WWE Hall Of Fame Career Retrospective: Harlem Heat

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The latest inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame have been announced as Harlem Heat. The legendary WCW tag team will become just the tenth tag team to earn the illustrious career accolade.

Arguably the greatest tag team in WCW history, Harlem Heat won the promotion’s tag team titles a record 10 times. No other team had more than seven title reigns.

Harlem Heat, a team made up of a real-life brothers Booker T and Stevie Ray, made their debut in 1989 competing in Ivan Putski’s Western Wrestling Alliance. Not long after, Skandor Akbar would take them under his wing and bring them to the Global Wrestling Federation.

The duo competed in the GWF during the early 1990s, winning the GWF Tag Team titles on three occasions under the name The Ebony Experience. That led to them landing a big contract with WCW where they would become known forever as Harlem Heat.

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The team was initially managed by Colonel Rob Parker who changed their names to Kole and Kane. But not long after, Sherri Martel, then known as Sister Sherri, took over as the team’s manager and gave them their original names again.

This was a huge moment for the team as the legendary Martel did a great job in helping them get over. Later that year, they won their first tag team title match by defeating The Patriot and Marcus Alexander Bagwell, known collectively as Stars and Stripes.

One of the most impressive statistics regarding Harlem Heat’s WCW run was the fact that of the nine times they were defeated for the tag team titles, they won them back from the team that beat them seven of those times.

Though Harlem Heat was a tremendous tag team, Booker T was always seen as the breakout star in the team and that would lead to him having great success as a singles competitor as well, something his brother failed to do.

Booker T will become a double inductee when he and his brother are officially placed in the Hall of Fame next month.

Still, at their best, Harlem Heat’s accomplishments as a tag team are up there with any team in the business across the last 30 years. Including winning the tag team titles in Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling promotion in their last match together in 2015, Harlem Heat won 14 tag team titles together.

Here’s a list of the teams they defeated in tag team title matches in WCW:

  • Stars and Stripes
  • The Nasty Boys
  • Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck
  • The American Males
  • Sting and Lex Luger
  • The Steiner Brothers
  • Public Enemy
  • Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Kanyon
  • Barry and Kendall Windham
  • The Filthy Animals (match was a three-way dance)

That’s not a bad list. Harlem Heat was likely never pegged to end up where they did. They were a team that WCW decided to give a shot to, but the star power on the roster at that time was that which Booker T and Stevie Ray could have easily flopped around.

Instead, they flourished. Their inclusion in WWE’s Hall of Fame is a perfect case of how hard work and determination can pay off.

The team here at The Floor Seat would like to congratulate Harlem Heat on this well-deserved honor.

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