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Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen DVD Review

May 25, 2007 | Posted by Leonard Hayhurst
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Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen DVD Review  

DISC ONE

MAIN FEATURE

Ric Flair Discovers Arn Anderson: Ric met Arn wrestling down in Florida and brought him into Jim Crockett promotions. He looked a lot like Ole Anderson, so they made him an Anderson and teamed them up.

Minnesota Wrecking Crew Reborn: Ole and Gene were the original Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Arn had big shoes to fill, but Michael Hayes says that Arn probably surpassed Gene. Arn is put over as a great talker. What was up with that Panama hat? The concept of isolating and working on one part of the body is put over by newer guys like Triple H and Steve Austin. Well newer compared to the Horsemen.

“Nature Boy” Ric Flair: Not like they have to do it, but Flair is put over big time as a great talker and wrestler with incredible charisma. “My shoes cost more than your house.” Great line.

Family Ties: In storylines, Flair was a cousin of the Andersons. This was done to get him over when he first went into the Southeast. Arn was supposedly a nephew of Gene and Ole.

A New Ally-Tully Blanchard: Blanchard was put in with the guys because he was the television champion for several six man and eight man tags. Some great eighties vignettes of Blanchard living the “Dynasty” lifestyle is shown. Shawn Michaels puts Tully over as the first cool heel.

Villains Unite Against a Rising Hero: Jim Ross goes over the old concept that a hero is only as good as the villains they fight. Flair made fun of Magnum TA for dressing like a motorcycle bum when he was a sharp dressed man. Mangum challenged Flair to a match and the Andersons came out for the attack. This feud made Mangum a superstar. Tully won the US Title off of Magnum TA with a roll of quarters given to him by Baby Doll.

Ric Flair-World Champion: Flair traveled all over the world defending the NWA World Championship.

An American Dream Destroyed: Dusty Rhodes makes the save of Flair in a cage match with Ivan Koloff. The Andersons then ran down and destroyed Rhodes’ ankle. The fans rioted.

Enter JJ Dillon: Dillon managed Blanchard before he joined the Four Horsemen. Actually he was managing director of Tully Blanchard Enterprises Incorporated. Blanchard got rid of Baby Doll for Dillon. When Tully joined the other Horsemen Dillon was just part of the package. Next to Bobby Heenan, Dillon is probably my favorite manager of all time.

The Creation of the Four Horsemen: There were three minutes to plug three matches at the end of a television taping, so all four men were put together to fill the time. Arn said that you would have to go back to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to find four guys that caused so much havoc and he held up the four fingers. It just went from there.

The Original Gang: Tully tells a story about how twenty college kids came to a show dressed in suits and holding up Four Horsemen signs as an early tell the concept was over. Even though they were a heel group, fans liked them. There were stables united under a manager before that, there was the Legion of Doom, but the Horsemen were the first modern stable. Triple H compares the Horsemen to greedy businessmen at a time in the mid eighties where that type of yuppie scum was becoming hated. They were a gang and they ruled the NWA. They took out everyone from Sam Houston to Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson to Dusty Rhodes to Jimmy Valiant to Ronnie Garvin, you name them.

The Four Horsemen vs. Dusty Rhodes: Ole predicts that the Horsemen will cause Rhodes to retire in 1986. Rhodes took a lot of beatings, but always came back. Flair and Rhodes were opposites and that’s what made their feud work. A ton of promo clips are shown. Dusty says of Flair it was “magic when we touched.” Eww. They talk about the famous angle where the Horsemen hired a camera crew to shoot them attacking Rhodes in a parking lot. Tremendous, fresh angle at the time.

The Lifestyle of the Four Horsemen: The Horsemen worked hard in the ring and partied hard out of it. They flew around in jets. They rode in limousines. Women lusted for them. They really lived the way they talked, it wasn’t just show. They were making money, but they weren’t making that much money. They really were friends and spent a lot of time together. Rhodes tells a story of him in New York hanging out in a hotel bar with John Belushi and Bette Midler. Then the Horsemen came in and everyone in the bar forgot about them. Bottom line: they just had fun, but also respected each other. (I believe Belushi died before the Horsemen were an official unit)

Ole Out, Luger In: Ole took time off to see his kid wrestle. He wasn’t there for the Horsemen, so the other guys turfed him out. Ole’s only ally was Tim Horner. That’s sad. Lex Luger was brought in to replace Ole. Luger wasn’t a great wrestler, but he made a good fit for the group with his look and attitude. Luger was green, but the Horsemen took him under their wing. Luger became their heavy hitter. Ole is about the only major person not interviewed.

Ric Flair and Precious: Flair made advances on Jimmy Garvin’s valet and wife Precious. He won a match against Jimmy to get her for a night. Instead of Precious coming to the hotel room, Flair gets Ronnie Garvin in drag. He decks Flair and then throws Dillon into a pool. Nobody wants to see Ronnie Garvin in a dress, but it was a great angle that made two midcarders legit stars.

