In the eyes of many, The Road Warriors are the greatest tag team ever. A quick look at their resume makes that opinion difficult to argue against. The combination of Road Warrior Hawk and Road Warrior Animal found ultimate success in every single promotion they ever competed in. At one point, this duo seemed to be unbeatable.
Of course, in the wrestling business, everyone loses at some point. By the late 90s, the aura of dominance that once surrounded the pair began to fade. Around this time, some surprising teams were able to gain a victory over the mighty Road Warriors. Here are a few of the more shocking ones.
10 The Hardy Boyz
Some readers might see this entry and think: “what’s so surprising about The Hardy Boyz beating The Road Warriors?”. Well, these weren’t exactly The Hardy Boyz that fans remember. In 1998, the pair was a far cry from the version fans know and love. This version of The Hardys looked more like The Young Bucks than “Team Extreme.”
This loss is a bit different from other losses on this countdown because it was Road Warrior Animal and Droz who competed in the match. On the November 1, 1998 Sunday Night Heat, Road Warrior Hawk would cost Animal and Droz a victory against The Hardys and then, subsequently turn on Animal. This was during the alcoholism storyline that most fans like to forget.
9 Sting & Booker T
In hindsight, The Road Warriors taking a loss against two bonafide main eventers like Sting and Booker T isn’t too surprising. In 1996, though, Booker T was far from a main eventer. At the time, Booker was one half of the wildly successful Harlem Heat tag team, alongside his brother, Stevie Ray. At Uncensored 1996 though, Booker subbed in for Lex Luger alongside Sting.
The makeshift team would compete in a Chicago Street Fight against Hawk and Animal. This match was a brutal 30-minute brawl. It had its high points but was ultimately a tad too long. After the match, Sting would move on while Booker would still work a brief program with The Road Warriors.
8 The Godwinns
With all due respect to The Godwinns, this is where it all started to go south for The Road Warriors. Despite being solid workers, the team of Henry and Phineas Godwinn had a silly hog farmer gimmick that was only going to last for so long. Respectfully, this team had no real business being in the ring with such a legendary team.
However, on the April 14, 1997 episode of Monday Night Raw, The Road Warriors and Godwins would lock up for the first time. Owen Hart and The British Bulldog would interfere in the match, helping The Godwins pull out the win. While it wasn’t a clean job, this loss would snowball into more surprising losses for the once mighty tandem.
7 The Headbangers
The 90s weren’t exactly a hotbed for elite tag teams in WWE. It would take until 1999 for The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian to start gaining some positive momentum for the division. Before that, it wasn’t that teams were made up of poor wrestlers, it was more of a character deficiency that didn’t allow the teams to stand out.
The Headbangers are a great example of this. Mosh and Thrasher weren’t bad workers by any means. However, their gimmick was a bit over the top. In the 80s and early 90s, a team like this wouldn’t have lasted 2 minutes with Hawk and Animal. Yet, somehow, at Capitol Punishment 1998, The Headbangers earned a win over The Road Warriors.
6 Skull & 8 Ball
The formula for pro wrestling stardom can seem simplistic at times but, is often more complicated than it looks. Some fans might assume that anyone can be made into a star if they’re booked to win. If only it were that simple. Skull & 8-Ball are a great example of this. In 1998, the Disciples Of Apocalypse members seemed to be in line for a push.
Fans never saw them as a top-tier team though. Even after Paul Ellering turned on The Road Warriors and joined the DOA, it didn’t do much for Skull and 8-Ball. Even putting Skull and 8-Ball over in the ring, which The Road Warriors did a few times, didn’t change their perception with fans. Sometimes, pro wrestling superstardom just isn’t attainable.
5 Faarooq & D’Lo Brown
During the back half of the 90s, WWE created a lot of factions. One of them was the Nation Of Domination. Ahmed Johnson would become a frequent target of the group. At WrestleMania 13, Ahmed would team up with The Road Warriors and beat The Nation in a Chicago Street Fight.
That wouldn’t be the final time The Road Warriors crossed paths with The Nation, though. In fact, on the June 30, 1997 Monday Night Raw, Faarooq and D’Lo Brown would earn a victory over Hawk and Animal. An assist does have to go to Henry Godwinn, who hit Hawk in the head with a slop bucket. Still, the history books show Faarooq and D’Lo pulling off a big win.
4 Mark Henry & The Godfather
WWE has told some questionable stories over the years. The alcoholism angle with Road Warrior Hawk is among the most questionable. On the July 27, 1998 Monday Night Raw, Road Warrior Animal and a “drunk” Hawk would face Mark Henry and The Godfather. Hawk would stumble on his way to the ring and trip upon entering the squared circle.
Animal would work the whole match by himself until Hawk attempted to climb up the ropes and help deliver a Doomsday Device. Hawk’s attempt would fail miserably as he lost his balance and fell off the top rope. This would give Mark Henry and The Godfather the opening to capitalize and pick up a win. This was definitely a low point for The Road Warriors.
3 Furnas & LaFon
Unfortunately, skills and talent don’t always translate into pro wrestling success. If it did, Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon would’ve found a lot more success as a WWE tag team. The pair debuted in WWE in late 1996 as babyfaces. They were briefly in the team title picture, but were unsuccessful against champions Owen Hart and The British Bulldog.
In 1997, the pair were turned heel. They then briefly feuded with The Road Warriors. On the May 5, 1997 Monday Night Raw, Furnas and LaFon would pick up the biggest win of their careers when they defeated The Road Warriors. It would require some interference from Owen Hart and The British Bulldog but the pair still pulled off an impressive win.
2 Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham
The rise of the nWo forced WWE to try a lot of different things to keep up with WCW. Not all of them were good ideas. The NWA invasion angle is an example of a very bad idea. In 1998, Jim Cornette led a NWA “invasion” on WWE. Cornette’s stable would soon include Jeff Jarrett, Barry Windham, and The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express.
On the January 26, 1998 episode of Raw, “Double J” and Windham would team to take on The Road Warriors. The match wasn’t pretty and in the end, the numbers advantage would help Jarrett and Windham pick up the win. The finish saw Windham hit Animal with Cornette’s tennis racket while the referee was being distracted, leading to the pin.
1 Too Much
WWE booked The Road Warriors to take some horrendous losses in the late 90s. Perhaps the most egregious loss came against Too Much. The team was made up of Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor. The pair would eventually become “Too Cool” and carve out a nice place on the WWE card. In 1998 though, they were still just a step above jobbers.
On the August 30, 1998 Sunday Night Heat, which aired before SummerSlam 1998, Too Much shockingly pulled off a victory over the Road Warriors. This was during the ill-advised alcoholism angle with Hawk and his “drunkenness” was used to explain the loss. Still, it’s crazy to think that Too Much owned a victory over arguably the most dominant tag team ever.