WWE Ric Flair And The Horsemen
Written by: Tom Hopkins
The Main Characters
Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson formed what was the first and most prominent faction in all of sports entertainment, the Four Horsemen. Other members would come and go, but the idea was always the same.
The Four Horsemen were first born in the early 1980’s, and lasted up to the demise of the WCW in 2001.
The Film (2:12:44)
We start with a little video of the Horsemen, though the voice-overs of some of the people are drowned out by the music some times.
We start with the meeting of Flair and Arn Anderson, and Arn coming to the NWA where Arn and Ole teamed up to form a tag team. HHH said they were real brawlers and Arn says they started working specific body parts. So the Andersons were the brawlers, but Ric was the voice, cutting unbelievable promos (some of which are shown here). It was first started that the Andersons and Flair were family (cousins) and Tully got involved when the promotion saw what a great upside he had, and he was combined with Flair (the world champ) and the Andersons (the tag champs), they needed the current US champ to complete the deal. Shawn calls him the first cool bad guy.
So in 1985, Flair started feuding with Magnum TA, where Tully ended up fighting Magnum and Tully won the US title. The Andersons got involved and that fine ling of kayfabe is blurred as Anderson talked about people really getting hurt in locker room confrontations. So the four of them were starting to really interfere in each other’s matches. We progress forward with Flair’s next feud against Dusty and a steel cage match where the Andersons and Flair triple team Dusty. Arn says they broke his leg and they couldn’t get to the locker room because of fan reaction.
Soon after, Tully brought in JJ Dillon as his new manager after he dumped Baby Doll. Flair credits Arn with the four symbol and it grew out of necessity. There were three matches on the card to hype, the Andersons, Tully and Ric Flair. So Arn coined the term four Horsemen (of the apocalypse) with the four symbol on the hand, and Arn’s memories of this is a bit drowned out by the music unfortunately. Tully notes that it grew organically, that it didn’t come from a booking office, not from one of the head booker’s ideas, but from the workers themselves. Soon the four of them saw how much it grew, and how over with the fans it was. It was one of the first hand signals in wrestling, the first gang sign if you will.
What follows are tons of clips from the real glory days of the Horsemen, and the big feud of Flair and Rhodes, which they compare to the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry. They show when the Horsemen followed Dusty home and blindsided him. They continue with the excesses of the Horsemen, and the money they spent, and the women they bedded. Soon, Ole started missing time to watch his son wrestle and he was basically kicked out of the Horsemen, and Lex Luger was recruited as the fourth Horsemen.
We move to the Ronnie Garvin feud, where Flair thought he was meeting with Precious (a female valet), but it was really Garvin in drag. The Horsemen were also involved in a program with the Road Warriors and this led to the first War Games match, as well as JJ Dillon’s big bump. Tully and Arn started teaming up, and Arn talks about them working together. Michael Hayes talks about the competitive nature of the four Horsemen each trying to top each other’s matches.
Lex Luger (calling himself the athlete of the year 2000 back in 1987) broke away from the Horsemen, so that NWA could use Luger as their version of Hulk Hogan, which JR notes never worked. Flair says that the promotion never gave Luger a chance. Luger and Barry Windham started teaming up, until Windham turned on Luger and became the fourth Horsemen. Flair talks about the talent of the Horsemen and holding four titles because the promotion had so much faith in them. Flair said that WWE never should have won the war because of their talent pool. Flair says the reason the WWE won was because they had the marketing.
Arn said there was pressure because everyone was gunning for them, thinking they had too much pull in the NWA. The Midnight Express and the Horsemen had real heat due to jealousy. Flair knew people said the Horsemen couldn’t stand without him, but he said it was untrue. Flair also says the Horsemen were screwed in terms of paycheck and the promoters/bookers didn’t make good decisions for the company. Tully remembers a 20-million PPV deal and Tully and Arn made only $1000, and JJ got $3000. Tully wasn’t happy and he interviewed someone from Turner Broadcasting and told them what he felt, and as a result was left off the booking sheet. So Tully basically walked off, and when he dropped the belts, it was like an icebox since no one talked to him. Arn left, too, and the two felt that an era was over, since they were the nucleus (with Ric) of the Horsemen. They went to the WWE and the Horsemen would never be the same, as Flair acknowledges.
So Turner bought NWA, and people without wrestling knowledge were soon hired. Jim Herd ran the company and Flair calls him an embarrassment to the business. So the Horsemen had some holes in their ranks. Kendall was brought in, but even Barry said he wasn’t at the same level as the rest of the Horsemen were. JJ soon followed Arn and Tully to WWE, though Hayes says he thinks casual fans didn’t even notice, though Flair says he was devastated. Hiro Matsuda was brought in to be the manager of the Horsemen, and that was a very bad decision. By 1989 Flair was feuding with Steamboat, without Horsemen intervention, and the Horsemen were about dead. Barry signed with the WWE shortly after the feud began, and Flair says he knew the company couldn’t come back from that.
