Arn Anderson on working with The Rockers, being managed by Bobby Heenan, the impact Dusty Rhodes had on his career, how close Ric Flair came to joining him and Tully Blanchard in the WWF in 1989

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Arn Anderson
Hosts: John and Chad
Interview available at

The impact Dusty Rhodes made on his career: “Dusty is one of the few guys that to this day if he walked (and God bless him) onto my deck where I am sitting right now, I would just sit here with my jaw on the ground and thinking to myself- wow what a big star he is. I feel that way today, I feel that way and the first time that I ever met him I was star struck. He is one of those rare individuals that it just comes out of his pores. Dusty Rhodes was never Virgil Runnells, Dusty Rhodes was always Dusty Rhodes. It wasn’t something that he put on in the morning and took off at night, that is who he was and he was a huge star and a creative guy. One thing Dusty knew better than anything is Dusty knew how to program a show with him at the lead (and he should have been in the lead) and sell some tickets. I learned a lot from him just being in a ring with him like osmosis it elevated me and I know that. I watched that happen to a lot of guys and he was something special and there will only be one that is for sure.”

Did Dusty need the Horsemen to be the perfect opponent for him in that era: “I think Dusty needed The Horsemen and The Horsemen needed Dusty, I agree with that 100 percent.. But you also filter in The Rock N’ Roll Express and you figure in all the other players like The Midnight Express, Ronnie Garvin and every body that was in that era that was contributing. We had a lot of packed houses and when you have Brad Armstrong and Tim Horner in the first and second match as good as those guys were it was just loaded top to bottom.”

How close did all Ric Flair come to joining the WWF in 1989 and reforming The Horsemen: “There was discussion about that. Before Tully and I left there was a lot of grey area on if Crockett was going to sell the company? Were they going to go bankrupt? It was all rumors and it didn’t come from any of the Crocketts but all rumors start somewhere. So there was discussion about Flair coming and as it turned out I don’t think anybody truly believed that Tully and I were going to make the move. There was some inside wrangling that wasn’t benefiting us and we couldn’t get an answer on some stuff so our thought was this: If a big hole goes in the middle of that ship there are only going to be so many life jackets. There had been feelers sent out over the years that Vince would like to have us and we felt that timing was everything and we did make that move. Ric decided against it but there was some discussion and everybody has to make their own business decisions and he made his and we made ours.”

Would JJ Dillon have played a role since he was working in the WWF office at that time: “James J. Dillon was as much of a part of The Horsemen as anyone of us. I feel that way to this day the same way I felt that way then. He added to our group, he was truly a mentor, truly a manager as far as organizational skills and he is just a good man and I call him a good friend to this day.”

Working a very memorable program with The Rockers: “They were young and they did listen. We wrestled some teams before we got to The Rockers and I think they saw that what we were all about. I think our reputation spoke for us and we looked at those two kids and it was like “oh my God” it is Ricky and Robert if anything just a little younger and I don’t mean this in a derogatory sense but a little more athletic and maybe what they brought to the table. But no doubting that The Rockers and The Rock and Roll Express were on level playing field with each other but with Shawn Michaels you could see that he was special then and Marty Jannetty as well. If they trusted us and we were able to pull some time than we were able to tell a heck of a story with those guys. To his day if anyone asks me what is my favorite tag match I will say it is against The Rockers because they brought out the best in us and we brought out the best in them.”

Being paired with Bobby Heenan and The Heenan Family: “Bobby Heenan had more heat than anyone else in the company. As well he should have. All he had to do was look at the crowd and the “weasel” chants were deafening which certainly helped and our affiliation with (Andre) The Giant and Haku. It was like they just welcomed us into the fold and it just helped to make that time and that year very special. I think a lot of people should be commended and certainly everyone in the company that helped make it happen but I feel like and I have no problem saying it and it is we held our end up and contributed as much as anyone else.”


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