There’s nothing like the memory of being young and going to your first live wrestling event. Maybe you were a young fan growing up in the 90’s during the heyday of the Monday Night War, and you were treated to a 4-star cruiserweight match on Nitro. Perhaps some D-X antics on Raw was your first live grappling experience. If so, you had better luck then I did. This week, I pay tribute to the first wrestlers I ever saw live and in person – the myterious Shadows.
As I watched the Shadows get destroyed by Paul Roma and Jim Powers on that summer evening in 1987, little did the mark in me realize I was witnessing some bizarre Parts Unknown cross-breeding of my two favorite tag-teams of all time. One half of the hooded menaces was a man fresh off of being replaced in Demolition, the original Smash, Randy Colley. Randy was relieved of his Demo duties because even in his bondage gear and facepaint, people still recognized him from his days as Moondog Rex, and would yell “Moondog” at him. Upon seeing him clad in his Shadows outfit, I’m convinced that even if he died while being in the Federal Witness Protection program, was mummified and put in a pine box, that even Stevie Wonder would be able to recognize him.
His partner in crime was longtime WWF jobber, Jose Luis Rivera. Perhaps tired of all the shameful jobbing, Jose donned the black mask to hide his squared circle failures. Speaking of failing, despite their scary sounding name, as well as their wannabe Ace Frehley from Kiss costumes, the Shadows weren’t long for this world. In fact, the highlight for them may have been that night when they jobbed to the Young Stallions in my hometown, as they actually made the front page of the sports section the following morning!!
By the fall of 1987, the sun had set on Colley and Rivera’s time together, thus bidding an end to the infamy they cast as the Shadows. But shed to tears Parts Unknown lovers, for every dusk there is a golden sunrise soon to follow, and that would come in the form of Jose joining forces with Jose Estrada to become the legendary Conquistadors. Together, they would go on to achieve fame 100 times over what the Shadows did. But for me, I’ll always look back to that brief moment in time, when my two favorite teams meshed together as one.
Long live the dark shadow of the Demoquistadors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!