Wrestler of the Day – May 12: New Age Outlaws

Oh you didn’t know? Today we have the New Age Outlaws.

The Outlaws are of course Road Dogg Jesse James and Billy Gunn, who had a few meaningless matches in late 1997 and decided to team up instead of wasting their careers. Their first match together was on Shotgun Saturday Night, September 20, 1997.

New Age Outlaws vs. Los Boricuas

It’s Jesus Castillo/Jose Estrada here and the Outlaws are still Rockabilly and Jesse James. The Outlaws jump Los Boricuas and it’s Jesus in trouble to start. Rockabilly’s tilt-a-whirl backbreaker is countered into an armdrag but it’s off to Jesse before much damage can be done. Billy misses a splash into the corner and it’s off to Estrada to clean house. Everything breaks down and Billy nails Jose with his manager Honky Tonk Man’s guitar for the pin.

The lame team would get a Tag Team Title shot on Raw, November 24, 1997.

Tag Team Titles: Legion of Doom vs. New Age Outlaws

The Outlaws come out in LOD pads with Dogg calling Hawk and Animal dinosaurs. The brawl starts on the stage until Animal backdrops Billy to start. Hawk comes in and beats up both Outlaws on his own so Road Dogg heads outside. That’s fine with Animal who nails Dogg with a clothesline on the floor. Back in and a delayed vertical suplex gets two for Hawk as this has been total dominance so far.

Billy finally trips Hawk up and we take a break. Back with Hawk nailing Dogg with a clothesline but Billy distracts Animal to break up a tag. Hawk and Billy clothesline each other but the referee doesn’t see the hot tag to Animal. Dogg hits Hawk in the face with a title belt for two but Billy’s top rope legdrop only hits mat. Animal gets the tag and cleans house but the referee gets bumped. Everything breaks down and Billy nails Animal in the back with a chair, giving Billy the pin and the titles for a HUGE shock.

Rating: D+. The match sucked but the LOD was so far past their prime here that having them just give a rub was the best use for them. The Outlaws were basically the Honky Tonk Man of the tag team division: they beat so many other teams that they had no business beating and the fans kept thinking their next match would FINALLY be the time, but it never was.

The Outlaws would hold the titles until Wrestlemania XIV where they lost them to Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. There was a rematch last night which changed the Outlaws’ careers forever.

Tag Titles: Cactus Jack/Chainsaw Charlie vs. New Age Outlaws

Road Dogg is wearing a JOB Squad t-shirt for some reason. The old guys jump them as they get in and the fight is on. Funk has a BAD bruise on his back/hip. Gunn gets suplexed into the cage and is hung upside down from the top of the cage. There are no tags in this. This is a total mess but that’s supposed to be the point so it works.

Funk is tied to the cage with something. Cactus manages to get a double DDT but it’s a handicap match now. Funk gets an arm free but can’t untie himself. He’s tied by his throat. Jack and Gunn go up to the corner and Billy gets crotched. DX comes in and Pac blasts Cactus with a chair and a spike Piledriver onto said chair gives the Outlaws the titles again.

Rating: C. Call this right in the middle because it was a big mess, but that was the idea here. Also the whole point of this was to show that DX had fresh blood in it as the Outlaws are officially part of DX now. This was a perfect fit as they were all about the lack of respect and all that jazz. They worked rather well in that role too.

The Outlaws would continue to be intelligent, as shown on Raw, June 8, 1998.

Tag Titles: Disciples of Apocalypse vs. Legion of Doom vs. New Age Outlaws

During the Outlaws’ entrance, Taker beats up Sarge in the back. HHH and Pac are on the stage with various funny signs. Just two in the ring at a time. Billy vs. Animal gets us going. Billy brings in 8-Ball quickly and oh yay it’s more DOA vs. LOD. Let’s say that’s 8-Ball beating on Road Dogg. The twins take over and you can feel the energy being sucked out of the show while they’re in there.

Roadie finally brings in Hawk who just does not look right with hair. Neckbreaker gets two on Skull. Billy comes in and the match continues to go nowhere. The challengers are back in almost immediately and Animal pounds him down. Let’s say that’s Skull. Road Dogg comes in and takes a missed low blow. Back to Animal vs. Skull. GET THIS OVER WITH ALREADY. Finally we get to the ending as both of the Outlaws are brought in. And then Road Dogg quickly lays down for the pin before anyone else can get in. And that’s Outlaws 101. Shouldn’t they lose the titles though as they gave up the fall?