War Games: War Games was a Dusty Rhodes idea. Two rings were enclosed with a steel cage. One man from each team entered every two minutes until all men were in. Then the first man to submit lost for his team. The first War Games was part of the Great American Bash pitting the Four Horsemen including Dillon against Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, Paul Ellering and the Road Warriors. I would love to see War Games brought back by WWE, but it probably wouldn’t be the same.

Arn and Tully-The Tag Team: Tully is put over as the guy everybody hated. With Ole gone, Arn and Tully became the tag team of the group. They had great chemistry. They were dominant tag team champions. In my mind, they’re the best tag team ever. Period.

Lex Out, Barry In: Jim Ross says that the NWA management thought that Luger could be turned into the next Hulk Hogan, so they broke Luger out from the group. Luger beat Arn and Tully in a Bunckhouse Stampede, so he was kicked out of the group. Luger teamed with Barry Windham. They won the tag belts off of Arn and Tully. Windham turned on Luger in a rematch and joined the Horsemen. This is my favorite lineup of the group. Windham is put over as a natural athlete and natural fit for the group.

The Champions: The Horsemen usually held most of the major titles at one time. They made other guys look good so they looked good. However, there was some jealously among the other wrestlers. Politics eventually got to them. Flair confesses that the NWA had better talent than WWE, but they could market better. Arn and Bobby Eaton were close, but Stan Lane and Jim Cornette got to Eaton and caused friction.

Arn and Tully Leave: Arn and Tully were underpaid and under appreciated. Arn and Tully got paid $1000 for a big time pay per view match against Sting and Nikita Koloff where Dillon made $3000. This led to Blanchard being harshly honest with Turner Enterprises when they were looking to buy Crockett Promotions. Blanchard was fed up and left. Arn went with him.

Troubled Times: Ted Turner bought Crockett Promotions and named it World Championship Wrestling. People who had no clue about wrestling were getting jobs. Jim Herd was put in charge. Flair reams him a new one. “I could have worked with Herd if he didn’t think he was smart.”

Kendall Windham: Barry tried to get his brother Kendall into the Horsemen. Kendall turned on Eddie Gilbert in a tag match with Barry and Dillon. Barry himself admits that Kendall really wasn’t Horsemen material.

JJ Dillon Leaves: Tully called Dillon and offered him to come to WWE. Dillon didn’t like the way WCW was being run, so he left for an office job there.

Hiro Matsuda: WCW hired Matsuda to replace Dillon. The angle being that a Japanese company bought out the Horsemen. He didn’t bring anything to the table in that role. Nobody had any clue what was gong on.

Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat: The Horsemen were pretty much dead and gone by the time Flair was feuding with Steamboat in 1989. Windham left for WWE at about the same time. Arn left WWE so he could spend more time with his family. Tully was going to leave with Arn. Tully failed a drug test shortly before leaving WWE and WCW balked on the deal with him.

Sting: Sting didn’t need the Horsemen and the Horsemen didn’t need Sting. He joined the group just as an angle Sting earned a title match against Flair. Ole came back and they tossed Sting from the group. Sting is put over as a good wrestler and good guy. Sting and Flair had an awesome feud. They go over the Black Scorpion angle. Flair says Ole must have been high the day he came up with the Scorpion character. It was supposed to be the Ultimate Warrior, but they couldn’t get him from WWE, so Flair was put into the role.

Sid Vicious: Windham came back and joined the Horsemen. Sid Vicious was also added. He’s talked about. Even Arn puts him over as having a great look and power, but he wasn’t a team player. Flair calls him “embarrassing” as a member of the stable and then begs for those comments to be on the DVD.

Ric Flair Leaves and Returns: Flair and Herd had problems when his contract came up. Flair went to WWE. Windham was in line to get the title, so he says. Flair leaving screwed him. Windham would lose a match to Luger to fill the vacated WCW title. Arn was stuck in WCW. Dillon pegs Vince right that he puts the most emphasis on things he created. Flair went back to WCW. They put the Horsemen back together again. Paul Roma was added. Triple H totally makes fun of Roma. Roma says that Flair was jealous of him because he was younger and better looking. He does admit he wasn’t a good fit for the group. I’m surprised to see Roma on the disc, but glad he was covered.

Arn and Sid Confrontation: A crawl on the screen sets up the famous confrontation between Arn and Sid. They got into a fight over Sid not being a good wrestler or good member of the Horsemen. Arn was stabbed several times by Sid. They kind of gloss over the incident and Arn strangely doesn’t comment.

Arn vs. Flair: The Horsemen disappeared. Arn and Flair eventually had a falling out over Arn always having to back Flair up. Flair and Arn put on some great promos and had a great match, but it was another one of those just thrown together angles.

The Four Horsemen-1996: Now things get good again. Brian Pillman teamed with Anderson. Flair begged Sting to be his partner against them. Against his better judgment, Sting accepted. Flair turned on Sting in the match. It was really well done. Chris Benoit was added as the fourth member. Surprisingly, Arn and Flair both liked Steve McMichael and said he was ok as a Horseman. Mongo and Kevin Green teamed to face Arn and Ric. They paid Mongo off. He and his wife Debra joined them. They had Woman and Miss Elizabeth hanging around too. Woman and Debra didn’t get along.

Jeff Jarrett: Jarrett wanted to be a Horseman. To get in he had to beat Mongo and Benoit. Debra turned on Mongo to cause a loss to Jarrett. Arn and Flair didn’t want him, but management did.

Arn’s Retirement: Arn worked through injuries, but he finally reached the end of his rope after a severe neck injury. He announced his retirement on Nitro in an emotional moment. Anderson gave his spot in the group to Curt Hennig. Hennig turned on the stable to join the nWo.

The nWo and Eric Bischoff: What the Horsemen did to wrestlers for years, the nWo did to them. They did a parody of Anderson’s retirement speech. That didn’t sit well with Arn, Ric and Benoit. Eric Bischoff apologizes for the angle and wishes he hadn’t done it. Flair asked for time off to go to his son’s wrestling event. It was granted, but then WCW wanted Flair for Thunder. Bischoff comments they had nothing in writing of Flair asking for time off. Bischoff took Flair off of television and announced to the roster that he was going to break Flair. Flair refused to work, so Bischoff sued him. Flair counter sued. He was gone for six months.

The Four Horsemen-1998: Flair returned to television. The Horsemen were reformed with Dean Malenko as a new member. Benoit and Malenko left for WWE. Arn says that Mongo went to a strip club in Philadelphia one night and they didn’t see him for two weeks. It just ended.

The Legacy of the Four Horsemen: The original group is put over. The impact the group had on wrestling is discussed, but the final section is basically a big love fest and why not.

EXTRAS

College Kid Buys a Rolex: Tully tells a story about how they had a limo driver one night who was an eighteen year old college kid that saved up all his money to buy a Rolex watch because the Horsemen wore one. It was astounding to Tully.

JJ Gets Surgery: Dillon had plastic surgery to fix his droopy looking eyes. The night before the surgery Dusty Rhodes bashed him in the face with his cast. So the day after Dillon went on television and claimed his puffy look and black eyes were due to Dusty hitting him and not the surgery.

Meeting Arn: Dean Malenko is heard from for the first time. Arn worked a few dates for New Japan and convinced WCW to bring in Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Benoit. Out of respect for Arn, Benoit and Malenko wanted to put the Horsemen back together.

The Wildest Night in the Business: Flair holds court. If there is one dude I would love to sit down and rap with it’s Flair. He tells about doing the Crockett Cup in Baltimore and asking for every woman in Baltimore between 18 and 28 to show up at their penthouse room at the Mariott across from the arena with no husbands and no boyfriends. A ton of girls showed up. Flair wound up being $4000 in debt. He was told the hotel bar did the most business ever in the history of the hotel from people who couldn’t make it into the party. In a second story, they had a limo driver in Chicago for three days and two days after they left him he died of a heart attack. Flair claims they wore him out.

The Four Horsemen Parking Lot Attack on Dusty from NWA television on 10.25.86: Tony Schiavone and David Crockett set up the footage. The Horsemen with a camera crew they hired tail Dusty Rhodes in their car. When he pulls into the parking lot to meet with Jim Crockett they jump out and attack him. Arn and Ole tie Dusty to a truck and then Dillon bashes his arm with a baseball bat. They don’t show them actually hitting Rhodes and then put a big black dot over his supposedly broken arm. Kind of lame today, but tremendous at the time.

Joining Crockett Promotions: Jim Ross was on the B-team with Bob Caudle when he joined Jim Crockett Promotions. Schiavone and Crockett were the A-team. Ross was part of the packaged deal when they bought out Bill Watts’ UWF. The Horsemen were the first guys in the promotion who took to him. He thinks that maybe it was a rib to start with to see if Ross could hang with them and not die.

Thumbs Up: Malenko refers to Steve McMichael as ‘Steve Michaels.’ At a Nitro in the United Center the Horsemen were going to hang out in a luxury box. Malenko and Arn were doing a lighting check in the box and talking to some nearby fans. One fan didn’t have a thumb and Malenko joked he had his thumb cut off so he could constantly flash the Horsemen sign. The guy was a huge Benoit fan and he gave Benoit the Horsemen sign when he showed up. Benoit returned it with a thumbs up. He didn’t notice the guy didn’t have a thumb and when Malenko told him Benoit felt really bad.

Luger Story: Barry Windham refers to Lex Luger as Larry. He trained him while working in Florida. He was really green. In a cage match Windham was hiding at ringside dressed as a woman. Windham snuck in the ring and surprised Luger. Luger threw his elbows back and caused a huge gash in Windham’s forehead. Windham wrestled 45 minutes that way. The gash took 23 stitches to close. Bill Alfonso was the referee.

The Four Horsemen Vitamins: This was after they turfed Ole, but before adding Luger. We get a commercial for Four Horsemen vitamins and energy pills. Flair shills the pills on television. Arn talks about how Crockett thought they could put the Horsemen on anything and it would sell. He has no idea how well they sold.

