The Killer Bees (professional wrestling)
|The Killer Bees|
B. Brian Blair
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
|465 lb (211 kg)|
The Killer Bees was a tag team composed of "Jumpin" Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair in the World Wrestling Federation from 1985 to 1988 and later on in the independent circuit. The team name is a play on the name of the Miami Dolphins' defensive unit known as the Killer Bs, which was dominant and popular in the NFL at that time, as both team members' last name started with a "B", as did the last names of several Dolphin players.
Before the Bees
Jim Brunzell had made his debut in the early 1970s, achieving most of his fame along with Greg Gagne as “The High Flyers" in the American Wrestling Association, where the two won the AWA World Tag Team Championship on two occasions.
World Wrestling Federation
The two men were signed by the WWF as it continued its national expansion through 1985, debuting under the "Killer Bees" name. Blair was already a part of the company wrestling as a singles competitor in 1984, mostly as "enhancement talent". The teaming of Blair and Brunzell was suggested by Hulk Hogan. Because Blair and Brunzell were similar in build, the team had a special gimmick referred to as Masked Confusion where both wrestlers would put on identical masks during the match to confuse the opponents and referee and usually win that way—despite this normally being a tactic used by the heels. The “Masked Confusion" idea was given to Blair by Billy Red Lyons, who had used it in Maple Leaf Wrestling.
One of the most amusing highlights of the team's career came in 1987 at a house show at California University of Pennsylvania. With Blair unable to appear for the team's match against Demolition, he was replaced by S.D. Jones, an African-American journeyman who wore the Bees' black and yellow tights for the day. During the match, the two used the "Masked Confusion" tactic and the referee, as usual, pretended to be unable to tell the two apart, despite Brunzell being very light-skinned. The inverse would occur later, as S.D. Jones. would later replace Brunzell and team up with Blair in a "Prime Time Wrestling" TV Taping, against Demolition as well.
The team debuted on June 17, 1985, defeating the team of Steve Lombardi and Dave Barbie. After facing several makeshift teams, the Killer Bees started a long-running feud with the Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart). The Bees also had a running feud with the Funks (Hoss, Terry and Jimmy Jack). In August 1986, they faced Hoss and Jimmy Jack Funk in front of 70,000 people at The Big Event in Toronto, a card headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff. The team also received a couple of unsuccessful shots at then-WWF tag team champions The Dream Team.
The Killer Bees were a part of a battle royal involving wrestlers and NFL players at WrestleMania 2  and next got the spotlight at WrestleMania III, where they faced Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik, losing by disqualification  because of the interference of Jim Duggan. After WrestleMania III, the Killer Bees moved on to a feud with WWF newcomers Demolition. By this point, the Bees' stock was clearly slipping in terms of their card placement, though they were one of two teams (with the Young Stallions) to "survive" the 10-team elimination match at the inaugural Survivor Series on Thanksgiving Day 1987. The Bees' last Wrestlemania appearance would be at Wrestlemania IV, where they once again competed in a battle royal.
The Killer Bees’ last prominent appearance was at "WrestleFest" in summer 1988, where they lost to The Fabulous Rougeaus. In the summer 1988 the Bees split up for an unknown reason, and Brunzell and Blair returned being used as "enhancement talent" (jobbers) thus (at least temporarily) ending the yellow and black days of the Bees. The duo's last WWF match as a team came on August 24, 1988, against the Young Stallions. Brunzell remained with the WWF into the early 1990s, mainly being used to make younger stars look good in the ring, while Blair during the following months would also go back to being an enhancement talent wrestler.
Blair and Brunzell would later complain (and sue) about the WWF still merchandising product of them, without their permission or financial compensation.
Although they wrestled as faces throughout their WWF run, it didn't stop rival heels from impersonating the Bees. During a televised WWF at The Philadelphia Spectrum, two wrestlers dressed in Killer Bee masks and T-shirts appeared as lumberjacks during a lumberjack match between Hulk Hogan and "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, frequently attacking Hogan until Hogan got the upper hand and unmasked one of the Bees ... only to reveal another mask beneath and the unidentified wrestler to escape.
After the WWF
In the early 1990s, the Bees reformed in Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation, winning that promotion's tag team titles before the federation folded. While there, they were unable to use the WWF-trademarked name "Killer Bees" and were instead known as Masked Confusion.
- Finishing moves
Championships and accomplishments
- Brian Shields (2006). Main event – WWE in the raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Brianblair.com Webmaster. "B. Brian Blair Biography". Retrieved 2007-04-03.
- Canoe Slam Wrestling (May 2001). "B.Brian Blair Chat". Retrieved 12 March 2007.
- Graham Cawthon (2007-01-22). "WWF Ring Results 1985". Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- Graham Cawthon (2007-01-22). "WWF Ring Results 1986". Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- Graham Cawthon (2007-02-05). "WWF Ring Results 1987". Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- http://www.cagematch.net/?id=28&nr=517/ Cagematch , Killer Bees
- Online World of Wrestling. "Killer Bees Profile". Retrieved 2010-12-12.