Following on from our ‘Superstars of Yesteryear‘ series, we thought the next logical step would be to look at tag teams from wrestling history. So, in ‘Tag teams of yesteryear‘ which will look at the good, and not so good, tag teams from wrestling history, with today’s instalment looking at The Killer Bees
Prior to their run as the ‘Killer Bees’ in the WWE, both Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair wrestled in the territories with Brunzell achieving the most fame, as one-half of ‘High Energy’ with Greg Gagne in the American Wrestling Association (AWA).
By 1985, with the WWF’s expansion in full-flow, both men found themselves part of the company. Although Blair had previously been deployed as an ‘enhancement talent’, the two were paired together upon the suggestion of Hulk Hogan.
Quickly, the two began using a gimmick referred to as ‘masked confusion’. It saw the pair don identical masks during a match and swap positions when one was in peril.
They debuted in June 1985 in a victorious effort against Steve Lombardi and Dave Barbie. After several wins against enhancement teams, the pair were thrust into a programme with The Hart Foundation, made up of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart. In 1986, they began a programme with Hoss and Jimmy Jack Funk leading to a match against the pair at The Big Event in Toronto. The was followed up with several matches, although unsuccessful, against then tag champions The Dream Team.
The Killer Bees made their WrestleMania in 1986 in the wrestler and NFL battle royal and the following year they lost, via disqualification, against Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik, due to interference from Hacksaw Jim Dugan. After WrestleMania III, they were thrust into a programme with the newcomers Demolition. Although by this point it was clear that the esteem they were once held in by management had waned, though they were one of two teams to survive in the twenty-man tag that kicked-off the inaugural Survivor Series. Their last WrestleMania appearance would be at Wrestlemania IV, where they once again competed in a battle royal.
By the summer of 1988, the team was split up – although that split happened off-screen and the two would return to being used as enhancement wrestlers. Their final match as a tandem in the WWF was against The Young Stallions.
In the early 1990s, the pair found themselves in Herb Ambrams’ Universal Wrestling Federation and found success, winning the company’s tag team titles. No longer using the Killer Bees name, the pair instead wrestled as Masked Confusion – although when competing as a singles wrestler, Blair was known as ‘Killer Bee’ B. Brian Blair.
Since retiring from wrestling, Brunzell works in sales and is involved in his local church and does charity work for children with diabetes.
In July 2016, Brunzell was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury.
As for Blair, he is now the President and CEO of the 501c3 Cauliflower Alley Club and occasionally still laces up the boots.
All other ‘Tag Teams of Yesteryear’ pieces will be found here.