March 28, 1998
The following is an official Prodigy Chat Transcript. Hotlines, newsletters, and websites may use portions of this chat as long as credit is given to Prodigy:
MODERATOR (Speaker): Welcome everyone, our guest tonight is wrestling legend Arn Anderson of NWA/WCW Horseman fame. Be sure to send in your allotted questions for Arn.
KevTheGrad (Prodigy Member): Is Ric Flair happy with how often he is used? Dave Meltzer of the Observer says Flair was the biggest mover of quarter hour ratings in last quarter '97 and so far this year. Why is he off TV right now? I think Flair should be given as much TV time as Hogan and anybody else for that matter.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Sometimes TV time is deceptive. Too much of anybody is over exposure. I think Flair is enjoying the days off, and unless it's positive TV, maybe no TV is better.
GoUtes BA (Prodigy Member): Compare working for Jim Crockett, Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Crockett was a time when I was in my formative years. I learned wrestling etiquette in and out of the ring during that era. At that time, that I was with Titan, that was THE show, which made it an honor to work for McMahon during that period. It was the largest earning year I have had to date. As for Eric Bischoff. WCW is my home and is where I would like to retire. WCW has been very fair to me, and I'd like to return the favor with years of loyal service to them.
nWoFan (Prodigy Member): How is your neck?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It feels better than it's felt since '89.
GoUtes BA (Prodigy Member): Out of all your partners who do you consider the easiest to work with and who you felt most comfortable with.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Read it in the book
nWoFan (Prodigy Member): Will you watch WrestleMania XIV?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Yes
ShortDogg00 (Prodigy Member): Is it true that you are going to be the new 4 Horsemen manager?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Not a word of truth to that rumor
FlyerJon (Prodigy Member): At the time when you "gave" the title of ENFORCER to Curt Hennig, did you have any idea how the angle was to be played out (aka Hennig's heel turn)?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Basically, I never gave the title "Enforcer" to Hennig. The media gave that to him. I gave him my position in the Horsemen. Had I had any idea of the result, my last act would not have been to give him my spot, but to have dropped him myself that night.
FlyerJon (Prodigy Member): If Bischoff and/or Flair ever decide to re-form the 4 Horsemen, would you consider taking a James J. Dillion type role at ringside?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): If everyone involved were in agreement, it would be agreeable to me also.
Horsmen4Life (Prodigy Member): When you and Flair re-formed the 4 Horsemen in 1995-96, was there ever any attempt made to bring Tully Blanchard back home? By the way, what is Tully doing these days?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I've had only one communication with Tully in 5 years, and I don't think that was ever an option.
Sharkey (Prodigy Member): Hey, Arn. It is truly an honor to have you here. I know that you have answered the recent rumors by saying that you're in WCW and are going nowhere. But I live in Stamford, and a friend of mine spoke with a WWF employee the other day, who said that Ric Flair is no longer with WCW and will most likely sign with the WWF within the next month or two. Any truth to this?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): None. Ric Flair is wrestling in Baltimore tonight for WCW, and is on all the weekend shows.
Horsmen4Life (Prodigy Member): Why did you and Tully leave the NWA/WCW to go to the WWF? Looking back, did you guys enjoy your stay in the WWF, or are you sorry you broke up the Horsemen (at that time)?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): We felt unappreciated, underpaid, and overqualified to be treated the way we were being treated. Everything is timing. The company was for sale. I had a family to feed, and not having that stability of knowing where the company was going was a major part of making the move at that time.
Horsmen4Life (Prodigy Member): When you and Tully were in the WWF, both of the "Brainbusters" were supposed to be in the Survivor Series as members of the "Heenan Family". On the night of the event, Tully never showed, and you appeared very unhappy during the match. What happened behind the scenes, and why did neither one of you wrestle another match for the WWF after that night?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Tully left the WWF 6 weeks to 8 weeks ahead of me, as a result of front office problems with Vince McMahon. I finished out my notice and worked out my final two months. That's the reason he didn't appear at Survivor Series. Yes, I was very unhappy. Business has always been first in my mind.
anvil (Prodigy Member): Is it true that Ric Flair is negotiating with the WWF??