Rating: D+. Other than the ending, this was really boring stuff. The DOA vs. LOD feud went on FOREVER and never got interesting in the slightest. They were such a clash of styles and none of them had anything interesting at all to do. Boring match but the ending showed why the Outlaws are so memorable: they couldn’t beat the challengers physically so use your brains.

The Outlaws would defend the titles for months (save for a period of Mankind and Kane taking them), including this match at Survivor Series 1998.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Headbangers vs. D’Lo Brown/Mark Henry

The Outlaws are defending of course. This was set up on Raw with both challenging teams doing something that I can’t remember to earn the shot. Billy and Brown start things off but Mosh comes in off a blind tag to try to steal a pin on Billy. Mosh hits a running body attack in the corner on Gunn before diving at Brown as well. This is pretty messy so far. The Outlaws pound on the former Nation guys in opposite corners before the Headbangers double team Roadie.

Brown and Mosh trade pin attempts on Dogg. This is the old triple threat tag match rules where there are three people at a time in there which I’ve always preferred. Off to Henry for a bearhug on Roadie until Mosh makes the save. Off to Brown, Thrasher and Dogg as this continues to be ugly stuff. Gunn gets in a LOUD argument with the referee as Brown ranas Thrasher off the top.

Roadie pounds on Brown and Thrasher but Henry takes his head off with a clothesline. Brown’s running powerbomb to Thrasher is countered into a sunset flip for two. A Henry legdrop gets the same on Dogg, followed by the Headbangers double teaming Roadie for the same. Brown offers a pact with Mosh but gets kicked in the balls for his efforts. JR can almost be heard moaning at how bad this match is. Roadie finally escapes the beating for the hot tag to Billy. The fans LOVED the Outlaws so at least they’re reacting here.

Brown hits the Sky High on Billy but since everyone is out of position, it takes forever to start the count. Jesse Ventura would have a field day with this. To further the stupidity here, Billy hits a Fameasser on Mosh but Henry makes the save with a splash, also hitting Mosh. Mark just stays on top of Mosh for a cover, but after two finisher it only gets two. That Mosh man, he’s TOUGH. Billy finally piledrives Mosh to retain the titles.

Rating: F. This was terrible and there’s no other way to put it. They were all over the place and no one was even reading the same book out there. The referee had to count very slowly so the saves could be made and there was no flow to this at all. Just awful and JR’s commentary makes it even funnier, but in a kind of sad way.

After having some issues and splitting for awhile in early 1999, the team would reunite as heels later in the years. They would get the titles back from the Rock N Sock Connection and defend them at Unforgiven 1999.

Tag Titles: Edge/Christian vs. New Age Outlaws

Edge and Christian are young faces here and asked for a title match on Heat. How weird is it that Edge and Christian would be light years ahead of the Outlaws at the end of the day? The Outlaws are freshly reunited here and the pop is noticeably quieter. And I’m wrong as they’re WAY into the Road Dogg entrance stuff. Edge and Gunn start us off. Korderas is refereeing again which is good as there shouldn’t be any drama here.

This was when Gunn was still bearable in the ring so this is decent to start off with. Edge and Christian were young and awesome at this time so this is a fun match on paper. More or less no way they were going to win though as the Outlaws had just won the belts recently. Lawler asks Ross if he likes it doggy style. That’s just wrong. The Outlaws are showing off here which you NEVER see. It’s not bad actually. Edge is WAY into steroids here as he’s ripped as all goodness.

I don’t know if I believe this but I think the Outlaws are having a good standard tag match here. What in the world am I watching? You could tell that the challengers were going to be awesome at some point in the future. What would be called Poetry in Motion when the Hardys used it misses.

Gunn gets the hot tag and he just starts whipping ass. NICE powerslam. This is a solid match actually. And here are the Hardys and Gangrel. They beat up Edge and Christian so the Fameasser ends it. Screw this good match thing! We want RUN INS! Russo was gone but still being felt at this time I guess.

Rating: B. Solid stuff here as they went back and forth with the Outlaws showing that they could go when they wanted to. This of course makes me want to know: why didn’t they do it more often? It’s a shame they didn’t as this was awesome. Of course Edge and Christian would have their time.

Here’s one of their last defenses, from Royal Rumble 2000.

Tag Titles: Acolytes vs. New Age Outlaws

The Outlaws are defending and there’s a backstory that doesn’t deserve to be listed. Who would have thought that THIRTEEN YEARS LATER the Outlaws would be on house shows for the WWE again? The Outlaws are heels here but they’re over like free beer in a frat house here in New York. The APA storms the ring and the beating is on quickly. Bradshaw and Billy officially get us started with Billy taking a fast beating. Both guys tag as the referee is adjusting his ear piece.

