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The championship title links will bring you to the appropriate pages in The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo, while links for various supercards come from Professional Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. I highly recommend an extensive exploration of both of those sites. Just in case you forget to do so, there are some reminders at the bottom of the page.

And now, on with the show ...

"Beatings are our business, and business is good"

It was once suggested that if The Four Horsemen were to license a bumper sticker, then that is precisely how it should read. Such was the situation in 1986 for the elite quartet of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and Ole Anderson. Officially formed in June of 1986, The Four Horsemen began their reign of terror. They soon established the rules of the game. First of all, nobody was to get too close to World Champion Ric Flair. If they did, the other Horsemen would strike in gangster-like fashion. Sometimes, the entire quartet would compete together in eight-man tag team matches with any combination of Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, The Rock n' Roll Express, Ron Garvin, Dick Murdoch, and countless others. Just as often, however, the individual Horsemen had the "moral support" of their partners while in singles action. The second "rule" was that, when you fought one Horseman, you usually ended up either losing ... or fighting them all! Also, the violence was never limited to the ring. Throughout the year, The Four Horsemen showed that any place was a good place to administer some punishment. TV Studios, dressing rooms, and even parking lots were acceptable playing fields for the Horsemen.

It was a protection racket of sorts, but in this case, the protectors themselves were among the most highly-decorated and widely-hunted wrestlers in the business. In many instances, Flair's would-be challengers found themselves just as anxious to beat any one of the other Horsemen, who were often titleholders in their own right. Beating any Horsemen, however, was no easy task. It was about to be a very long summer.

Unlike the previous year's inaugural Great American Bash event, it was decided that the 1986 edition would be an entire tour - a month-long series of supercards. The Four Horsemen would be front and center in these events, as they now controlled three different championships: the TV Title (Arn), the National Heavyweight Title (Tully), and of course Ric Flair's NWA World Title. Ole's leg injury in January was the only thing that kept them from also holding onto the National Tag Team Titles, which he and Arn had to vacate in February. They were the very last holders of the championship which had made The Road Warriors famous for the very first time.

Speaking of the Warriors, Road Warrior Hawk was first in line for a shot at Ric Flair. The Horsemen had tried (unsuccessfully) to haze Hawk out of the title picture altogether when all four of them attacked The Warriors and manager Paul Ellering. Now Hawk wanted the gold - and revenge! He had his opportunity in Philadelphia on the opening night of the tour. Hawk's powerful arsenal of clotheslines and shoulder tackles seemed to be too much for Flair to handle. The enormous crowd went hysterical when it seemed that Flair had been pinned for the title. It was not to be, as an earlier collision between Hawk and the referee caused a post-match disqualification. Flair held on by the skin of his teeth. His teammates had been of no use to him on this night, as The Andersons had been battered in a cage match at the hands of Dusty Rhodes and Road Warrior Animal. As if that first night was already enough action for the champ, he had to look forward to no fewer than 13 more title defenses within a one-month span! The Bash demanded a superhuman effort if Flair hoped to retain his belt. Amazingly, Flair managed to do just that - almost. (More on that later!) As for The Road Warriors, they collected a long string of victories throughout the tour, defeating The Andersons in several matches and even teaming with Dusty Rhodes to beat Ole, Arn, and Tully Blanchard in six-man tag matches.

