Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #80 The Midnight Express vs The Fantastics (NWA United States Tag Team Titles-NWA Clash of Champions I)

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Match number 80 is a tag team match full of chaos and mayhem. It’s like a tamer version of the match between Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne against the Nasty Boys. The Midnight Express is remembered as one of the great tag teams, but admittedly I had never heard of The Fantastics before. To see The Midnight Express in action at their peak is only one reason why this match was included in the Best 100 list. For unadulterated tag team action, violence and Jim Cornette at his most excessive, you cannot go far wrong with this match!

There’s no rhyme or reason to this bout, and it’s all the better for it. The brawl in the ring quickly tumbles to the outside, and chairs and tables are just as quickly introduced. It takes a while for the referee to gain control. When he does, the match does turn into a traditional tag team match, of sorts. Even when the bout returns to the traditional tag team style, the weapons are still utilised. However, the pace is frenetic. The wrestlers barely stop for breath from the opening bell. You can sense the ‘hatred’ these two tag teams have for each other. It’s visible is every punch, in every clothesline, in every bulldog on an unfolded table (a move that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before!). It’s only at the end, and the dodgy DQ finish, that deflects from the greatness of the bout. But, until those closing moments, it’s hard to find a better tag team match.80

For a tag team match from the 1980s to hold up to any tag team match that you will see today is enough of a justification for it to be included in the Best 100 list. It’s a fully formed brawl, one that never flags or loses steam (well, apart from the aforementioned dodgy DQ). There’s barely a bum note throughout the whole match; it flows with violence and hatred. You’ll be afraid to take your eyes off the screen!

VERDICT: 9/10. A great tag team match from the vault of the NWA. A violent brawl that never lets up, it’s gripping from start to finish.

(Click here for my review of #81 Ultimo Dragon vs Dean Malenko, Starrcade 1996)

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