Arn left the WWE to be with his child for a while, but Tully failed a drug test and WCW found out about it and reneged on the deal. So Arn went back to WCW, but Tully couldn’t. The Horsemen never reclaimed their same vibe, but return they did, late in 1989. Sting was brought in as a member, and Barry said the Horsemen didn’t need Sting, and Sting didn’t need them. Sting was knocked out shortly afterwards to feud with Flair. Of course, we got the Black Scorpion angle. The person who was supposed to be the Scorpion (who Flair doesn’t even mention) bailed before the Angle started and it turned out to be Flair. Barry returned, and Sid was brought into the Horsemen, but Arn said he was too much of a solo player and Barry called him inept, and showing him messing up a powerslam on Pillman in Wargames. Flair says he never should’ve been a Horsemen and wants it on the DVD.
Flair talks about his contract running out, his conversation with Jim Herd and not giving his belt back, and Barry was a little pissed about not getting a chance with the title. Flair called Vince, and brought the belt with him. He showed up on WWE TV and shockwaves were sent through the business, especially when Flair showed up with the big belt, which he owned. Barry took it personal for awhile. Flair says it was emotional to leave shortly after Arn came back. They gloss over his WWE work (saying he didn’t get a fair shake because he wasn’t a Vince creation, but he did win the title twice and main evented a WM so I don’t believe that).
So Flair came back and the Horsemen reformed again, with Flair, Arn, Barry, and, Paul Roma? Paul says Ric wished he could’ve been him since he was younger and had a better body. Roma says he didn’t fit but he brought a great physique and controversy and HHH jokes about Roma joining the team. The WWE job guy? Roma calls Arn the Pillsbury dough-boy, and Flair the 87-year-old, and there is real heat here. It’s great to hear Roma give his view, the first of the ex-Horsemen to give his thoughts on Flair and the others.
We get scrolling text mentioning the fight between Arn and Sid, with Arn getting twenty stab wounds. Roma said the fight was over ego. The Horsemen disappeared after what Flair calls an unnecessary event. Soon Arn and Flair started feuding, and again Arn talks about it like it’s real. Kayfabe’s dead, man. HHH said it was a good idea, but executed horribly. Flair calls the whole event bullshit. Still, it set up Pillman as a new member of the Horsemen. Benoit was brought in to complete the quartet, and Arn says he has nothing bad to say about him and how professional he is and wishes he came in when Tully left.
They don’t mention Pillman leaving, though. Mongo McMichael was brought in, too. Soon the Horsemen became a entourage, with Woman and Debra McMichael getting involved. Jeff Jarrett got involved and became a Horsemen. Benoit says Arn and Ric didn’t want him, and even Austin says he wasn’t a good fit. Arn had to retire in late 1997 due to injuries, and gave a farewell speech. He said his goodbyes and gave Curt Henning “his” spot, too. Curt went to the NWO, though, and Arn didn’t sound too happy. Benoit says there was real heat between the Horseman and the NWO. It came to a head with the NWO, mocked Arn and his injury. Ric hated it, too. Bischoff says looking back he shouldn’t have done that.
Bischoff and Flair had heat, since Flair took time off to be with his kid and so Bischoff took him off TV. Bischoff says Flair never asked for time off in writing. Bischoff said to a whole bunch of wrestler’s he was tired of Ric Flair. So Bischoff said he would sue Flair for every day he didn’t show up and Bischoff feels justified in taking that position. Flair countersued and sat on his ass for 6 months, leading to “We Want Flair,” chants. The Horsemen were done, yet again.
Arn, Benoit, and Malenko called Flair back and asked him to come back, and even though his lawyer told him not to go, Flair missed the business. So at a Nitro show, Flair returned to a huge ovation and basically did a shoot on Bischoff. Of course, it didn’t stick and the Horsemen were dead. Mongo bailed, Malenko and Benoit left WCW, and the Horsemen were finally dead. We end the feature talking about the legacy of the Horsemen and looking at some great classic Flair promos.
Boy, they weren’t kidding when they were talking about the Ric Flair part of the DVD title. This is pretty much 85% focused on Ric Flair and his career. That being said, he was the fulcrum of the Horsemen and so seeing how he progressed shows how the Horsemen progressed. All in all, it was a decent feature. They talk about all the different members, though some parts are glossed over, like Pillman leaving being a noticeable one, and Ole isn’t really talked about either, but altogether it documents things very well. The feature has its positives and negatives. I didn’t like how Arn talked about things in kayfabe so much. Maybe it’s an older way of thinking, that we as fans shouldn’t know the inner workings and all, but we are smarter than we were then, and no one but Arn did it. It got a bit annoying after a while. One definite highlight for me was the whole Roma segment. Although Roma sounds bitter about his role in the Horsemen and the things he says about Flair and Arn, its great he got a chance to defend himself on here. That really is worth the price of admission on this. For a good feature-length look at the Horsemen, and even at Flair and his career in the WCW, this is a good one to pick up and is recommended.