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Definitely not, to my knowledge. To my knowledge, Ric Flair has already signed a letter of intent for an extended stay in WCW.
Horsmen4Life (Prodigy Member): Let's set the record straight once and for all!!! From your perspective, what happened between Sid (Vicious) Eudy and yourself in that hotel room?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It's already been covered in the press, and legally...I can't discuss it.
Sharkey (Prodigy Member): Do you think that WCW was better before Bischoff and Hogan took over or after? I mean, granted WCW has publicity now that it has never had before. But I think when compared earlier times, the overall quality has gone down quite a bit.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Obviously when the Vice President of the company sells out, as Bischoff did to the nWo, it hurts everyone who is loyal to WCW. When a star with the magnitude of Hogan joins forces with Bischoff, it certainly puts everyone in WCW at a disadvantage. I think the quality of leadership is better and stronger than it's ever been. WCW is thriving.
Sharkey (Prodigy Member): Arn, a lot of people are calling you a booker, but what exactly is your official status backstage and just how much say do you have in determining what's gonna happen? I notice Benoit's been pushed a lot more since you've had your new position, but he still hasn't won a title. I guess even you can't overrule the authority of Sullivan and Friends, huh?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): To set the record straight, I am in no capacity as a booker. My official title is "road agent". I also help with some of the production backstage. I have nothing to say about the creative process.
WmaniaXIV GH (Prodigy Member): What do you think about Hogan bringing in Ed Leslie and automatically getting him a huge push? Can you get anywhere in WCW without being friends with Hogan?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It certainly helps to be friends with Hulk Hogan, rather than his enemy. Anyone who knows the business knows that. As far as Ed Leslie's push, time will tell if he can carry the ball. Then, and only then, will it look like a good decision, and who is qualified to be a Monday Morning Quarterback where that's concerned.
WmaniaXIV GH (Prodigy Member): Was there anyone you would have liked to wrestle before you retired?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I would like to have wrestled for the World Title, obviously...no matter who the champion was. That was the only thing that escaped me, and possibly the only thing that I miss in my career.
BBlaker (Prodigy Member): Mr. Anderson, I heard that you have a new book that will be coming out. I'd like to read it, so could you tell me what the title is and when it will be out?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): The title of the book is Arn Anderson 4 Ever: A Look Behind the Curtain. The book will only be available online through 1Wrestling.com and through ArnAnderson4Ever.com. The actual date it will be available looks like April 30. There are only 50 limited editions left.
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member): Arn, great to have you chatting with us tonight! Can you tell us what Ole Anderson has been doing lately?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Absolutely nothing. He is living up on Lake Lanier. He built a new home, and is taking it easy. I spoke with Ole about 3 months ago.
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member): Arn, if you could have had a retirement match at your own "Retirement Show", who would you want to face and why?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Obviously, the world champion...whoever it might have been at the time. I don't think anybody has ever won the world title and retired on the same night. The only reason I say that is because before my injury I felt the best I'd felt in years. Before that fateful morning that I woke up with paralysis. That's what hurts so bad...the suddenness of it.
Techlight17 (Prodigy Member): Hi Mr. Anderson, it's good to see legendary wrestlers chatting with us normal people. :-) But my question is, how did you start in pro wrestling, and who helped you and trained you?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It's all it the book
Techlight17 (Prodigy Member): Who in your opinion is the best worker in wrestling today?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): You can't say any one. I think we have a lot of the best. I'd have to say Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, and never count Ric Flair out. Steve Austin is doing very well for himself. There's a lot of great young talent. Probably too many to cover in the time allotted.
Techlight17 (Prodigy Member): What is your opinion about shootfighters like Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, and possibly Don Frye entering pro wrestling? Do you feel they will be good workers and would you be excited to see more ex UFC stars make the jump into wrestling?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): The only one that has even relatively proved himself so far is Shamrock, as far as making the transition. Time will tell. It's two different animals really.
