Arn Anderson recently spoke on The Arn Show about one of his favorite matches he has seen live, revealing it was when he saw Kurt Angle squared off with Kane. He gave a lot of praise to Kane for being able to convey emotion even though he was wearing a mask.
“I saw Kane wrestle Kurt Angle, and I hadn’t been with WWE too long,” Arn said. “I don’t remember the exact year, but they were really high on Angle. They were really building him, and it was when Kane was about 330 [lbs] and, I mean, jacked with the mask. They went about 20-25 minutes on tv with the story being Kane the monster, but tripping up a little bit and allowing that ankle lock to be put on him several times. And Kane obviously did what you thought Kane would do; he nodded his head back and forth, ‘No, no, no, no, no way I’m going to tap out! No way!’ I’m a huge fan of the Kane character and the person, Glenn Jacobs.
“As we know, if you got a mask covering your face, it’s hard to see your facials, and facials are where our money lies in this business,” Arn continued. “It tells you when you’re happy, when you’re hurt, when you’re sad, when you’re hurting, and when you’re in trouble. All of those emotions are conveyed through your face. When you got a mask on, it’s hard to do that, but someway, somehow, Kane was able to show me his frustration with the bobbing of his head, and the pain, and the slapping of the mat.
“His whole body language doing that until finally, he did the unthinkable, and it was the first time he had ever done it. Kane tapped out to Kurt Angle. What a match, what a story, what a performance by both guys! But by the fact that Kane was able to show me that frustration, that, ‘I can’t get this son of a bi–h off me’. This is Kane, the monster. ‘I got to tap out’. It was so satisfying as a wrestling fan, I can’t tell you.”
When Arn was still an in-ring performer, he had several major victories, but arguably none were bigger than his victories over Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. Arn went on to say that Hogan meant more to him because of what Hogan symbolized to the business and the fact people still remember the match.
“Oh, Hogan for sure,” Arn said. “[It was] huge. And hey, where wins and losses go, I’m not some guy that keeps up with all that stuff, and because my loss record is about 10 times bigger than my win record, but that one [I won] and the one that followed. Even with all the shenanigans that went on, it is one that you can go back 15 years later and bring it up in a promo and people will remember it, believe it or not. And it was big to me because I saw the evolution of Hulk Hogan.
“I lived it; I lived through it,” Arn continued. “I saw it and I saw what he meant, and I also saw that he didn’t get beat very much. You could run over him with a dump truck and then back over him and I’m not sure he was going to stay down from that, and that was a big one for me. It really was. And the Ric one where we were going with the angle was a big deal, too. I think it was a little bit of a shocker to people. It was a bad guy against a bad guy with Ric and I, or good guy against a good guy – however you want to look at it. It was Good vs. Evil with me and Hogan, so it had that panache. Those people were pissed. That was his hometown.”
Arn later discussed that he never made the type of money that the top performers in his day made. He said his biggest payoff for an event was $12,500 while working for Crockett. He revealed that although he made that amount, he was actually promised double.
“It was for Crokett,” Arn revealed. “It was for the one that I quit on. I had stated earlier on one of the podcasts – I think I misquoted and said $11,700 or something. $12,500 was exactly half of what Crockett had told me he was going to pay me, and that’s what I got. It was supposed to have been 25 [thousand], but it was $12,500, and I guess that was still even the single biggest payoff I ever got. I never made the top money that top guys made, and I’m not complaining because it’s a ton of money and a lot more than I’m worth.
“It’s more than I’m qualified to make anywhere else in the real world,” Arn added. “I’m not lost on the fact that I’ve been very fortunate, and I’m very grateful for the money I’ve made but it was not anywhere near what most top guys have made in the business. You would be shocked if you looked at 20 years of my salary per year compared to what other guys made.”
You can see the full episode in the video above.
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.