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Arn Anderson on the Legacy of Vince McMahon, How Saying ‘Wrestlers’ or ‘Wrestling’ Would Get You Fired in WWE

August 10, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Vince McMahon Bob Costas Interview Dustin Rhodes WWE Image Credit: WWE

– During a recent Ask Arn Anything edition of The Arn Show, WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson evaluated Vince McMahon and his legacy on the wrestling business. He shared his thoughts on the problem McMahon has perpetuated in making pro wrestling into “sports entertainment,” declaring that pro wrestling was “not sports entertainment,” and men and women need to be given more time to try and get themselves over.

Additionally, Anderson commented on how for many years, “wrestlers” and “wrestling” were taboo words in WWE, where you would be fired if you said them more than once. Below are some highlights and a clip of Arn talking about McMahon:

Anderson on the legacy of Vince McMahon: “It depends on what seat you’re looking at. Are you looking from a fan’s seat, or you looking from a wrestler’s seat? It just depends your view. Did he revolutionize the business? As far as expanding it to having children and females and hordes of them as fans, and the marketing genius that he is, yes. Did he take the one product that those of us as wrestlers put above everything, the holy grail, the reason we all wanted to do this as children is the wrestling part, the bell-to-bell action, he has put on the back burner as being one of the least important things. And for a guy like me, once I got in the business, and much as I loved it and figured out I made the right choice, my goal was not to be the world heavyweight champion. My goal was not to be the highest paid guy in the business. But what I did want to be is what I wanted to be one of the best workers in the business; a guy that could go out there with anybody on any given night and at least keep you interested for the duration of that match and make it make sense, and be a guy that every guy on the other side of the fence wanted to work with because I was safe, I was good at what I did, and we could go out and do what we intended to do. Let’s have fun.”

Anderson on what’s missing from the vision of Vince McMahon in WWE: “That’s the part that’s missing. You can’t send a guy through the curtain on Raw with three minutes and expect him to go sell, tell a story, get the product over, get himself over, and accomplish all those things in three minutes. Can’t be done. And then turn around and blame the producer or blame the talent because it’s an impossibility. He just doesn’t put any value — and he’s just now, from what I’m hearing, I don’t watch the product any more, isn’t he allowing allowing them to use the word wrestlers and wrestling? [Conrad says it’s being used a little more than it used to] Five years ago, you’d have gotten canned if you used that more than once. So, just remember this for pro wrestling fans, and don’t be ashamed to say you’re a pro wrestling fan. I’m sure not ashamed to say say it. But it’s not sports entertainment. This is not Saturday Night Live. It’s a wrestling show. Let the guys and the girls do what they do best, go perform, and give them enough time to do it.”

If using the above quotes, please credit The Arn Show, with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.