When the tour continued, the dreams of a young tag team specialist named Ricky Morton would be put to the test of "The Man" and his World Title. Morton, one half of the successful and popular Rock n' Roll Express, had a bone to pick with all of the Horsemen. Even though he competed mostly in tag matches with longtime partner Robert Gibson, Morton was a feisty competitor, always looking for a bigger challenge. Ric Flair scoffed at the idea of Morton as a title contender. After all, wasn't Morton a "lightweight" and not even in Flair's league? Morton decided to make his intensions physically clear. Weeks before the Bash tour began, Flair had decided to watch one of the Express' tag matches in the TV studio. Spotting Flair, Morton and Gibson sent their original opponents packing with a pair of dropkicks. Morton used Flair's ego against him by inviting him to put his money where his mouth is. Along with a referee, Flair cautiously stepped into the ring -- and into one of his fasted-paced matches ever. Even though Flair's size and strength kept Morton grounded at times, the youngster kept returning to his feet and knocking Flair off of his. A very concerned Arn Anderson ran to the ring and yelled out advice for Flair. As luck would have it, the referee was propelled through the ropes to the floor, giving Arn a chance to interfere. Just as he stepped in, Robert Gibson intercepted Arn with a dropkick. Gibson then hit the mat in place of the referee to count Morton's pinfall on the World Champion!

It was not an official victory, but it was a huge embarrassment to the Horsemen. Even though the match in the ring had ended, the battlefield on that night extended to the dressing rooms. The Horsemen jumped the Express in a brutal assault, grinding their faces into the concrete floor. As a result, Morton had suffered numerous facial injuries, including a broken nose. Flair made a very vocal point of reminding all of Morton's fans that his "pretty face" was no match for the fists of the Four Horsemen. Morton responded with even more determination to give Flair an official loss, preferably with the World Title at stake. Ric Flair defended the belt against Ricky Morton in a series of matches which saw Morton wrestle wearing several bandages (and scars) on his face. The matches began even before the Bash tour started, including a Flair - Morton match held at the New Orleans Superdome in June. On July 5, the tour brought their feud to Charlotte. For this encounter, Morton demanded to have his title shot held within a steel cage. Like a caged animal, Flair used every ounce of his energy in this match, eventually pinning Morton after 25 minutes of warfare. Never again, though, did Ric Flair ever discount the threat of a challenger lacking in size but not in heart.

Fellow Horseman Tully Blanchard also had a very busy summer, stemming mainly from his troubles with "Hands Of Stone" Ron Garvin. As you might recall, Blanchard had been at odds with Garvin since April, when Tully and Arn Anderson tried to demolish Garvin's right hand. When conventional wrestling matches failed to end their war, Garvin arranged for the two to meet in a series of boxing matches with a special stipulation -- taped fists instead of gloves! James J Dillon was Blanchard's cornerman, but he was of little help here in these matches, as Garvin's assistant was Tully's old nemesis Wahoo McDaniel. On more than one occasion, McDaniel administered a beating to Dillon as he tried to slip weapons to Blanchard. With Wahoo negating Dillon, Garvin won their July 5 match. (Luckily for Tully, it was a non-title match.) Of course that loss didn't stop Dillon from trying. With the use of weapons such as rolls of coins and brass knuckles, Blanchard beat Garvin at his own game on July 26 and then again on August 2. Wahoo was so outraged over such events that he decided to go after Blanchard himself. The persistent Native American caught up with Tully and took the National Heavyweight Title from him on August 28.

In the summer of 1986, the NWA World Tag Team Titles belonged to The Midnight Express, Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey. They were led, of course, by the noisy Jim Cornette. As former National Tag Titlists, The Anderson duo was on the list of top contenders. Unfortunately for them, so was the Rock n' Roll Express. While Ole and Arn had put away a number of talented teams during the tour (such as Sam Houston & Nelson Royal on July 5), the title shot they desired was out of reach until they could get a decisive win over Morton & Gibson. As a team, the Rock n' Rollers were operating at peak performance levels, despite Morton's personal battles with Ric Flair. The cowardly beatings from the Horsemen had left them bruised but not beaten. The two teams fought to a Double-DQ on July 23, and then duked it out again in Greensboro, only to end up with a time-limit draw. Thus, neither team was given the title shot!

