On a recent episode of The Arn Show, Arn Anderson looked back to 2010, and recalled what he was hearing about the upcoming WWE Network. Arn said he was initially “red-lined” thinking about the endless possibilities, and is still wondering how fans of professional wrestling that have a working TV set in their home aren’t paying the $9.99 price to access everything that is offered.
“Well, when you have your own network and you’re pushing only your product, my mind was kind of red-lined. And it’s like, ‘Oh my God, the potential there,'” Arn said. “The amount of content. The going back to the trivia, going back to– I was picturing wrestling from the 60s and 70s and basically everything that has ever been taped by a handheld video camera or a Kodak camera having snapshots.
“I was just looking at that bin and the unbelievable potential and the amount of just sheer volume that could be put on there once you’re on own network,” Arn added. “For some reason in my mind, [I was] picturing it like us having a CBS, or ABC, or NBC at our disposal. It wasn’t quite that, but the network with purely wrestling content – it turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be. It’s a plethora of anything from any generation that you want to see and for– to this day, for the life of me, for $9.99, I can’t figure out why everybody that has a TV doesn’t have it.”
Eric Bischoff recently said he has always hated working with celebrities, going as far as calling them a “pain in the a–“. Arn recalled working with Freddy Prinze Jr., and mentioned that he’s always had a pretty good feel for if someone respected the business or not. He also explained that he always tried to treat celebrity guests the way he would want to be treated if he walked into their world.
“I liked Freddie; I liked him a lot,” Arn admitted. “My wife could tell you all the movies that he was in. And she liked his acting ability and she thought he was cute, and it was one of our favorites. Keeping in mind her age at the time – she is significantly younger than me by about nine years. But Freddie was a guy– the one thing I’ve always respected is people that come into our business from other places, Hollywood and all that.
“First of all, I get a finger on the pulse of ‘do they respect the business?'” Arn added. “‘Do they know anything about our business? Do they have any qualifications? What would lead them to believe they can walk into our industry, which is totally different from any other form of entertainment, and make a contribution? Once you assess them, or once I do, then I have an opinion about them one way or the other. Plus, I want to give them a chance and treat them the way I want to be treated if I walked into their environment.”
Arn later recalled David Otunga’s time in WWE and gave his two cents on why Otunga didn’t work out with the company. Arn mentioned he wasn’t being used a lot at the time and would be there one day and gone the next, but he did recall that Vince McMahon believed WWE could get Otunga’s wife, Jennifer Hudson, to sing the National Anthem at WrestleMania.
“I know that he would be here today and gone tomorrow for whatever that reason was,” Arn recalled. “I think he was probably left unbooked for a lot of that time, but I don’t think he got enough reps to actually see what he was capable of. He looked as good as anybody and was a handsome guy and a pleasant guy. Had a lot of class about himself. I think the original– if my opinion matters – I never heard this said behind closed doors, but I think in the back of Vince’s mind, that Jennifer Hudson was going to sing the National Anthem at WrestleMania at some point. And no disrespect to David, but that was the goal. And to keep David happy during that period – because you’re talking about a coup for WrestleMania.
“How big would that have been,” Arn asked. “I’m sure if that was ever presented to her people, they said something along the lines of, ‘Jennifer, you’re a worldwide pop star’, or whatever she would be considered. ‘You’re as hot as anybody on earth. You don’t need to be involved with wrestling. I get that your husband is trying his hand at that, but you’re somewhere else in some other stratosphere’. The office never got the memo though, I don’t think. I think that was the goal, anyway.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.
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