While the wrestling world wants to see what the next move for the Authority and Seth Rollins, did the WWE forget about the other two members of The Shield – Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose? What are the plans for the two superstars and will they still remain joined at the hip or part ways and seek singles success. As I watch the split – which made the WWE look like the WWF of old – I am reminded of what happened after the Four Horsemen finally disbanded and how the incarnations that were devised by WCW were never like the original or the four comprised of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham. Wresting was never the same once that era was perforated.
[adinserter block=”1″]In September of 1988, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard left, to join the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). This forced them to drop the Tag Team Titles, at the very last minute, to the Midnight Express (Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton). Anderson and Blanchard were known as “The Brain Busters”, in the WWF, and were managed by Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. The fans were disgruntled and wanted the Horseman to remain a viable, important part of the NWA.
Flair, Windham, and Dillon continued to refer to themselves as “the Horsemen” and the NWA even flirted with the idea of bringing in new members. Butch Reed was a singles star, managed by Dillon. The trio even flirted with the idea of bringing in Barry’s brother Kendall. At one point Dillon left the group to take a front office job with the WWF, and they dropped the Horsemen name, hiring Hiro Matsuda as their new manager and changing their name to Yamazaki Corporation.
It never worked and although it appeared that a regrouping of the trademark stable stirred the drink of fans wanting a new and improved foursome, it was never the same.
Could the same thing be destined for Reigns and Ambrose? Could they add another member and be the same kind of reckless outlaws fan love to watch? Windham was the perfect addition because of his history with the original group. Windham joined Flair because he could not beat him (rather the NWA and WCW did not want to put the strap on him). And with his outlaw looks, talent and his wrestling bloodlines, he was the perfect foil to Dusty Rhodes, Sting, Luger and Nikita Koloff. It was without a doubt the best heel turn in wrestling history. When the writers brought Curt Hennig in to replace Arn Anderson, it looked to be as solid a move as Windham years before – but in reality it was such a bust.
The Horsemen concept helped define the NWA in the mid to late 1980s. The departure of Anderson and Blanchard was huge at the time, Dillon and Windham’s departure made it worse, and despite numerous revivals over the coming decade, things were never quite the same.
If Rollins can achieve super stardom and win the WWE World Title within the year and leap over Randy Orton, this move could be the crowning achievement of the company this year, but there must be plans for the other two – who carried the group before the sudden advancement of Rollins.
And for that matter, will there be another addition to Evolution or the Authority to give fans more to complain or cheer about?
[adinserter block=”2″]The most logical choice for Evolution is still Cody Rhodes, but do the writers and creative team have the stones to create a situation where the youngest of the Rhodes clan not only turns on his brother, Goldust, but also walks away, arm-in-arm with Triple H?
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