War Machine: The Agile Giants

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Photo: Old Abbot Photography

Warbeard Hanson and Raymond Rowe have been one of the best tag teams in the world ever since forming.  The two men built like Giants of the 80’s move like Cruiserweights.  With Hanson especially boggling minds the world over pulling off moves far beyond men half his size.  With the two seemingly set for WWE it is only fitting to look back at War Machine and their fantastic time on the indies all around the globe.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Recent posts from AIW stated it would be Raymond Rowe’s final AIW appearance and Hanson noted his upcoming Chaotic Wrestling appearance would be “special”, probably as it will be his farewell show before heading to the WWE, as he started out in Chaotic Wrestling.

War Machine: Early Career

Photo: Ring of Honor

Hanson trained by the famous Killer Kowalski was a tag specialist in his early years forming some tag teams and touring smaller independent companies around the US.  Rowe on the other hand was trained by Lou Marconi touring the circuit but never achieving much of note.  Of the two Hanson had the better singles career featuring heavily for Chaotic Wrestling and New England Championship Wrestling as well as appearing on WWE TV twice in 05-06 under the name Todd Hanson as a jobber.  They would both debut in Ring Of Honor in 2013 before facing off in the final of the 2014 top prospect tournament which Hanson won.  A few months later on the 4th of April they would officially form War Machine.

War Machine: Ring of Honor

Photo: Zalaphoto

The team was almost immediately doomed as Rowe got hurt in a motorcycle accident and missed several months of action.  War Machine upon his return were thrown straight into the main title scene.  Challenging for no. 1 contendership or multi team matches regularly.  In July they started racking up wins over teams like The KingdomThe House Of Truth and eventually Killer Elite Squad.  The victory over KES led to them challenging for the GHC Tag Team Titles.  This led to their debut in Japan as they toured for Pro Wrestling NOAH.  They unsuccessfully challenged for the titles to finished their first (but certaintly not last) tour of Japan.  At Final Battle 2015 War Machine captured the ROH tag titles for the first and only time.  They would lose these to The Addiction months later and would spend the rest of their time in ROH in and around the title scene but never capturing them again.

War Machine: UK Tour

Photo: PROGRESS

During the Autumn of 2016 War Machine made their debut in various UK promotions having killer matches with the likes of The London Riots, The Kings Of The North and The Sumerian Death Squad in promotions such as PROGRESS, Over The Top Wrestling and IPW:UK.  This would not be the last time they wrestled in the UK as the pair of “big lads” got over with the UK crowds.  They also started an under the radar rivalry with fellow agile brawlers the London Riots.

War Machine: NJPW & World Tag League

After the tour War Machine made their debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of World Tag League.  They became firm favourites with the fans as they fit in very well with the Japanese sense of fighting spirit and puroresu.  While there they pulled off two major coup’s as they defeated NJPW legends TenKoji and defeated former Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi and Juice Robinson.

War Machine: Taking over the World

War Machine wrestled all over for the first few months of the year having another great match with the Riots and debuting in RevPro. Their biggest moment came at Sakura Genesis after challenging TenKoji to a title match having beaten them in World Tag League.  In a great match they won the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships and proceeded to be the brightest spark in NJPW’s heavyweight tag team division and holding the titles until Dominion.  They debuted in PWG to a great reaction against the Young Bucks in a dream match and tore the house down at ICW’s Barramania.  Once again after the summer War Machine went to the UK where they became synonymous with WCPW’s tag team division.  They won back the IWGP titles at the New Japan G1 special in the US.  They had their final match with the Riots at PROGRESS Chapter 51 before challenging Moustache Mountain for the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships in a WWE vs NJPW match that the fans loved as War Machine once again wowed the PROGRESS Ultras.  They had match of the night at OTT WrestleRama as they teamed with Jeff Cobb against British Strong Style.  They lost the IWGP titles to KES as they feuded with G.O.D and KES for months.  War machine had their last match for WCPW losing the titles to Primate and Jimmy Havoc in an insane No DQ match that is one of the best WCPW matches ever.

War Machine: Finishing up and Future

Photo: Ring of Honor

Having toured the world as a big attraction War Machine ended the year in WTL.  They failed to win and at Wrestle Kingdom 12 lost in the gauntlet for the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions. They wrestled their final ROH match after Final Battle to Coast 2 Coast.  Having put on great matches in every company they have wrestled for War Machine appear to be heading to the WWE where a wealth of dream matches await the duo.  It is not impossible to see a world in which War Machine excel in the WWE with their mix of brawling, agility and great tag moves sure to get them over with audiences all over the USA.  With both men only 33 years old they have many years ahead of them and may just end their career as sure fire WWE hall of famers.

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