Faarooq imitates Dogg’s dance before getting double teamed a bit. Bradshaw breaks up the shaky knee drop and everything breaks down. The Clothesline kills Billy and there’s the spinebuster to Roadie….but Billy pulls the referee out. The ref is bumped and Road Dogg is hit with a double powerbomb. X-Pac runs in and kicks Bradshaw’s head off. The Fameasser to the future JBL retains the titles in like two and a half minutes. This had to be cut for time. The Outlaws would lose the titles to the Dudleys next month and that would be the end of the team.

That would be their last regular tag team match in the WWF for over ten years. The team would however reunite in TNA as the James Gang (Road Dogg was BG James and Billy was Kip James), with one of their first matches coming at Final Resolution 2006.

Diamonds in the Rough vs. James Gang

It’s Elix Skipper/David Young and this is the return match for the James Gang. BG and Skipper start things off. Skipper shoves him down and it’s a very slow start. Skipper suplexes BG over and works on the arm for a second. BG comes back with the dancing punches and shaking knee drop for two. David and Kip come in for a few collisions that go nowhere.

The Diamonds try some double teaming but get caught in a double Japanese armdrag by Kip. They get sent to the floor and the Gang beats on them on the floor. The fans chant for the Outlaws but BG walks into a spinebuster from Young for no cover. There’s a reason the guy lost like 86 matches in a row. Skipper pounds on BG for a bit before it’s back to Young who covers, only to have Kip distract the referee. David misses a moonsault and it’s hot tag to Kip. Skipper clotheslines him down and everything breaks down. Young breaks up the pumphandle slam but Kip hits the cobra clutch slam for the pin on Elix.

Rating: D. You know there’s a running theme with these New Age Outlaws matches: they’re not that good. These guys were never known for their in ring work and it’s pretty clear why. The matches just aren’t any good with the action being generic the whole way through. There was nothing to this and it was a horrible return for the James Gang or whatever they’re called this month.

The team would eventually become known as the Voodoo Kin Mafia, which somehow is a jab at Vince (yes I get the initials thing). This led to a feud with Christy Hemme’s various teams, including this match at Victory Road 2007.

Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Basham/Damaja

Ok so I’m betting some translations are needed. Lance Hoyt isn’t wrestling but rather is someone that was brought into the camp of the VKM (more commonly known as the New Age Outlaws with the initials VKM, which are the initials of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon) as a spy for Christy Hemme. Hoyt is more commonly known as Vance Archer and the other two wrestlers were better known as Doug and Danny Basham.

Oh and at the moment the Outlaws are known as BG James (Road Dogg) and Kip James (not Road Dogg). They debut Roxxi as the newest member of the Mafia. Now SHE was zombie hot. Christy was just an evil hot slut at this point. Sweet goodness Christy looks great with her hair up and in a black dress. I totally do not remember the Bashams being in TNA.

Hemme keeps making out with Hoyt for some reason. Christy and Hoyt come into the ring and we get the Knockouts showdown before they were called Knockouts. Hoyt of course jumps Road Dogg and the heels take over in standard fashion. The fans are bored with the match. That’s odd as it’s not that bad. It’s bad mind you, but there’s nothing here that is standing out as terrible.

Not Road Dogg hits a Jackhammer for two. With the referee talking to Hoyt, Road Dogg pops Damaja with a chair so that not Road Dogg can get the pin. Road Dogg beats up Hoyt afterwards. Roxxi hits a Dominator on Christy.

Rating: D. Just…why? Why is this on PPV? I get that it was a feud etc but this just wasn’t interesting at all. I know TNA is bad about thinking matches have potential or whatever but they thought this was good? This is a great example of people complaining about TNA taking WWE rejects. Why in the world would you bring in the Bashams? Not horrible, but just very uninteresting.

The team would leave TNA a bit later and go into a six year hiatus before returning to WWE on Old School Raw for a cameo match.

New Age Outlaws vs. Primo/Epico

Dogg and Epico get things started and there are the shaking punches followed by the shaky knee drop for two for Roadie. Primo distracts Dogg though and Epico gets in a dropkick to take over. The cousins work over Roadie with Epico hitting a slingshot elbow for no cover. Off to a chinlock for a bit but Roadie fights up and the two of them collide. Hot tag brings in Billy who pounds away on both guys before getting two off a tilt-a-whirl slam. Everything breaks down and the Fameasser ends Primo at 2:58.

After most of another year off, they would come back, beat the Tag Team Champions in a non-title match and get a title shot at Royal Rumble 2014.