1) Tully Blanchard – College Kid Buys a Rolex (1:22)
Tully meets a kid who bought a Rolex with his first life-savings, thanks to the Horsemen. Tully jokes about it being the first big thing you buy.
2) JJ Dillon – JJ Gets Surgery (1:41)
JJ talks about getting surgery to raise his droopy eyebrows and the day before surgery he was involved in a cage match with JJ where he was busted open.
3) Dean Malenko – Meeting Arn (1:42)
Dean talks about meeting Arn at NJPW and Arn asking Bischoff to bring Malenko, as well as Guerrero and Benoit, over to WCW. Dean says that Arn and Flair are very good friends of his.
4) Ric Flair – The Wildest Night in the Business (3:13)
Ric talks about the wildest night he had on the road, and asking on TV for any woman 18 to 28 to show up at the hotel and Ric says they showed up and the place was packed. They had a huge party at their suite, and Flair said it cost $4,000 on their card and more liquor was used on that night than any other night in the history of the hotel. Flair talks about a limo driver who died of a heart attack three days after working with Flair. Flair says it wasn’t just about the sex, but the fun they had.
5) The Four Horsemen Parking Lot Attack on Dusty (3:09)
This was talked about in the main program and first aired on 10/25/86. This is cool stuff. The Horsemen follow Dusty in a car, then when he parks and gets out, they’re all over him. This was innovative stuff and I’m surprised Vince hasn’t swiped it since then.
6) Jim Ross – Joining Crockett Promotions (1:45)
Ross remembers being on the B-team when he first joined, and he Ross loved the competition of trying to move ahead. Ross says when he first joined the Horsemen took him under his wing from day one, and he was there with all their parties. Ross thinks it was a joke at first, seeing if he’ll be killed, but strong friendships developed.
7) Dean Malenko – Thumbs Up! (2:51)
Dean remembers going to Chicago and sitting in a press box and seeing people giving them the four horsemen signs. One guy only had four fingers, and his thumb was missing, making his hand a perpetual four horsemen fan. Benoit came out and the kid went crazy because he was a huge Benoit fan. So the kid gave him the Four Horsemen sign, and Chris, who didn’t notice he didn’t have a thumb, gave him a thumbs up.
8) Barry Windham – Luger Story (3:07)
Barry says Luger was very tough to work with. Barry talks about one night where he was in drag for a match and he was supposed to surprise Luger. He does that, but Luger elbows him between the eyes and Barry was just cut open. Bill Alfonso was the ref and said they needed to go home because the hole was that bad. So Windham put his fingers in the hole, and they went another 45 minutes for the match. Basically, Luger was clumsy.
9) The Four Horsemen Vitamins (1:11)
This is a commercial for the Horsemen vitamin, which Crockett put out to make a buck. Arn says it was a flash in the pan and was comical. Flair calls the marketing strategies of the NWA lame.
10) JJ Dillon’s Pre-War Games Match (2:29)
JJ Dillon wrestled Allen Martin as the last match on a two-hour card in preparation for his War Games match. JJ throws him out to the outside where he’s mauled by the Horsemen, and JJ did all the Horsemen’s finishing moves, and he messed up all of them.
11) The Four Horsemen Interviews (10:17)
Shawn talks about his favorite moments of the Horsemen, and it was when the four of them were on camera together. Lawler says Tully talked a lot of smack since he had others to back him up. Arn was the guy who would say the Horsemen would kick everyone’s ass. Arn used analogies a lot and could tell a story with his promos. Flair said he stole a lot of stuff from Arn. Ole had a deep voice, JJ was a good talker, and Flair was just Flair. The Horsemen recall their promos and we get great footage of some of their promos.
1) Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & Ric Flair vs. Pez Whatley, The Italian Stallion & Ricky King (12:46)
This is from NWA Television, 06/25/85. I’m not familiar with anyone on the other end. The DVD says Tully is in here, but he’s not, it’s Ole. Arn and Pez start off, with Arn getting shoulderblocked down, then dropkicked. Ole comes in, and Pez works over Ole as well so Flair has to come in. Pez gets the upper hand on Flair, too. Flair is backdropped out of the corner, drawing the Andersons, drawing the faces and it’s a pier six. The trio soon take advantage of poor Pez and it’s probably only a matter of time, now. Ole comes in as Pez tags in the Stallion, and he doesn’t fair too well. Standard heel squash ensues, and we go to a commercial break. Through the magic of DVD we are right back with no interruption. Somehow we missed Rocky King being tagged in, but nothing happened as he’s still jobber in peril. Pez gets the hot tag and takes down the three men until Flair drags him out. Once again all six men are in there, but the pre-Horsemen take over quickly. They continue working the leg of King, setting him up for the sharpshooter. Flair comes off the top rope with a knee to King, and King’s knee is in bad shape. Brainbuster for Arn brings in Flair, who puts on the figure four. King has no choice but to submit and we’re done at 12:01. Good little six-man. **1/2. Flair goads Magnum TA, who is at the announce booth, but once two other guys come out, Flair and the Andersons leave.
