On a recent episode of Ask Arn Anything on the ARN Podcast, AEW Producer and WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson took a question from a fan asking about the heat between Ric Flair and Scott Steiner in WCW. Over the years, Steiner has called Flair "a piece of garbage" and explained his side of dislike towards Flair. Anderson gave more detail about an incident that started in their 1991 Clash of the Champions match for the WCW World Heavyweight Title.
"I've heard different stories, you know, rumors," Anderson recalled. "Sure, there was definitely heat there but I think Ric had a match with Scotty on a big show, Clash of Champions, maybe? And it had some time involved and, apparently, Scotty didn't like the match and he felt like Ric held back, or tanked, or something. And this is just stuff that I've read.
"I never had the conversation with either guy but there was, like, a conspiracy, and in somebody's mind, one way or the other, I don't know how it went down but the match was not what either one of them wanted it to be, and I think they carried that. And it just built, and built, and built, and when you're the booker, and Ric was the booker sometimes, you're always going to have enemies and you're going to have a few confidants. And I think it was just one of those situations."
Anderson continued talking about the environment of the WCW locker room in 1991. Jim Herd was leading WCW at the time, and Anderson talked about the dynamics that were going on with how unqualified Herd was to lead WCW.
"Yeah, everybody was jockying for positions, and they had a moron running the company," Anderson said. "Jim Herd did a lot of bad things and it was just because he had no knowledge of what we do. He had no more business being in that seat as you take me out to an air force base and put me in the driver's seat of an F-16 and say, 'okay, have at it'. I'm no more qualified to do that than he is to run a wrestling company, and there was probably a lot of things that got screwed up. And I'm sure because I know Herd liked The Steiners a lot.
"He liked [Lex] Luger and Sting a lot. He liked that look, and who wouldn't? Look at those guys, for God's sakes. And I'm sure, after the fact, Jim Herd probably stirred it up with Scotty because he was pro-Scotty, and trying to get rid of Flair, and all that. Who knows what went on behind the scenes to make this bigger than it was? It just didn't work out to be as good as it could. I know that and you'll have to, as the two participants whatever their slant was before, you'll ever get close to the truth. We just get rumoring into innuendo and how that is in the wrestling locker room. Every time it gets told, it gets bigger and flames up more."
Anderson became a producer for WWE after his retirement and served that position until 2019. He was asked which wrestlers he wanted to work with but never got the chance to.
"There's not too many I missed," Anderson admitted. "I never got to work with Bobby Roode, who I'm a big fan of. Never got to work with Rey Mysterio. [I'm a] big fan of Rey's. I never got to work with Mr. Perfect, big fan of his. Those three come to mind. You know, I'm sure there's a lot that I missed. I never got to work with Kane, I would have enjoyed that, I think. That's about it, I think."
Anderson's most iconic move as a wrestler is the spinebuster. Anderson named a handful of other wrestlers that he felt also did good spinebusters.
"Well everybody that was smart put their own twist with it you," Anderson noted. "[Ron] Simmons was a spine buster but it looked like something entirely different, and it was definitely a kill shot. You know, I can tell you the guys that did it really well.
"Hunter did a very good one, Bobby Roode, very good, Rhino, very good, Adam Rose, excellent spine buster. You know, Batista's was different, Dave did a good one. It was different. Obviously, The Rock's was different."
On the topic of spinebusters, Anderson recalled a bad spinebuster experience with fellow Horseman Barry Windham. Anderson praised Windham as a great worker, but on this occasion, they were not able to execute the spinebuster to satisfaction.
"You know, one of the greatest workers of all time, Barry Windham, we worked that title match, and if you go back and look at it, I hit Barry with that spine buster and he had his legs inside," Anderson explained. "And he kind of fell away from me as we rotated and started down, there was some separation, if you can picture that. Instead of being chest to chest, tight, it looked God awful.
"Barry Windham was one of the greatest workers in the world. It never occurred to me to say, 'here Barry, here's what I need for this spine buster', just assuming that he could do everything. But he had never taken one, and in that match, there was one that just looked terrible. And for me to say Barry Windham did anything that looked terrible is almost ludicrous, but that was an occasion where it did not look good."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit ARN with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.