Eventually, youth defeated experience in a rematch, and The Rock n' Roll Express knocked The Andersons into the number-two contenders slot with a win in a No-DQ Bunkhouse Match on August 2. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson received their title shot at Cornette's Midnights two weeks later, and new champions were crowned. However, The Andersons were still in close range of a title shot no matter who the champions were. The brutal schedule caught up with the new champions in September. Robert Gibson suffered an injury to his ribs during a title match with the Andersons. The Horsemen demanded that the titles be forfeited to them by default. However, NWA promoter Jim Crockett Jr allowed Morton to fulfill the champions' commitments with any partner of his choosing. Horsemen enemies, such as Dusty Rhodes, Ronnie Garvin, Tim Horner, and Brad Armstrong, all lined up as volunteers to help carry the team. In any event, the tag team titles continued to elude Arn and Ole Anderson.

Of course, the summer tour centered around the NWA World Heavyweight Title and its owner, Ric Flair. With his unique blend of grace and charisma, Flair stepped into the ring, night after night, defending his place on the top of pro-wrestling's mountain. Nikita Koloff on July 4, Road Warrior Animal on July 9, Wahoo McDaniel (in a cage, no less!) on July 18, Ron Garvin on July 23, Magnum TA on July 25, and a pair of defenses against each of the members of The Rock n' Roll Express! They all provided Flair with one of his strongest desires - the competition which justified his claim to be the greatest wrestler alive. In spite of having failed on two previous tour dates, one man remained confident that he could defeat Flair in the final destination of the tour. The Great American Bash ended with a title shot for The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes. The Greensboro Coliseum was the site of past Starrcades and some of Ric Flair's finest moments. A steel cage was set up for this occasion; thus Flair could have no one's help to win, and Rhodes could have no excuse if he lost. It was another bloody affair, as were nearly all of the Rhodes-Flair matches. Flair seemed to have things going his way, as he used the ring, the ropes, and the cage to wear Rhodes down. The leg injuries from last year were still having an effect on Rhodes. With that in mind, Flair tried to secure a victory with the figure-four leglock. Backfire! Rhodes pulled Flair into a small package and pinned him to win the NWA World Title. It was the end to a title reign lasting two years, two months, and two days.

What a catastrophe! The Horsemen's most prized possession was in their arch-enemy's hands! It was a desperate time, calling for desperate measures. His status as former champion had naturally granted Flair a series of immediate rematches. On August 2, Rhodes beat Flair in a cage match in Atlanta. On August 7 in Kansas City, Flair again was unable to recapture the title, but his fellow Horseman Tully Blanchard attacked Rhodes at the end of the match. Using a steel chair, Blanchard did a number on Rhodes' knee. The injuries were painful, but not enough to keep Rhodes out of the ring. Under the circumstances, Rhodes probably could have requested that the NWA allow his next few title defenses be postponed. Instead, the gutsy champion headed to the ring against Ric Flair two days later in St Louis. Getting past a title-hungry Ric Flair is usually too much for any champion, and with the injured knee, Rhodes was no match for Flair at all. The intense pain of Flair's figure-four leglock combined with the previous damage to his leg was unbearable. To his credit, though, Rhodes's determination kept him from submitting voluntarily. Eventually, Rhodes blacked out from the pain. Still held in the figure-four, the referee counted down the shoulders of an unconscious Dusty Rhodes. In less than two weeks, the Horsemen System had reclaimed the World Title.

Like Flair, former champion Rhodes now had the obligatory return title match. He had climbed the mountain before, but even some of his friends questioned whether or not he could he do it again. During an August 17 title match, one of these doubters was revealed in a most surprising fashion. Late in the match, Rhodes had things going his way, and he had Flair in a pinning position. Flair's foot reached the ropes to break the count ... but how did it get there? The referee couldn't help but notice that the fans sounded very upset about something. Did they see something suspicious occur at ringside? Another pin attempt by Rhodes was followed by another foot on the ropes - and another uproar from the crowd! Baby Doll had put Flair's foot on the bottom rope twice! This time even Rhodes realized that he was being played for a fool. While trying to fight off a counterattack from Flair, Rhodes was then struck from behind with a chair -- swung by Baby Doll! The match was thrown out, but more importantly, Rhodes did not regain the title. Furthermore, Baby Doll had returned to Dusty Rhodes' enemies. Although her association with the Horsemen ended quietly soon after this incident, the whole betrayal left Dusty Rhodes with another scar, this one on his heart. And in the entire NWA, no one could be happier about the whole ordeal than one "Superbrat" Tully Blanchard.

