As seen above, WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson recently discussed his WWE release during a Q&A segment on his "ARN" podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson. Anderson talked about how hard it was working for WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, and how there's somewhat of a feeling from some of a Producers vs. Creative atmosphere.
Arn asked when he knew his time with WWE was coming to an end.
"Probably 4 years," Arn revealed. "Somewhere in there, before I got canned. I was getting blamed for stuff that was perceived to be my fault, that wasn't my fault. My opinion was not valued. You know... something I'm not sure that everybody knows, and I'm sure they don't... besides our duties on the road, when you're a Producer and you're traveling all those miles and going out on Friday, and sometimes driving 1,000 miles before you get to RAW, and then you got another couple 300 that night, and you drive, and you gotta be there early for SmackDown.
"On top of all that, they would send the show [script] out, sometimes on Sunday night. So after you had already put in 1,000 miles, you had already did a show, you had driven to RAW, however far that was. Then you would get an e-mail, and you would have to critique the show, have to read through a three-hour RAW, give your opinions, suggestions. Same thing with SmackDown. Now it doesn't matter that it's 4 in the morning and you're dead tired. But that's all the Producers."
Arn continued and talked about how the suggestions from the Producers were never used, and said most of the WWE content from the last 4 years did not come from the Producers.
"Very rarely in those last 4 years was anything that anyone of us had offered, because you would get a sheet with the Producer suggestions, and names that go by with them, and they never would use any of those suggestions. and I knew my opinion was no longer valued. And you would speak up, it would be taken the wrong way, it was almost like it was Creative vs. the Producers, which was the farthest thing from the truth. We were doing all we could to support their ideas. A lot of them we disagreed with and we'd voice it, and then we'd get kicked around the room, but by the time it got back to the beginning, it was just what was written originally. I just felt like the last 4 years, it was... I always kinda felt like I was one of those, 'You WCW guys.' I always felt that way," Arn revealed.
Thompson asked Arn if he felt like an outsider in WWE, and he did. Arn also said he didn't want to be in the inner circle of Vince and Triple H, and commented on how he was blamed for problems with several high-profile WWE matches.
"Yeah, outsider looking in," Arn responded. "Even though in total, 18 years with the company, you would think my loyalty would be unquestionable, and I just felt like an outsider, on the outside looking in. I never was comfortable, I never was in that... and to be honest with you, I didn't want to be in that inner circle with my head up Vince's ass, or Hunter's [Triple H] ass, or any of those guys' ass around. I just wanted to do my job, help the talent the best I could, take the ideas that the creative came up with, whether I agreed or not agreed with it, try to make it work the best I could, and I just... you know, I was getting my head taken off.
"Some things that weren't my fault, and several different big matches, and something that we don't have time to really discuss here, because it'd take too long, but it'd just... you know, I was made to feel suddenly like I didn't know anything about the business anymore. It was like I was suddenly inept. That all that knowledge I had acquired over the years, and all the rules, and all the things I knew applied, didn't apply anymore. And you know, you feel pretty stupid after a while, after getting hit over the head with that, 'Oh, that's stupid. Oh, that's stupid. Oh, that doesn't make any sense. Oh, that doesn't make any sense.' I start to believe it."
Thompson asked Arn who was the one saying these things to him, about what is stupid and what doesn't make sense.
"Well who would've been the only guy that could've gotten away with it?," Arn asked.
"I assume Vince," Thompson responded.
"Yeah, of course," Arn said. "Because that's all that mattered at the end of the day. It was an audience of one who we were performing for, across the board. Which was told to us guys. 'You only have to please an audience of one.' And we know who the audience of one is. So, if you're not trying to give the audience what they want, if you're just trying to tip-toe around what you know he wants and requires, it's a difficult mine-field. It really is."
Arn left WWE back in February of this year after working behind-the-scenes for 18 years with the company. It was reported that Arn was released after he allowed an intoxicated Alicia Fox to wrestle at a WWE live event, but Arn later spoke about being unhappy and noted that he was under a non-disclosure.
Arn made his AEW debut at their All Out pay-per-view in late August, working an angle with Cody Rhodes by hitting a Spinebuster on Shawn Spears, who had sided with fellow-Horseman Tully Blanchard. Arn also did guest commentary work for the November 6 AEW Dark tapings in Charlotte, NC, which aired on November 12. There have been rumors of The Enforcer working behind-the-scenes for AEW at some point, and AEW President & CEO Tony Khan has indicated that he would like to see more of Arn in the company.
Stay tuned for updates on Arn. Click here to check out his podcast.