Arn Anderson to Maintain the Legacy of the 4 Horsemen in AIW!

By Paul Stratoti, Staff Writer & Cauliflower Alley Club Lifetime Member


Double A


Absolute Intense Wrestling is proud to present a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet one of the most respected and highly decorated professional wrestlers of all time, “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson who will be coming to Absolution 12 on Friday, July 21st, 2017 for a special meet and greet taking place from 6:00PM-7:30PM before the event at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel 1355 W 70th St, Cleveland, Ohio 44102 .
 
Arn has one of the most impressive resumes in the professional wrestling industry. A founding member of the legendary Four Horsemen, “The Enforcer” was a four time NWA/WCW Television Title holder, a five time NWA/WCW World Tag Team Champion, and a WWF World Tag Team Champion.
 
Following his retirement as an in ring competitor, Anderson became one of the most respected behind the scenes voices in wrestling, leading to his employment with World Wrestling Entertainment.
 

Photo Op/Autograph Pricing will be released closer to the event however VIP ticket holders will get first access to the meet and greet session. The Cauliflower Alley Club Honors JJ Dillon and the 4 Horsemen!


 
How It All Began:
Ric Flair was originally brought in as a cousin of Gene Anderson and Ole Anderson (aka Minnesota Wrecking Crew) in the 1970s’ Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.
When tag team partners Blackjack Mulligan (Barry Windham’s father) retired and Greg Valentine jumped to the WWE Ric Flair sought out new tough talent to team with.
 
On June 30, 1983 at Cleveland Convention Center Ole Anderson defeated Paul Ellering by DQ when Ellering was on the mat in the corner begging for forgiveness and all of a sudden the Road Warriors interfered! Ole announced that night that he was intent on seeking tag team supremacy.
 
On November 18, 1983 at Cleveland Convention Center Ole Anderson, Buzz Sawyer & Pez Whatley defeated the Road Warriors & Paul Ellering in 6 man tag team action.
 
On December 27, 1983 at Canton Civic Center during a World Jr. Heavyweight Championship match Tommy Rogers defeated Les Thornton w suplex when Ole jumped in and counted Thornton out while the ref was unconscious. Ole awarded the match and belt to Rodgers. Later, WCW returned the belt to Thornton due to a controversial decision. After a brief intermission Ole defeated Jake Roberts by DQ.
 
On May 25, 1984 at Cleveland Convention Center during an Elimination Match Ole Anderson, Stan Hansen & Brad Armstrong vs the Spoiler, Ted DiBiase & a new recruit brought in from Continental Championship Wrestling Arn Anderson: – 1) Ole* pinned Arn 2) Hansen vs Spoiler went to a Double Count Out 3) Ole pinned DiBiase.
  • – As the acting promoter for the Cleveland NWA office Ole now had a first hand screening for the upcoming 4 Horsemen faction now in the works
On June 10, 1984 at Cleveland Convention Center during a Strap Match Ole Anderson defeated Arn.
 
October 26, 1984 at Cleveland Convention Center – 2 young female fans were allegedly assaulted by Ole Anderson while ringside. This reporter did not see anything of the like.
On December 7, 1984 at Cleveland Convention Center Ole Anderson, Jimmy Valiant & Tommy Rich defeated the New York Assassins & Jimmy Hart. In the main event for the
NWA World Title champ: Ric Flair vs Ron Garvin went to a Double Count Out
 
On December 27, 1984 at Cleveland Convention Center Ole Anderson & Thunderbolt Patterson defeated the Terminators (w mgr. Jimmy Hart).
January 11, 1985 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center – In a National Tag Team Title Match Ole Anderson & Thunderbolt Patterson defeated the Long Riders to win belts!
 
On March 5, 1985 Canton Ohio Civic Center in a Brass Knuckles/No DQ Match Ole Anderson defeated Scott “Hog” Irwin!
 
March 7, 1985 Cleveland Ohio WEWS –TV Live on 5: Ole Anderson, Tommy Rich & T-Bolt Patterson interviewed by Steve Wolford as supervised by Wilma Smith @ WEWS-TV-5!*
 
Here, this reporter captured Ole as he was speaking on WEWS-TV 5 on a Cleveland, Ohio “Live on 5” segment which aired about 10 days later as he was on the verge of turning heel on Thunderbolt Patterson and Tommy Rich. It is interesting to note that Ole didn’t share the same hotel during their stay leaving Rich and ‘bolt at the Brookpark Budget Inn behind.
Later that night at Cleveland Hts., High School the Italian Stallion & T-Bolt Patterson defeated Bob Roop & Kareem Muhammad.* Shortly,thereafter, during a Brass Knuckles Match Ole defeated Scott Hog Irwin (w Mgr. Jr). Within weeks, the Andersons were engaged in a bitter battle with Ole & Bolt.
 