Pre-Show: Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust

Cody and Goldust are defending and lost a non-title match to the Outlaws to set this up. Road Dogg starts with Cody and is taken down by a quick shoulder block. Back up and Roadie hits his shaky fist but has to duck the Disaster Kick. Gunn comes in off the tag but is quickly sent to the floor for a top rope clothesline as we take a break. Back with Road Dogg dropping a knee on Goldust for two and putting on a chinlock.

Goldust fights back up and a double clothesline puts both guys down. Billy breaks up a tag attempt as the announcers brag about how Gunn hasn’t aged a bit since the 90s. For 50 years old the guys is in good shape. Goldust finally makes the hot tag and Cody speeds things up, including a double springboard missile dropkick to put both Outlaws down. Cross Rhodes lays out Road Dogg but Billy saves at two. Billy comes in off a blind tag as Cody hits the Disaster Kick to Roadie, setting up the Fameasser for the pin and the titles at 6:30.

Rating: C. I was surprised here. Not only was this not the result I was expecting, but the match was better than I thought it was going to be. The Brothers had been on one heck of a roll since the fall, but this likely leads into the Authority being corrupt storyline. That doesn’t make sense given that the Outlaws just won the match clean, but I’m assuming that’s the idea.

There was a rematch on Raw, February 3, 2014.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust

The Outlaws are defending and you can only win by pinfall or submission, not escaping. We get the big match intros after a break and we’re ready to go. Goldust grabs a headlock on Road Dogg to start before taking Dogg down in something like an armdrag. He gets on all fours to chase Roadie to the corner but Goldust lets him go. Road Dogg asks Billy what they’re doing in here before tagging Gunn in to face Goldust.

Cody comes in with a sunset flip out of the corner for two and a small package gets the same. Back to Road Dogg who takes Cody into the corner as a CM Punk chant starts and quickly dies. Billy comes in again and pulls Cody’s bad elbow around the top rope before putting on an armbar. The announcers talk about the tag division until it’s back to Goldust for an armbar on Road Dogg. Not exactly inspiring stuff so far.

Goldust pounds on Dogg in the corner with right hands but misses a cross body and crashes into the cage to change momentum as we take a break. Back with Goldust still in trouble via a Road Dogg chinlock until it’s back to Gunn who walks into a clothesline out of the corner. Goldust finally makes the hot tag to Cody as everything breaks down. The Disaster Kick gets two on Billy and Cody is frustrated. He looks up at the top of the cage, tells Billy to suck it and starts to climb. Cody goes to the top of the cage, totally misses the moonsault press on Road Dogg and gets caught by the Fameasser to give Billy the pin at 16:10.

Rating: D+. This was a very boring match that didn’t need to be in a cage except for the big spot at the end. I’m assuming the Brothers are going to be splitting up soon which isn’t the worst idea in the world. It also helps that they didn’t go with the losing streak angle to set up the title change.

We’ll wrap it up with their final regular tag team match, from March 3, 2014 on Raw.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Usos

The Outlaws are defending but Road Dogg doesn’t think the fans here are worthy of hearing his catchphrases. It only took them two months to remember they’re heels. Jey hammers on Roadie to start but gets whipped hard into the corner. Uso comes out holding his knee so Dogg kicks him to the floor for a breather. Billy throws him back inside and hammers away before it’s back to Dogg. Jey’s leg seems to be holding up well enogh and Dogg even works it over a bit. Roadie throws him to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Jey fighting out of a chinlock but getting slammed down for two. Dogg comes back in and takes a spin kick to the face (the knee seems fine). The hot tag brings in Jimmy to face Billy. Dogg gets knocked off the apron and a Samoan drop puts Gunn down. There’s a Bubba Bomb to Billy and the running Umaga attack in the corner to Roadie.

A reverse Whisper in the Wind hits Gunn and there’s a superkick to knock Dogg to the floor. Gunn rolls up Jimmy for two and the tilt-a-whirl slam gets the same. The Fameasser just misses and the Usos do the plancha with the flying tag, setting up the superkick and Superfly Splash to FINALLY give the Usos the Tag Titles at 9:27.

Rating: C+. It’s about three years overdue but this was the best way to do it. I have no problem with the Outlaws keeping the title for just a few weeks as they put the young guys over 100% clean before Wrestlemania. Good little match and they made it feel like it meant something, which is rare for these titles.

The Outlaws are definitely a team that was better on the mic than in the ring. You might be looking at this and thinking “that’s it?” To be fair, you’re probably right for the most part. There really aren’t a lot of great Outlaws matches, but at the same time there were TONS of great promos and bits over the years. They were definitely a big deal though and a huge force in the Attitude Era.

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1 comment

  1. alan says:

    My faviourte is when they fought austin and the rock, great match and moment after.