2) Ric Flair(c) vs. Ricky Morton for the NWA Title in a Steel Cage Match (28:13)
This comes to us from Great American Bash, 07/05/86. Flair comes in on a helicopter just because he can. He’s like the Beatles, flying into Shea Stadium, man! They even roll out a red carpet for him. I wonder where they held GAB that year. Wikipedia tells me Memorial Stadium in North Carolina. Some radio announcer introduces everyone, and Morton is wearing some sort of headgear. I don’t know why he has it, but I guess it is Horseman related. There’s no announcing on here, something I’m not used to when watching on TV. Morton whips Flair around a bit before we get to some mat wrestling, and Morton rubbing Flair’s face in the mat. Flair tries to bail over the top but Morton pulls him in by the tights, giving us an ass shot. Morton with the ten punches in the corner and Flair flops down. Morton continues pounding the face of Flair. Morton with a roll-up (and pulling the tights) gets two. Morton’s mask falls off so he puts it back on. Flair tries slugging it out but Morton with a high cross body gets two. Flair hiptosses Morton but walks into a clothesline. Cover but Flair’s foot makes the rope. Morton continues punching the face of Flair. Flair eventually gets the mask off Morton, who ends up getting cut, and Flair puts the mask on himself. Flair takes off the rest of the protective tape and Flair tosses Morton to the cage. Flair keeps raking the face of Morton along the ropes and the cage, and Morton busted wide open. An announcement goes out over the loudspeaker that we’re halfway through the 30-minute match. Morton is still bleeding, and Flair snapmares Morton and lazily covers him for two. Backbreaker gets two. Flair puts on the figure four in the center of the ring and Morton’s in trouble. Morton reverses out then small packages Flair for two. Slugfest erupts, won by Morton, and he sends Flair hurtling face-first into the cage. Morton grinds Flair’s face into the cage and soon Flair is busted open. Morton grabs a sleeper, but Flair makes the ropes. Morton gets a quick cover but Flair kicks out and tries to escape over the top again. Morton pulls him back in and covers for two. Flair comes right back with chops, but Morton just pounds away and hurls Flair into the cage. Morton with a missile dropkick but Flair kicks out, pushing Morton onto the prone referee, knocking him out. Flair crotches Morton on the top rope and both guys are down. Flair covers, with his feet on the ropes, and gets the victory at 23:10. Well, it was a cheap ending, but it was still a decent match. I’ve definitely seen better from Flair, as this was mostly punching and kicking, but it had enough good action to make it ***. Funny note, the loudspeaker announcer says fireworks are coming and asks the fans not to leave. Well, after writing that it doesn’t sound too funny, but I’m not gonna delete it now.
3) Tully Blanchard vs. Dusty Rhodes in a First Blood Match (13:08)
This is from Starrcade 11/27/86. Dusty was World Television Champ, but they don’t mention it’s a title match so I assume it’s non-title? The announcers say it is a title match, so there ya go. Tully puts on a piece of headgear but the ref makes him take it off. So Tully puts on grease to prevent bleeding and the ref wipes that off. JJ yells at Dusty and Dusty elbows him in the head, cutting him open with it, showing the effect of the elbow. This is a great opening sequence that really tells a lot without anyone even saying anything. The match begins with both being a little apprehensive. Tully takes down Dusty but misses a fistdrop, and Tully bails when he sees the fist of Dusty ready to fall. Dusty with a headbutt, and Tully asks the ref to check for blood. Not a smart move for the American Dream, but I suppose he was never the brightest light in the socket. Tully gets pounded on in the corner, but covers his face. Dusty elbows Tully but no blood yet. Tully bails to the outside again, making this a huge stall-fest. JJ is still busted open outside, showing what a trooper he is. Tully rips at the face of Dusty, but he snapmares him over and elbows him. No sign of blood yet. Ref gets bumped, and Tully goes at Dusty with a shoe. Dusty catches him and suplexes him, right into the recovering ref. Ref’s bumped again and Tully takes a Dusty elbow to the face, and takes a beating as Dusty pounds away. Tully is cut open, but his bladejob isn’t as good as Dillon’s. Ref is still out, so JJ puts vasoline on Tully to seal the wound. Tully comes back and knocks down Dusty with a roll of coins and Dusty is busted wide open. The ref gets up, sees Dusty and calls for the bell at 8:39. Tully’s declared the winner, and new Television Champ. Match was all punching, but the storyline they told through it was actually pretty good. It wasn’t a great technical match, but it told a story through both the intro and during the match that makes this one enjoyable. **.
