The Professional 3 12.22.13: Money Incorporated
Posted by Jon Harder on 12.22.2013
On the heels of Christmas and the new emphasis on tag teams in wrestling, 411's Jon Harder talks about the history of one of his favorite tag teams, Money Inc.! Everybody has a price...
Welcome everyone to another edition of the Professional 3 on 411mania.com! I'm Jon Harder and another exciting week of wrestling is down in the books. With the holidays in full swing, it's truly a time for love and support around the Christmas tree. Personally, it's all about the money as gifts. Hmmm...that gives me an idea.
Last week, I apologize for no column on 411 on Sunday morning. A personal project that I've really started to sink my teeth into has kicked off into full gear. Like I said two weeks ago, the Pennies for Norm campaign is under way. At an ACE Pro Wrestling show, I raised over $28 in pennies and other various bills. Also, over the past few days, I've raised $40 in person. In total, $68 has been raised thus far in the Pennies for Norm. Now, it can be even easier to donate. An online account at the Colon Cancer Alliance has been set up here: http://support.ccalliance.org/goto/penniesfornorm. EVERY CENT raised goes towards finding a cure for colon cancer. Let's do it! #PenniesForNorm
Also this week, check out the Hardway Podcast with New York independent standout Dickie Rodz! Dickie was around during the early days of NYWC and has been a standard in the NY Indy scene over the past decade. Dickie truly personifies the throwback of what the mid-2000s was on the independent scene. You can find him on Twitter at @TheDickieRodz.
Finally, you can find me on Twitter at @TheJonHarder. I love feedback, talk about the Mets, and random stylings on a Christmas Story. You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
OK guys, now onto this week's column. If there has been one thing I've noticed about mainstream wrestling over the past several months, it's that tag team wrestling is truly back in wrestling. Especially within 2013, there have been a plethora of multi-man matches on television and pay-per-view. Some credit the Shield's uber success on WWE programming as a unit in tag team environments over the year, leading to the build of more tag team matches on prominent television spots, and I truly have to agree with that statement. We've seen so many tag teams come together over the past year and it's strong enough to say that the tag team division has not been this deep since WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001. The WWE is taking steps to repair tag team wrestling.
Look at the tag team scene right now. With the Usos, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, the Shield, the Real Americans, the Wyatts, Ryback and Curtis Axel, and the Prime Time Players running rampant on television, it truly is a rejuvenated art form. Tag team wrestling is such a valued art in the world of sports entertainment and it's so refreshing to see it be taken serious again. It is very reminiscent, in specifics to the older school style gimmicks of this tag team division, from the late 1980s to 1993 WWF tag team scene.
From that time period, you had a who's who of phenomenal tag teams. The Hart Foundation, the British Bulldogs, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, the Killer Bees, Demolition, the Powers of Pain, the Rockers, the Dream Team, the Collasal Connection, the Nasty Boys, Legion of Doom, the Natural Disasters, the Beverly Brothers, and so on. An incredible plethora of teams that have dominated the WWF Tag Team ranks and title scene. However, in my mind, out of all these standout teams who truly plied their trade as a team, there was one team in particular who might actually be the most underrated 3 time WWF World Tag Team Champions of all time. These guys dominated a division for two years and really never got the respect they deserved for it. I'm talking about the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster, Money Incorporated.
Money Inc. formed incredibly fast in February 1992. Always rumored to have formed later on in the year, DiBiase and IRS formed hastily due to an impending issue with the Legion of Doom behind-the-scenes, Money Inc. became WWF Tag Team champions. Now, despite rumors to the contrary, there WAS an official match at a house show in Denver, CO. According to TheHistoryOfWWE.com's results from February 7, 1992:
The original line-up included a Bossman / Santana vs. Dibiase / IRS match and the LOD defending the tag titles against the Natural Disasters but was changed at the last minute by WWF President Jack Tunney, claiming the Disasters had received enough title shots
Ted Dibiase (w/ Sensational Sherri) & IRS defeated WWF Tag Team Champions the Legion of Doom to win the titles at 11:49 when Dibiase pinned Road Warrior Hawk after the Natural Disasters came ringside and Typhoon hit Hawk with a steel chair while he prepared to hit the Doomsday Device on Dibiase as Sherri distracted the referee
There's your proof. It did happen. Although also, it was stated that the LOD got word that the title change wouldn't happen on television, it DID happen. DiBiase and IRS became champions and the first true makeshift team in WWF history to win the belts came to fruition. Here is the official announcement of the title change on Superstars, about 5 minutes in, without reference to Sensational Sherri being a part of the ending of the match or the team.