Not only did his Kansas City attack lead to the loss of Dusty's title, but he also must have had some involvement to bring Baby Doll into the Horsemen camp, as she was one of Tully's own former valets. Just as The Andersons' 1985 attack on Magnum TA lured Magnum away from challenging Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard had made himself Dusty Rhodes' prime target. This may have been all part of the Horsemen's plans to keep Rhodes away from Flair, but they had no idea how far Rhodes would go to get revenge. Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA decided to serve up some of the Horsemen's own medicine. One night in September, Tully Blanchard and James J Dillon made their way to the ring for Tully's match against Dusty Rhodes ... without the presence of any of the other Horsemen. It was the perfect time for some payback. When Dillon tried to give Tully a steel chair, Rhodes intercepted it and KO'd Dillon. Then, in a scene reminiscent of the attack from Kansas City, Dusty Rhodes wailed away on Tully's knees with the chair. He then applied a figure-four leglock and used the ropes to inflict more punishment. James J Dillon and several additional referees were all tossed to the floor by Rhodes's free hand. Without their traditional partners in the building, Dillon begged Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express to try to help rescue Blanchard. When they did, Magnum TA forced them out of the ring as well. Then, with the same intentions as the Horsemen in the 1985 cage incident in Atlanta, Rhodes delivered a series of top-rope knee drops to Tully's leg, which was being held flat on the mat by Magnum. "The Superbrat" was brutalized until Rhodes and Magnum decided to stop the onslaught. Tully Blanchard learned a stern lesson that night: Never walk alone.

In spite of walking on crutches and wearing a bundle of braces on his injured knee, Tully planned on teaching the very same cruel lesson back to Rhodes. In spite of his World Title loss to Flair, Dusty Rhodes continued his winning ways by defeating Arn Anderson for the World TV Title on September 9. In that match, he reminded the rest of the Horsemen that a steel chair could be anybody's weapon; he pinned Arn after giving him a DDT onto one! In October, Rhodes was scheduled to team up with Magnum TA to take on Ole Anderson and James J Dillon (presumably substituting for the injured Blanchard) in a cage match. The special stipulation in that match was that, if Rhodes & Magnum lost, Dusty Rhodes would be banned from competing at Starrcade '86. Not only did Tully plan on injuring Dusty before the match occurred, he wanted the entire world to see how it happened. During one of the weekly wrestling television programs, it was announced that Dusty Rhodes had suffered multiple injuries, including a broken hand, in an incident that happened outside of a wrestling event. Blanchard and Dillon then proudly entered the studio flaunting a videocassette which they demanded to have broadcasted immediately.

When the footage rolled, it was obvious that it was taken using a hand held camera operated by someone in the employ of The Four Horsemen. The video showed the interior of a parked sedan, containing Dillon, Blanchard and the unseen videographer. A nearby Cadillac was occupied by the Andersons. "There he goes!" shouted Dillon as a red Mercedes convertible drove past them. Both Horseman vehicles sped after the sportscar and followed it into a parking lot -- the parking lot of Crockett Promotions! Dusty Rhodes stepped out of the car and he was immediately jumped by the Andersons. The cameraman followed Tully as he limped toward the scene. Rhodes was beaten and tied, arms outstretched, to the side of a parked truck! The cameraman evidently wanted nothing to do with this, so Dillon evidently took the camera from him and continued the filming himself. The gang then used a baseball bat to pound away at the helpless Rhodes. After one last shot to Dusty's right hand, the film concluded. Back at the television set, Tully Blanchard and James J Dillon congratulated themselves on a job well done. With Rhodes injured he might not even compete in the match, let alone win it.

