As the countdown continues to this year’s Survivor Series we delve back into the event’s history and look at one superstar that certainly spelt “Bad News” for team captains if he was part of their team: Allen James Coage, known to wrestling fans, thanks to his WWE run, as Bad News Brown
The history of the Survivor Series is littered with significant moments. From The Undertaker debuting through to the departure of Bret Hart. It’s also home to stand-out performances, most recently Roman Reigns’ MVP performance at the 2014 installment of the event.
But for every stand-out performance of that nature there is also moments where partners certainly don’t pull their weight for team captains striving for their team to survive. The prime example being Bad News Brown.
Before making it as a wrestling, Allen James Coage earned success in the world of Jude and won a bronze medal in heavyweight judo at the 1976 Summer Olympics. Within a few years he was working with Antonio Inoki and trying his hand at wrestling. Throughout the early to late 80s he would spend much of his time in Calgary at Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling before making his way to Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation. But for all his undoubted toughness, he didn’t make for the best tag team partner…
At the second annual Survivor Series Brown was part of the Honky Tonk Man and ‘Outlaw’ Ron Bass’ team alongside Danny Davis and Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine against The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer and Jim Brunzell. With a rocket strapped to the Warrior’s back by this point, months after defeating Honky Tonk Man in less than a minute for the Intercontinental title, so it was little surprise that it was his side that triumphed.
However it is Brown’s actions that start to raise questions about his suitability as a tag team partner. Yet the former Olympic judo medallist made an impressive start for his team. Beefcake had given his team a good start eliminating Danny Davis quickly with a sleeper hold but Brown evened things up soon after eliminating Brunzell with his trademark “Ghetto Blaster”. Things then looked bleak for Warrior’s team as Valentine and Brown teamed up to hit Sam Houston with a double team move but Houston ducked and Valentine clocked his teammate. After a moments arguing, Brown walked out on his partners giving the Warrior and Beefcake’s team the advantage.
Fast forward a year and Brown was part of ‘The Enforcers’, team captained by Big Boss Man alongside Rick Martel and The Honky Tonk Man, against The Dream Team of captain Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, The Red Rooster and Tito Santana. Akeem was supposed to be in The Enforcers but his place was taken by Brown.
This time around it was Brown’s team that got off to a good start with Martel rolling up his former ‘Strike Force’ partner Tito Santana to eliminate him at the ten minute mark of this bout. However, ‘The Enforcers’ had only a few minutes of advantage before, for the second year in a row, Brown let his teammates down. After a back and forth argument with The Big Boss Man, Bad News decided he had had enough and walked to the bank, being counted out in the process, and evening the teams at 3 vs 3. In the end it was The Dream Team that won with Rhodes and Beefcake both surviving.
Surprisingly Brown was given another chance 12 months on. Picked by the Million Dollar Man to be part of his Million Dollar Team alongside the Rhythm and Blues (Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine) against The Dream Team of Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart). However, any actions that Brown would have taken at the Hartford Civic Centre in Hartford, Connecticut on 22nd November 1990 didn’t come to pass as Brown left the promotion before the event could take place.
His departure came soon after that year’s SummerSlam event with Brown claiming that Vince McMahon had failed to live up to his promise of making the former Olympian the company’s first black champion. Still, there is a silver lining. His walking out freed up a space on the Million Dollar Team that was eventually taken by a certain Undertaker. The rest is, as they say, history.