Arn grew up in Rome, GA, and wrestled in the 167-pound weight class when he was in high school. In 1983, Arn left Georgia and joined up with NWA in their southeast area, around Alabama and northern Florida. It was here that he met Ole Anderson. Arn and Ole started teaming for the Georgia National Tag Team belts in an interesting turn of events (quoted from http://www.ddtdigest.com/anderson/history1.htm).
Ole and Thunderbolt were the Georgia National Tag Team Champions. Unfortunately for Thunderbolt, one night Ole informed Thunderbolt that he 'had seen the future of professional wrestling', that being Arn. The following night, Ole interfered in Arn’s match with Manny Fernandez and Ole and Arn were double-teaming Manny. Thunderbolt came to the ring to protest the carnage.
Arn blindsided Thunderbolt, threw him into the ring, and opened up a can of whup-ass on him. Ole hesitated at first, and then joined in the attack on Thunderbolt. Afterwards, he gave Thunderbolt’s tag team belt to Arn and told Thunderbolt that if he wanted the belts back, he could get a partner. Thunderbolt took Manny Fernandez on as his partner, but they were unsuccessful in a match held on April 28th, 1985, and Arn and Ole were then officially the National Tag Team Champions.
The Four Horsemen
The Four Horseman were informally formed in May of 1986 with Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, and Ole and Arn Anderson. As a horseman, Arn would win 4 NWA/WCW World Television Titles. Arn, Ole, and Flair had put Dusty Rhodes out of wrestling with a triple team and had broken his ankle. This incident earned Arn and Ole the nickname, the "Bone Busters". (In addition to this injury to Rhodes, during this period the Horsemen would also break Ronnie Garvin’s hand, break Ricky Morton’s nose, and injure Robert Gibson’s back.)
Arn And Tully Jumped ship to the WWF and were known as "The Brainbusters." They had no gimmick, they just pointed at their heads as a reminder of their intelligence and their finisher, the spike piledriver. Arn and Tully would go on to win the WWF World Tag Team Titles from Demolition on July 18, 1989 in Worcester, MA. They would hold the titles until they lost them back to Demolition on October 2, 1989 in Wheeling, WV
The tag team broke up came when Tully Blanchard failed a drug test and left the WWF. Arn left soon thereafter. Arn’s last WWF appearance was as a part of The Heenan Family at the 1989 Survivor Series, teaming with Andre the Giant, Bobby Heenan, and Haku in a losing effort against The Ultimate Warriors, those being The Ultimate Warrior, the Rockers, and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. It was obvious to anyone watching that match that Arn was unhappy and somewhat lost without his partner. Arn then left the WWF after a supposed dispute with Heenan and returned to the NWA.
Rebirth of the Horsemen
Arn returned to WCW (formerly the NWA). Ric Flair called out Gary Hart and his stable, who were jumped by Arn and Ole Anderson who proceeded to clean house. The Four Horsemen were reformed with Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson and Sting. This incarnation did not last long, for as Arn said "I don’t like wearing a white hat". Sting was given the boot for refusing to give up his title shot against Ric Flair. Sting was replaced by Sid Vicious. Later Barry Windham rejoined the Horsemen, taking Sid’s spot. At this point, Arn won and then held onto the Television title for over a year, although he dropped it to Tom Zenk, he won it back a month later. The Horsemen broke up again in 1991, when Ric Flair jumped ship to the WWF after failed contract negotiaions.
The Dangerous Alliance
After the horsemen a new stable formed under Paul E. Dangerously (yeah, that's Paul Heyman, the ECW guy). As a member of the Dangerous Alliance Arn teamed up with Larry Zbyzsko and won the tag belts. When Arn and Larry lost the best, Zbyzsko was given the boot and Arn teamed with Bobby Eaton again. Arn and Eaton regained the belts shortly after Arn and Larry lost them. Unfortunately, when Arn and Eaton lost the belts, 3 and a half months later, Paul E. was given the boot from WCW and thus the end of the dangerous alliance.