Real-life tragedy interceded at this dark hour for Rhodes and his friends. On October 14, Terry Allen, better known as Magnum TA, suffered multiple serious injuries when his Porsche collided with a utility pole. One of the most popular and beloved stars in the entire wrestling world had to fight his toughest battle ever, as he struggled to regain the use of his arms and legs. Doctors initially predicted that he would never walk again, but Magnum eventually proved them wrong. Within two years, he could stand on his own two feet and walk with the use of a cane. Unfortunately, he had to sacrifice the remainder of what surely would have been a world championship career. The immediate shock of the situation struck a note with every competitor, be they Magnum's friends or his foes. Perhaps the most changed man was Magnum's arch-enemy, United States Champion Nikita Koloff. Nikita and Magnum had spilled each other's blood for the past seven months, and, as a result, they had developed a deep mutual respect. Nikita parted ways with his Communist partners to share his grief with Dusty Rhodes. With his broken English, Nikita could only muster up the words, "I cried for Magnum."

Life goes on. It did for Dusty Rhodes (sporting a cast on his right hand), and it did for Nikita, whose reconciliation with Magnum TA had given his career a rebirth of sorts. With Magnum's blessing, Nikita Koloff vowed to wrestle at Dusty's side for the all-important steel cage match. The Horsemen and the Charlotte, North Carolina crowd were equally stunned as Nikita Koloff stormed the cage along with Dusty Rhodes. In what turned out to be a very brief match, Koloff & Rhodes brutalized James J Dillon and Ole Anderson. With a victory, Rhodes was in the running for Starrcade and the glory that comes with it. Ric Flair ran to ringside, but it was too late. He feared even stepping close to the cage when Nikita Koloff was at the door. As he had done in 1985, "The Russian Nightmare" was about to wreck Ric Flair's sleeping habits all over again.

Blanchard and Dillon were outraged! Not only was Dusty Rhodes still viable for Starrcade, but he was allowed to compete in matches while still wearing a cast on his right hand. Furthermore, Dusty's protege, Sam Houston got past both Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard en route to winning a tournament for the Central States Title. The Horsemen's hatred of Rhodes had reached a boiling point. They decided to take a drastic measure. It wasn't a physical attack on Rhodes or any other opponent. Instead they issued some demands to promoter Jim Crockett Jr. They insisted that Rhodes defend his TV Title against Tully Blanchard at Starrcade in a "First Blood" match. If Rhodes and Crockett did not meet this demand, the Four Horsemen, including World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, would pull out of Starrcade. Obviously Crockett needed these top stars, especially the World Champion, to appear in the biggest card of the year. It was blackmail, and it worked. Dusty Rhodes agreed to wager his title in the match of Tully's choosing.

Other Horsemen had their own demands. Ole and Arn Anderson had been out-styled and out-witted by World Tag Team Champions The Rock n' Roll Express for months. The young champions' method of quick tags and double teaming was more effective than The Andersons' old-fashioned style of wearing opponents down for a submission victory. Whenever these two teams met, it was the fast pace of the match that kept The Andersons from wrestling their way. If the match setting was different, however, then outcome may change as well. Therefore, it came as no surprise that The Andersons wanted their title match for Starrcade '86 to be held in a steel cage. It was a surprise, though, when Morton & Gibson beat them to it and actually demanded this stipulation. Even as champions, they still felt they had something to prove. In addition to their teamwork and charisma, they wanted to show the world that they were every bit as tough as Ole, Arn, or anyone else in wrestling.