4) The Four Horsemen vs. Dusty Rhodes, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Lex Luger, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering in a War Games Match (23:11)
This classic comes to us from Great American Bash, 07/16/88. Now, if you don’t know how War Games works, tough, they don’t mention it on here, so you’re out of luck. Luckily, I know them. If you’ve watched newer WWE it is similar to Elimination Chamber. First, two rings are put together and a cage is erected over them. It’s 5-on-5, but it starts with 1-on-1, in this case Arn and Dusty. They fight for five minutes before a coin toss decides the order, either the heels getting the advantage or the faces. After the third man’s in the ring, another enters from the opposite side every two minutes. The match doesn’t end until all 10 men are in the ring, and you can imagine the chaos that goes on.
Dusty goes after Arn right away with elbows and Arn calls for timeout. Arn tries for a sunset flip but is elbowed as a result. Arn’s DDT’s then sent into the cage headfirst. We hear an announcement that only three minutes left in the first period. Arn’s already busted open. Again, it just occurred to me there’s no announce team on here, either. Arn kicks Dusty in the leg, which I guess was the previously broken leg. Arn works the leg but Dusty comes back with a low blow. Dusty’s been busted open already, too. Arn comes off the top but walks into a Dusty clothesline, which is slightly better than a Dusty finish. Figure four for Dusty as we have half a minute before the coin toss decides who’s next in the ring. The Horsemen win the coin toss, and Barry Windham is next in. So for two minutes, it’s two Horsemen against one Dusty. Dusty actually takes advantage at first, elbowing both guys, but it doesn’t last long. Dusty’s double-teamed for a full-on minute before one of the faces comes in.
Dr. Death comes in to even the odds, and he fires away at Arn and Barry. He clothesline both men down out of the corner, then back drops both of them coming out of a football stance. Dusty’s taking on Windham and Death is taking on Arn. Flair’s in next, and he chops Williams, who no-sells it. Flair’s a little more than worried, but he keeps trying. Still no affect. A low blow does the trick, however. Now Williams has been busted open and he’s DDT’s by Arn. Flair goes to work on Dusty now, as Flair taunts Luger, thirty seconds before the next person’s to enter. Guess who the next person is? If you said Luger, come to the front of the line. Luger takes down Flair and Windham with a clothesline, then powerslams both. He puts Flair in the backbreaker submission but is low-blowed by Windham. Luger takes on all comers before Tully comes in. We now have the Four Horsemen in the ring.
Tully did the smart thing, he came in with a chair, and did he ever use it. Flair works over Luger, and it’s Four Horsemen vs. the three faces. The faces fare well, not getting completely destroyed, well, Luger is double-teamed and DDT’d by Arn, but Dusty and Williams aren’t dead. Flair’s been busted open I see. Nikita Koloff is in next, with Flair and Windham trying to double-team him, but that doesn’t work. He doesn’t feel their lousy offense and clotheslines both down. Koloff pounds on Flair in the corner until Arn intervenes. JJ is the last member of the Horsemen in and he turns the tide immediately. He clotheslines Luger down with Windham’s help, but soon he falls under the grip of Koloff. It’s just chaos in there right now.
Paul Ellering comes in, and with all ten men in the ring it’s either survival or surrender. It’s just madness right now, with Flair dropping a knee on Ellering, Tully kicking at Dusty’s leg, Windham pounding on Williams, Dillon getting in the mix. Flair tries sending Luger to the cage but its blocked. JJ is alone in the other ring with Ellering and misses a dropkick, then is atomic dropped. Dusty comes in and tries for the figure four, using the ropes for leverage while the rest of the faces hold off the Horsemen from entering that side of the ring. JJ has no choice but to give up at 21:08. This was just pure, unbridled, chaos, with some amazing action, awesome story-telling, an absolutely hot crowd, and it’s one of the best wrestling brawls you’ll ever see. There were a couple of dead spots, so I can’t go full monty here, but still it was a classic. ****1/2.
5) Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard(c) vs. Sting & Nikita Koloff (23:12)
Somehow this is also from the Great American Bash, 07/10/88. Did they have two that year? I think maybe they did the whole traveling tour thing like they did the years before. Anyway, this isn’t noted as a tag title match, but it is for the titles. Sting and Nikita clear the ring and a huge brawl ensues. Sting and Tully are in the ring as Arn and Nikita brawl on the floor. Sting with a quick small package for two. Arn comes in and is dropkicked out, and Sting with a freaking plancha connects on Arn. A plancha in 1988!? Yep, Arn is armdragged down and I guess he’s the legal man. Nikita comes in, and I never actually saw this guy wrestle before watching this DVD. Nikita works the arm of Arn, but Arn fights back. Arn’s sent to the corner but ducks away when Nikita charges. He thinks Nikita’s hit the turnbuckle since Arn stands there, but Nikita held up, and clotheslines Arn down. Tully comes in and is clotheslined down, too. Arn’s covered but his foot makes the ropes. Sting comes in and sends Arn to the corner, but instead of ducking away this time, he lifts his knee. Arn teases going upstairs but comes down and puts on a sleeper. Sting dives at the turnbuckle, sending Arn there and breaking the hold. Arn tries to work the arm, and Tully comes in, but Tully is dropkicked to the outside. Tully gets back to the apron and is tagged in anyway. Sting should’ve stopped that tag! Tully’s armdragged around, and Nikita comes in with an armbar. Tully makes the ropes, but Nikita won’t let go. DQ the prick, is what I say. Sting comes in after Nikita cheats some more, but is sent to the corner. Tully charges but Sting moves and a diving Tully hits the ring post. Tully goes to the corner, but it’s the wrong one and he has his ears slapped. Funny spot as Tully tries to tag but is dragged away by Sting. Nikita comes in, again working the arm. Arn tags the foot of Tully but the ref doesn’t allow it. Ref distracted and Sting comes in without a tag, so Nikita slaps his hand to imitate a tag being made. Video cuts out for a second, but we didn’t miss anything. Tully is atomic dropped into an armdrag into an armbar. Tully eventually makes the tag but Nikita bails to his corner. Arn can’t get it going, as he’s put in a full nelson, so he tags in Tully. Tully is clotheslined down and choked, and Nikita hits a poor shoulderblock. Cactus clothesline and both are over the top onto the outside. Nikita gets in first, then suplexes Tully in from the outside. He covers but JJ Dillon breaks the pinfall. Nikita is pissed and sets up JJ on the ringpost and charges. It doesn’t go well for him. Arn sends him into the ringpost one more time for good measure, and the Horsemen go to work on Nikita. Ross complains that Dillon changed this match, but Nikita didn’t need to go out and beat on someone much older than him. That he ran into the ringpost tells me he got what he deserved. Nikita starts making a comeback, but is DDT’s. Arn covers but Nikita kicks out at the last minute. Its announced that there are three minutes remaining in the match, and I think we know the finish now. The Horsemen continue working over Nikita. Arn tries for a reverse splash from the second rope but lands on Nikita’s elevated knees. Sting makes the hot (and I mean hot, this crowd is on fire) tag, and Sting tosses the Horsemen around. Press slam and Sting is on fire. Atomic drop is reversed by Tully into one of his own, which is also reversed. Sting dropkicks Tully, and double noggin knocker sends Arn to the floor. Arn’s tagged in anyway, with only a minute left. Sting with a sleeper hold, but Tully comes in with a sunset flip that is botched. Twenty seconds left and Sting and Nikita a beating on the Horsemen. Stinger Splash connects with Tully, then he puts him in the Scorpion Deathlock. Tully won’t give up, the bell rings, and Sting and Nikita think they’ve won the titles. They post with the titles but it’s a time limit draw, and the titles remain with the Horsemen. The crowd was into it and it was a good 20-minute match. There was a couple of blown moves, and a little resting in the middle portion but still a fast-paced tag battle. ***1/2.
6) Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard(c) vs. Barry Windham & Lex Luger for the NWA Tag Team Titles (11:12)
This is from Clash of the Champions, 03/27/88. Tully and Luger start, with Luger shoving down Tully. Horsemen double-team but Luger sends them both down with clotheslines. Luger with a powerslam, then he goes for the Torture Rack, but Arn saves with a kick to the knee. Anderson’s tagged in and works on the knee, but Luger kicks off Arn, who collides with Tully’s who is sent outside. Hot tag to Windham and he clears the ring, hitting the lariat, then a powerslam for two. Sleeper for Windham, and Tully tries to go outside to break, but Windham keeps the hold on! Tully goes to the top after Windham breaks the hold and goes into the ring, but is slammed off. Arn’s punched off and Windham goes to the abdominal stretch. JJ distracts the ref, allowing Arn to come in, break the hold, and DDT Windham. Arn covers for two. Spinebuster for Arn gets two. Tully comes in and pounds away on Windham, and covers for two. Tully misses an elbow and Windham comes with a body press for two. Tully and Windham collide, and both men are down. Tully tries to cover but Windham bridges out and side suplexes Tully. Arn’s tagged in, and he pounds away on Windham. Wristlock but Tully flips out. He tries to make the tag but Arn pulls him back. He misses a knee drop, but can’t make the tag. Tully with a slingshot suplex and he covers for two. That was Tully’s finisher at the time I think, making it a huge spot. Windham valiantly fights back and finally makes the tag to Luger as Arn is tagged in. He elbows down both men, clotheslines Arn down and finally the double noggin-knocker. He takes down Arn and goes off the ropes, but is kneed in the back. Luger comes right back with a powerslam on Arn. Tully runs in, drawing Barry and distracting the ref. JJ comes onto the apron with a chair but Arn is pushed into it, knocking him out and allowing Luger to cover for the pin, and giving him and Windham the tag titles at 9:32. A very high-paced match, and it was just action from the get go with no rest-holds. Exciting little match. ****.
7) Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair (24:48)
This was mentioned in the main program, and its from Fall Brawl 09/17/95. The two most prominent members of the Horsemen, finally duking it out in the ring. Flair struts to start, and Arn and Ric seem to be enjoying themselves. Arn drop toeholds Flair then slaps his hair around to show him up. Ric is shoved, then smacked, and Flair goes outside, where some female fan makes a chicken motion to him. Flair comes back in, is taken down by an Arn armdrag, then slapped again. Arm with an hammerlock, reversed by Flair, which is then reversed again by Arn. Heenan says he knows who the better wrestler is, Flair, he’s won 11 championships and Arn has none. Can’t argue with that logic. Brian Pillman is shown at ringside, and I have that DVD on the shelves waiting to be reviewed. Arn does more reversals, but Flair casually chops him down, and he kicks Arn’s leg out from his leg, setting him up for his finisher. Arn goes up top, Flair tries to catch him but is raked in the eyes. Arn with a sleeper but Flair backs into the corner. Arn goes to the second rope and hits a flying knee to the back of Flair. Arn with a hammerlock bodyslam, and he’s back to working on the arm. This is the deadest crowd on the DVD so far. Arn goes outside and wraps the arm of Flair into the ringpost. We go back inside and Flair is whipped to the corner, flops onto the apron and Arn charges. Flair pulls the top rope down and Arn goes to hurtling to the outside. Flair goes to the top rope and hits a double axe-handle from the top. Flair taunts a woman at ringside who earlier called him a chicken in a funny Flair moment. Back inside and Flair stomps at the fallen Horsemen. Flair drops the knee and covers (with his feet on the rope) but only gets two counts. Arn comes back with a vengeance, with rights and lefts in the corner, and back body drops him coming off the turnbuckles. Arn gets a series of two counts and Flair begs off. Arn goes to punch Flair but the ref holds him back, and Flair low blows Arn. He dumps Arn outside, but it goes badly for the Nature Boy, as he’s backdropped on the mat by the Enforcer. Arn tries for a suplex but its reversed by Flair. We head back to the ring, with Flair hitting a suplex, and both men are out. Flair covers for two. He sends Arn to the corner, chops him down on the rebound and covers for two. Flair tries a back body drop, but Arn tries for the sunset flip. Flair drops his fist down but Arn moves and Flair hits the mat. Arn rakes Flair’s head onto the ropes, then is sent to the corner, where Flair flop leaves Flair upside down on the turnbuckle. Arn chokes him then tries for a DDT, but Flair holds onto the ropes and Arn drops. Flair flops, but is up first and goes upstairs. You know what happens next. Arn covers but gets a two. Arn goes to the second rope for an axehandle but Arn’s clotheslined down. Flair tries for a figure four, and Arn tries to block it, but Flair still locks it in. Flair punches the leg to try and work the knee, but Arn gets new energy and reverses the hold, then lets go. Flair is up and chop blocks the knee. Flair sells the knee, goes for another figure four, but Arn small packages him for two. Flair continues kicking at the leg, and tries to send Arn to the corner, but Arn’s leg is shot. The ref checks on Arn as Brian Pillman hops onto the apron. He and Flair argue, and Pillman ends up kicking Flair, who walks into an Anderson DDT for the pin at 23:05. This was a splendid, long match showcasing some great psychology between the two. I could’ve done without the finish, as something like this would’ve worked best with a clean one, but it was still an awesome match that just kept building as it progressed. ****.
8) The Elite (3:22)
This is from NWA, 11/16/85. Flair brings out the Andersons and Tully. Schiavone calls the four of them, “some of the best,” but they aren’t some of, they are the best. Dusty and TA call for the four of them to enter and the Road Warriors run in, causing the Horsemen to scurry. This would be the first time they all appear together, I believe.
9) The Four Horsemen Make it Happen (2:20)
This is from NWA, 11/16/85, and Cornette asks what it would be like for all four of them to be in the ring at the same time. Ole says no one would ever find four people to face the four of them.
