In 1976, Irish rock band Thin Lizzy released The Boys Are Back in Town, a song about the thrill of reunion.
In case you somehow haven’t heard it, The Boys Are Back in Town tells the tale of a group of boys coming back to town. (They’d been away.)
According to our narrator, they haven’t changed, and haven’t had much to say since returning to town earlier that day – but man, he still thinks them cats are great. It’s an absolutely raucous song, instantly fun and catchy, detailing the boys’ exploits with glee. They like to fight, drink, and hang out at Dino’s bar and grill. Thin Lizzy’s characterisation of the boys makes them sound cool, wild, and even a little scary. You instantly want to be friends with them though. You want to be part of their gang, and hang out with them at Dino’s.
There’s a reason I’m talking about this song – beyond the fact that, for all its macho cheesiness, I wholeheartedly love it. That’s because this week on Monday Night Raw, the boys were very much back in town.
The boys I’m referring to are, naturally, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins: the Edgeheads.
Or at least, that’s how they’re probably best known – but Ryder and Hawkins’ history goes far deeper than their time alongside the Rated R Superstar. Like Thin Lizzy’s eponymous boys, they go way back.
Before we delve into their history, I have to remind myself not to get too excited here. Ryder and Hawkins didn’t stage a full-blown reunion quite yet. Hawkins had been appointed special guest referee for The Revival’s title shot against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable – and the man behind WWE’s longest losing streak proved himself to be an amazing referee. For his crime of correctly calling out Dash and Dawson’s heel tactics, Hawkins was beaten down after the match. It’s worth pointing out that Roode and Gable were nowhere to been, despite portraying themselves as a lovable odd-couple of babyfaces.
Clearly, Roode and Gable’s friendship is a total sham – but that’s another story for another time. Hawkins needn’t have worried, because while the so-called champions got out of dodge, he could rely on an old friend. To a frankly monstrous pop (from me), Zack Ryder ran out to save the day. This doesn’t mean they’re definitely getting back together, but…well, take a look at their Twitter activity.
— Brian Myers (@TheCurtHawkins) January 22, 2019
The careers of Hawkins and Ryder and inextricably linked. They’re both Long Island boys, and debuted for the same promotion in 2004: New York Wrestling Connection.
They enjoyed quick success on the independent scene together, winning tag gold in NYWC and Deep South Wrestling, moving to the latter in 2006 and becoming The Majors Brothers. OVW was the final stop before WWE (one again accompanied by tag title success). There was another name change around this time – a minor one – as they became ‘The Major Brothers’. It’s a small difference, but a significant one, I’m sure you’ll agree.
The pair debuted on WWE’s ECW brand in 2007, a pair of beautiful babyface boys who defeated Matt Striker and Marcus Cor Von on their debut – and never won a match on the brand again.
In fairness, the Majors only spent about a month wrestling on the C-show, before being drafted to SmackDown where they enjoyed slightly more success. Not a lot more, but some.
Things really changed at Armageddon, where the Majors turned heel and threw themselves in front of Undertaker and Batista – thereby allowing Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The newly-christened Edgeheads formed a key part of Edge and Vickie Guerrero’s ‘La Familia’ stable, and won the WWE Tag Team Championship at the following year’s Great American Bash. They even interfered on behalf of Edge in his WrestleMania XXIV main event against Undertaker – which in my book means that Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder have main-evented a WrestleMania.
The pair remained champions through the dissolution of La Familia, but soon lost to the Colons. Their momentum fizzled from there, and eventually Ryder was drafted back to ECW, separating the team.
There have been various teased reunions since then, but neither have come to much in a canonical sense – until this week’s Raw.
Honestly, the possibilities are endless and exciting. Hear me out, okay? Curt Hawkins’ losing streak has to end at some point, and WrestleMania is surely the best stage on which to do so (even if it’s on the pre-show).
Then again, rumblings in the office have suggested that maybe Ryder will turn on Hawkins at the point of victory – perhaps to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Needless to say, I’ve tried to tune these theories out.
On a serious note, I sincerely hope this teased reunion becomes something more concrete in the coming weeks. Raw’s tag division has had an infamously terrible time as of late, and is in desperate need of an overhaul. In Ryder and Hawkins, WWE have a pair of genuinely likeable, charismatic wrestlers – a team with a career’s work of chemistry and experience together.
Even if this is simply a mini-reunion to take them to WrestleMania, the pair deserve a little investment from WWE’s creative team. Ryder’s built his name on an ability to get over in spite of his circumstances, while Hawkins’ grind over the past couple of years has proven his status as a loyal servant to the company. Hopefully they’re rewarded with – dare I suggest it – another run with the tag titles? We can only dare to dream.
In the words of Thin Lizzy, if the boys wanna fight you’d better let ’em.