March 28, 1985 at Cleveland Convention Center Buzz Sawyer, Ole Anderson, & Gene Anderson def Scott Hog Irwin, Kareem Muhammad & Ron Starr
 
April 1, 1985 Canton Ohio Civic Center – Ole Anderson, Gene Anderson & Buzz Sawyer defeated Scott Hog Irwin, Rip Rodgers & Kareem Muhammad … and in the Main Event for the NWA World Title Ric Flair defeated “Tommy Wildfire Rich
 
On April 27, 1985 at Cleveland Convention Center in a Texas Bullrope Indian Strap Match: – Wahoo McDaniels & Dusty Rhodes defeated Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (paired for the first time in Cleveland)! – Later that evening in an NWA World Championship No Disqualification, No Time Limit No Count Out Match Ric Flair defeated Ron Garvin!
 
May 5, 1985 in Steubenville, Ohio at St. John Arena: National Tag Team Title Match: – T-Bolt Patterson & Manny Fernandez defeated Ole & Arn Anderson by DQ.
May 18, 1985 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center National Tag Team Title Match: Manny Fernandez & T-Bolt defeated Ole & Arn Anderson by DQ

 
July 13, 1985 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center
Kevin Sullivan vs Dick Slater – D CO*
 
On October 7, 1985 Canton Ohio Civic Center Arn Anderson defeated Sam Houston. Later for the NWA U.S. Title Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA went to a Double Count Out NWA World Heavyweight Title Match: Ric Flair defeated Ron Garvin
 
October 26, 1985 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center – National Tag Title Match: Ole & Arn defeated Jimmy Valiant & Sam Houston – Jerry Lawler defeated local indie promoter Tony Vicaro – U.S. Title: Tully Blanchard defeated Ron Garvin by reverse decision – In a Non-title Match the Rock & Roll Express defeated Ivan & Nikita Koloff when Morton pinned Kruschev! – NWA World Title: Magnum TA (w Dusty Rhodes) defeated Ric Flair (w Arn Anderson) by DQ.
 
In late 1985, Blanchard fired Baby Doll as his manager, slapping her during an interview segment which ignited a feud with Dusty Rhodes, who came to her aid. JJ Dillon then became Blanchard’s manager.
 
In November of 1985 Ric formed the Four Horsemen with “cousins” Ole Anderson and new recruits Arn and Southwest Championship Wrestling’s own Tully Blanchard with JJ Dillon as their manager.
 
On November 16, 1985 at Cleveland Convention Center in a Taped Fists Match Tully Blanchard defeated Ron Garvin. Later, Dusty Rhodes, Billy Jack Haynes & Magnum TA defeated Ole Anderson, Ric Flair & Arn Anderson
 
December 7, 1985 at Cleveland Convention Center Magnum TA defeated Ole Anderson – Texas Death Match: Dusty Rhodes def Arn Anderson – $20,000 – 19 Man Bunkhouse Stampede Battle Royal: – Magnum TA wins – Tully Blanchard last man eliminated!
 
January 12, 1986 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center: – National Title: Ric Flair def Dusty Rhodes when the Dream threw Flair over top rope by DQ – I Quit Match: Magnum TA defeated Tully Blanchard!
 
February 9, 1986 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center – In a Taped Fists Match: Tully Blanchard(w JJ) defeated Jimmy Valiant(w Ron Bass) – NWA World Title: Ric Flair def Ron Garvin
 
March 16, 1986 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center – For the World TV Title: Champ Arn Anderson defeated Dusty Rhodes by DQ – US Title vs Nat’l Title: Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA – Double Count Out – NWA World Title: Ric Flair defeated Ron Garvin!
 
On May 25, 1986 at Cleveland Convention Center Dusty Rhodes defeated Arn and later that night – NWA World Title: Rick Flair defeated Robert Gibson by using ropes for leverage!
 