10) JJ Dillon’s Ring (2:18)
This is from NWA, 08/16/86. Ole says Dusty’s career will be over, then Flair gives JJ a ring that allegedly cost $40,000 To get the full story on the ring, check the Easter Eggs!
11) It’s An All Night Ride (2:41)
From NWA, 12/13/86. Arn complains he and his brother don’t have tag titles, but its only a matter of time. Flair says being with the Horsemen is an all night ride.
12) We Are The Four Horsemen (2:57)
From NWA 12/20/86, a week after the previous promo. Ole and Arn are still beltless.
13) The Four Horsemen Give Sting the Boot (4:43)
This is from Clash of the Champions X, on the day after my 8th birthday, 02/06/90. The Horsemen were Ole, Arn, Flair and Sting. Sting accepted a title shot against Flair so Ole says he’s been kicked out of the Horsemen, but to spare his life he better forego his title shot. Sting won’t, and he’s beat down. Flair yells at him to get out of the business.
14) We Are The Original Gang (3:25)
This is from WCW Nitro, 08/05/96. The Horsemen just finished beating up on some dude and Arn cuts a promo as Flair, Benoit and Mongo keep kicking at some dude. Arn makes a biblical reference and calls the Horsemen the original gang. Good promo.
15) Flair Going off on Bischoff (4:05)
This is from WCW Nitro, 12/07/98. The title is like it says, Flair goes off on Bischoff, and its funny as hell.
16) The Unveiling of the Four Horsemen (17:29)
This is from WCW Nitro, 09/14/98. It’s pretty damn long. We’ve seen this a bunch of times in clipped form, both on this DVD and the Monday Night War DVD. JJ Dillon brings out Arn, Arn brings out the other Horsemen (Mongo McMichael, Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit). Arn promises that heads will roll, then he remembers the fourth Horsemen, Ric Flair! Flair comes out to a massive pop. Flair goes off on Bischoff, drawing Bischoff out. Flair calls him an asshole, then asks to be fired, then it ends. It seemed like it was longer, but I think Flair was cut off.
17) Arn Anderson’s Drive (1:28)
This is from Fall Brawl, 09/17/95, the same night of his match with Flair. Arn gives a spirited promo.
The quality of the old matches are pretty decent, I don’t think quite as good as the WWE’s archives, but good nonetheless. One annoying thing through the feature though is that sometimes the dialogue of the guys being interviewed is drowned out by the musical score. They really need to balance those out better. The interview portions are still low when you get to the Easter Eggs and disc one special features, too. Besides that, a good job.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This is a double-disc set, so it’s a single DVD case. There’s only the fold-open liner notes, with the chapters, the extras, and the matches (with dates and locations). There’s also a postcard for WWE Magazine.
D) Easter Eggs
1) Ric Flair Story (1:02)
To get this, go to chapters and highlight ”The Four Horsemen – 1996.” Hit Left three times to hear Flair talk about the Scorpion and Bischoff coming in yelling, “Sting’s Back!,” and Flair thinking, hey I was the one who told him what to do.
2) Dusty (0:58)
Go to chapters, highlight “Arn & Tully Leave,” then hit Left three times. Dusty talks about the group being done when the Brainbusters left, and it was as bad as Dusty wearing polka dots, a slight slam on his WWE character and rightly so.
3) April 1986 Interview (2:22)
Go to Extras, and highlight “The Four Horsemen Interviews.” Hit Left Three times. It’s just a wild Horsemen promo with Flair talking about girls calling him Secretariat.
4) March 1987 Interview (3:31)
Go to Extras and highlight “Ric Flair – Wildest Night in the Business.” Again you’ll hit Left Three times. Flair styles and profiles. Diamonds are forever, and so are the Horsemen.
1) JJ Dillon’s Ring(1:12)
JJ Dillon says he never got caught up in the Rolex watches and the cars, but saw a nice ring he got himself, which was turned into an angle on the show. To get this, highlight, “JJ Dillon’s Ring” and hit left three times.
We get a new WWE commercial to start, this time the Steve Austin film from last year, The Condemned. Of course, you also get the WWE 24/7 and WWE DVD ads. There’s also the new and improved DX set, the Ultimate Ric Flair collection, and, of course, the Don’t Try This At Home PSA. First off, there were some great matches here. So that’s a huge plus. But, I wonder why some of these were on here? I know there were better Horsemen related matches than these, like when Windham turned on Flair (as mentioned in the main feature), and how about a War Games with the Road Warriors? I really can’t complain to loudly, as the matches that were on here were all good, and the main feature was excellently done, too. I can’t call it perfect, due to some missing matches, but it was damn close and highly recommended.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 There’s at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, don’t even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever