JJ Dillon Talks How The Four Horsemen Were Formed, Ric Flair's Work Ethic, Wrestling In MSG
How the idea for the Four Horsemen first came about:
"It wasn't really an idea that had been laid out in advance. Baby Doll was there with Tully and there was the deal where I orchestrated the thing and got Tully away from Baby Doll. Dusty came to her aid. and that's how I'm with Tully. Flair was the World Champion, Ole and Arn were the World Tag Team Champions, and Tully was the National Champion, and he was the only one I was managing. One of the weeks, I don't know if it was short on time or what, somebody said, 'You guys have all the belts, all of you go out together. Just tell everybody where you're gonna be this week. That's what happened. Flair went out with the World Title over his shoulder, Ole and Arn went out with the tag belts, Tully went out with his belt Visit Wrestling Inc., and I went out because I managed Tully. As the mic passed around, Arn Anderson took it and said, 'You people at home take a good hard look at your screen, we're all champions. Never have so few wrecked so much havoc on everyone,' and he said, 'you'd have to go back in the history books to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,' and he held up the four fingers. It was just a statement that he threw out there. Then, the next thing you know, when one of us went out there in the studio, it became an interactive thing, holding up the four fingers. it was probably a couple of weeks before Jimmy Crockett said, 'what is this Four Horsemen thing I keep hearing about?'"
What made the Horsemen such a special group:
"I don't think anyone could've ever imagined that it would become as big as it became and last as long as it did. But what happened was, it was a group of guys, who the chemistry was just there. Every night, even though we weren't always in the same match, actually, I think Arn in his WWE Hall of Fame acceptance speech said, a guy would go out there and basically throw down the gauntlet and challenge the rest of us to go out and top what they had done. So, it was a friendly competition, and the ultimate winner was the fan, because they knew when we were on the card, they were going to see our best effort, every single night, in every town, no matter where it was or the size if the crowd."
The differences in traveling and other aspects of the wrestling business in his days on the road as opposed to today:
"It was a different time in the business then. Because, we didn't fly around, we traveled. The guys had opposite dressing rooms. The guys that we wrestled against, we had very little contact with, we would rarely even see them. In the small towns, like Amarillo, if you would go to a restaurant and see a guy who would be across the ring from you, you would go somewhere else. It was just how it was in those days, and I think that has a lot to do with why the fans had a lot more respect for us, because we commanded that respect by not giving them any reason to disrespect us. In the middle of the night on those long trips, we would pass each other, and here we would be on a stretch of highway between Colorado Springs and Albuquerque in the middle of the night. We would flash our lights to pull over, we'd get out and have a beer together and a hug and nobody would ever know. But it was the camaraderie driving in the car where more ideas were created that drew tremendous amounts of money. It was the kind of things we did, like that, and we drew money, and the business was fun. The trips were long, it was physically demanding. it was just pride that the people in the business and gave up their bodies for it had."