There it is. Money Inc. as your champions. I don't know why, but something always clicked to me with the two characters involved with MONEY came together. It fit. IRS and DiBiase always had that certain intangible together as a unit. Although thrown together, it looked as if they teamed for years. These guys dominated the tag team scene in 1992 and 1993, yet somehow, their legacy remains VASTLY underrated. With the tag team scene remaining strong in that time frame, DiBiase and IRS always stood out with their hatred of the fans and the humanoids. Everybody had a price, and the fans HATED the Million Dollar Man and his tax auditor.
This week in the Professional 3, I want to really elaborate and stress on Money Inc. as a trendsetting team. These two men, rushed to championship status, maintained a true dominance on top of the tag team scene. In a weird sense, this might have been the prototype for how the tag team championships were treated over the past two decades, with random teams coming together and winning the belts a short time after forming. Yet, Money Inc. looked credible and forceful as a unit. The column will be highlighting a few of Money Inc.'s highlights as a duo during their time on top of the WWF scene. One thing you will not see is Money Inc. vs. LOD from SummerSlam 1992. Why you ask? Hawk was completely messed up on drugs and it was not a good showing from anyone. No one needs to be seen in that type of light on camera. But these other matches: completely highlights and showcases in a positive viewpoint.
Without further hesitation...
THE PROFESSIONAL 3: Money Incorporated
1) MONEY INC. WINS IT ON TV (FINALLY) FOR THE 2ND TIME
As I alluded to earlier, Money Inc. won the WWF Tag Team championships on a house show in Denver. Also, a did-you-know fact, they won their third reign at a house show in Rockford, IL on June 16, 1993 against the Steiner Brothers that was not aired either. However, in this little Money Inc. fan's dream, the WWF fan base witnessed history, as Money Inc.'s only official title reign happened on October 13, 1992 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada against the Natural Disasters on Superstars.
With the cool afford of having the Wrestling Challenge commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "the Brain" Heenan call the contest instead of Superstars announcers Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect, you got to witness the implosion of Jimmy Hart's control on the Tag Team Champions. Thinking that he could utilize the Nasty Boys as muscle for Money Inc. against Hart's other former tag team, current champions Earthquake and Typhoon, Money Inc. took advantage of a weakened Quake from earlier in the bout. One Million Dollar Dream later, DiBiase and IRS became the WWF Tag Team champions for a second time (and a first time viewed on TV). The big downfall was the lack of completion with the Nasty Boys and Money Inc. rivalry. Rumor had it that Knobbs and Sags would win the belts at WrestleMania 9, but a certain other team took the place of the Nasties in the big tag rivalry heading into the "Granddaddy of Them All"...
2) MONEY INC VS MEGA MANIACS
WrestleMania 9 was a weird show. This event totally highlighted it for me. The whole feud started when Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake announced his in-ring return to the WWF after a 2 1/2 year hiatus from the sport of kings, after his face was crushed in a serious parasailing accident on July 4, 1990. When the Million Dollar Man and IRS found out, they proceeded to mock Beefcake on an episode of Monday Night Raw and threaten to knock his face back off. On a one-on-one match a few weeks later, DiBiase held Beefcake up after the DQ loss and Mr. Schyster proceed to wallop Beefcake in the face with his steel Halliburton. It was an act so out of control that even their manager Jimmy Hart was appalled. A few weeks later, Hulk Hogan came to his friend's aid and guaranteed that they would avenge that incident and he and Beefcake, with Jimmy Hart as his manager, win Money Inc's Tag Team championships at WrestleMania 9!
Well, WrestleMania 9 came and Money Inc. tried to spoil everything before the match. The night before, the Million Dollar Man paid off some assailants to jump Hogan. With a massive bruise over his eye, Hogan and Beefcake almost overcame all the odds. However, due to a disqualification, Money Inc. retained the belts. Thank God for that. Hulk did walk out with a title though. The WWF title, thanks to Bret's approval after he was screwed out of the championship. But that's another story for another day. Everybody has a price...
I remember being 8 years old and absolutely being enthralled with this match from the SummerSlam Spectacular from August of 1993. The Steiner Brothers and Money Inc. traded off the Tag Team championships on a week of house shows three times. Finally, to settle the war, WWF President Jack Tunney mandated the final match between both teams to be in a steel cage match. Let me tell you that this was an incredible battle. The ending was awesome, the story was told great, but in the end, the Steiners retained the belts. The last official tag team match of Money Inc. and a dark day in my life. Check this match out. Absolutely incredible and it still holds up.
Money Incorporated was a shining example of what a tag team was. Hard working, dedicated to their craft, and evil. Let's just hope that all the new found tag teams in the WWE find a way to be as successful in a two year period as the Million Dollar Man and IRS in a tag team unit. Thank God for tag teams.
Most of all, Merry Christmas, guys. I hope that money comes in so I can do an evil Million Dollar Man laugh.