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Wrestlingaholics Online Spotlight: The 4 Horsemen

Windham would later join the 4H after fueding with Flair.

The Four Horseman concept was born one day on NWA TV in the spring of 1985. At the end of the show time was running out Ole Anderson was doing an interview with his partner Thunderbolt Patterson when Ole announced he was joining his "cousin" Arn in a new tag team alliance. Ole told T-Bolt that "I won't touch you today--but the next time we meet, watch out!". Later that month Arn was wrestling Manny Fernandez when Ole interfered to help Arn get the advantage, Thunderbolt came to the rescue only to be beaten down by Arn and eventually Ole. Later on Ole would give Patterson's belt to Arn and form "The Minnesota Wrecking Crew".

At the same time world champ Ric Flair was in a monumental fued with Magnum TA. At one point Flair offered a $1500.00 suit to Magnum to buy him off. Magnum accepted the suit saying how nice it was, and then proceded to rip it to shreds. He then hit Flair with his belly 2 belly supplex and walked away. This lead to the $1000.00 challenge. That was when Flair said he could beat Magnum in under 10 minutes, Magnum walked out and put down $1000.00 for Flair, if he could do it. At the ten minute point in the match The Andersons hit the ring, this occured several more times as the Anderson/Flair combination battled Magnum and his friends.

Tully Blanchard came into the picture during a fued with Sam Houston. Houston was a protege of Dusty Rhodes who was an arch rival of the Anderson's. Arn & Ole came down to ringside and interfered in a match and later would help Tully try to cripple Houston. In the following months the now famous interview that began the Horseman era would take place.

The scene was set, Arn, Ole, Ric, Tully, and JJ Dillion who was Tully's manager were all in the interview room late in a show. During the course of the interview Arn Anderson makes the statement that no one has wreaked this much havoc since the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The name stuck, and a wrestling icon was born.

The Horsemen would go on to fued with The Garvin's as well as Dusty & Magnum for quite some time. For the next year and a half the roster stayed the same and for most of that time they all wore gold. Early in 1987 Lex Luger was "recruited" and named an associate member of the Horsemen. But as home issues led Ole to spend more time with his family and less with the Horsemen family his demise was inevidable. Ole also did'nt fit the style. Arn, Tully, and Ric rode in new Benz's. Ole still drove his same ole' Sedan DeVille he had in the beginning. The end came early in 1987 as he was beaten down by Arn & JJ, he then went backstage to confront Ric. The 4H left him laying in a dark bathroom stall.

Lex Luger's run as a Horseman was also short lived. In Arn Anderson's eye's Luger was a blessed athelete and a strong individual but was not a great wrestler. Arn tells the story of once asking Luger to perform a "small package" and Luger looking at him in confusement. He said he responded by asking Luger if he knew "what the f**k a small package was". Needless to say Luger was gone shortly. After disobeying JJ Dillion at a Bunkhouse Stampede match in Miami, FL Luger was treated a Horsemen ass-whooping.

Luger went on to challenge Flair & Blanchard to a tag team cage match against he and Ole Anderson. Ole & Lex pulled out the win. Luger would then team reguarly with Barry Windham, untill Windham turned on him in a match against Tully & Arn, leading to Barry's induction into the Horseman stable.

In December of 1988 Tully & Arn went north to the WWF leaving Ric, JJ, and Barry Windham to run things for the Horsemen. During this time Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert was becoming a nemesis of the Horsemen, Gilbert challenged Flair & Windham to a tag match in which he would have a mystery partner. It was Ricky Steamboat who scored the pin on Flair and then challenged to a title match, that Steamboat eventually won.

On May 7, 1989 Flair regained his World title from Steamboat after the match Terry Funk attacked Flair and injured his neck putting Flair out for several months.

When Flair returned he defeated Funk in an "I quit" match. After which Funk's manager Gary Hart turned on him and ordered Buzz Sawyer and The Great Muta to attack Funk. Flair stood beside Funk and helped him fight off the attack, Sting also joined in the defense but the Hart army was too much. This fued would continue with Flair and Muta going head to head many times. One night in Atlanta, GA at the Omni Flair walked to the ring and called out Muta and Co. as they hit the ring and attacked Flair Arn & Tully rushed back into the NWA, and the Horsemen were reborn.

That was 1989, this is 1999. Ten years and the legacy continues, but no new history is being written. Why did I stop in 1989? Because I got tired of writing, no because I never tire of the 4 Horsemen. Because I ran out of information, no I've still got web pages and back issues of Pro Wrestling Illistrated to browse through. Or was it because maybe 1989 was as I said a "rebirth" of the Horsemen. For the Horsemen to have been reborn they had to die first, many people say that the Horsemen died in 1997 when Curt Hennig turned on Flair at WarGames, I don't. I say the Horsemen died when Arn & Tully left for the WWF in 1988, it was just walking half alive for the next 10 years.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Sting's brief Horseman run in 1989 and early 1990, I enjoyed Brian Pillman (whose career & life ended way too soon), and I'm certainly happy that Chris Benoit had the chance to be a Horseman in 1996/97 when it meant a little more than the most recent Horseman debacle. Those were the good, but Paul Roma in 1993, Steve McMicheal in 1996 and again in 1998, those were definite lows. The last time the 4 Horsemen rode together it was Flair, Benoit, Malenko, and McMicheal. I now believe that the reformation of the 4H in 1998 was only to appease Flair and to give him a sense of security and accomplishment in his return to WCW. And when WCW felt it was time to belittle Flair they took the Horsemen away, in the same arena where they had reformed just 8 months before. I know, I was there both nights.

I sort of strayed from my point in that last paragraph but this is my site and I'll stray when I want to. Anyway there is still hope for the Horsemen to ride high again. But it can't be something as simple as naming 4 guys and calling them the Horsemen. In the 1980's Ric Flair called the Horsemen "the most elite group in pro wrestling today", when he said it in the 1990's you could almost feel the insincerity. The eliteness must return for the Horsemen name to live on with dignity. One last example: ask any 12-16 year old who watches wrestling who they think is the greatest wrestling stable of all time. Ask that same question to someone who is about 25 years old and watched wrestling. In the eyes of the young kids the Horsemen are "stupid or old" but to an older wrestling fan, the 4 Horsemen started the trend. So nWo, D-X, The Triple Threat, The Filthy Animals, and any other stable that ever climbed into a ring owes deeply to the Horsemen.

Below is a roster of former Horsman members.

Ric Flair
Ole Anderson
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
Lex Luger
Barry Windham
Brian Pillman
Paul Roma
Steve McMicheal
Chris Benoit
Curt Hennig
Dean Malenko

Blachard's famous "I Quit" match.

Arn & Ole unite.

for more Horseman info check out Solie's Vintage Wrestling