Techlight17 (Prodigy Member): How do you feel about the new styles that have been introduced, like the extreme matches with barbed wire and bloody brawls in ECW and Japan, or the high flying Luchador style from Mexico and Japan?? Do you feel that pro wrestling will go far with these new crazes, or will it fall back into the traditional 80's style?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I think you will see a lot of limping, crippled Luchadores in the near future at a very young age. Rey Mysterio is an example. He has been hurt most of his tenure in WCW. As far as ECW, it's my prediction that someone will die in the ring working for that organization. Too many risks are taken. One mistake, even in a regular wrestling match can result in permanent injury, me being one example of that. I think ECW takes it too far. It's too dangerous for the athletes. But, they have painted themselves into a corner now, and that is what their fans expect.
redrocker97 (Prodigy Member): Arn, thanks for joining us! Quite simply: What's your proudest moment in wrestling, and most embarrassing...
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): There have been many proud moments. Probably my most embarrassing was losing the TV title to the Renegade.
FinalFourAS (Prodigy Member): Arn, what did you think of the nWo's segment mocking our segment with Flair and Hennig?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It's in the book, covered extensively. I think it has it's own chapter.
FabulousKen (Prodigy Member): Arn, do you think wrestlers like Paul Roma, Sid Viscous, Brain Pillman and Steve McMichael hurt the reputation of the Horsemen? The Horsemen always claimed to be the elite, but guys like Roma and Mongo are far from wrestling's elite.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Mongo was chosen as a Horsemen more for who he was as a man. Mongo McMichael has my respect as a man, but the fact is that you are right. A lot of people where added because of politics, and beyond our control. Some of the names you list were not asked for and were not appreciated. The true Horsemen were elite.
FabulousKen (Prodigy Member): I can go on all day naming my favorite Horsemen beatings, but I'd say my all time favorite was the Dusty Rhodes parking lot attack. Which one was your favorite?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Probably the same
Wrestling GD (Prodigy Member): Arn--Who were the first people you told about having to retire, and how did they, as well as the rest of the locker room take it?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Actually, the only one that knew what I was going to say during that speech was myself. I didn't know if I could go through with it. I knew it was inevitable. I don't think until I spoke the words, that Ric Flair believed it. The reaction afterwards broke my heart as I passed grown men who are recognized Superstars who were crying in the hall. It was the hardest moment of my professional life, and one I will never forget.
Wrestling GD (Prodigy Member): Arn--What was one of your most memorable matches, and why did you select it?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Probably against Ric Flair in Asheville, NC. The reason and the behind the scenes that went on before the match are also in the book.
FabulousKen (Prodigy Member): You've often been called the greatest wrestler never to be World Champion. Your comments?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I was World Champion nine times...but never as the Singles (World Heavyweight) Champion, so that term is considered relative. I considered myself the best in the world at what I did....whether as tag champion or whatever else. The fact of the matter is, though, that the World Champion is the Brass Ring. I won't suffer over not winning it, but it's every wrestlers dream to win it.
Wrestling GD (Prodigy Member): Of all the wrestlers in the United States today, who do you think resembles you the most in terms of style?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Probably Chris Benoit, but with a lot more talent. He has the same desire, the same business ethics, same work ethic. Chris has a lot more talent than I ever did.
Plushman 21 (Prodigy Member): Mr. Anderson, I know this is a lame question to ask because it's my hometown, but what is your reaction to the fact that Kevin Nash, Syxx, Konan, and Buff Bagwell posing as the Horsemen?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): All covered in the book
FabulousKen (Prodigy Member): Tag team wrestling in the 90's is horrible compared to the 80's, when The Andersons vs. The Rock and Roll Express put on some classic matches. Why has tag team wrestling suffered as of late?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Primarily because the business is money oriented. The dollar controls the thought process. Each individual is out for individual glory and airtime. Loyalty between teams is non-existent.
