Bart Gunn

WWF Titles Held: WWF World Tag Team (1995, 1995, 1996)


Bart Gunn came to the WWF as one half of the Smoking Gunns, alongside Billy Gunn. The Smoking Gunns quickly became the most dominant tag team of the mid 90's. But, the Gunns received little respect, due to the low level of tag team talent in the WWF. Shortly after the breakup, Bart Gunn became one of the most underrated and underappreciated wrestlers in the WWF. After winning the Brawl For All tournament in 1998, Gunn finally got some deserved respect.

The Smoking Gunns - Billy Gunn & Bart Gunn made their WWF debut in early 1993. They were quickly one of the World Wrestling Federation's top tag teams. They had early victories over the Beverly Brothers - Beau Beverly & Blake Beverly, Headshrinkers - Fatu & Samu and Bam Bam Bigelow & Bastion Booger. Soon the Smoking Gunns embarked on a feud with the Heavenly Bodies - Tom Prichard & Jimmy Del Ray. Prichard and Del Ray took the Gunns' hats and destroyed them. The get back at the Bodies, the Gunns destroyed the wings off their robes.

After Diesel and Shawn Michaels vacated the WWF World Tag Team Championship, the WWF held a tournament to declare new champions. The Smoking Gunns were meant to be in the tournament, but could not participate due to injuries. They were replaced by the 1-2-3 Kid & Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly. The Kid and Holly won the tournament, and the next night put the titles on the line against the Smoking Gunns. The Smoking Gunns won the match, claiming the titles. Days later, the Gunns met the Kid and Holly in a rematch, but the match came to an end after the 1-2-3 Kid suffered a neck injury.

As champions, the Smoking Gunns were clearly the dominant team in the WWF. The tag team division had become talent diluted, and the Smoking Gunns would receive criticism for not facing top talent. Their main challengers were Well Dunn - Timothy Well & Steven Dunn and the Blu Brothers - Jacob Blu & Eli Blu. At WrestleMania XI, the Smoking Gunns were to face Owen Hart and a mystery opponent. The mystery ended up being Yokozuna, and the Gunns lost the titles.

Later that year, Yokozuna and Owen Hart nearly lost the titles to Diesel & Shawn Michaels. The next night they were forced to put the titles on the line against the Smoking Gunns. Without Yokozuna being a mystery, the Smoking Gunns were able to reclaim the titles. The Smoking Gunns were again the dominant team. But their reign would end, after Billy Gunn suffered a severe neck injury, and they had to vacate the titles.

Because of neck surgery, Billy Gunn would be out of action for over four months. While he was away Bart Gunn wrestled in singles competition, but was not successful. Bart Gunn suffered losses to newcomers Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mankind. Billy Gunn returned, and soon the Smoking Gunns had a title match. They defeated the Godwinns - Henry Godwinn & Phineas Godwinn, thanks to the distraction of the Godwinns manager, Sunny. The next night Sunny was the Smoking Gunns new manager.

Later in 1996, Bart Gunn got his big shot at the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. He gave the champion, Ahmed Johnson, a run for his money, but was unable to win the title. The Smoking Gunns continued to defend the WWF World Tag Team Championship against the New Rockers - Leif Cassidy & Marty Jannetty, Godwinns, Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson, and others. Problems began to arise over Sunny. Bart was upset with Billy for paying more attention to Sunny, than the match. Shortly after losing the titles to the British Bulldog & Owen Hart, the Gunns split up.

For weeks Bart Gunn and Billy Gunn battled each other. There were times when they faced each other in tag team matches, Bart picking Aldo Montoya as his partner, to see who carried the Gunns. Bart won every time. Finally, Bart met Billy one one one. Bart was in control of the match, and clotheslined Billy on the top rope. The move jerked Billy's neck, and he laid on the canvas motionless. Billy Gunn would be out of action for months.

In Billy Gunn's time off Bart Gunn was not the same. He had interviews on television where Billy's wife called in to blame Bart for Billy's condition. Bart Gunn began to lose matches more and more frequently, and in mid 1997 was gone from the WWF.

