Arn Anderson was not the flashiest wrestler ever. He wore boots and trunks and used an effective and sound technical style. If he came off the top it was for special occasions. However, Anderson was the backbone of every company he ever worked in. He could work with anyone and be used on any part of the card, his in ring and microphone skills over shone his everyman physique and look. Arn Anderson was an old school wrestler, and he was damn good at it.
36. ARN ANDERSON
Real Name – Martin Lunde
Aliases – Double A; The Enforcer; Super Olympia; Marty Lunde
Hometown – Rome, Georgia
Debuted – January, 1982
Titles Held – NWA National Tag Team (with Ole Anderson); NWA World Tag Team (2x, with Tully Blanchard); NWA World Television (3x); WCW World Tag Team (3x, 1 with Larry Zbyszko, 1 with Bobby Eaton, 1 with Paul Roma); WCW World Television (2x); NWA Southeastern Tag Team (4x, 3 with Jerry Stubbs, 1 with Pat Rose); WWF Tag Team (with Tully Blanchard)
Other Accomplishments – Final NWA World Television champion; First WCW World Television champion; Founding member of the Four Horsemen
Arn Anderson got his first big break in the American Wrestling scene as a tag team partner of Ole Anderson in the Mid Atlantic region. The two, who werenâ€™t related, soon gained a reputation for being a real backbone team. No matter who they faced they always were able to work the crowd into frenzy with their excellent mat wrestling and brutal submission moves. Their work still stands up to this day and if you go back and watch them in action with teams like the Rock and Roll Express, The Road Warriors and The Steinerâ€™s.
The Andersonâ€™s, who were named The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, were not only one of the best teams of the 80â€™s but they were also founding members of perhaps the most elite and famous wrestling stable ever, The Four Horsemen. Indeed, as legend goes, it was during a syndicated promo one week where Arn came up with the name in a promo. The original group, consisting of The Andersonâ€™s, Tully Blanchard and Ric Flair, still stands as many older fans favourite stable. Indeed, they ripped through the region feuding with every major star from Dusty Rhodes to Sting to Ronnie Garvin to Magnum T.A. The groupâ€™s promos on TV were often highlighted by Arn who would compliment the extravagant ranting of Flair and Blanchard with cold and lethal threats to whoever he was feuding with. Arn Anderson quickly became known as one of the premier promo cutters in the business and with good reason too. Anderson had a promo style whereby he could sell you on a match in one interview thanks to his intelligent use of language and threats. If anyone reading this has an old WCW Video or the Four Horsemen DVD I suggest you pop it on and see what I mean. Anderson definitely had the gift of gab and he used it to great effect.
The Four Horsemen Group went through many changes but Anderson was usually a part of the group. However, in 1989 he and Tully went to the WWF for a year and quickly established another tag team dynasty. In the WWF the team, now dubbed as The Brainbusters, had a series of tremendous matches with The Rockers and Demolition. They also had a ****+ match with The Hart Foundation at that years Summer Slam. However, despite the great matches and a tag title reign, the Busters were not long for the WWF and within a year Blanchard was out of the mainstream wrestling scene and Arn was back in the now newly named WCW reforming The Horsemen with Flair, Ole and Sting.
Arn then had a near seven year run in WCW as an in ring wrestler where he was part of some of the companies best matches and angles. Notable highlights included his involvement in the Wrestle War 92 War Games match, long named by some as the greatest gimmick bout ever, as well as his stimulating battle with long time ally Flair at Fall Brawl 95. Indeed, to list all the great matches Arn had during this period would take forever but, needless to say, Anderson remained one of the most solid in ring performers that the business knew. There were some awful bouts (Renegade anyone?) but most of the time Anderson had good matches wherever he was put on the card.
Sadly, Arnâ€™s physical style and partying lifestyle led to him having to retire from in ring competition in 1997. No longer able to wrestle, Arn made use of his strengths by becoming a mouthpiece and manager for the newly formed Horsemen group in 1998. Anderson made the odd appearance now and then on TV but he basically retreated to the back and became a highly respected agent. In fact, so highly respected was Arn that when it came time for WCW to shut itâ€™s doors he was offered a contract by the WWF to be an agent there. Indeed, only Johnny Ace was lucky enough to receive this also.
I would be remiss not mentioning Andersonâ€™s scissor fight with Sid Vicious but if you want the full story buy the excellent Death of WCW.
Arn Anderson remains one of the most talented wrestlers ever to compete in the modern era. Heâ€™s also a testament that you donâ€™t have to be a 300 pound roid freak to draw money and get over. Anderson was over because he was a cold and calculating wrestler who got heat by beating the crap out of people with his superior wrestling skill and intelligence. Andersonâ€™s matches remain a throwback to a simpler age of pro wrestling and any old school fan would have to include him in the top 100 wrestlers of the modern era. Itâ€™s a honour to have him on this list.
The entire Top 100 Wrestlers feature can be found here.