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Where Are They Now? Smash
A man of many identities, Barry Darsow, better known to many as "Smash" from the most dominant tag team of the ‘80s - Demolition, was a major player in sports-entertainment for nearly two decades. Also known as Krusher Khruschev, The Repo Man and the Blacktop Bully to name a few, Darsow's lengthy career and multiple personalities are remembered by several generations of wrestling fans.
Darsow's career was seemingly destined for success right from the start. As a part of Minnesota's long and proud wrestling tradition, Barry grew up and trained with other Gopher State natives such as the Road Warriors, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig and "Ravishing" Rick Rude. Darsow has fond memories of coming up in the business with his fellow Minnesotans.
"We were all pretty tight," recalled Darsow. "We were a close knit group. We trained together, we drank beer together, and our families spent time together. We always tried to help each other out, and always had each other's backs."
Having a partner's back was something that Darsow took very seriously. As half of the NWA's Tag Team Champions with partner Ivan Koloff in the ‘80s, the man who was then known as Krusher Khruschev remembers one night when he literally "took one for the team" following a match with wildly popular fan-favorites, The Rock ‘n Roll Express.
"The crowd was really going nuts that night, everyone hated us," said Darsow. "We had just fought for 58 minutes and nearly lost our titles, but we cheated to win. On the way back to the dressing room, I remember looking up and seeing something coming towards Ivan from the upper deck. I pushed him out of the way and got hit right in the face. I had blood gushing out of my face the whole way back to the locker room."
Darsow remembers the shock he experienced when he got to the back and found out what had hit him.
"When we got to the back, I asked Ivan what had hit me," laughed Darsow. "He handed me a hot dog with a giant bolt sticking out of it. I'll never forget that."
Following his time in the NWA, Darsow moved north to work for WWE where he enjoyed the greatest success in his career. Teaming with his partner "Ax," Demolition held the World Tag Team Championships for 16 months, a WWE record that stands to this day. During his time as "Smash," Darsow enjoyed what he considers to be the highlight of his career at WrestleMania VI in Toronto.
"We were wrestling against Andre the Giant and Haku," remembers Darsow. "Not many people got the opportunity to even wrestle Andre. Not only did we get to face him and Haku, but we beat them in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania. It was a huge deal at the time."
Following his time in WWE, Darsow moved on to WCW where he competed for a few years before retiring to his home in Maple Grove, Minn. Today, Darsow stays busy, balancing his time between his two businesses, his family, and the golf course. The former grappler owns Added Value Printing, a printing company that specializes in hard-hats and medical supplies, and also sells real estate on the side.
When he's not busy in the office, the former "Hole-in-One Darsow" as he was known at one point in WCW spends time hacking it up from tee to green on the golf course. When weather permits, Barry plays several times a week, including participation in league play every Friday night. The former grappler admits that sometimes the frustration of the game makes him want to turn back the clock.
"I play against 60 other guys in my league," said Darsow. "I'm usually a six or seven handicap, depending on how often I play. Sometimes when we're out there and I'm losing, I get the urge to morph back into Hole-in-One Darsow and swing a club at somebody, especially after I shank one into the woods."
Several years after retiring from the sport that supported his family, Darsow admits there are times when he misses the business, but has accepted the fact his in-ring career is long behind him. Still his love for the sports-entertainment is as strong as ever.
"I miss it sometimes," said Darsow. "I miss seeing the boys, and I miss being on the road. But, at the same time, I know I could never get back in the ring. I couldn't do the sport justice. Wrestling is still in my blood though, and it always will be. I had the time of my life."