July 13, 1986 Cleveland Ohio Cleveland Stadium Ron Garvin & Sam Houston vs Krusher Kruschev & Arn Anderson went to a DRAW
 
On September 14, 1986 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center fans saw a raritly -a women’s match when Misty Blue defeats Linda Dallas (w Mad Dog Kelley)! Later, “Capt. Redneck” Dick Murdock defeated Arn Anderson. Still later, for the National Title: Wahoo McDaniel defeated Tully Blanchard by DQ. Tully keeps belt.
 
December 6, 1986 at Cleveland Convention Center Tully Blanchard defeats Brad Armstrong by count out
 
Lex Luger joined the 4 Horsemen In February 1987, being made an associate member of the group after he expressed his desire to become a Horseman. Here, after seeing Tully and manager JJ Dillon down on the mat Lex runs in to assist his new brothers in arms.
 
July 26, 1987 at Cleveland Stadium – World TV Title Match: Tully Blanchard vs Jimmy Garvin – DRAW
 
October 7, 1987 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center – WCW tidbits) – Lex Lugar defeated Cougar Jay – NWA World Title: Ron Garvin defeated Tully Blanchard by DQ – Western States Title: Barry Windham def Eddie Gilbert by DQ – Rick Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & Lex Lugar vs Barry Windham, Mike Rotundo & the Lightning Express went to a Double DQ! – World 6 Man Tag team Championship Cage Match: Dusty Rhodes & the Road Warriors defeated Rick Flair, Lex Lugar & Tully Blanchard when Animal pinned Tully
 
October 11, 1987 Columbus Ohio Ohio Center (Tidbits) – Western States Title: Barry Windham defeated Dick Murdoch by DQ – NWA World Title: Ron Garvin defeated Ric Flair who was counted out
 
Toward the end of 1987 Lex Luger defected from the Horsemen and feuded with all of them, quickly forming a partnership with Barry Windham. Together they defeated Anderson and Blanchard on March 27, 1988. Several weeks later Windham turned on Luger and became the newest Horsemen.
 
November 12, 1988 Columbus Ohio Fairgrounds (tidbits) – Sting defeated Barry Windham by DQ – Lex Lugar & Bam Bam Bigelow defeated the Midnight Express – Ric Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes
 
February 15, 1989 Cleveland Ohio Convention Center (tidbits) – Clash of Champions V
Lex Lugar def Blackmailer
 
On June 16, 1989 Cleveland Ohio Public Hall Lex Lugar defeated Ricky Steamboat
 
September 29, 1989 at Richfield Ohio Coliseum – WWE – Demolition defeated the Brainbusters (Arn & Tully) by DQ
 
On November 13, 1989 Tully became a born-again Christian and has preached the Christian Gospel at his prison ministry.
 
On August 10, 1990 at the Cleveland, Ohio, Convention Center: When the 4 Horsemen were 3:
– Paul Orndorff defeated Barry Windham by DQ – Sting & Junkyard Dog defeated Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (w Sid Vicious)
On October 18, 1990 at Canton Ohio Civic Center U.S. Title Match : Lex Lugar defeated Sid Vicious
On June 9, 1991 at Cleveland Convention Center – NWA/WCW tidbits – World TV Title: Bob Eaton defeated Arn Anderson – U.S. Title: Lex Lugar vs Nikita Koloff – Double DQ – Taped Fists Match: Barry Windham def Brian Pillman – NWA World Title: El Gigante def Ric Flair – DQ
The Four Horsemen hence feuded with Dusty Rhodes and broke his ankle and hand in the process. They feuded with the Rock & Roll Express and broke Ricky Morton’s nose during that tour. They feuded with Nikita Koloff and injured his neck during that time.
 
On Oct 31, 1991 Gene Anderson suffers a fatal heart attack while attending a training event.
 
At the end of 1997, Arn received the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Stanley Weston Award, recognizing his career achievements.
In the mid-2000s, Blanchard briefly worked for WWE as a producer. Tully was inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame in 2009 as well as the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.
Blanchard’s 2nd marriage was to Courtney Shattuck. Together, they have 4 children including current indie sensation Tessa.

In 2010 Tully Blanchard joined International Network of Prison Ministries, where he serves on the Board of Advisers.