With no stable to offer his talents to, Arn went back into singles competition. This time, he struck up a feud with Erik Watts, son of Bill Watts, who at that time was in control of WCW. This feud culminated at a gas station where Arn jumped Erik, only to get his knee slammed by a car door and an STF on the pavement! When Arn healed from the injury he started feuding with Bobby Eaton, who supposedly didn't "call or write" while Arn was injured. When Arn returned to WCW he kept feuding with Erik Watts while also feuding with Eaton. Eaton would regularly run in and interfere with Arn's matches but the interference would backfire into Arn's favor. Arn's feud with Eaton carried him through three different federations (Smokey Mountain Wrestling, WCW and an ECW match, which is later on in the node).
Can't get enough Horsemen
After the Eaton feud, Flair returned to the company that made him famous, WCW. With Flair's return came the inevitable reformation of the Four Horsemen, this time with Arn, Ole, Flair and Paul Roma. Arn and Flair made a run for the tag belts, which were held by Steve Austin (yes that's stone cold) and Brian Pillman, but were unsuccessful. However Arn would win the belts later, this time partnering with Paul Roma and with Lord Steven Regal (yes, that's William Regal) substiting for Pillman. Arn and Roma lost the belts to The Nasty Boys a month later at Fall Brawl.
October 28th, 1993
On October 28, 1993, Arn got into a bit of a tussle with fellow wrestler Sid Vicious (Psycho Sid) at the Moat House Hotel in BlackBurn, England. Here's a description of the events as written in Arn Anderson's career history (found at http://www.ddtdigest.com/anderson/history5.htm)
It started with Sid coming out and legitimately heckling Arn during a match earlier that day. Later that night, there were some heated words between the two in the hotel bar. Then, in the early morning, Sid went to Arn’s room (to apologize, according to Sid). Several sources confirmed, however, that Sid hit Arn with a chair when Arn emerged from the room. Furniture was thrown and a pair of scissors was pulled by one man. It took 2 Cold Scorpio and several wrestlers to pull the two men apart. Both men were rushed to a local hospital. Arn received 20 stab wounds from a pair of scissors, while Vicious suffered four puncture wounds.
Word of this incident was so widespread that it even reached the mainstream press, which removed any possibility that it was a work. Both wrestlers initially filed charges against each other but both sets of charges were later dropped. WCW was going to let Sid continue to work for the organization even though common knowledge was that he was the aggressor. Many of the WCW talent threatened to walk out on the upcoming WCW Clash of the Champions and, as a result, Sid was fired. Vicious had been booked to fight Vader for the World Heavyweight Title at Starrcade ’93 and was replaced by Ric Flair, who won the title from Vader at that event in what may have been Ric Flair's greatest match ever.
Getting back on the horse
Arn Anderson would not return to professional wrestling until December 28, 1993. He made his return by beating up his former partner Paul Roma. Roma, since Arn's departure, formed a stable with Paul Orndorff and The Assassin. After this, Arn was in a few uneventful feuds and drifted partnerless. However, in early 1994, Arn made an appearence against Bobby Eaton in the then Eastern Championship Wrestling (later Extreme Championship Wrestling). In this match Arn teamed up with Terry Funk to wrestle Eaton and Sabu. Funk ended up accidently smacking Arn with a steel chair (which was common in ECW until it's unfortunate demise). When Arn got up he grabbed the chair and went ballistic, clearing the ring with chair shots for all. After the ring was clear, Arn grabbed a mic and cut a promo about how there was no loyalty and no real tough men left in wrestling.
Arn would ride out 1994 as a member of Col. Robert Park's stud stable. Near the end of 1994 he feuded with Dustin Rhodes (The Bizarre One, Goldust). This came about after Dustin tagged with Arn, who was one of his father's rivals in the past. After getting pounded in a match, Dustin went for the hot tag to Arn. Arn swerved, and hit a DDT on Dustin. Their opponents, Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck, joined in in the beating, which left Dustin with an arm broken in two places. However in war games at Fall Brawl Dustin, along with his father Dusty and The Nasty Boys would get the upper hand, defeating Arn, Funk, Buck and Col. Parker.
At Starrcade '94, Arn was used as a last minute replacement for The Honky Tonk Man and ended up doing the job to Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero). Arn would eventually Beat Badd, winning his fourth NWA/WCW World Television Title on January 9, 1995 in a horrible Wrestler VS. Boxer match at the Uncensored pay-per-view. At this time Arn feuded with Alex Wright and The Renegade, until he lost the strap to The Renegade at the Great American Bash on June 18, 1995.
