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Wrestling / The APA

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L-R: Bradshaw and Faarooq

The Acolytes Protection Agency (or simply the APA) was a Professional Wrestling Tag Team who consisted of Bradshaw and Faarooq. They wrestled for WWE between 1998 and 2004.

As single competitors in the WWF, Bradshaw and Faarooq's careers had stalled, with Faarooq having come out as the loser of his feud with The Rock after being expelled from The Nation of Domination, and Bradshaw having gone through two failed gimmicks: Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw, a tough cowboy similar in appearance and character to Stan Hansen who after victories branded his opponents with the letters "JB" in ink rather than being seared into the flesh, and teaming up with his kayfabe cousin Barry Windham to form The New Blackjacks. This changed when they were put in a tag team as the Acolytes, which had them sport occult symbols on their tights and chests, managed initially by The Jackyl until he left the WWF, at which point they went on to become a part of The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. As The Acolytes, they won two World Tag Team Championships in 1999, while feuding with X-Pac and Kane and the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). After renaming themselves the Acolytes Protection Agency in 2000, they adopted the gimmick of bodyguards-for-hire to other wrestlers, and won a third tag team championship in 2001.

In 2002, the brand split also split the duo as the 2002 draft sent Faarooq to SmackDown and Bradshaw to Raw. As a singles competitor, Bradshaw was put in the hardcore division, winning the Hardcore Championship on various occasions. The two reunited as a tag team in Ohio Valley Wrestling and then on SmackDown in 2003. The team again split in 2004 when Simmons was on-screen released by WWE; Bradshaw continued his singles career before retiring in 2009, and the group has made sporadic appearances afterwards, mostly in a non-competing capacity.

"Acolytes Troping Agency":

  • The Artifact: The "Acolyte" name. It made more sense if you knew that the origins of Bradshaw and Faarooq as a team were as a sub-unit in the Ministry of Darkness known as "The Acolytes", but it made less sense if all you knew about them were as the beer-drinking, cigar-smoking, poker-playing Hired Guns, especially since rarely it was mentioned what "APA" stood for.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever tip or spill the APA's beer.
  • Beergasm: Oh boy did they love their beer. Spilling it was enough to set them off.
  • The Big Guy: As faces, they would protect good guys from despicable heels (provided they were paid, obviously) Sometimes they would even save the face in a pretty theatrical manner.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Their Hired Guns gimmick meant that, if a Face hired them, they could get to save the day in a big, awesome manner.
  • The Brute: As a heel.
  • Hired Guns: As the APA, one could hire them for protection if they paid them. Their clients included people like The Rock, The Big Show, Crash Holly (who hired them to protect the Hardcore Championship, which they did for about one hour.) and Hornswoggle.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Bradshaw no-sold Terri Runnels flashing him during the APA-Radicals (Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn) match on the May 21, 2001 episode of Raw, where the APA beat up Saturn as punishment for Saturn having stiffed Jobber Mike Bell on the May 12 episode of Jakked.
  • Only in It for the Money: As part of the APA — they didn't give a crap about why you hired them, only if you paid them.
  • Power Stable: Thy were part of The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness as "The Acolytes".
  • Running Gag: They quickly came up with the idea to have their 'office' set up in an open area backstage, using a freestanding door and its frame as the 'entrance'. If someone came up to their table from any other direction, they were firmly instructed to go to the door and knock, then wait to be told to come in. Needless to say, this was only made funnier by the two keeping totally straight faces while doing so.
  • Smoking Is Cool: They were seen chomping cigar during their backstage segments as the APA.
  • Spiritual Successor: Their APA gimmick may have been inspired by the WCW tag team the Hardliners/Hardline Collection Agency of Dick Slater and Dick Murdoch, who Bradshaw was a fan of.)

Alternative Title(s): The Acolytes, The Acolytes Protection Agency, Acolytes Protection Agency