JJ Dillon’s Pre War Games Match: To get Dillon ready for competing in War Games he had a match the week before with jobber Alan Martin. Martin started out ok against him, so Dillon tossed him to the floor and the Horsemen beat him up. Dillon hit everyone’s signature move on him in very sloppy fashion before winning with the figure four. Dillon calls it one of his best matches ever, because he wrestled like a manager. That was always Heenan’s motto, wrestle like a manager and manage like a wrestler.

The Four Horsemen Interviews: Various WWE superstars talk about how great the Horsemen promos were and we get a montage of promo clips. Each man is put over with his specific interview style and how the different styles help set the group off.

DISC TWO

Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Ric Flair vs. Rocky King, Pez Whatley and the Italian Stallion from NWA 6.22.85: The liner notes have Blanchard listed instead of Ole. Nothing says old school NWA like a six man tag squash as your television main event. Whatley starts out with AA. Whatley flips out of a body slam and pushes Arn into the ropes. He hangs on, but turns around to take several dropkicks. Anderson flops into his corner and tags Ole. He gets ping-ponged in the face corner. Tag to Flair. Whatley gets the best of a crisscross sequence with a hip toss and Flair begs off. He suckers Whatley into the corner, but then has a whip reversed and takes a backdrop. The Andersons run in and everyone brawls. King and Stallion get tossed to the floor and the heels take over on Whatley. He squirms away from Ole and tags the Stallion. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew double team him and go to town on the arm. Tag to Flair. A knee drop to the head gets two. Ole comes in and works a single leg crab. Flair pushes on Ole for leverage. Ole stomps the knee and tags Arn. He works the crab. Ole comes back for a knee bar. They take a commercial break and come back to where we left off pretty much, just with King getting his leg worked over. It’s a clinic on how to destroy a guy’s leg. Backbreaker from Flair gets a two count. He misses an elbow drop and King tags Whatley. Ric botches the Flair flip and then Pez does the house of fire routine on the Andersons. Everyone brawls again. Flair surprises Whatley with a double axe handle off the top. Magnum TA joins Tony Schiavone on commentary. Somehow King winds up back in the ring and they keep on the knee. Flair leaves the apron and jaws with Magnum. Flair goes back to the ring to come off the top with a double stomp to King’s knee. Arn hits the gordbuster as a set up for the figure four by Flair. He submits quickly. The heels give crap to Magnum. Jimmy Valiant and some guy with a Brady Bunch perm comes out to scare them off. A repetitive, but energetic squash with Whatley carrying his team. Please note that Flair hit two moves off the top rope. **

Ric Flair vs. Ricky Morton for the NWA World Heavyweight Title inside a steel cage from the Great American Bash 7.5.86: It’s an outdoor show. Flair flies in by helicopter and walks a red carpet to the ring. Great entrance. Radio DJ’s Bill Shad and Harold Johnson are the guest ring announcers. Morton has his face bandaged like he was Darkman due to a previous Horsemen attack. There is no commentary. They should have done a bonus commentary track with Flair and Jim Ross. Flair struts and stalls to start. Morton rakes the eyes in good storytelling when compared to what happened to him. Flair backs Morton into the corner. He punches his way out. They trade some mat work and Morton grinds Flair’s face into the mat in continued good psychology. Flair runs away and tries to climb out, but Morton catches him by the trunks for the full moon spot. Morton gets the ten punch count in the corner leading to a Flair Flop. Morton gets a backslide for two. Without the commentary you can hear referee Tommy Young and Flair really doing a lot verbally to get the match over. Morton blocks a shot into the cage and peppers Flair with punches. He begs off. Morton applies a Greco-Roman nose lock. Flair fights back with a knee and a chop. Morton returns fire. A head butt to the nose makes Flair beg off again. Morton’s bandages come off and Flair goes to pick them up. Morton rolls him up from behind for a two count. Morton gets a side headlock and works over the nose. Flair tries to break with a knee breaker, but no dice. Flair throws Morton in the ropes and catches him in the face. Morton ducks under a clothesline and gets a crossbody for a near fall. Flair begs off. He tries to get a breather by hip tossing Morton across the ring, but charges with a clothesline. Flair puts his foot on the bottom rope on the cover to break.

Flair rolls out of the way of an elbow drop and both men are down. Flair recovers and hurls Morton into the cage a few times. Flair puts on Morton’s bandage mask to mock him. Morton is busted open. Flair works the cut while Young begs him to lay off of it. He grates Morton’s face into the cage. The crowd is going nuts. Flair continues to dismantle Morton while playing to girls in the front row. Morton looks like he stepped off the set of a horror movie. Flair gets two on a cocky cover after a snapmare. An atomic drop/backbreaker hybrid gets two more. A suplex sets up the figure four. Morton won’t give up. Flair uses the ropes for leverage. Young catches him and forces the break. Morton suckers Flair with a small package for a near fall. Morton gets his second wind and slugs back. Flair goes into the cage a couple times and blades. Morton gets the punch count in the corner. Flair brings him out with an atomic drop, but Morton no sells and hits a haymaker. Flair eats cage. Ricky lands a sleeper hold. Flair struggles out. Morton comes off the top with a body press for two. Flair runs for the hills. Morton catches him at the top of the cage. Flair flops from the top of the cage. Morton follows with a fist drop for two. They slug it out. Morton lands a missile dropkick for two. Flair picks up Morton and crotches him on the top rope. Flair puts his feet on the ropes and covers for the win. Anti-climatic finish, but up to that point everyone involved was doing a great job in getting over the storyline which worked great in putting on a textbook cage match. Flair made Morton look like a legit contender and the perfect underdog baby face at the same time. *** ¾