I’ll always treasure the memory of my few experiences with JJ or any of the other Horsemen who I have encountered through the years.
One time I was in the doorway by the Cleveland Convention Center back stage workout room and wanted to take a couple of pictures of the Iron Sheik and Paul Orndorff who were working out on the Nautilus machine. As I was facing the machine and the superstars who were there, Ole snuck up from behind me, put his hand on my shoulder and politely turned me around while stating, “You may take all the pictures you want ringside but I cannot allow you to photograph backstage.” I then thanked him and complied.
I was also present on October 26, 1984 at at Cleveland Convention Center when ad free-for-all erupted just outside the ring. According to news reports, 2 young female fans were allegedly assaulted by Ole Anderson while ringside. This reporter did not see anything of the like as I was ringside the whole time photographing the event. The local news reported on it and eventually following a few continuances, Ole pleaded “No Contest” to the charges.
Then there was the Cleveland Boxing/Wrestling Commission that was taking money from our NWA/WCW promoters and for what? I attended an official meeting in 1990 and took notes. I handed over copies of those notes to Ric Flair and Arn Anderson during a live WCW Cleveland Convention Center event shortly thereafter as I felt as though I was receiving unwarranted interference of my photography services during each and every card and I suggested that an investigation be conducted regarding the commission.
Furthermore that evening, when the CBWC recording secretary asked “Naitch” if he would allow me to photograph him for his own personal perusal, Ric said, “No! We don’t do things that way!” Case closed there. Shortly thereafter, the CBWC had no authority over our WCW events.
In 1968, James Morrison began his in-ring career in tag team action during a WPWI-TV Pittsburgh Studio Wrestling TV taping match with jobber Ron Sanders and wrestled Ron and Chris Dupre; the Hells Angels.
In 1982, 1983 and in 1988 JJ received Pro Wrestling Illustrated Manager of the Year Awards.
 
 
Date unknown: It was reported that Arn mediated what seemed to be a dispute between the Honkytonk Man and Eric Bischoff over Eric’s request that he allowed Johnny B Bad to win the upcoming match.
In 1989, JJ took on a front office executive position with the WWE which lasted until 1997.
In 1991, JJ responded to former CAPW wrestler Tom Thompson’s inquiry on how to work for the WWE. In his response, JJ stated, “A wrestler must have at least 5 years of verifiable experience training with a reputable wrestling school” as a prerequisite. Tommy then sought training at the Cleveland All Pro Wrestling school.
In 2007 JJ was inducted into the Cauliflower Alley Club.
In 2009, Pittsburgh area indie wrestler Ken Jugan sold JJ on returning to the ring for the school fundraiser Deaf WrestleFest where JJ teamed up with “Handsome” Frank Staletto and “Beef Stew” Lou Marconi to face the “Franchise” Shane Douglas, Dominic Denucci and Cody Michaels. It is highly believed that JJ was instrumental in Lou’s changing his moniker from “Beef Stew” to “Old School” during this time.
During the April 2011 Cauliflower Alley Club reunion JJ made the following comments during one of the Training Seminars:
I first started out as a fan on Thursday nights in the mid 1950s where stars such as Antonino Rocca and Karl Von Hess were performing and where working in pro wrestling became my dream. Karl would never sign an autograph as he was a heel’s heel.
“I pursued that dream of working in the business and got my start in the Pittsburgh area in 1970. My mentor was Eddie Graham and during this time the Funks and the Briscos fought all over in different locations…”My first match was a 6 Man Elimination Match where it was an honor to be in the ring with Dominic DeNucci (who was in attendance during this CAC seminar).
“Months before my 29th birthday I wrestled Gene Anderson for the first time. Having had that experience as a babyface helped me get a better understanding of the business…Tex McKenzie was a tall and lanky babyface who would trip, stoop, and then put his hat back on. The fans loved it.
“My first time seeing the original Destroyer was in ’74 or ’75 in Japan where he got his tooth knocked out when he fought Pak Son. Destroyer wore that mask everywhere in public and in restaurants. He would carry on a conversation in Japanese and he became loved for it. In time, the Japanese fans respected him.”
JJ on Dick the Bruiser:
“Because of his longevity Dick turned into a real babyface.”
…on Abdullah the Butcher:
“He never said a word. He had that big fork. That was it.”
“Dick Murdoch was a fine example of why a wrestler should not go into bars… Your job can be at stake. He made people believe that ”He kicked mine so just think what he can do to you!’”
…”While a title may not mean anything anymore, the temporary suspension of belief can still apply today. You don’t have that fan longevity as you did before. There is nothing of substance to bring the fans back to Madison Square Garden every 3 weeks.”
JJ On Heel Turns:
“Some of the faces were the biggest assholes and I really loved being a heel at the time… “You have to stay in tune with the times. Everybody was so giving and it was a great time.
On the 4 Horsemen Era:
“Tully Blanchard was the pure heel of the 4 Horsemen.”…
On when Tully Blanchard slapped Baby Doll Nickla Roberts:
“Nickla Roberts came to Charlotte to give Tully a brand new look. Tully referred to her as his Perfect 10 and they were a great, great combination. Her father Nick Roberts also wrestled and did interviews.
…“That one slap was it. We went off the set which added to the uncertainty…We then broke Dusty’s leg. That lead to … Ole had a son who began an amateur state regional wrestling career and he wanted to take som time off.” (for it.) So, Ole had his leg injured …”
Tully Blanchard video clip shown where he insults and attacks Ole:
“If you had taken care of business in stead of some snot-nosed kid, then…”
Ole Anderson then attacked Tully Blanchard on the Superstation WTBS – TV taping as the program went to a commercial break.
On the Gradual Heel Turn
“Tully was an “outsider” and his feelings had gotten hurt… For me less was more. I was the story-teller and the facilitator to get us to the next part of the story.”
“Today you don’t have a great talent depth…Look at the Rock’s intro. He had already come from a successful wrestling family where they decided to call him Rocky Maivia…and he had to be re-introduced…and I still hear the push for John Cena…Why? I don’t think that there is an answer. Somewhere along the way the importance of logic got lost. What you did on the town … WWE wants to be an action soap opera.”
Strat: From a reporting context should I refer to WWE in WWWF or WWF terms for its history content?
JJ: “It really doesn’t matter and I really don’t care.”
 
