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Arn Anderson Remembers Tully Blanchard Ruining Andre The Giant’s Wine, Andre’s Reaction

March 31, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
Mid-South Wrestling Andre the Giant Image Credit: WWE/Peacock

On a recent edition of the ARN show, “Double A” Arn Anderson told a story about Tully Blanchard narrowly avoiding heat with the legendary André the Giant. Read on for the details!

On André’s pre-match routine of cards and liquor: “There was a story that didn’t become a story, but could have became a story. This falls in the ‘what if’ column, okay? Tully and I went up to wrestle [in WWF]. One of, if not our very first house show than one of them. André, before he would wrestle every night, he would get one of the boys, he would play cribbage or he would play cards before his match. And he’d do a little drinking. Now, a little drinking for him would probably be… three or four bottles of wine, before his match. That would be the rest to pass the rest of us out.”

On Tully’s pre-match workout going awry: “So they’re playing, and I think he was playing with Arnold Skaaland, and Tully, not meaning any harm or anything, he just went down to the far end of the table. I think he was just gonna do some tricep presses. He’s warming up for our match. Well, as he leaned on that table to do some presses, it wasn’t secured. And it scooted and there went a bottle of wine, full, flipping and exploding on the floor. You could have heard a pin drop.”

Arn on immediately sending a runner to get more wine: “There was a referee walking by, I went and got him, and I said oh Jesus. Come with me (laughs). ‘Do we have a runner here?’ I went and got a hundred bucks, gave it to the ref. I said, ‘go get André as many bottles of whatever he’s drinking as this will buy.’ I think it maybe bought four bottles, he wasn’t drinking the real expensive stuff. I said ‘tell André, I’m on it.’ Just go up whispering to André, ‘Arn’s on it.’ Sent a runner down, they came in; couple guys cleaned up the wine.”

Arn on the importance of taking responsibility: “André never said a thing. He’s still playing cribbage or whatever it was. The guy brought the wine in, I brought it in. By now, Tully realized what happened; he was back in our locker room, didn’t know what to do. I brought the win in, sat it on the table, four bottles. Didn’t say a word, didn’t look André in the eye. Walked out, and what could have been a disaster, was never a thing. Not a word was said. I knew what it took to fix that one, that’s for sure. If nobody took responsibility, and made it right, he probably wouldn’t have done a thing… then. Better not ever end up in a ring where he is, because he would not have forgot it. Woulda been a classic show of disrespect. That’s the way [André] would’ve taken it.”

On the locker room etiquette in the territory days: “It purely was just a not-thinking accident by Tully. But in those days, Tully had a reputation for a little heat in the locker room. Which is probably why he was such a great heel in the ring. That’s who he was. It was one of those things that everyone knew what just happened, now let’s see how everybody handles it. In this business, back then, when you walked into that locker room, or really any locker room back when we were still in the territory days, it was a room full of grown-ass men. With morrays in place that had always been, that weren’t necessarily talked about. Locker room etiquette, is what we call it. There were just things that happened, and the ways that you handled it.”

On how the situation was handled: “Going back to the André thing, how that was handled… there were a lot of eyes on it, and it was what was said, and what wasn’t said, that the veterans looked at and went… ‘okay. That’s one fire put out.’ Cause if André would’ve went off, say it wouldn’t have been handled right? Everybody in that locker room would’ve suffered, not just the people directly involved.”

If using any of the above quotations, please credit ARN h/t 411mania for the transcription.