The Hart Foundation Squash Some Geeks at the Biggest Show of the Year

For the longest time, my pick for ‘favorite tag team’ was a two way tie, and that was largely due to when I really started to sink my teeth into pro wrestling. The year was 1986 and one of the first matches I ever recall watching multiple times was a battle between the British Bulldogs and the Hart Foundation. I wouldn’t find out until years later that the four men involved had known each other for years prior to coming to the World Wrestling Federation and honestly, I probably wouldn’t have cared. All I knew is that when I saw them going at it the matches would be great. Sadly, the Bulldogs wouldn’t stick around long, with Dynamite’s injuries piling up and eventually the Bulldogs splitting up entirely. It was a great run that was far too brief.

The Hart Foundation, though, stuck it out for several more years. Sometimes Jim and Bret would be together, sometimes not. It just seemed whenever Vince needed a team he could count on he’d tell the boys they were being paired up again and while I still consider their original heel run in the company to be my favorite as a tandem, they would always bring the best out of anyone they were in the ring with. And sometimes that meant making a match very short, like in the case at WrestleMania VI when they took on Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zukhov, aka The Bolsheviks.

Prior to the contest however, we got a backstage practice run of the Russian national anthem with of all people Steve Allen. I’d try to explain who he was but honest to goodness even in 1990 he was a dude that was well past his expiration date. If I didn’t know who he was then, zero chance I would now so let’s just consult good ol’ Wikipedia and see what they have to say.

Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen (December 26, 1921 – October 30, 2000) was an American television and radio personality, comedian, musician, composer, writer and actor. In 1954, he achieved national fame as the co-creator and first host of The Tonight Show, which was the first late-night television talk show.

Mock the guy if you want, but the dude had no less than THREE middle names so that has to count for something. So here he meets up with Nikolai and Boris in the shower. Why this is we never really learn, but we do know that Allen tickles the ivory with some really unfunny jokes that tick off the rooskies. Well, except for him mentioning that he was done STALIN. But by golly, he wasn’t there to help them sing at all!

Undeterred, Nikolai gets into the ring and belts out the tune as only he can. As Gorilla claims that this is completely unacceptable (why?), we get a shot of the crowd who generally look bored. Well, except for the guy wearing the cardboard winged eagle belt. Dude, you have a Burger King crown on your head, I’m not sure your vote should count.

So the Harts sneak up behind this musical performance with Neidhart absolutely losing his mind. The Anvil was never 1/100th of the wrestler Bret was of course, but man together they were a great unit. Anyway, they attack Nikolai and Boris and the beat down is on!

A few punches are thrown, then it’s a Hart Attack clothesline and that…THAT…is it. It took Bret & Jim just nineteen seconds to get the three count. And if you ever saw any Bolsheviks matches before, you realize that is a very good thing. To this day it stands as the shortest tag team match in Mania history…and I doubt that will change any time soon!

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