The Four Horsemen reformed again (sometime I wonder who had more lineup changes, The Four Horsemen, or Black Sabbath...) this time with Flyin' Brian Pillman and The Canadian Crippler Chris Benoit. This incarnation of the horsemen were plagued by Pillman, as he was a loose cannon and brought dissention to the group. These horsemen were amazing to see as they dazzled the screen with their wrestling. The Horsemen began to crumble when Flair did not recieve a not-so-legal helping hand from Arn during a match with Alex Wright on July 26, 1995. Flair and Arn continued to hint at a feud between the two of them until they lost a handicap match to Vader at Clash of the Champions XXXI. Arn pinned Flair, thanks to interference from Pillman, at Fall Brawl '95, putting an end to their feud.
Next came the Horsemen that I saw most on WCW programming. Pillman left the Horsemen in early 96, and the remaining horsemen formed an alliance with Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom. When this alliance started to fragment, the Horsemen recruited Steve "Mongo" McMichael (Who used to be an announcer before this, if memory serves me right). Steve swervedand turned on his partner, Kevin Greene at the Great American Bash '96.
This incarnation had a huge fight ahead of them, as the nWo stole the show at Bash at the Beach '96. The Horsemen (specifically Ric Flair) led the charge against the New World Order. However, Flair went down with a shoulder injury in late 96, and Arn ended up keeping the horsemen together.
Take this broken wing...
At the very end of 1996 and the beginning of 1997, Arn Anderson almost ceased wrestling entirely. He still ran down and interfered, he still cut promos, but Arn rarely worked a match. The matches he did end up working would be rather short, especially for WCW matches, which tended to be longer than some WWF spotfests I've seen. On April 8, 1997 Arn went under the knife and had his fifth, sixth and seventh vertabrae fused together. This was done to try and stop the paralysis in his left hand.
On the August 16, 1997 edition of WCW Worldwide Arn cut a killer promo, ripping on the fans and their hometown. Arn claimed to have a new attitude since the surgery. Arn made it known that he was returning to the ring as a heel...
On August 25, 1997 Arn ended up swerving almost everyone as he announced his retirement from active wrestling. The Horsemen at the time (Flair, Mongo and Benoit) stood in the ring demanding an answer from Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect for all you old school WWF fans) on whether or not he would join the Horsemen. Curt said that he was not ready to make a response to that. Flair said he knew that that was going to happen, and called out Double A, Arn Anderson. Here's Anderson's speech (as seen on
Well, Gene, all I can tell ya', to get a response like this makes what I got to say tonight mean that much more. Ya' see, I'm a realist. As everybody knows, I've got average size and speed and average ability. But I've parlayed that into what I would call a very successful career. And I did that on sheer will alone. But another reality is four months ago they took four vertebrae out of my neck. Consequently, I'm left with a hand, my left hand, too weak to hold a glass, too weak to button a button.
But I thought in my mind, I knew in my mind I could overcome that too through sheer will. And I was doing just like that. I think I've come back a long way. But the other day I had something happen in the gym that was like a cold slap in the face of reality. A guy about your size, Gene, came up and he slapped me on the back and he said, 'Double A, where ya' been? We hadn't seen you on TV.' And just that slap sent a jolt through me and I dropped the water I was drinkin' and just for a second my system shut down. And it became crystal clear as I watched the few little drops of water draining out of that bottle the symbolism that was involved. It was like someone had turned an hourglass over and the sand was runnin' out on the career of Arn Anderson.
Now the fact of the matter is not only do I put myself in a suicide situation by trying to wrestle again, I endanger these two men's careers and I respect them too much for that. And rather than being anything other than the Enforcer in my best friend's eyes, I'd rather walk away. And for all of you people out there that have ever bought a ticket to see Arn Anderson wrestle, whether ya' love me or you hated me, you know that when that bell rang you got all I had that night. Whether I won, whether I lost, I gave you everything I had. And you knew that. And when you did this to me (the four fingers extended) that was your acknowledgement.