Tully Blanchard vs. Dusty Rhodes in a first blood match for the Television Title from Starrcade 11.27.86: Johnny Weaver and Bob Caudle are on commentary. Dillon puts a high school wrestling headgear on Blanchard. The referee won’t allow it. Dillon greases up Blanchard’s head like a boxer and the ref won’t allow that. Rhodes nails Dillon and he blades. Dusty has Tully written on the side of his head around each ear. Blanchard checks on Dillon. Rhodes plays keeps away to frustrate Blanchard. Rhodes lands a couple shots and Blanchard backs off. They both go for the face. Dusty teases the bionic elbow. He does his usual ‘I rule and you’re gay’ posturing. Blanchard gets Rhodes on the mat with a single leg takedown, but misses a fist drop. Dusty comes up with a fist cocked and Tully bails. Rhodes hits a head butt and takes control. Rhodes drops a couple elbows to the knee and Tully bails. Blanchard takes over and tears and Dusty’s face. Dusty shoves him off and hits a double axe handle. They go into the corner. Dillon grabs Blanchard’s leg as Dusty tries to whip him out and the referee is bumped in the mess. Blanchard comes off the top with Dillon’s shoe, but Dusty catches him. The ref is hit on a suplex and is out again. Dusty gets the shoe, but tosses it. Dusty punches and elbows Tully. He’s bleeding, but there is no referee. Dillon wipes off the blood and puts Vaseline on the cut. Blanchard nails Rhodes with a roll of quarters. The ref comes around to find Rhodes bleeding. Blanchard looks ok, so he calls for the bell. Blanchard wins back the TV title. Rhodes protests. Good working of the stipulation until the overbooked finished. It also needed to be longer given the build up. They could have done much better. ** ½

The Four Horsemen vs. Dusty Rhodes, Steve Williams, Nikita Koloff, Lex Luger and Paul Ellering in a War Games match from the Great American Bash 7.16.88: This is the second installment of War Games. Rhodes and Anderson start. Rhodes hits a few elbows and Arn calls for time out in the corner. Arn switches from ring to ring and basically plays keep away until he can get some help. Smart storytelling. Arn tries a sunset flip and Rhodes falls on him with a bionic elbow. A backdrop try then gets him a DDT. There is no commentary again, but Schiavone is playing timekeeper. AA is gashed open on the cage. He clips the knee and goes to work on it. Anderson has some sort of red foreign object and busts Dusty open with it. Arn comes off the second rope into a fist by Rhodes. Rhodes locks in a figure four, which is stupid with someone about ready to come in. As is tradition, the heels win the coin toss and Windham goes in. Rhodes leaves Anderson and attacks Barry. Dusty ping-pongs the Horsemen with elbows. Eventually numbers overwhelm. Windham locks in the iron claw. Rhodes looks near dead as Dr. Death comes in. Williams nails a double clothesline and then a series of shoulder tackles. They separate with Rhodes and Windham in one ring and Williams and Anderson in the other.

They brawl until Flair comes in. He tries to jump Williams, but it doesn’t work and Flair begs off. Williams brings him out of the corner with a choke lift. Flair drops down and hits a low blow. Arnderson and Windham double team Dusty while Flair works over Williams. Arn and Ric switch off. Luger’s in and he wants Flair. He fights on Windham and then gets Flair with a scoop slam to set up the torture rack. Windham saves with a low blow. They work Luger over in the corner until he decides to start no selling and comes back. He and Flair go at it in one ring while the other guys fight in the other. The faces have the advantage as Blanchard enters. He goes straight to the top turnbuckle and comes off with a double axe handle on Williams. Blanchard pulls a chair out from somewhere and cleans house with it. Everyone pairs off until Koloff thunders in. Flair and Windham try to jump him, but he no sells like he was Luger and clotheslines everything moving. They get Nikita off his feet to work the figure four. Koloff breaks and Flair begs off. Koloff gets the punch count in the corner. Anderson saves. Everyone is bleeding. Pasty white JJ Dillon is in and works on whoever is the most out of it. Eventually Koloff cuts him off and busts him open. For a manager, Dillon blades eating breakfast in the morning. Paul Ellering is the last in and the match beyond starts. Ellering has his knee dismantled right away by Blanchard and Flair. Windham gets a double noggin knocker on Luger and Williams. Dillon jumps for joy as he’s alone in the second ring with a down and out Ellering. Ellering pulls up on a whip and Dillon misses a dropkick. Ellering with an atomic drop. Rhodes locks in the figure four on JJ and the other faces play roadblock until Dillon submits. The faces exit triumphantly while the Horsemen tend to Dillon. The match beyond portion was too short. Other War Games had more flow and better dynamics in the wrestlers. It’s hard to have a bad War Games though. ****

Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard vs. Sting and Nikita Koloff from the Great American Bash 7.10.88: Koloff and Sting are an odd pair, even though they would both later work the wrestling for Jesus circuit with Ted Dibiase. Sting is stupid over. In a rare occurrence Schiavone and Ross back when both ruled it on the mic are the announce team. The faces attack first in another rare occurrence. Koloff and Anderson go at it on the floor, which distracts the referee from seeing Sting small package Blanchard for what would been a flash win. Arn makes the save, then bails off of a dropkick. Sting planchas out back in the day when you just didn’t do that. Going back into the ring, AA catches Sting with a fist to the gut and goes up top. Sting catches him coming off with a punch to the abdomen. Note that Anderson has hit less coming off the top rope on this disc than Flair. Sting works an armbar on the mat. He tags in Koloff and they go all Minnesota Wrecking Crew on the arm. Anderson fights back, but gets a whip reversed on him. Koloff pulls up on the blind charge as Anderson dodges. Koloff suckers him with a clothesline. Blanchard runs in and takes a clothesline. Koloff covers for a sure win, but the ref was messing with Blanchard. Anderson catches Sting with a knee on a charge. He goes back up top and Sting tries to slam him off. AA rakes the eyes and drops on top of Sting for a sleeper. Sting ducks and rams Anderson into the top turnbuckle to break. Sting works on the arm. Arn counters with an overhand wristlock. Blanchard runs in to do it on the other arm. Sting twists through it and armdrags both guys. Dropkick city. No one was more athletic than Sting back in the day, nobody.

Arn does manage to tag Blanchard in. Sting armdrags him a few times and tags Koloff. They work Blanchard’s arm. Koloff twists into a double arm bar for a few near falls. Blanchard rolls into the ropes to break. Tag to Sting. Sting bites Blanchard. He reverses a whip and then posts himself on a charge. Sting covers. Blanchard kicks out, but comes up in the face corner for a bell ringer by Nikita. Tag to him. The ref misses the tag to Anderson. While he argues with the official Koloff and Sting switch off. Koloff claps his hands together to sound like they made a tag. That is some sweet reversal of the standard tag formula. Dillon sells it with a look of ‘what the hell, I can’t say anything about that.’ Koloff back in. Blanchard’s leg is caught on a kick. He’s spun around into an atomic drop then arm dragged back to the mat and into the armbar. Blanchard powers out and tags AA. Koloff immediately retreats to his corner. Koloff impresses me with a drop toehold out of a crisscross sequence. He works a half nelson and hammerlock combo. It goes into a full nelson. Anderson smartly breaks with a kick to the knee. Tag to Blanchard, who kicks the knee some more. Koloff reverses a whip and hits a clothesline. He goes into the Russian Hammer chokehold, but backs off. Flying shoulder tackle. Koloff is gassed moments after Ross put over his great conditioning. Cactus clothesline puts both men on the floor. Koloff is in first and suplexes Blanchard in. The cover is broken up by Dillon on the floor. Koloff goes out to rough him up. Dillon ducks a Russian sickle and Koloff hurts his arm. Anderson picks him up in a fireman’s carry and rams him into the ring post. Sting saves. The ref deals with Sting while Nikita is double teamed. Hammerlock slam by the Enforcer. I love that move. They work the shoulder. Koloff hulks up, but telegraphs a backdrop to take a DDT for a near fall. Blanchard comes in from the top with an elbow to the arm. He covers for two. Blanchard grinds on the arm. Arn tags in. A slingshot splash eats boots. Tags all around. Sting cleans house. Press slam on Blanchard. Bulldog on Anderson. Blanchard switches on an atomic drop, but Sting flips out and dropkicks him. Double noggin knocker on the heels. Sting locks a sleeper on Arn. Arn reverses and holds him while tagging Blanchard. He comes in with a sunset flip. Sting blocks. Koloff takes out Anderson. Stinger splash on Anderson. Scorpion deathlock. Blanchard hangs on until the time limit, but the faces think he gave up. They pose with the belts, but the Horsemen retain on a draw. Great build and pacing to the time limit draw and the reversal of the usual tag team formula made the match fresh. A hot crowd also helps to push this to **** ¼ .

Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard vs. Barry Windham and Lex Luger for the NWA Tag Team Titles from Clash of the Champions 3.27.88: They should have put Windham’s turn on here, but this is where they won the titles. Luger pushes out of a lock up with Blanchard. However, he suckers Luger into his corner for the double team. Luger fights both off with clotheslines. Scoop slam sets up an early torture rack. Anderson saves and tags in. The champs choose the left thigh to focus on. Luger pushes Arn into Blanchard on the apron and hot tags Windham. A lariat sets up a leg drop. Scoop slam gets two. Windham locks in a sleeper. In a cool spot, Blanchard falls to the floor and Windham hangs on. He finally lets go and Anderson tends to his partner. Blanchard catches Barry coming back in with a punch and drops him throat first over the top rope. He gets caught on top and slammed off. Windham further impresses Luger with his move set by going to an abdominal stretch. Dillon distracts the ref so Anderson can break. Luger tries to get in the ring and this allows AA to hit the DDT. It gets two. After Jake Roberts Anderson has the best DDT in the business. He does have the best spinebuster and hits that for a near fall. Anderson tries to keep Windham on the mat, but he powers out. Blanchard tags in and cuts Windham off. A sloppy crisscross ends with a body press by Windham for two. They brilliantly play this off with another sloppy crisscross where they run into each other and are both out.

