The powerful tag team known as the Acolyte Protection Agency (APA) once beat up Public Enemy in a WWE ring and now Bradshaw of the APA is sharing what happened that night.
Bradshaw and Faarooq formed The Acolytes as a badass tag team that was a part of The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness. Each man would go on to have Hall of Fame careers with Bradshaw having more singles success as John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) while Faarooq was well known as Ron Simmons.
Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) was a popular tag team in the late 1990s that had a lot of success in ECW and a less successful run in WCW. When they arrived in WWE in early 1999, they quickly earned a reputation for complaining and not really adapting to the WWE style well. They only lasted about four months in WWE after being released in April 1999.
The match between The Acolytes and Public Enemy that is famous for its physicality took place on the March 7, 1999 edition of Sunday Night Heat.
Recently on his Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw Youtube show/podcast, Bradshaw talked about the match with former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas, who was the fifth man in the ring that night. Bradshaw explained why they had problems before the match began:
“Their music is playing, literally playing. We went over the match, went over everything, and everything was agreed. And it’s not our finish. So it’s not like me and Ron created the finish, it was given to us by the office. Same as it was given to them by the office. They turn to me and say ‘Hey, we’re not going to do that spot on the table.’ Well, that’s the finish.”
“They said ‘Yeah we don’t wanna do that spot.’ I said ‘okay.’ They didn’t offer an alternative.”
“So Ron turns to me and he goes ‘What was that?’ I said ‘They don’t wanna go through the table.’ And he said ‘Well, we’ll take the table to them.'”
Bradshaw also said that Gerald Brisco was in the Gorilla Position backstage that night and asked if they were going over. Bradshaw laughed in reply saying that they were going over whether it took 15 seconds or 15 minutes.
Korderas recalled what it was like for him when he was standing in the ring waiting for the match to begin. Korderas could tell from the faces of the APA guys that “John and Ron coming out of a pub look” meaning they were looking for a fight. Korderas explained:
“As soon as they hit the ring, boom! That was snug! It was a beating, and these guys were getting their asses beat. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘What is going on here?’”
“You guys [to JBL] laid a number of them, let’s put it that way.”
It was supposed to be a regular tag team match with tags, but it ended up as a Tornado Tag Team match style beating with the APA “beating the snot” out of Public Enemy that night.
It was also mentioned by Korderas that Brisco was on the headset that night and called for the bell, but that the Acolytes kept on going, and “the mugging continued.”
Following the match, Bradshaw and Korderas both thought that the fight might continue backstage. However, Public Enemy shook the hands of The Acolytes and thanked them for the match.
After that match, Public Enemy only wrestled in WWE for another month and they were released. That led to their return to WCW shortly after that.