Note from Blade: Once more I am on the independent circuit this weekend, Saturday night ot be exact, in Holton, Kansas. Check out all the info right here. At this rate, expect WrestleCrap Personified 2: The Worst of Blade Braxton, in time for Christmas.
Uh oh, put the kids to bed, here comes Tuff Tom and Mean Mike – Disorderly Conduct. With a name like that, pandemonium is sure to break loose in the arena, right? Why, that scary name alone is enough to test the true absorption capacity in the Depends of any Stunt Granny in attendance. It would just be wrong to call yourself Disorderly Conduct and stop at nothing short of reenacting the recent riot at that Pistons – Pacers basketball game. Disappointingly, the guys not only came up short on bringing the anarchy, but they were actually so “orderly,” that I yearned for the hijinks of the original, beatboxing O.G. Disorderlies…
But things weren’t always so bad for Tom and Mike. In fact, a few years earlier they were bringing chaos as the masked duo known as the Texas Hangmen. Originally comprised of Mike Moran and perennial jobber Rick “Bull Pain” Gantner, Tom Beninghaus would donn the mask and replace Gantner somewhere along the way. Regardless of the combination, with their noose in hand the Hangmen had built a reputation as a badass team due to their stints in the AWA and WWC. But as it happened to so many before them, the allure of big money would come a calling, and career paths would change.
In late 1997, Tom and Mike were signed by WCW. After a few appearances as the Hangmen, they retired the masks and the noose and took a new name. One that was sure to strike fear in the hearts of their opponents. Say hello to Disorderly Conduct. And if the team name wasn’t intimidating enough, “Tuff” Tom and “Mean” Mike tried to spice things up with the always groovy power of nickname alliteration. But all the rough and tough names in the world couldn’t save them from their fate. It only took one look at their new gear to know where things were headed.
Is that a WCW tag team decked out in hideous purple trenchcoats right there, or is that the PBS equivalent of the Secret Service, hired to take a bullet for Barney in case the Teletubbies try a hostile takeover of children’s public tv? Despite the ugly color choice and arguably some of the worst tag-team outfits ever, inside the ring the guys really worked together well, utilizing quick tags and their work had a real old-school feel to it. How did WCW reward them for it? With a losing streak so long it made the team of Joe Gomez and the Renegade look like a Hall Of Fame 1st ballot inductee. I’d be surprised if the poor guys won more than two matches in their two-plus years in WCW. In 1999, Tuff Tom and Mean Mike’s biggest loss would come in the cancellation of WCW Saturday Night. With the loss of that show, a lot of midcarders were released or not resigned and sadly the Conduct were among them.
The boys may have come and gone from the mainstream too soon, but not before leaving this gem of an item to remember them by. Ultra-expensive Nolan Ryan and Walter Payton rookie cards, eat your heart out….
Excuse me, but I’m gonna have to go now and conduct some “disorderly conduct.” Lord knows nothing short of robbing a bank is what I’m gonna have to do the acquire the funds to purchase what has to be the most valuable sportscard known to man.