The Four Horsemen remain one of pro wrestling’s iconic stables. Tully Blanchard helped anchor the three legendary versions of the WWE Hall of Fame group and recently talked about the chemistry and comrade between the NWA champions.
Tully is considered by some as one of the more underrated workers of his time. I don’t think there is any doubt that Blanchard was a solid asset to the group. Blanchard recently talked to the Two Man Power Trip podcast and reminisced on the golden years of the Horsemen.
“I’ve said this probably a hundred times on interviews. It was not a booker, a promoter or anybody sitting in around in a room saying; “We are going to call these four guys the Four Horseman”. It was Arn Anderson that just said it because we had an eight man tag match and we happened to be together because I was the only “non Anderson”. Flair was a cousin, Arn and Ole were related so it was an “Anderson-clan thing” and we just happened to have all of the championship belts and we were trying to steal a house by not giving away all the matches. I was fortunate enough to be having a feud with Dusty Rhodes and so Dusty was in that match so I got to be in that match. When Arn called us that we had no idea it would catch on but the wrestling fans caught on. When the wrestling fans starting coming to the arenas, a bunch of college students in coats and ties and sunglasses holding up Four Horseman flash-cards. I remember standing in the hallway in the Greensboro Coliseum and Jim Crocket came by and said “this thing is really getting over isn’t it?” I just kind of in my moderately smart-alec way rolled my eyes and said “yeah, it is.”
Did booker Dusty Rhodes consider the group a “booker’s dream”?
“He (Dusty) didn’t really have any choice. When Dusty got the job as booker he and I wrestled and Wahoo wrestled Flair and it turned the territory around and started it in the progress to what it was going into. So then switching Flair heel and bringing in Arn into the territory and Arn and Ole being a tag team and the natural family ties between Flair and The Andersons. It was a great spot to be. We made people look better than they could make themselves look and I don’t say that very arrogantly but I do take pride in the ability that Flair had, Arn had, Ole had and Barry had and I had to make our opponents bigger than life heroes. That was our job and to get in that flow and watch the fans get behind it. It would have been a very tactical error to not push those guys. There were more guys, there was The Midnight Express, Ivan and Nikita Koloff you look at there were other heels that were over and drew houses and were other parts, but it didn’t make any difference it was a great group of wrestlers.”
The chemistry and what made them all so good.
“Start with JJ was my manager after Babydoll. When I got into the Horseman he was in line to be the Horseman manager but JJ was one of the greatest managers this business has ever seen. Simply because he was not always trying to be the star. He knew what his role was, he knew what his place was and how to accentuate every match that he was a part of. He wasn’t trying to steal the show. Then you had four guys that basically had the same philosophy in the ring and that was: How do you make people scream? You make people scream when baby faces are making comebacks. We had the ability whether it was in a tag team, a six man or whether it was an eight man to all follow suit with the flow of what the match was. You don’t necessarily see that too often anymore. Whether that is a lost art or it’s not being taught but there is a time for getting heat on your opponent and making a comeback and we all followed together. The chemistry was fantastic and I think chemistry is the probably the key word because when Arn and I left and went to the WWF at the end of 1988 The Four Horseman were still there. You still had Flair, you still had Barry and they tried I don’t know how many big name guys to put in there to replace Arn and I and it never worked.”
“The greatest group of guys, most talented guys and flexible guys was the group that went into the Hall of Fame. Which was with Barry, Ric, Arn and I. The “original four” was a different dynamic because Arn and Ole were the tag team and because of Ole’s in the ring philosophy the tag team had to follow that dynamic. It was a little bit more grinding it out type stuff, whereas when Barry came part of the Horseman he became the other single and Arn and I gravitated to the tag team and the tag team just because of different styles, Ole had a different style then I had. We were more flexible to the opponents that we could wrestle. We looked just as good against The Rock N’ Roll as we did against Animal and Hawk or Demolition or Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. You’ve got two ends of the spectrum on the things that you could accentuate in your opponents. I think that we had the greatest amount of diversity and flexibility when you had Barry in as part of the Horseman.”
Check out the entire interview with Tully over at http://tmptow.podomatic.com/entry/2015-10-05T21_00_00-07_00