The selection of Ric Flair's World Title challenger was a matter of elimination. Magnum TA was out of the picture. Top contenders Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Ron Garvin, Wahoo McDaniel, and The Rock n' Roll Express were all locked into their own matches. Ric Flair had been forced into a corner. There was no denying it. Nikita Koloff was the only man who could challenge Flair at Starrcade. Even if Nikita wasn't the only choice available, one look at his 1986 career was enough to elevate him to the main event. He had won a prestigious best-of-seven series over Magnum TA to become the United States Heavyweight Champion. When a dispute arose concerning the relative importance of the United States and National Titles, Nikita defeated National Champion Wahoo McDaniel and unified the titles. He had the comradeship of Rhodes, and the blessing of Magnum. In spite of his rulebreaking past, millions of wrestling fans were drawn to him. By the fall of 1986, he was tailor-made to be the next World Heavyweight Champion. Only one hurdle remained: defeat Ric Flair.

Starrcade '86 was a "split card," as it was the previous year. The evening's matches were divided between Atlanta's Omni Arena and the Greensboro Coliseum. While Dillon, Blanchard, and The Andersons were competing in Greensboro, Ric Flair was all alone in Atlanta. When Ric Flair made his familiar walk down that aisle, he turned his head up and gazed at the towering structure above the ring. The event was subtitled "Night Of The Skywalkers" due to the scaffold match held earlier in the night. The scaffold almost represented some sort of dark cloud that Ric Flair could not escape while in that ring. It was that very ring which he shared with the Russian Nightmare.

It was more of a brawl than a wrestling match. The two men traded offence time and time again, but it was becoming obvious that Flair's assortment of knees and chops couldn't budge the huge Russian. In contrast, Flair had difficulty absorbing Koloff's crushing blows to the back and neck. Flair was weakening, but Koloff kept marching forward like a machine. The official had been aggressively stepping in between them throughout the match, so it was inevitable when he was clobbered to the outside. Koloff, knowing that he could not win the title without an official in the ring, turned his back to Flair in order to tend to the ref. Flair pounced on Koloff and began a comeback only to be leveled by Nikita's "Russian Sickle" clothesline. Additional referees stormed the ring, but they too were pummeled by an enraged Koloff. Finally, the last line of defense -- the other wrestlers on the card -- hit the ring. Koloff soon learned that they were not nearly as impartial as the referees! Bill Dundee, Jimmy Garvin, and Big Bubba Rogers all held Nikita's arms behind his back while Flair flailed away at him. Even against these odds Nikita Koloff broke free of the interlopers to charge at Flair. The match had totally degenerated into a brawl. The officials could be audibly heard calling for a double-DQ, but it was instead announced that Ric Flair had won by disqualification when Koloff struck the first official. Ric Flair survived this Nightmare to retain the NWA World Title.

About 250 miles away, the remaining Horsemen were all in the roles of challengers, as they competed for the NWA World Tag Team and Television Titles. Tully Blanchard and James J Dillon strolled to the ring for the "First Blood" match. As match time approached, Dusty Rhodes marched out of his dressing room looking like a man possessed. The hair was shaved around his ears. In its place on either side was the word "TULLY" written in black ink. This was getting serious. In spite of Dusty's obsession with revenge, Blanchard and Dillon were even more confident than usual. Just as referee Tommy Young was about to begin the match, Dillon fitted Tully's head with a protective boxing helmet! With most of his face covered, Tully was more than ready to fight Rhodes on these terms. Young did not hesitate to yank the mask off of Tully's head, even with Dillon screaming protests in his ear. With that plan defeated, J.J. then smeared mounds of Vaseline grease across Blanchard's forehead, chin, and cheeks! The grease would have caused Rhodes' blows to slide off his face, and it would also impede any bleeding. No go, said Young, who scrubbed Tully's face dry with a towel. With "Plan B" shot down, Dillon lost his temper and started arguing with Rhodes nose to nose. Bad idea. Dusty wasted no time dropping the "Bionic Elbow" on Dillon's head. The Dream then delivered a series of fists to Dillon's forehead, busting him wide open. As Tully barked at Tommy Young for allowing this beating, Rhodes took the opportunity to scrape Dillon's crimson face with the bottoms of his boots. If Dillon had been a participant, the match would have already been over! One down, thought Dusty, one to go.

