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RIP Brian “Crush” Adams

A look at the life of Brian “Crush” Adams who died on August 13th 2007.

This year Pro Wrestling has lost a great number of wrestlers, many of these wrestler all had the highest points of their careers during the 90s. This past Monday (13th August 2007) we lost one more, Brian “Crush” Adams.

Born in Kona, Hawaii. Brian Adams joined the Military after leaving school. While stationed in Japan, Adams was first introduced to Pro Wrestling and began training under famous wrestler Antonio Inoki. At the age of 22 he completed his training and went to the USA to begin his career in Portland for the PNW (Pacific Northwest Wrestling). Making his debut in 1986, Adams was given the name ‘The American Ninja’ and teamed with Len Denton who at the time was named ’The Grappler’ to form ‘The Wreaking Crew’. On the 14th of December 1989 Adams and Denton won the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championships from Rex King & Steve Doll who are the time were known as the Southern Rockers. This however would only last a short time as The Wrecking Crew lost the titles back to the Southern Rockers on the 27th of January 1990. As time went on Adams would spilt up with Denton and go his own way. On April the 21st Adams became the Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion for the first time defeating Larry Oliver in Portland, during the finals of a tournament to crown a new PNW Heavyweight Champion. Like with the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championships he quickly dropped the Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship to Scott Norton on the 12th of May 1990. In the same month as winning the PNW Heavyweight Championship, Brian Adams debuted in the WWF as the newest member of Demolition, Crush.

Joining Demolition Adams effectively turned a tag team into a stable and aided turning them heel. With the Demolition already WWF Tag Team Champions, Crush would be able to defend the Tag belts despite not even being in the match where Demolition won the Tag Team Titles. Demolition could choose any two members of their choice to defend the tag title in what is generally knows as “The Freebird Rule”. One of the earliest memories of this was when he and Smash (Barry Darsow) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) on July’s Saturday Night’s Main Event telecast. However the following month he, Smash and Ax (Bill Eadie) lost the Tag Titles to the Hart Foundation in a Two out of Three falls match thanks to interference from the LOD. During the match however, all three members of the Demolition regularly swapped places when the Refs back was turned having the advantage of a fresher man (How the ref couldn’t tell they’d swapped places is still a mystery to many fans as all three had different looking face paint and their body shapes were enough to tell them apart.) Adams was the man to lose the final fall in the match. They were also on the losing end against The Ultimate Warrior & The Legion of Doom on the October edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event. At the 1990 Survivor Series they again lost to The Ultimate Warrior, The Legion of Doom and Kerry Von Erich when Demolition teamed with Mr. Prefect. Ax was beginning to be faded out more due to him wanting a backstage role, however he did make a few more appearances with Crush and Smash before laving the WWF for good. Crush and Smash stayed together as Demolition and both men entered the Royal Rumble, Crush entered 20th and was Eliminated by Hulk Hogan. One of Demolition’s final matches was at Wrestlemania VII when they lost to Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao in what was nothing more than a Squash match.

After Demoliton were broken up Brian Adams returned to PNW under his Demolition Crush persona and won the Tag Team Championships again with former rival Steve Doll on the 27th July 1991 and yet again he had a short title reign dropping the straps to the Bruise Brothers in little over a month since first wining them. Crush would win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship one last time defeating Rip Oliver on the 12th October 1991 he held the belt longer than his previous reign, for three months before losing the belt to Ron Harris in January of 1992.

Adams returned to the WWF this time with a new gimmick, Kona Crush. He was billed as a badass surfing Hawaiian. He and his former Demolition team mate Barry Darsow who was under the gimmick of the Repo Man began a short feud. They clashed at Summerlsam 1992 at Wembley, England which ended with Kona Crush winning. Adams would go on to do very little other than win squash matches under his Kona Crush persona until the evil clown Doink (Matt Borne) began to play pranks on the man from Hawaii. After failing many times to get his hands on Doink, Crush and Doink finally squared off at Wrestlemania 9 in a match that is widely remembered for the infamous “Double Doink” angle. Another Doink came out and distracted Crush allowing Doink to hit Crush over the head with a foreign object for the win. Their feud continued off a while with Doink costing Crush a win against Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Title at the King of the Ring PPV. Crush suffered a worked (scripted) injury in a WWF title match with Champion Yokozuna around mid 1993.

Returning in the Autumn of 1993, Crush came back to a decent sized pop on Monday Night Raw. He had a new found attitude towards his friend ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. After claiming Savage didn’t once contact him while he was out injured, it made him question his friendship with Savage. One man did however contact Crush, his name was Mr. Fuji who was to be his new manager. After “Patching” up his differences with Savage in this very segment, Crush turned Heel officially by clothes lining Savage after a handshake. Crush adopted a Japanese Sympathizer gimmick which is considered one of his best gimmicks, possibly ever. During the Survivor Series 1993 Crush interfered in a match that Savage was involved in causing his elimination from the match. Crush would go onto the Main Event of the evening teaming with The man who “Injured” him Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga and Jacques Rougeau where they lost to Lex Luger, The Steiners and The Undertaker. While still feuding with Savage, Crush had one of his strongest performances in the Royal Rumble of 1994 entering 13th and lasting 25 minutes before being eliminated by Luger and Sparky Plugg Bob Holly. In one angle during the Savage/Crush feud, Crush dropped Savage throat first on the guard rail injuring Savage who would then cut very memorable promos hyping their match for Wrestlemania.

