Fantastics vs. Sheepherders
Written by Adam Zimmerman
What do you get when you cross a team of grizzled veterans with a penchant for violence and a team of young, somewhat inexperienced, babyfaces that some fans may see as a "B-squad" Rock 'n' Roll Express? Well, in this case, we surprisingly ended up getting one of the best rivalries (outside of the WWF) of the 80s!
Don't get me wrong, I love The Fantastics and I'm not knocking them as a "low budget" RnR Express but, for fans that don't know any better, let's face it... that's the first impression they give off. To be completely fair, if The Fantastics (originally named The Fantastic Ones) were a rip-off of anything then it would be The Fabulous Ones with their "male stripper tuxedo" entrance gear and whatnot but I'm already beyond the point of digressing here so; let's get back on track.
This particular rivalry is what made me a fan of The Fantastics for years to come. The first match I ever saw these teams compete in was their match in the third round of the very first Jim Crockett Memorial Tag Team Cup and man; they tore the house down with a double DQ that ousted both teams from the tournament. Normally, a double DQ is a somewhat disappointing end to a great match but, in this case, it left the fans wanting more of the same from both teams!
The Sheepherders/Fantastics feud started just prior to this Crockett Cup appearance in Bill Watts' UWF but, at the time, I never had the chance to see any UWF action and was only vaguely aware of its existence due to the working relationship Watts had with Jim Crockett Promotions prior to JCP outright buying the UWF. Once that merger was made; JCP was smart enough to give both teams a spot of their roster and allow them to have exciting, bloody, and vicious encounters over the next couple of years.
These two teams never had a bad match or an "off night" when facing each other. They were the perfect fit for each other like The Midnight Express was for The Rock 'n' Roll Express... except The Midnight Express wasn't a team of crazy, middle-aged men from New Zealand who were looking to literally carve their way through their opponents. You get the idea, though.
Whenever you saw The Sheepherders vs The Fantastics advertised for an upcoming show; you knew it was safe to spend your hard-earned money to see it because they would tear the roof off of the building every. single. time.