The match began very methodically, as each man tried to lure the other into punching range without exposing his own face to punishment. With each exchange, however, Rhodes grew more confident, and he even managed to get some revenge by pounding away at Tully's ankle for a change. When Tommy Young caught a misguided hand in the face, he accidentally stepped in the way of a Rhodes suplex as well. As usual, Dillon (still a bloody mess) siezed this golden opportunity. He took off his shoe and charged at Rhodes. Dusty spun around and disposed of Dillon, taking the shoe as well. Wielding the hard-soled shoe, he had Tully Blanchard at his mercy. Rhodes shrugged and tossed the shoe into the crowd. He could handle Blanchard without a weapon. He butchered Blanchard's face with an onslaught of fists and elbows until Tully bled like a broken water balloon -- but Tommy Young was still down and out! Dusty repeatedly scanned the ringside area for another referee and continuously displayed Tully's bloody face to the audience. Still, no referee. Finally, as Rhodes tried to revive Young, Dillon acted like a boxing cornerman and went to work. He used the towel to rub away the blood and then applied a copious amount of the grease. Next he placed a roll of coins in Tully's right hand and pushed him into the ring. Seeing as how he thought that the match was already over, Rhodes had no defense against Tully's loaded punch. Both men crumpled to the mat, but now Dusty was bleeding from his temple. A groggy Young came upon Rhodes first and noticed the bleeding. Tully's cuts, on the other hand, were masked by the grease! The bell rang and Tully Blanchard had become the new TV Champion.

Even though Dillon and Blanchard had to leave the building (due to both men's cuts and to avoid an enraged Dusty Rhodes), Ole and Arn Anderson entered the steel cage glowing with confidence. This was their match. The cage was their place of business. This was their night. With just one more win, The Four Horsemen would become four champions! The shrill screaming of thousands of Rock n' Roll Express fans brought the defending Tag Team Champions of the World to the ring. They looked unusually serious. Their trademark charisma was not as visible, if it was present at all. Perhaps they had second thoughts about demanding a cage match with The Andersons, of all people. In this environment, merely avoiding a loss was no longer an option. They needed to beat the challengers at their own game. Robert Gibson was the first man to feel the unforgiving steel as he mistimed an attack against Arn. As a result, Arn was able to repeatedly pound Robert's knee into the cage. Already it was the Andersons' match. Their methodical routine of focusing on one body part was nearly enough to beat Gibson within the first ten minutes, but he somehow struggled his way to the corner to tag Ricky Morton to turn the tides.

Unfortunately, the tide never turned. Within minutes, Morton was subdued by the Minnesotans. His shoulder was rammed into each wall of the cage. Then the Andersons went through their wide array of submission holds applied to the injured arm. Still, Morton would not give in. Morton's face, already scarred from his Horseman encounters of the summer, was ripped apart by the jagged cage. Somehow, Morton managed to hold on. Arn shocked everyone by landing his patented spinebuster in the middle of the ring, but Morton escaped. Seeking the coup de grace, the Andersons went for their combination finisher. As Arn stretched Morton's left arm outward, Ole connected with a top-rope knee drop on top of the shoulder, followed by an armbar. Even then, Morton struggled to hang on. Then, miraculously, it happened. For a brief moment, a rarity in this grueling match, all four men went at it in the center of the ring. The referee happened to try to usher Arn out of the ring first. As Ole tried to bodyslam Morton, Gibson tipped them backwards with a dropkick. Ole landed with a thud, Morton was on top of him, and the stunning three-count ended the match. Against all odds, The Rock n' Roll Express had beaten Ole and Arn Anderson in a steel cage match!

So, in what was to be the World Series of wrestling for the Four Horsemen, they came away with one new belt, held on to another, but failed to gain two more. Not bad for four guys with more enemies than they could ever want. Still, it was not enough for the Horsemen. They were determined to gain even more prestige and glory in 1987. Determined ... and destined!


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