“Dick Murdoch was a fine example of why a wrestler should not go into bars… Your job can be at stake. He made people believe that ”He kicked mine so just think what he can do to you!’”
…”While a title may not mean anything anymore, the temporary suspension of belief can still apply today. You don’t have that fan longevity as you did before. There is nothing of substance to bring the fans back to Madison Square Garden every 3 weeks.”

 

On March 31, 2012 the Four Horsemen were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
 
Today, Ric Flair can be seen during Carolina Hurricanes hockey team home games giving his trademark “Whoooa” holler whenever they score a goal. During the April 2, 2011 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Ric was present and sitting behind “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Tully Blanchard is the head booker of NWA: New Beginnings territory in Charlotte, NC and has been a backstage agent for the wrestling shows as part of the 2010 and 2011 NWA Legends Convention which were in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA.

 
Tully is a semi-retired 2nd generation wrestler who on November 13, 1989 became a born again Christian where he currently preaches Christian gospel to prison ministry inmates. In 1992 he became an assistant coach at Charlotte Christian School. His ex-wife Courtney married Magnum TA in March 2005.
 
This past April Tully was awarded the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Iron Mike Award during which time he made a very emotional speech which can be seen on Youtube.
Arn himself received the CAC Lou Thesz/Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 and currently serves as the senior producer of WWE RAW.
Recently, I caught up with Baby Doll Nickla Roberts. I recalled to her the time when on WTBS-TV and also in Pro Wrestling Illustrated she stated that “I’ve got the goods on Dusty Rhodes!” I never saw anything more on this. When I asked her what that was all about, she merely stated, “That’s between Dusty and me.” It has since been an honor to have her among my many Facebook friends.
 
Papa Stro: “I remember the first time Papa met Ole Anderson. First thing he told me was “You’re one ugly mf’er” . Made me laugh and replied “Why thank you!” . We both laughed and been friends ever since. Was an honor to be trained by the Andersons. Respect and love always. Forever grateful.”
Strat: The first time I met Ole was in the mid 1980s when then acting Promoter Henry Robinson tried to keep me from shooting ringside at Cleveland Heights High School. Ole then said, “He has no reason to do this. I give you permission to shoot ringside only, but not in the back.”
Thank you Ole, for all that you have done for the wrestling world!
Psycho Pat: “The 4 horsemen were the original 4 men tag team heels, and a credit to thuggery. The later 90′s version showed everyone how good they really were in the 80′s.”
 

Photo provided by Nanette – taken by a CAC member who’s name she doesn’t remember
 
– Transcription, article & photos by Paul Stratoti unless otherwise noted.
Pre 2000 wrestling results compiled by Ray Baka

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