The U.S. Express
|The U.S. Express|
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
|523 lb (237 kg)|
The U.S. Express was a professional wrestling tag team composed of Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham in the World Wrestling Federation. Windham was later replaced by Dan Spivey and the team was renamed the American Express.
Windham and Rotunda
Rotunda and Windham (real life brothers-in-law as Rotunda was married to Windham's sister Stephanie) had teamed off and on in the Florida territories before both were signed by the WWF in 1984. Once they joined the WWF they were given a patriotic gimmick along with the Bruce Springsteen classic "Born in the U.S.A." as their entrance music.
The U.S. Express made their WWF wrestling debut on October 30, 1984 when they defeated the “Enhancement Talent” team of Mohammad Saad & Bobby Bass. On January 21, 1985 the U.S. Express beat the team known as the “North South Connection (Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch) for the WWF World tag-team titles. They would hold the titles for only two months before losing them to the team of Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik at WrestleMania I at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York.
The U.S. Express became two-time Tag Team Champions when they regained the titles from Volkoff and the Sheik on June 17, 1985 in Poughkeepsie, New York on an episode of WWF Championship Wrestling. Their second reign would also last about two months before they lost the belts to The Dream Team (Gregg "The Hammer" Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. The team broke up near the end of 1985 when Barry Windham left the WWF to return to Florida. The team had their last match together under the WWF banner exactly one year to the day after they made their debut.
The last real appearance of the U.S. Express was not in the WWF but at the AWA's WrestleRock 86 in August 1986. The team was not billed as the U.S. Express since the name was owned by the WWF. The brothers-in-law reunited to defeat the Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn) while Rotunda was on a brief break from the WWF between January and May 1986.
Initially, Rick Derringer, who was working with the WWF at the time, wrote the track "Real American" for the team. When Windham left the WWF and the team split, the music was passed on to Hulk Hogan.
Rotunda and Spivey – The American Express
Only days after Barry Windham left the WWF, Mike Rotunda was linked up with Dan Spivey and they became the American Express. Some referred to them as the U.S. Express II since the patriotic gimmick of the original U.S. Express was recycled with Spivey taking Barry Windham's place.
After the conclusion of their feud with the Dream Team, Mike Rotunda briefly left the WWF. After his subsequent return, the team reunited, feuding with The Moondogs, The Hart Foundation and The Islanders whom the team faced in their last match together on February 9, 1987 After Mike Rotunda left the WWF, Dan Spivey was repackaged as "Golden Boy" Dan Spivey before he left the WWF as well.
U.S. Express reunion
On the March 10, 2008 episode of WWE RAW, U.S. Express made an appearance in a rematch from WrestleMania I against Volkoff & The Iron Sheik. Before the match could begin, they were interrupted by diva Jillian Hall. She offered to sing "Born in the USA" for them before being given an airplane spin by Rotunda.
Championships and accomplishments
- Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6.
- Graham Cawthon. /wrestling/cawthon777/84.htm "WWF Ring Results 1984". Retrieved February 12, 2007. "(October 30, 1984) Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda defeated Mohammed Saad & Bobby Bass when Windham pinned Saad with a bulldog at 2:48"
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2006). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Ring Results 1985". Retrieved February 12, 2007. "(October 30, 1985) Included Barry Windham, Mike Rotunda"
- prowrestlinghistory.com. "AWA Stadium Shows (WrestleRock)". Retrieved April 16, 2007.
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1986". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(November 1, 1985) Mike Rotunda, Dan Spivey, & Capt. Lou Albano vs. Johnny V & WWF Tag Team Champions Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake"
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1986". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(June 14, 1986) Mike Rotunda & Dan Spivey defeated the Moondogs at 11:37 when Rotunda pinned Rex following an airplane spin"
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1986". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(July 11, 1986) Mike Rotunda & Dan Spivey defeated Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart when Spivey pinned Bret"
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1987". Retrieved February 12, 2007. "Mike Rotunda & Danny Spivey fought the Islanders to a double disqualification"
- U.S. Express profile at OWW
- Barry Windham profile at OWW
- Mike Rotunda profile at OWW
- Dan Spivey profile at OWW