They do some amateur stuff and Windham bridges out of a pin and into a side suplex. Blanchard is still able to tag first. Windham fights him off, but can’t make his corner. Anderson misses a knee drop. They punch each other and go down. Windham has a funny delayed sell of it. Tag to Blanchard. Windham gets his shoulder up on the slingshot suplex. Someone needs to use that move. Windham knocks out Blanchard and is dead on his feet, but manages to somehow tag Luger. Awesome performance by Windham through that segment. Luger is clothesline happy. Double noggin knocker gets rid of Tully. Luger goes into the ropes and takes a knee from Blanchard off the apron. He still manages to reverse a whip and scoop slams Arn. Windham cuts off Blanchard. Dillon holds up a chair, but Luger throws Anderson into it and makes the pin for the titles. The crowd is full goose bozo. Luger as usual was dead weight, but utilized well. Windham I think was vastly underrated in his prime and he puts on a great go here. ****

Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair from Fall Brawl 9.17.95: I’m glad this is on here. Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are the broadcast team. A nice bit is a bunch of the guys from the back are out to watch the match. Eddie Guerrero hanging out with Alex Wright somehow amuses me. Flair does his standard arrogant heel shtick and it just ticks Anderson off. They lock up, Anderson gets the best of a crisscross and teases a woo. Flair shoves out of a side headlock and comes off the ropes to get shoved down. He pops up into Arn’s face and is slapped. Flair finally knows this is for real and back pedals. They trade off on an armbar. Anderson gets the better of it. Flair takes exception to having his arm worked on and pushes Arn. Anderson slaps him again. Heenan somehow blames Hulk Hogan for their feud. They trade off on a hammerlock. Flair goes low and breaks with a leg trip. Into a front chancery, but Anderson counters into the hammerlock again. Flair breaks and tries for the figure four. Anderson catches his arm and pulls on it. Schiavone and Heenan are doing a crackerjack job of getting the history between the two and the basic angle over. Anderson works a Herb Kunze armbar. Flair rolls up the arm into a side headlock. Anderson powers up, but is taken out with a chop. Flair goes to school on the knee. Anderson fights back. In a replay of the Sting match above, Anderson is caught up top, but rakes the eyes and gets a sleeper. Flair backs him into the corner to break. Anderson comes off the middle rope with a knee to the back. Hammerlock slam makes Flair beg off. Anderson works a double armbar for some pin attempts. Arn wraps the arm around the ring post. Add the single arm DDT to the moves I love as Arn hits it. They trade some blows and Ric is whipped into the corner for the Flair flip. In a great spot, Arn knew he was going to run down the apron so he went for a crossbody. Flair knew he knew and pulled the ropes down to send him to the floor. Flair comes off the top to the floor with a double axe handle. That is crazy for Flair.

Flair chops him on the outside. Flair drops him throat first over the ropes. Flair stomps him on the apron. Flair measures him for the knee drop. Flair covers with his feet on the ropes, but Arn kicks out. Anderson gets his second wind. Backdrop gets a few near falls. Flair low blows him and follows with a punt to the ribs. Flair throws Arn to the floor. He chops him on the floor. Arn backdrops Flair and beats on him outside. Flair counters with a suplex. Back in the ring Flair hits a haymaker and then a delayed suplex. He covers for two. Flair chops for a two. Flair blocks a sunset flip. He drops with a punch, but Anderson moves. Flair is thrown into the tree of woe and Anderson works him over. Arn signals for the DDT. Flair blocks by holding onto the ropes, but then flops. Flair is slammed off the top. Anderson covers for two. Flair clotheslines him coming off the top and goes into the figure four. Anderson tried to block by holding onto the leg. Flair spits on Arn and that just wakes him up. He turns it over. Flair breaks. The crowd is getting into it now. Flair clips the leg. Anderson gets a small package on a figure four try for two. Flair works on the knee. Flair tries to whip Arn and he collapses. Brian Pillman jumps on the apron. They trade punches. Pillman kicks Flair in the back of the head. Anderson gets the DDT out of nowhere and wins. Schiavone and Heenan set that up by earlier mentioning that Flair’s first match back in WCW from WWE was tagging with AA against the Hollywood Blondes. I wish they had the blow off tag match on here where Flair turned on Sting. Great storytelling and psychology throughout. WWE wishes they could put on pay per view matches today this good with this much emotion. Great commentary work helps too. When you take two guys that good just past their primes with so much history to play off you are not going to be disappointed. **** ½

The Elite from NWA 11.16.85: Ric Flair as World Champion and a top businessman hangs out with the elite and that elite is the Four Horsemen. The rest of the guys enter. Ole shills them as being great. Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA show up in the ring and challenge the Horsemen. Right before they enter the ring the Road Warriors run in and scare them off.

