The Islanders (professional wrestling)


The Islanders (professional wrestling)

Infobox Wrestling team
article_name= The Islanders
type=T


caption=
members=Haku
Tama
names=
former_members=Sivi Afi
debut=1986
disbanded=1989
promotions=World Wrestling Federation
heights=
weights=
billed=
hometown=
trainer=|

The Islanders were a professional wrestling tag team. The members were Haku and Tama and they wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation. They were managed by Bobby Heenan and had a memorable feud with the British Bulldogs in which they kidnapped their pet mascot Matilda. They were also very briefly joined by a "third islander" Sivi Afi.

History

Formation

Prior to being known as Haku and Tama, Haku wrestled as King Tonga, entering the WWF in late-1985. He bodyslammed Big John Studd on a televised show at a time when Studd was being billed as a man who couldn't be slammed. Tama, meanwhile, wrestled in the WWF in 1984 as the Tonga Kid, who aided Jimmy Snuka in his feud against Rowdy Roddy Piper. He disappeared shortly after the Piper feud and returned to the WWF in mid-1986. He was almost immediately put into a tag team with King Tonga, christened the Islanders. They wrestled as a faces.

Face Run

Initially, the Islanders wrestled preliminary matches. The won most of the matches and occasional got matches against higher card teams, such as the Hart Foundation or the Dream Team. Their big break came in October 1986 when they won a tag-team battle royal at Madison Square Garden, last eliminating the favorites, King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd. While it appeared initially that a feud with Studd/Bundy was on the horizon, that idea was scrapped when Studd left the WWF. The Islanders soon found themselves on the lower end of the card, losing to more established tag teams such as the Dream Team, Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik, and Don Muraco and Bob Orton.

During this period, the WWF was loaded with great tag teams, and the Islanders were lost in the mix during early 1987. They were the first team to wrestle the Hart Foundation on television after the Harts won the titles in January, but lost. They soon found themselves in a long losing streak against a new team, Demolition. They began wrestling other face teams during this period, usually the Rougeau Brothers, and these matches were typically a double disqualification. With little momentum, the Islanders were left off the biggest card of the year, WrestleMania III.

Heel Turn

Shortly after WrestleMania, the Islanders continued the losing to Demolition, but were scheduled for a match on the "WWF Superstars of Wrestling". Their opponents were the popular Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk), in what was billed as a scientific match.

Manager Bobby Heenan appeared at ringside during the bout, seemingly surprising both teams, the referee, and the commentators. The confusion allowed the Islanders to attack the Can-Ams from behind, giving the Islanders a countout win. Tama's gave a flying headbutt to Tom Zenk on the arena floor as Bobby Heenan gloated over his new tag team. A summer feud with the most popular tag team in the federation was just on the horizon.

The Islanders appeared at the very first Survivor Series (1987). They were part of the 10 team survivor Tag Team elimination match. While Haku lay on the mat during the match Dynamite Kid of the British Bulldogs attempted a falling headbutt from the top rope. Announcer Jesse Ventura immediately pointed out Dynamite Kid's mistake in mentioning , "oh no you don't want to butt heads with these South Sea Island Boys". Dynamite Kid was practically knocked out, as Haku shook his head, arose, and landed a throat kick to Dyanmite Kid, pinning him.

As heels, The Islanders had two major feuds. The first was with Strike Force, who were formed in the wake of Tito Santana saving Rick Martel (whose partner Tom Zenk had just left the WWF) from a 2-on-1 attack by The Islanders. The second was with The British Bulldogs, whose mascot Matilda was "dog-napped" by The Islanders. The two teams would meet on opposite sides of a 6-man tag team match (along with Koko B. Ware teaming with the Bulldogs and Bobby Heenan with The Islanders) at WrestleMania IV.

The team was disbanded when Tama left the WWF.


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