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Arn Anderson On the Point That He Knew WCW Was Going to End, Why He Came to That Realization

July 9, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Arn Anderson

On the latest episode of his podcast, Arn Anderson discussed the end of WCW and when he realized the company was not going to be around for much longer. Anderson was with WCW until the company’s end, when it was purchased by WWE in 2001. He was working in a backstage capacity for the final four years after retiring due to his neck injury, and recalled an incident toward the end of the company’s run when he ran into several of the younger guys who were Power Plant trainees who had been competing on the show at that time.

Anderson recalled that this was when the company had just doing its worst rating in the company’s history and how the reaction from the talent made him realize that things were likely over. You can check out highlights and the full audio below:

On the situation toward the end of the company’s run: “I can probably tell you in my mind — it might not have been in the sequence of events, and I don’t remember how much time was left in the hourglass for WCW. But they had, a lot of the top guys had been sent home. Most of the guys from the school were filling the slots on television. And things were not looking good if you had your eyes wide open, it was continuing to drop. The numbers were terrible. We weren’t drawing anything.”

On the incident that made him realize the company wasn’t long for the world: “So we had a show at the MGM [Grand]. And I remember coming down the elevator, and I walked out. The elevator door opened, and it would in those days where we stayed, the MGM, there was a Betty Boop Lounge. As soon as the doors opened to the elevator, right there it was. So you had to pass through the bar area to get to the casino or to get out of the hotel or whatever. And doors open, and man I just heard the guys laughing, and yukking it up, and roaring. I followed the sound, and I went out and it was all the guys from the school. And they were over there and they were drinking, they were having a good time ’cause they’d been on TV now for four of five, six weeks. And they were living their dream. They were on television, they were being featured, they were in competitive matches with each other. The only problem was, nobody knew who they were and nobody was watching.

“And it just flew all over me, and I went over and went ‘Hey guys, what’s going on?’ ‘Hey hey, Double-A!’ ‘What’s going on here, guys?’ ‘Oh man, we’re just having a blast, living the dream.’ Well I just so happened to have gotten the numbers for the previous week. And they were the lowest in the history of the company. That’s the knowledge I stepped out of the elevator with. And I went over and like I said, said hello to all the guys. And they gave me their feedback. And these were guys that would have been asking, at a couple of them, ‘Hey, how are the ratings doing?’ And somebody would have told them, ‘Hey, they’re terrible.’ In the face of steadily dropping ratings, no house show business, and the fact that the lowest rating in the history of the company had just came down, I didn’t see nothing to be yukking it up about. I didn’t see nothing to be happy about, didn’t see anything to be positive about. I would have been damned sure in the dumps if I was a guy featured on that television show and it did the lowest rating in history.”

On that moment proving to him that WCW was on its last legs: “It just broke my heart, because it just showed me the mentality of the company at the time, and knowing that it was a sinking ship. I didn’t blame all those kids, because they didn’t know any better. I just blame the company for not trying to fix all the holes in that boat before it started sinking. And it just, that day in particular, that set of circumstances just broke my heart. Because I knew we weren’t gonna be around much longer.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ARN with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Arn Anderson, WCW, Jeremy Thomas