed as the opponents that they feuded with, such as the Dudley Boyz and Mean Street Posse. The duo later turned heel and began to dress in drag, which included wearing breast cones.

Mosh entered in the 2000 Royal Rumble alone;[13] however, The Headbangers continued performing in tag team and singles matches.[14] Both men participated in the Hardcore battle royal at WrestleMania 2000 where Thrasher held the title for 43 seconds.[15][16] The team continued battling the likes of Too Cool and T & A until July 2000.[14] After being together for six long years, they separated, and Mosh joined D'Lo Brown as Chaz to form Lo Down.[17]

Glenn Ruth was released from the WWF in July 2000 and performed independently briefly before retiring. Charles Warrington was released from the WWF in July 2001 and continues to perform occasionally at Florida shows.[11]

Criticism by WWE[edit]

Years after their departure from the company, The Headbangers have been the brunt of criticism by WWE media. One example can be found in a 2007 article in WWE Magazine about the history of WWE champions. The article criticized wrestlers who are considered not worthy of winning a belt they held. The Headbangers were included in this article for their supposedly poor Tag Team Championship reign.[18] The article suggested that the team had the titles by default since it was "in between the eras of the Smoking Gunns and the New Age Outlaws."

WWE's Raw 15th Anniversary magazine also includes a list of 15 superstars who "overstayed" their welcomes in the company. This has The Headbangers at #2, behind only Scott Steiner.[19] However, recently WWE have added the team to their "Where Are They Now?" section of WWE.com, putting them in a positive light within WWE history once again.[20]

Reunion[edit]

Mosh and Thrasher reunited on the indy circuit in 2011. They are members of the NWA Ring Warriors roster. Mosh and Thrasher appeared on the Ring of Honor pay-per-view Best in the World on June 24, 2012 as the masked tag team Guardians of Truth, managed by Truth Martini. They lost to the Briscoe Brothers. Later on, the two would unmask themselves and go on to compete as the Head Bangers.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Costal Championship Wrestling
  • CCW Tag Team Championship (1 time, current)
  • Insane Championship Wrestling
    • ICW Streetfight Tag Team Championship (1 time)[2]
  • Main Event Championship Wrestling
    • MECW Tag Team Championship (1 time)[2]
  • New England Wrestling Federation
    • NEWF Tag Team Championship (3 times)[2]
  • Texas Wrestling Alliance
    • TWA Tag Team Championship (1 time)[22]
  • World Wrestling Association
    • WWA Tag Team Championship (1 time)[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Headbangers". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "1997". The History of WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  4. ^ Baines, Tim. "Bangers a smash: Eccentric, yes, but WWF tag team caught up in fun". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  5. ^ Oppliger, Patrice A. (2004). Wrestling and Hypermasculinity. McFarland & Company. p. 115. ISBN 0-7864-1692-0. 
  6. ^ a b "W.W.W.F./W.W.F./W.W.E. World Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  7. ^ "Ground Zero". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  8. ^ Gutschmidt, Adam. "WWF IYH:Ground Zero". Online Onslaught. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  9. ^ "WWF Royal Rumble 1998". Hoffco Inc. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  10. ^ a b "Maryland Championship Wrestling Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  11. ^ a b c "Wrestler Profiles: Chaz Warrington". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  12. ^ "1999". The History of WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  13. ^ "Royal Rumble 2000". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  14. ^ a b "2000". The History of WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  15. ^ "W.W.F./W.W.E. Hardcore Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  16. ^ "WrestleMania PPV Cards". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  17. ^ "Tag Team List". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  18. ^ WWE Magazine, June 2007
  19. ^ "WWE Takes Shots At Christy Hemme, VKM & Scott Steiner". Lords of Pain. 2008-01-06. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  20. ^ "WWE: Superstars > Where Are They Now > Catching up with the Headbangers". WWE. 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  21. ^ "Heartland Wrestling Association Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  22. ^ "Texas Wrestling Alliance Title Histories". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  23. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  24. ^ "N.W.A. World Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2008-01-03.