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The Motor City Machineguns are a professional wrestling tag team consisting of Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin. The team currently works in the Americanmarker company Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The team name, which has been variably Motor and Murder City, is a play on the nickname of Detroitmarker, the hometown of both Shelley and Sabin.



Shelley and Sabin first started teaming in Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX in 2006. On August 25 they took the ZERO-1 MAX International Lightweight Tag Team Championship from Minoru Fujita and Ikuto Hidaka, holding them for almost two years before dropping them back to Fujita and his new partner Takuya Sugawara. After returning Stateside, the pair had short runs in the independent promotions Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring of Honor under the names Motor Citymarker Machine Guns and Murder City Machine Guns respectively until their main employer, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) requested their wrestlers stop taking bookings with certain independent companies.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2007-present)

Debut and feud with Team 3D (2007-2008)

It was not until April 2007 that the team debuted in TNA, where hence they had been singles X Division wrestlers. After showing brief teamwork while wrestling as opponents in an Xscape match at the annual Lockdown pay-per-view they became regulars in the tag team division, first using the Murder City name, before it was changed to Motor City. On an episode of TNA Today Shelley implied that this was against the teams wishes, saying that "Murder City" was the real name, and "Motor City" was the PG version. After being together for a few weeks in TNA, Kevin Nash—who already had a history with both men—was brought in as a manager, ending his previous alliances with Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt in the process, though his association with the group was short lived.

The team continued to work in independent promotions in parallel with their work in TNA, getting a run with the Illinois-based All American Wrestling's Tag Team Championship between September 2007 and January 2008. In November, when TNA's Team 3D (Brothers Ray and Devon) began a feud with the X Division as a whole, Shelley and Sabin became their main opposition. During the feud, for which Sabin and Shelley were joined by the X Division Champion Jay Lethal while Johnny Devine was put with Team 3D, the heels stole the X Division championship belt, before Devine won the title outright. At Against All Odds Sabin, Shelley, and Lethal won a Street Fight with the existence of the X Division as a whole on the line. In addition, their win returned the X Division title to Lethal and put a requirement on Brother's Ray and D-Von that they had to get their weight below 275 pounds in order to compete.

They were members of Team TNA alongside Kaz and Curry Man in the 2008 edition of the TNA World X Cup, but lost to Team Mexico at Victory Road. They then slipped into the role of tweeners, showing disrespect to Christian Cage, A.J. Styles, Consequences Creed, B.G. James and The Latin American Xchange however still being cheered heavily by the fans and showing respect for the fans.

Frontline and heel turn (2008-2009)

On the October 30 edition of Impact!, The Machineguns along with A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Petey Williams, Eric Young and ODB formed a faction of younger wrestlers called The TNA Front Line to oppose The Main Event Mafia.

At Turning Point, they disrespected Mick Foley as he was addressing the TNA originals backstage. Despite this and other showings of disrespect, they remained fan favorites and a part of the team opposing the Main Event Mafia. However, they would turn villainous months later attacking Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed after losing a tag team match to them. As part of their gimmick they were now described as "TNA Frontline members in name only". At Final Resolution, the Guns were attacked by the debuting Suicide

At Genesis, Shelley defeated Sabin in the finals of a tournament to become the new TNA X Division Champion. At Destination X, Shelley lost his X Division title to Suicide in an Ultimate X match that also involved Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin. The Guns and Lethal Consequences (Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed) spent the next few months unsuccessfully trying to unmask Suicide, initially also claiming that he is Daniels.

Face turn (2009-present)

On the August 6 edition of Impact!, Shelley and Sabin both turned face once again aligning themselves with Daniels against World Elite when an all out brawl broke out in the Impact! Zone. In September Shelley and Sabin began appearing as occasional commentators alongside Mike Tenay and Taz on Impact! broadcasts.At Bound for Glory the duo won the pre-show match against Lethal Consequences, and immediately afterwards competed in the Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship which was won by champion Amazing Red. On the following edition of Impact!, they won a tag team Ultimate X match against Lethal Consequences when Sabin retrieved the X, to become #1 contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championships and will now challenge the champions British Invasion (Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus) at Turning Point. On the November 12 edition of Impact! Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm) defeated the British Invasion in a non-title match to join the Motor City Machineguns in the Tag Team Title match at Turning Point. At the Pay-Per-View The British Invasion defeated Shelley and Sabin and Beer Money, Inc. in a three-way match to retain the TNA Tag Team Titles.

Ring of Honor (2007-2008)

On March 30, 2007, in their hometown of Detroit, Shelley and Sabin made their ROH debut as a team under the name The Murder City Machine Guns by challenging and then attacking Jay Briscoe after he and his brother Mark, who had injured himself during the match, had won back the ROH World Tag Team Titles from Naruki Doi and Shingo. On April 28 in Chicago, IL, at Good Times, Great Memories the Briscoe Brothers successfully defended their tag team titles against Shelley and Sabin. After the event TNA pulled all of their wrestlers from any upcoming ROH shows.

In April 2008 Shelley and Sabin returned to Ring of Honor, losing to the Age of the Fall (Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs) and defeating the Briscoe Brothers on the 18th and 19th respectively.

They returned to Ring of Honor in August 2008. On August 1 in Manassas, VA they fought Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson to a 20 minute time limit draw and then a 5 minute overtime draw. The next day in New York City they were defeated by Kevin Steen and El Generico when Steen forced Sabin to submit to the Sharpshooter. The team was scheduled to return to ROH on October 24 and 25, but were pulled from the events by TNA and replaced by the Latin American Xchange.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2009)

On January 4, 2009, Sabin and Shelley defeated No Limit (Tetsuya Naito & Yujiro) at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They followed in the footsteps of American Dragon and Curry Man as the only other gaijin team to win those titles. On July 5, 2009, at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Circuit 2009 New Japan Soul Shelley and Sabin lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles to Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi).

In wrestling

Shelley and Sabin at a house show in 2008
  • Double-team finishing moves

Championships and accomplishments

  • All American Wrestling
    • AAW Tag Team Championship (1 time)

Outside of wrestling

In 2008, the team appeared in an episode of the MTV series Made, teaching a school boy the basics of professional wrestling.

Notes and references

External links

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