THE POWERS OF PAIN
The Warlord & The Barbarian
1987 - Present (off and on)
Written by ZAH
Everybody has guilty pleasures in life. You know the ones… a song or movie that you absolutely love but know you probably shouldn’t (as much of a metalhead as I am, I’m still a HUGE fan of Phil Collins and have been since the 80’s).
My guilty pleasure of the 1980s in terms of tag team wrestling was a team known more for being a knock-off of another, more successful team than anything else. But at the end of the day, I was a MASSIVE fan of The Warlord & The Barbarian… better known to the masses as The Powers of Pain.
Barbarian and Warlord had briefly feuded in the Central States territories before manager Paul Jones teamed them together, dubbed them the Powers of Pain, and brought them into the National Wrestling Alliance in late 1987.
Obviously, comparisons were made to the most popular tag team in the world at the time, The Road Warriors. These comparisons helped fuel the feud that took place between the two teams.
While they won the NWA World Six Man Tag Team Championships with Ivan Koloff, tag team gold eluded them during their intense feud with The Legion of Doom. After refusing to participate in a scaffold match (I don’t blame them, to be honest), they left the NWA and joined the WWE.
During this period in their careers, The Powers of Pain took on a diverse array of teams such as Demolition, The Bolsheviks, The Bushwhackers, and The Rockers.
While never becoming WWE tag team champions (I still blame that on the inexplicable decision to turn them heel and team them up with Mr. Fuji as their manager), they had a really good run before splitting up in 1990.
No, they were never the greatest tag team in the world but there was something about this ‘Road Warrior wannabe’ team that made me a big fan.
I’m certainly not alone in that thought process, either, as both The Warlord and The Barbarian continue to be popular as a duo on the independent circuit…30 years later.