It’s been a while since we’ve featured a Missed Wrestling Opportunities on the blog. So it makes a welcome return today as a follow up to the recent piece on ‘In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks‘ by looking at the 1995 WWF tag team of Lex Luger and The British Bulldog known as ‘The Allied Powers.’
I love writing about WWF in 1995. Not only does this year mark a 20th anniversary of that period in WWE history but, more importantly, it really is a gift that keeps on giving.
Rubbish gimmicks, undeserved pushes and a missed opportunity to launch guys to the top makes 1995 a great study of what not to do when it comes to booking wrestling.
As the world was crying out for a more edgy form of wrestling, WWF continued to flounder around in the over the top cartoon characters of old without the household names that helped launch them to super-stardom a decade before.
Thanks to the Network I’ve been able to watch more and more 1995 and it’s just so so directionless. We’ve written about Shane Douglas as a missed opportunity previously, today it’s the Allied Powers team of Lex Luger and Davey Boy Smith that gets the treatment.
By the time the pair began teaming, in January 1995, both Luger and Smith had been around the block in wrestling. Both had stints with WWE and WCW and were solid, if largely unspectacular, in-ring workers.
After Hogan left the WWE in 1993, the company stuck a rocket to Luger’s back in the hope that he could be the promotion’s new all conquering all-American hero. It was a project that, although saw Luger feature in several main events, failed. Come the end of 1994 and Luger was floundering.
During the 1980s, Davey Boy Smith was a tag champion with the Dynamite Kid in the British Bulldogs and in 1992 beat his brother-in-law Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam 1992 in front of a sell out crowd at Wembley stadium.
However, by the close of 1992 Smith was gone from the promotion as the WWE went great guns to tackle the image it had had over steroid abuse. In the summer of 94, after a sting with WCW, Smith returned to help Bret Hart out who was feuding with Owen Hart and his former Hart Foundation partner Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart.
By the start of 1995, Luger was deep in a feud with The Million Dollar Corporation while Bulldog wasn’t involved in anything meaningful. The team of Lex Luger and Davey Boy Smith was formed on January 2, 1995 edition of Monday Night Raw when they defeated the team of Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka.
They were soon named Allied Powers – a nod to the relationship between the US and the UK. The team defeated the Blu Brothers in the opening match of WrestleMania XI. They would go on to defeat duos including Well Dunn, The Heavenly Bodies, Men on a Mission and the pairing of Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie.
They would also feud with the tag champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna and received a title shot at In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks’ but were unsuccessful.
It was downhill from there, though, for the team. By middle of August there was dissension in the ranks as Smith asked fans to tone down the “U.S.A.” chants but the fans refused and he would eventually walk out on Luger during several matches. First against the Blu Brotehrs and also during a number of matches with Owen Hart and Yokozuna.
On the August 21 edition of Monday Night Raw, Luger and Smith were scheduled to take on Men on a Mission. Luger couldn’t perform in the match due to a family emergency so Smith asked then-WWF Champion Diesel to become his partner for the night against Men on a Mission but during the match, Smith turned heel after hitting Diesel from behind and assisting Men on a Mission in an attack on the champion.
Luger took the opposite side in the feud between Mabel and Diesel, as he got involved at SummerSlam to prevent Sir Mo from interfering on Mabel’s behalf.
However, as is well known, by September Luger’s contract expired on Sunday 3 September and with no offer in sight he appeared on the first episode of WCW Nitro held the following night, officially ending the Allied Powers team.
Now, in no way am I arguing that Allied Powers could have held the tag division together or elevated the straps they were vying for. No, merely that in 1995 the WWF were severely lacking in star power and whilst neither Smith or Luger would have been viable main eventers, in terms of upper-midcard talent they had credibility and would be taken seriously.
Instead, it fizzled out and the lack of interest the WWF had in Luger was apparent by their ability to not even notice his contract was coming to an end. A waste really.
You can read all previous ‘Missed Wrestling Opportunities’ here.