Arn AD (Prodigy Member): Did you think the skit with Nash, Konnan, Syxx, and Bagwell mocking the Horseman was funny or did you dislike it?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I had a very strong reaction to it...also covered in the book
bronco 94 (Prodigy Member): Hi, Arn, what special qualities do you need to become a Horseman?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Unselfishness, commitment to excellence, a good business head, the desire to put the good of the unit above individual achievement, and with absolutely no fear or looking back hurt and possibly cripple everybody on the opposing team without hesitation or regret.
Serene Guy (Prodigy Member): What's the biggest change you've seen in wrestling in your career?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): The amount of live television.
Serene Guy (Prodigy Member): Your thoughts please on the dean of wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I miss Gordon Solie tremendously. In my eyes, he was Georgia Championship Wrestling, which I grew up on as a child and teenager and wished to become a part of. He was the best at what he did of that era and maybe any era.
TheChampVert (Prodigy Member): Did you ever have any personal relationship with either Ole Anderson or Ric Flair before your meeting in wrestling?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): None
Raven666 (Prodigy Member): Arn Anderson.........are you going to join the commentators team on "WCW Saturday Night" to replace the spot that Dusty Rhodes left open when he went nWo?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It is a qualitive aspiration of mine to learn all aspects of the business. Commentating is one that interests me, but I also know that to do well at broadcasting is not as easy as it may seem. Unless I could excel at that, as I did in wrestling, I wouldn't want to be in front of the camera.
Kurrgan (Prodigy Member): It clear that you one of best interviewers ever. No one doubts that. What advice you give to others trying to learn better mic skill?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Speak to the people...not at them. Speak in terms that they can understand. Let your emotions be felt, but not over amplified. If you tell everyone a story, most people will listen. Redfaced, spitting, screaming interviews are in the past.
BeEfCaKe2001 (Prodigy Member): Besides you, who do you think is the best TV Champ?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Probably Tully Blanchard.
FlyerJon (Prodigy Member): If the 4 Horsemen were re-formed today, who would you choose to become the newest members of wrestling's most elite and prestigious group?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Bill Goldberg
Sharkey (Prodigy Member): OK, Arn. I know it'll be hard to be impartial on this one, but try your best. Over the past 20 years or so, who has contributed more to pro wrestling, Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair? I know Hogan's brought more publicity, but in my opinion I don't think he's done much else. Especially when compared to Flair.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Totally different in what they brought to the table. Hogan transcended the sport and brought wrestling to the mainstream and made it acceptable. Ric Flair put in the ring time, the blood, the professionalism, and just the very best matches that this sport will ever see. His legacy will be "Ric Flair was just the greatest performer that ever lived". When they look back in 100 years, they will say wrestling...that's stuff that Hulk Hogan did.
Bodinky (Prodigy Member): Chris Benoit was an excellent choice as a Horseman. Is there anyone else in WCW who you think could join Benoit and Flair to reform the Horsemen?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Bill Goldberg and Dean Malenko
BBlaker (Prodigy Member): What did you consider to be the peak of your career?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Beating Hulk Hogan two times in a row.
redrocker97 (Prodigy Member): Arn, great to have you on Prodigy tonight... Any response to the proliferation of "gangs" being formed in pro wrestling today (i.e. nWo, Triple Threat, etc.) where individual wrestlers group up... Seems like everyone wants to be like the original and best-- 4 HORSEMEN!!!
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): They're finally catching on to what we knew in 1985. There's safety in numbers. We were the first, and we were the worst. We were the innovators and everything you see now violence oriented, we did 10 years ago. There will never be anything as special as the Horsemen again because we did it without political stroke or assistance. Our success was based on intimidation.
Techlight17 (Prodigy Member): If somebody asked you where to start off in pro wrestling, who would you recommend going to see, and why?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I'd say the most direct route if they have any aptitude would be the WCW Power Plant, because they'll beat it out of them the first day if they don't. If everybody could be a wrestler...everybody would be a wrestler.
Scribbles (Prodigy Member): Do you have any intentions in coming back to WCW for one more fight?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): None
bronco 94 (Prodigy Member): Arn, what about BILL GOLDBERG, is he Horseman material???