In early 1998 Bart Gunn made a surprise return to the WWF. The National Wrestling Alliance had made a resurgence in the WWF, with Jim Cornette at the helm. During match between NWA World Tag Team Champions Headbangers - Mosh & Thrasher and Jim Cornette with the Rock 'N' Roll Express - Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton, the Midnight Express made a surprise attack on Mosh and Thrasher. After the attack, Cornette got on the microphone to introduce the Mignight Express - Bombastic Bob & Bodacious Bart. After the introduction Bart and Bob turned on the Rock 'N' Roll Express.

The Midnight Express made their television wrestling debut on WWF Shotgun Saturday Night against the Rock 'N' Roll Express. With Jim Cornette's help, the Midnight Express defeated the legendary combination of Morton and Gibson. Soon after their big victory, the Midnight Express challenged the Headbangers for the NWA World Tag Team Championship on WWF Raw Is War, in an attempt to bring the titles back to the NWA contingent. Bombastic Bob and Bodacious Bart were impressive in their victory, claiming the titles.

At WrestleMania XIV the Midnight Express entered a tag team battle royal. Bodacious Bart and Bombastic Bob were the last to be eliminated, losing to Legion Of Doom 2000 - Hawk & Animal. In the following months the Midnight Express continued to have success over top teams like Skull & 8-Ball, but failed in attempts to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship. In both matches against the champions New Age Outlaws - Badd Ass Billy Gunn & Road Dog Jesse James, Bart had stare downs with his former tag team partner.

After failed attempts to win gold in the tag team division, the members of the Midnight Express laid it all out against each other in the Brawl For All tournament. Their entrance into the tournament sparked Jim Cornette to resign as their manager. No longer deeming themselves Bombastic and Bodacious, Bart Gunn and Bob Holly hammered away at each other in the first round. In the end Bart was too powerful for Holly.

Bart Gunn continued to shock the front office of the WWF by bashing his way through the Brawl For All tournament. In the next round Gunn made his most surprising victory, defeating Dr. Death Steve Williams via knockout. Not only did Gunn knockout Williams, but put him on the shelf for months. In the next round Gunn defeated the Godfather to face Bradshaw in the finals. Bradshaw had done well, defeating Mark Canterbury, Marvelous Marc Mero and Darren Drozdov in the first three rounds. Gunn continued to impress, making short work of Bradshaw to win the tournament.

Controversy followed Gunn's tournament victory. Bart Gunn's impressive victory apparently took a back seat to Steve Williams' injury, at least by the words of WWF commentator Jim Ross it did. Ross' focus on Williams offended Gunn, who had struggled to gain notoriety in the WWF as a singles wrestler. The forward progress in Gunn's career was soon unfortunately hampered after an untimely injury. Just as Gunn was beginning to go somewhere in the WWF, an injury slowed him down.

After a long hiatus from the WWF, Bart Gunn made a surprise return to WWF Raw Is War on February 15, 1999. His old partner, Bob Holly came out and shot down all the "weak" partners he teamed with in the past and issued a challenge to any wrestler for his WWF Hardcore Championship. Gunn came out and accepted his challenge, after taking exception to Holly's comments. On the following edition of WWF Raw Is War, Holly and Gunn went at it, using everthing from bells to watermelons. In the end, a man wearing an Oriental style mask knocked Gunn off the ramp, allowing Holly to win via pinfall.

It was later revealed that Dr. Death Steve Williams was the masked man. On WWF Raw Is War, Jim Ross returned from taking time off because of a Bell's Palsy affliction. Ross interviewed Gunn, announcing that he would be meeting Butterbean in a brawl for all match at WrestleMania XV. During the interview, Ross yelled at Gunn and pushed him. It was a setup, as Steve Williams and attacked Gunn under the orders of Ross.

In the brawl for all match at WrestleMania XV, Gunn finally met his match. Butterbean easily knocked Bart "The Hammer" Gunn out in the first round. With that devastating loss, Gunn vanished from World Wrestling Federation television. 1