Brian Adams is a much maligned wrestler. Seen by some as a Yoko Ono like figure and blamed for the break-up of Demolition. Despite that, he carved out a lengthy career in both the WWE and WCW featuring in high profile angles for much of his on-screen time.
In this latest ‘The Many Faces Of’, Craig looks back at the wrestling career of Brian Adams.
Brian Adams began his wrestling career in the Pacific Northwest Wrestling (PNW). He was given the nickname ‘The American Ninja’ and paired with Len ‘The Grappler’ Denton in “The Wrecking Crew. The pair would wn the tag titles and in 1990 Adams won their heavyweight title before dropping it to Scott Norton ahead of his departure from the promotion.
On June 1990, Brian Adams debuted on WWF screens as Crush, the third member of then tag team champions Demolition. Storyline it was due strengthen the team but in reality it was due to health concerns over Ax – one of the original members of the team.
Demolition would drop the tag titles to The Hart Foundation at SummerSlam of that year in a 2 out of 3 falls match. A programme would follow with Legion of Doom but it was becoming obvious that with the real deal, LOD, the company were becoming less and less interested in Demolition.
Adams then returned to PNW for another spell, again winning tag gold and the heavyweight title. He feuded with The Bruise Brothers, future stable mates, and would drop the heavyweight title to Ron Harris before returning to the WWF again.
Upon his return to the WWF he was given a new fan favorite gimmick: that of an easy-going surfing Hawaiian. He would battle his former Demolition teammate Smash, now wrestling as Repo Man, at SummerSlam 1992 in a victorious outing.
A feud with Doink the Clown followed until he storyline injured his back in the stars and stripes challenge trying to bodyslam WWF Champion Yokozuna. To send a message to Luger, who had succeeded in slamming Yokozuna thus earning a title shot at SummerSlam, the giant WWF Champion performed several Banzai Drops to Crush, leaving him off TV for several months.
Upon his return he attacked on-screen friend Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage due to him having encouraged Crush to enter the Body Slam Challenge and failing to check how he was during his time out injured.
Oddly, this prompted Crush to align himself with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Adams new gimmick was of a sympathiser to Japan and to go along with the character change was a change in lock: including growing a beard, using face paint and dropping his formerly bright coloured ring attire.
His feud with Savage would last until WrestleMania X, when he lost to Macho Man in a falls count anywhere match. His final WWF PPV appearance for several years occurred at the 1995 Rumble when he entered as number 30 before being eliminated by The British Bulldog. Shortly after he was arrested, and subsequently jailed, for purchasing steroids and possessing an illegal hand gun, while home in Hawaii.
After his time in jail, Adams was afforded another chance with the WWF and returned with a new biker look with Clarence Mason as a lawyer/manager for his character. He soon joined Farooq and Savio Vega in forming the Nation of Domination (NOD). Vega and Crush were kicked out and formed their own stables: Los Boricuas and Disciples of Apocalypse (DOA) respectively.
The three stables feuded throughout the gang wars phase the WWF was going through until Crush left the company, part in protest at the Montreal Screwjob.
In 1998 and debuted as part of the New World Order (nWo), often paired with other lowercard performers like Scott Norton and Stevie Ray. After leaving the nWo, he was chosen to portray the KISS-themed wrestler “The Demon”. Despite making several on-screen appearances, he would never wrestle a match under the gimmick.
Brian Adams and Bryan Clark were paired together in the first half of 2000 to assist Vince Russo in his vision of a clean sweep for his New Blood alliance at the 2000 Spring Stampede pay-per-view. At the event, Adams and Clark interfered in the WCW World Tag Team Championship match between the champions (insert) and Buff Bagwell and Shane Douglas, costing their titles.
The pair would then go on to hold the WCW Tag Team Championship on two occasions. In the final months of WCW, Kronik were hired muscle in a similar vein to The Acolytes in the WWE. However, once WWE purchased WCW their contracts were not initially picked up.
Fast forward a few months and in September 2001, Adams and Clark both debuted in WWE. Adams previously went under the guise of Crush whilst Clark had wrestled at the start of the 90s as Adam Bomb. They were recruited by Stevie Richards to settle differences he had with The Undertaker. KroniK made their first, and last, PPV appearance at Unforgiven, losing to then WCW Tag Team Champions The Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker). Following the match, both Kane and The Undertaker were reportedly angry over the number of mistakes made in the ring by Adams and Clark and both superstars soon left the promotion.
They would wrestle in Japan for WRESTLE-1 in 2003 losing to Keiji Muto and Goldberg in a match both Adams and Clark suffered spinal injuries which forced them into retirement. On August 13, 2007, Adams was found unconscious in his bed by his wife at their home. He was pronounced dead by paramedics when they arrived, aged 43 years old.
You can read all previous ‘The Many Faces Of’ articles here.