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Bill Goldberg is a special athlete/wrestler, that comes along only so often. Not only is he Horsemen material...but barring injury, he'll be as big a superstar as anyone in wrestling one year from this date.
Wrestling GD (Prodigy Member): Do you feel WCW/Eric Bischoff are making a mistake they will regret for letting go wrestlers such as Steven Regal, and making several workers like Guerrero and Malenko upset?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I personally feel that there's always been controversy among wrestlers and management, and there always will be. Push comes to shove, a wrestler will always go where they pay him the most money. That will always dictate the business...who will pay the talent. It's a talent driven business.
Arn AD (Prodigy Member): What was your favorite wrestling maneuver to perform?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): DDT
Serene Guy (Prodigy Member): Who were wrestlers that you got into when you were growing up?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): My favorite was Dick Slater. I watched Georgia Championship Wrestling, which at that time was the Andersons. Buzz Sawyer had just started.
Serene Guy (Prodigy Member): What do you think wrestling will be like in the new millennium? Will it be the same as is now or do you see a trend to something new?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I think everything goes in circles. Basic wrestling will never go away. Those wrestlers who stick to the basics will be the ones that survive over the long haul.
TheChampVert (Prodigy Member): While in wrestling, did you ever wrestle in the Orient? If so, was the competition harder there or here in America.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Many times. Japanese boys are double tough. I can't say the competition was any harder. The greatest wrestlers in the world are in the US.
Kurrgan (Prodigy Member): Me thank Arn for joining us. Arn, what your opinion on state of WCW now. What you think improve it?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): No way to determine that.
Raven666 (Prodigy Member): Do you consider Lex Luger the reason for your retirement, considering he caused you a severe back and neck injury at Halloween Havoc '96?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Actually, the injury was already in place before I wrestled him. Nobody knew, but it had happened two days previously. I wrestled Luger with the injury, and he certainly didn't help it any.
Hoops01 (Prodigy Member): Arn, what do you feel was the best match of your career, and who was the best opponent you faced?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Probably some of the best matches was myself and Blanchard against the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) in '89. Bar none, the toughest wrestler I ever faced was Meng.
UPSETS (Prodigy Member): Chris Jericho.. will he be able to maintain his push do you feel?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): He's doing a great job. His new persona has given him new life.
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member): Arn, what are your opinions of ECW's infamous Mass Transit incident where New Jack attacked a 17 year old fan, even though provoked, with deadly weapons legit?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I have no knowledge of that.
KING CRIMSON (Prodigy Member): Being the greatest speaker in wrestling, have you ever wanted to sit down and give Dusty Rhodes proper English lessons?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I'm not sure Dusty speaks English
Hoops01 (Prodigy Member): Arn, who do you think the brightest star is among independent workers and you guys that haven't been given their chance yet?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I haven't had the chance to see any independent talent. I think the brightest star today is Bill Goldberg. It would be nice to see young talent being developed somewhere. New talent is always needed.
SHovanJEP (Prodigy Member): Arn, people have been saying for the last few years that the egos in the locker room will be the only thing to crumble WCW. Now with all the backroom trouble do you see ANYTHING like that happening?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): It's always a possibility
Dark Cheetah (Prodigy Member): How do you feel about the Japanese style of wrestling compared towards the US style of wrestling?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): I don't care if I ever go to Japan again...for a lot of reasons.
UPSETS (Prodigy Member): How long do you see until Goldberg will get a TV, US, or even a World Title shot?
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): Less than a year.
Sharkey (Prodigy Member): Well, Arn, I think I know the answer to this, but I'll ask anyway. If one day you could have an operation that would restore your physical health back to 100%, would you get back in the ring? I wish it could happen. The fact of the matter is we miss you a lot, Arn.
ARN ANDERSON (Speaker): The day after tomorrow. Tomorrow would be spent negotiating my contract.
WmaniaXIV GH (Prodigy Member): What is the situation with Flair's contract? If he is able to jump would you go with him? I would like to see you two in the WWF.
(Speaker): I think I covered that earlier. He, to my
knowledge, signed a binding letter of intent and is
wrestling as we speak in Baltimore