Strike Force was a professional wrestling tag team in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) composed of Rick Martel and Tito Santana.


The team formed after Martel defeated both members of The Islanders (Haku and Tama) in separate singles matches in July 1987 (after the departure of his then tag team partner Tom Zenk from the WWF). On the August 15, 1987 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, The Islanders jumped Martel after his win over Barry Horowitz. Santana, who was doing commentary in the Spanish broadcast booth, ran to the ring to help Martel fight off the attackers. The team were played off as good looking pretty boys (a storyline that came directly from the team's predecessor the Can-Am Connection) even using the theme called "Girls In Cars", which was originally made for the Can-Am Connection. The name Strike Force came from Santana's promise that as a team they would, "be striking (The Islanders) with force." Martel immediately came up with the team's name based off this. They feuded with the Islanders until October, when they got a shot at the Hart Foundation for the Tag Team Championship. They won the titles when Jim Neidhart submitted to Martel's Boston crab.

The team would hold onto the titles until WrestleMania IV, where they lost the tag belts to Demolition. Martel had Smash in the Boston Crab, until Ax hit him in the back of the head with Mr. Fuji's cane, while the ref was distracted by a fight between Santana and Fuji.

Shortly afterward, Martel (kayfabe) suffered an injury after taking Demolition's finisher on the floor, splitting up the team for several months. In reality, Martel took an extended leave of absence to help take care of his wife, who was severely ill.

Santana wrestled in singles matches again afterwards for a while. Martel would return to the WWF in January 1989 at the Royal Rumble. Sometime later, Santana and Martel would reunite, taking on the Brain Busters at WrestleMania V. After Santana accidentally knocked Martel out with a flying forearm, Martel left Santana alone in the ring to fend for himself, thus turning heel. Martel later stated that he felt Santana had been riding his coattails and was sick and tired of carrying him. The two would feud for the next year as Martel transformed into "The Model" Rick Martel, becoming an arrogant, self-centered egomaniac. Both men scored wins over the other, including a win by Santana over Martel in the final of the 1989 King of the Ring tournament.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • PWI ranked them #70 of the 100 best Tag teams during the "PWI" years in 2003.

See also

External links

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