For the first time ever, The Brain Busters, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, were on a podcast together when they joined Chris Jericho to talk about their careers in both Jim Crockett Promotions and WWE. While Anderson and Blanchard are an iconic tag team in their own right, they are also known as being part of one of the best factions of all time, The Four Horsemen. Anderson talked about the early formation of The Four Horsemen after Ole Anderson left, and how there was both real-life and work heat on him for leaving.
“I don’t remember at what focal point Tully and I became a team other than when we kicked Ole out, who was ready to go home and watch his kid wrestle amateur,” Anderson recalled. “At the time, we were offended, and both on a shoot and a work because we’re red-hot. But he said, ‘hey guys, I didn’t sign up for life. I want to go see my kid wrestle amateur at U-Tennessee Chattanooga.’
“It just kind of came out of nowhere. And so we went, okay, we got a hell of a thing here but we got to honor his wishes because he was going one way or the other. And, now as a dad with a 23-year-old that has got to see my son in high school sports and all that stuff, I get it now.”
It’s noted that Ole was not part of The Four Horsemen when they were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but Arn gave a reasoning on his podcast as to why that was the case. Arn talked about the roles Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Blanchard and himself filling in The Four Horsemen, and he talked about how he and Blanchard just clicked as a tag team right away.
“Once we kicked him out and put Luger in his place, there was a natural evolution to move Ric into Ric’s spot as a world champion,” Anderson explained. “Luger’s the guy that we had to make into the heavy hitter just because of his look, and that left me and Tully as a team.
“That’s the way I remember it, and we just kind of fell into it and it clicked from day one. And I’ve said it before, I learned more about tag team wrestling with this guy than anybody that I had as a partner. And I had some great partners over the years, but he just knows how to get heat.”
Blanchard called the period of the late 80s the best time of his life. He noted that their style as a tag team didn’t fit with WWE’s style of planning things out since they were all about reacting to a situation in the ring. Blanchard also said that he’s happy to be back in wrestling with AEW where he serves as Shawn Spears’ ‘exclusive advisor’.
“It was fun, and one of the things where when we went up to the WWE was things wanted to be a little more planned out which didn’t really float real well,” Blanchard noted. “It was fun to go to work. Working with this guy every stinking night, you had fun in the ring and you knew that 16,000 people, or however many were there, got their money’s worth watching us. And that was satisfying, and that was what we were paid to do was entertain people and bring them back the next time.
“It was really that period from ’85 to ’89, it was like a flash but it was the best time that I’ve ever had in my life. And to be able to to come back and hopefully give a bunch of knowledge that can still be applied, maybe tweaked a little bit but applied, is very exciting to me because you guys have worked, and worked, and worked.
“And you guys are in flow. But to be away for 20 years, 25 years, 30 years and come back? This is a different atmosphere for me. A lot still feels the same, but still, there’s new stuff going on. But it’s exciting to be part of the AEW family.”
The Four Horsemen’s legacy can be felt all throughout wrestling today, with Jericho even noting on the podcast that The Inner Circle is somewhat inspired by The Horsemen in terms of the similar roles everyone has. That led Jericho to ask the story behind the creation of The Four Horsemen, and Arn admitted that there really wasn’t too much thought behind it. JJ Dillion had said similar things in an interview before, and Arn and Blanchard laid out the situation that was presented to them that led Arn to think of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and put up the iconic four gesture.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. This is God’s truth,” Anderson prefaced. “When I say this, you’re going to be waiting for the story part, and there is not a story part. In those days, we had, I want to say it was like a 3:38 interview slot.
“We had just started intermingling and all that stuff. Different combinations of guys were having tags and stuff, but we happened to all be out on one promo one day. And we had to get it all done in 3:38, and there were three matches.
“We were in an eight-man tag match,” Blanchard noted. “It was the Anderson’s and Flair the cousin, and just because I was wrestling the booker, I got slid in.
“So there we stood, four of us, and they started into their promos. Whoever went ahead of me, I don’t remember, and I was just looking and counting heads,” Anderson continued. “And I don’t know how or why, but the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the biblical story of what they do and when it’s time, it popped in my head.
“Now, I’m a religious guy. I certainly believe in God, but I’m not a Bible thumper that that was in my prefrontal lobe. It just popped in there like promos, right? We don’t know how stuff pops in there. We just roll with it, and I went into this, ‘you’re looking at the Four Horsemen and never has so much damage been done to so many by so few.'”
Arn reiterated that it was a stream of conscious thing to name their group. He said that no one else went to each other and talked about, and they just ran with the idea of The Four Horsemen.
“I just did that (Anderson puts up the four fingers), and the promo subsided. And Tony Schiavone looked like somebody had just seen a ghost,” Anderson described. “He said, ‘Arn, you just named you guys.’
“That’s great,’ and we went, ‘okay.’ Whenever we got to that town and we went out there, I did it, he did it, everybody kind of did it. Ric did it, and it was done. It literally just ran and we didn’t even talk about it. They didn’t say, ‘what the hell is that Four Horsemen thing?'”
Anderson and Blanchard left Jim Crockett in 1988 for a short run in WWE. During that run, it was made clear that while they were lucky to be given the name The Brain Busters, their association with The Four Horsemen was not to be mentioned, even to the point of not acknowledging fans that did the four gesture.
“We lucked out I think,” Anderson stated. “They asked us for new names. Obviously, they were pretty clear. ‘We don’t wanna see The Four Horsemen bulls–t,’ which you couldn’t avoid for a short period of time.
“When the fans would put it up, they sent guys out in the audience to pull them all down,” Blanchard said.
“We didn’t do this. They were all doing it and it was pretty uncomfortable,” Anderson admitted. “And after about two or three weeks of not giving it back to them, the audience got pretty much pissed and just quit doing it.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.