Well, the fact is I got nothing left to give. And I want you to remember me as I was, not as I am. But being the man that I am, my last act formally as a Horseman, I got one last challenge. And that is to you, Curt Hennig. And don't misunderstand me. It's not for a fight. You got something special. I've seen you in this ring. Your skills, your maturity, your commitment to excellence make you something special. And what my challenge is to you, Curt, is stand beside my best friend, Ric Flair, and lead these two men back to the glory and the prominence that the Four Horsemen once had. And I'm going to tell you what your prize is. It's not a spot in the Horsemen. This is worth a lot more than that to me. I'm going to give you the only thing I got left. Not a spot. I'll give you my spot.
Needless to say, Curt Hennig ended up taking Arn's spot. Appearently after the speech, Arn was backstage with Sting and both were in tears. Eric Bischoff even said that it was the best interview in wrestling history.
After his retirement from the ring, Arn still did a great deal of work for WCW as a road agent and talent scout. He appered on camera several times throughout the year, and would sometimes run in and help out his good friend Ric Flair or the Four Horsemen. But, Arn would not be away from the horsemen for very long.
You know you love it, so it's back for the 55th time
During mid 1998, Chris Jericho was in the best feud eh-eh-eeever against Dean Malenko. Although I cannot do this great feud justice, Jericho ragged on Milenko as much as he could, calling himself "The Man of 1,004 Holds" (Malenko supposedly knew 1,000 holds and moves) and going to the library of congress to argue something about the belt they were feuding over, even calling him Stinko Malenko in true whiney Jericho fashion.
Then came Bash at the Beach on July 12, 1998. Arn came the closest he's been to a match since he retired when he helped Malenko get payback on all the crap Jericho was giving him.
On June 24, 1998, Benoit made a plea. On July 2 and July 8, 1998 Mongo made pleas. After Bash at the beach, Malenko starting making pleas to Arn Anderson to reform the Horsemen. After plea after plea Arn would say no. However, the horsemen did reform, with Arn as a manager to Flair, Benoit, Malenko and Mongo. This was the last incarnation of the Horsemen that would grace WCW television, and the one I remember the best.
Arn, while still retired form in-ring action still makes his presence felt in the WWF. When Ric Flair joined up, so did Arn. Arn can be seen in some promos and rarely in the ring in this go round in the WWF. Arn was most recently seen getting the pudding and tar whooped out of him by The Undertaker. Taker did this to enrage Flair, setting up a match at Wrestlemania X-8.
One thing that's in the back of my mind as time goes by is, since Flair is still in the WWF and doing well, as is Arn, and Chris Benoit is returning from his neck injury soon, could there be another round of The Four Horsemen?
Random Arn Notes
Major Injuries: Neck (1989), Groin (1992), Neck (1996)
Real Name Martin Lunde
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 255 lb
Has a son born in early 1997
Member of the Four Horsemen (various combinations) - 1986-1988, 1990-1991, 1993, 1995-1997
- Southeastern Tag Team title w/ Jerry Stubbs on 1/15/84. Held for ~2 months
- Southeastern Tag Team title w/ Jerry Stubbs on 3/84. Held for ~3 months
- Southeastern Tag Team title w/ Jerry Stubbs on 7/16/84. Held for ~1 month
- Southeastern Tag Team title w/ Pat Rose on 9/84. Held for ~1 month
- Georgia National Tag Team title w/ Ole Anderson on 4/2/85. Held for ~10 months
- NWA World Television Title on 1/4/86. Held for 248 days.
- NWA World Tag Team title w/Tully Blanchard on 9/29/87. Held for 180 days.
- NWA World Tag Team title w/Tully Blanchard on 4/20/88. Held for 143 days.
- NWA World Tag Team title w/Tully Blanchard on 7/18/87. Held for 76 days.
- NWA World Television title over The Great Muta on 12/4/90. Held for 336 days.
- WCW World Television title over Tom Zenk on 1/7/91. Held for 132 days.
- WCW World Tag Team title w/ Larry Zbyszko over Rick Steiner and Bill Kazmaier on 9/5/91. Held for 75 days.
- WCW World tag team title w/ Bobby Eaton over Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes on 1/16/92. Held for 108 days.
- NWA/WCW World Tag Team title w/ Paul Roma on 8/18/93. Held for 32 days
- WCW World Television title over Johnny B. Badd on 1/9/95. Held for 160 days.