Where Are They Now? The Headbangers

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June 09, 2010

The Headbangers were dressed in nun costumes on the steps of New York City's St. Patrick's Cathedral when all hell broke loose.

"[Mr. McMahon] wanted [to film us] praying in front of the church," Glenn "Thrasher" Ruth told WWE.com. "We're bowing our heads and this old lady comes out. She sees us praying and she looks up at us and she sees the beards and nose rings and the tongue ring I had. She started beating us up with her purse!"

The scene was wild, but not an uncommon one for the team of Ruth and Chaz "Mosh" Warrington — two friends from southern New Jersey whose twisted appearances and exciting double team maneuvers brought them popularity and success in WWE's tag division during the late 1990s. (PHOTOS) And it all began in a rough-and-tumble gym known as The Monster Factory.

Located in Bellmawr, N.J., "Pretty Boy" Larry Sharpe's storied wrestling school was the training ground of WWE powerhouses like Bam Bam Bigelow and Tony Atlas. It was also the place where Ruth got his start in sports-entertainment.

"Larry Sharpe used to send out postcards to all graduating athletes and offer them a free tryout at his school," Ruth remembered.

A casual fan, the former high school wrestler gave it a chance and took to the training quickly. Within six months, he was competing in Japan for the legendary Giant Baba. Ruth was so talented, in fact, he was hired on as a trainer at The Monster Factory.

"I trained Big Show," Ruth revealed. "He was an unbelievable athlete. I just taught him the basics and WCW swiped him up."

Ruth also trained Warrington — the man who would become his tag team partner for the next decade.

"I went in one Saturday night just to watch and Glen was wrestling," Warrington recalled. "After the show he came up to me and we started talking because we knew each other from high school."

Ruth convinced Warrington to train with him at the school and the two men hit it off immediately.

"I finally found my brother from another mother," Ruth said, laughing. "From the time that we met until the time we left WWE, we were inseparable."

With his new friend showing him the ropes, Warrington learned quickly and immediately got a taste of in-ring action.

"I was only training for three weeks and Glen said to me, 'Come on, we're going to do some WWE shows,'" Warrington said. "I'm like, 'WWE shows? I'm not ready for that!'"

Despite his apprehension, Warrington went along for the trip and soon found himself in the ring with the fearsome Adam Bomb.

"I'll never forget it. I smiled the entire time, because I couldn't believe I was in a WWE ring in front of people getting the [crap] beaten out of me," Warrington said. "That's when it finally hit me that this is exactly what I wanted to do."

Soon after Warrington's introduction to sports-entertainment, the two competitors began to tag team under masks as The Spiders. The duo competed in smaller promotions throughout the United States before adopting new personas in Jim Cornette's now defunct Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion.

"Cornette said, 'I'd love to have you guys, the only thing is I don't like the masks,'" Warrington said.

That's when the former WWE manager offered an idea of his own.

"[Cornette] went to a heavy metal concert and saw all these shaved heads and tattoos and piercings," Ruth remembered.

"These guys were stage diving and spitting on each other," Warrington said. "I've been in that atmosphere, so I knew exactly what he was talking about."

With the help of Cornette, Warrington and Ruth developed the personas of Mosh and Thrasher — two fun-loving freaks dressed in shredded T-shirts and combat boots who would make the average person cross the street to avoid them. It was a perfect fit for their wild personalities, but, still, something was missing.

"We had the face paint and the rock T-shirts, but it wasn't really catching on," Ruth admitted.

"I said to Glen as a joke, we should wear skirts one night," Warrington said.

"Boy, did they hate us then."

With their look complete and their popularity rising, the duo soon caught the attention of Mr. McMahon who signed the pair to a contract in 1996.

"I still remember that we were driving back from a show in the middle of West Virginia when we got the call," Warrington said. "It was raining and Glen and I were huddled in a phone booth. It was pretty cool."

Upon entering WWE, the team competed in nun costumes as The Sisters of Love before returning to their filthy, heavy metal glory in wild brawls against the likes of The Godwinns and The Legion of Doom.

"Our favorite matches were when we wrestled The Godwinns," Ruth admitted. "We beat the tar out of each other, but it was so much fun."

The Headbangers' willingness to fight dirty brought them major success in the tag division during this time. They grabbed their first huge victory on The Grandest Stage of Them All, winning a Four Way Elimination Match at WrestleMania 13.

"That was the biggest moment that we ever had," Ruth said. "That was just the end all be all."

That same year, The Headbangers would earn their place in WWE history when they captured the World Tag Team Championships at Ground Zero: In Your House.

"It was one of those moments where you work so hard to get there," Warrington said. "Seeing the championship in your bag and going through security and being like, 'Look at my title!' That was definitely an awesome time."

In the years that followed, The Headbangers would earn a well-deserved reputation as two of the craziest guys in the WWE locker room. From wrestling in wedding gowns to heckling NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton at the Slammy Awards, nothing was too outlandish for Mosh and Thrasher.

"Glenn and I just always had fun," Warrington said. "That's what the whole thing was all about."

But the duo's wild ride would hit a snag in 1999 when Ruth suffered a knee injury that would put him on the shelf for the foreseeable future. With his longtime partner out of action, Warrington was going solo for the first time in his career. Things were about to get very strange.

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