He and Savage finally met in the ring at Wrestlemania X at Madison Square Garden in a Falls Count Anywhere match where if you were pinned on the outside of the ring you would have 60 seconds to get back into the ring, however if you were to get pinned in the ring you would lose the match outright. Crush lost the match to Savage after being pinned in the backstage area and tied upside down by Savage, thus failing to make it back to the ring before the 60 second mark. Crush would do very little after Wrestlemania often teaming with Yokozuna, having one high profile match at the King of the Ring where they lost to the WWF Tag Champs The Headshrinkers.

Crush was arrested and jailed for purchasing steroids and owning an illegal firearm in 1995. After getting out of jail, Crush would return to the WWF in 1996 with manager Clearance Mason as part of Mason’s petition to bring Crush back to the WWF. Taking advantage of his jail time, Crush was given an ex-convict gimmick with crowd often chanting “Jail Bird” towards him. Crush would win many squash matches before joining the newly former Nation of Domination. Crush would often be on the end of the losing team as he rarely wrestled one on one, but was considered the enforcer of the group until being kicked out of the NOD along with Savio Vega. Crush formed his own stable called The Disciples of Apocalypse along with Chainz (Brian Lee) and Skull and 8 Ball (Don and Ron Harris). They would ride to the ring on motorbikes and didn’t prove to be that popular. Crush was one of the many who was given a release after the Montreal Incident. Brian Adams signed with WCW in 1998 and joined the NWO as part of the Hollywood section of the group, Adams was rarely featured in PPVs matches, in fact we rarely saw Adams in a one on one match that wasn’t a squash. He performed mainly in tag matches with fellow lower card guys in the NWO Hollywood. He did however lose to Lex Luger in a horrid match at Slamboree 1998. He jobbed again on PPV to Steve McMichael in yep, you got it another horrid match, but the bad PPV matches were not over yet for Brian Adams, in 1998 he and Scott Norton beat Jerry Flynn and Fit Finaly in what could only be described as a dire match.

In 1999 after the NWO died out, Adams again did very little and was set for a huge push as the Demon. The Demon was Eric Bischoff’s take of Kiss front man Gene Simmons. Simmons was reportedly paid 1 Million Dollars to allow Bischoff the right to use the gimmick and the use of one of Kiss’s songs which was to be the Demon’s theme music. However it didn’t work out for Adams who only made one appearance under The Demon gimmick, the gimmick was then given to long time jobber Dale Torborg and like most things in WCW around that time, it totally sucked.

Adams would go on to form a team with Bryan Clark known as KroniK. KroniK won the Tag Titles from Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell in the month of May in 2000. Like so many of Brian Adams title runs, it didn’t last long, 15 days in fact. They would win the belts back pretty quickly and yep you guessed it lost them within a month. KroniK would become nothing more than an APA rip-off, they would take payments to interfere in matches, beat people up and protect people.

When WCW was bought out by the WWF Brian Adams did join the WWF along with Bryan Clark and they reformed KroniK and were managed by Steven Richards. They had one of the worst matches of the year with The Undertaker and Kane on the Unforgiven PPV. Their run in the WWF didn’t last long, shorter than a Brian Adams title reign within 21 day KroniK were gone. KroniK were both asked to go down to the WWF’s Development Territory HWA following the god awful match at Unforgiven, Bryan Clark reporting refused to go to HWA which lead to him being given his release. Adams however hoping for another chance agreed but was released in November.

KroniK reformed again in the short lived World Wrestling All-Stars which toured the world. They also worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling and won the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship defeating Keiji Mutoh and Taiyo Kea in July of 2002. Guess how long it lasted? Long for Adams actually, three months! They didn’t lose the belts mind, AJPW just felt like vacating them. Adams was scheduled to compete in his first boxing match but had to pull out of the fight due to injuring his shoulder training for the match. Adams did however recover and returned to Japan but suffered a spinal injury which made him finally retire after 17 years in the business. Following retirement Adams became a bodyguard for Randy Savage who’s rap career was taking off… ok maybe it wasn’t but Savage was paranoid somebody was coming after him, maybe he freaked out yeah, DIG IT!~

Adams had been reported living off his Lloyds of London insurance until his untimely death on the 13th of August when his wife found him unconscious and not breathing. As of now there are no details on what caused Adams to die and the Tampa police registered the incident as an “unexplained death”. However this didn’t stop Fruity Booty Marc Mero appearing on TV again waving his magical death list .

My final thoughts in closing are, Brian Adams had nothing more than a mediocre career which considering his lack of real in-ring talent he couldn’t have really asked for more. He will most likely be always remembered as Evil Crush after turning on Savage back in 1993. If you were to ask me what was his best match? It would have to be his first WWF PPV appearance, Summerslam 1990 when Demolition (himself, Smash and Ax) lost to The Hart Foundation.

RIP Brian “Crush” Adams.

Steve McLaren

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