The Four Horsemen Make It Happen from NWA 7.12.86: Jim Cornette pimped to the nines interviews the Horsemen. Ole predicts that before 1986 is over they will force Rhodes into retirement. Blanchard goes over the list of everyone they took out. Arn doesn’t want to toot his own horn, but toot toot, they make it happen in wrestling today. Flair says they are the studs of professional wrestling possessed of brains and brawn.

JJ Dillon’s Ring from NWA 8.16.86: Ole continues to promise that Rhodes will be done in 1986. Blanchard brags that the guys were hanging out at Flair’s condo in Myrtle Beach and they all plunked $10,000 a piece down on a ring to honor Dillon as their manager. It’s a nice ring. I hope Dillon still wears it. Dillon proclaims that diamonds are forever and so are the Four Horsemen.

It’s An All Night Ride from NWA 12.13.86: Ole is no longer bragging that Rhodes will be finished in 1986. Dillon proclaims that they control professional wrestling and when they are around all eyes are on them. Arn calls out Barry Windham and Ronnie Garvin for their US tag team titles. He also trash talks Nikita Koloff as the US Champion. Flair is going to have the three guys hold Nikita and he’s going slap him, spit on him and then woo.

We are the Four Horsemen from NWA 12.20.86: They continue dissing Koloff. Koloff wants the World Title, but the US Title is his meal ticket to it and he’s going to lose that to Arn. Ole is wearing a shirt that says Damn I am Good. They brag about how great they are. I love the oversized rose tinted glasses. Nobody wears those anymore. Probably for good reason.

The Four Horsemen Give Sting the Boot from Clash of the Champions 2.6.90: Terry Funk conducts the interview. Ole kicks Sting out of the Horsemen. Ole and Arn have wanted to kick Sting’s rear for awhile, but Flair called them off. However, Sting won’t give up his title shot against Flair. Because Flair begged them, they are going to let Sting live, but on the condition that he gives up the title shot and gets out of the building. He refuses. They destroy him. Ole’s best promo ever. They didn’t seem to care much for the storyline on disc one, but I thought it was pretty interesting in playing off of the various characters and going in a new direction.

We are the Original Gang from Nitro 8.5.96: The Four Horsemen destroy the Booty Man. The nWo injured Arn Anderson the week before, so for beating up his best friend Flair is going to beat up Hogan’s. If Hogan wanted his attention, he has it. Benoit and McMichael chime in too.

Flair Going Off on Bischoff from Nitro 12.7.98: Melenko is with the group now. Flair is going to wrestle Bischoff at Starrcade. He is in the early stages of crazy old man Flair as he’s red faced and wide eyed and bouncing off the ropes for no reason. He calls Bischoff a jack off with no sense of history. Guys like the Briscoes, Jose Lothario and Dusty Rhodes bled a gallon and sweat five gallons for Bischoff to be where he is today. They’re going to take his paycheck, his job, his life and his dignity while they take back professional wrestling. Great promo.

The Unveiling of the Four Horsemen from Nitro 9.14.98: Everybody is wearing tuxedoes. JJ Dillon asks AA to come to the ring. Dillon apologizes for comments he made about Arn. Arn accepts. He talks about the Horsemen legacy and how his career ended. A massive We Want Flair chant breaks out. Arn brings out McMichael, Benoit and Malenko. Flair then comes out to a deafening ovation. He chews out Bischoff. While he might think the moment is great TV, it’s not because it’s real. It can be real and still great TV if you ask me. Flair gets on Bischoff for belittling Anderson’s on air retirement and for making him disband the Horsemen. He apologizes to the fans and the guys in the ring. Uncle Eric comes out. Flair calls him an over bearing asshole who abuses his power. He’s a liar, a cheat, a no good son of bitch and Ric hates his guts. That’s a shoot brother.

Arn Anderson’s Drive from Fall Brawl 9.17.95: Gene Okerlund interviews AA before his match with Flair at Fall Brawl. Arn says he’s always called a spade a spade. He’s loved with a vengeance or hated with a vengeance all his life. Flair is his family and he loves him, but he needs to knock some sense into him. He doesn’t want to do it, but he has to because when he wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror he has to answer to himself. He will respect himself in the morning and so will Flair. Arn is one of the most underrated talkers of all time.

The 411: Just going off of things mentioned on the main feature the set could have been another two discs of matches and promos. What is on here seems kind of random. You need Windham’s turn on Luger, Flair’s turn on Sting and the first War Games to be sure. I also would have liked some matches with Benoit, Malenko and Mongo. Sure, you make the set bigger and it’s going to cost more, but only hardcore fans are going to buy it anyway. The main feature goes over the complete history of the Horsemen, but is still slapdash in typical WWE style. For an old school NWA fan and Horsemen fan, this just whets the appetite for more, but it’s still quality. Woo!
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend

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Leonard Hayhurst
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