Posts Tagged ‘NWA’

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Details continue to emerge about Ric Flair’s recent health issues.

The WWE legend underwent surgery Monday for what was thought to be an intestinal blockage and wound up having part of his bowel removed, according to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, who cites a source close to the Flair family.

The surgery, though, led to complications and as result Flair to be in hospital for over a month, Barrasso added

Flair’s fiancee, Wendy Barlow, told TMZ Sports on Wednesday that Flair is suffering from “multiple organ problems” and remains in critical condition. She also denied Flair had colon surgery, as WWE Hall of Fame announcer Gene Okerlund indicated on Facebook.

Flair was interviewed by Sports Illustrated on Aug. 9, during which he spoke about his struggles with alcohol.

“I had one vice,” he admitted. “I’m not going to point my finger at anybody else. My vice was drinking. I didn’t have any pain issues, addiction problems, marijuana, cocaine, nothing like that. I dealt with the fact that I kept myself up all night and had a good time, but I never put a good time ahead of my personal loyalty to myself or working out. I never had a great body, but I was always in the best shape.”

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Source: ESPN

JJ Dillon spoke with ESPN on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

Working for Vince McMahon, Dusty Rhodes, and Eddie Graham:

“I see Vince as one thing, Eddie as one thing and Dusty as another. I always regard Eddie Graham as my mentor, and maybe that’s because he was regarded in the industry as a true genius because of his attention to details. For example, during manager cheating situations, Eddie would make sure the cheating happened in a logical way so that the people were mad at the heel for cheating, instead of being mad at the referee for not seeing the cheating. Dusty was a big idea guy. I was a detail person that gave attention to the other things that made the story the absolute best it could be. We were together for a long time because it was a successful collaboration with the two of us. Vince was different because a lot of the credit for the success of the WWE actually goes to Pat Patterson. Pat was one the true geniuses of the business that I was around. A lot of the success of the WWE, which has continued on to this day, was the result of Pat.”

Arn Anderson being the most underrated of the Four Horsemen:

“By all means. He was usually the first one out there and he went out and left everything in the ring. He would come back and [pass by without saying anything, as too] say ‘guys, try to follow that.’ And we would all go out there with the mindset that he set the bar for tonight and we’ve got to measure up to it and if possible try to exceed it.”

Mentality as a manager:

“My philosophy as a manager was always less is more. I wore a suit or dress clothes. I didn’t wear a flashy costume or cape. Jimmy Hart has his megaphone and Jim Cornette has his racket and I didn’t really have any props as such other than in my early days I carried a cigar that wasn’t lit. I remembered as a kid I used to see these guys from Little Italy riding around in convertibles and smoking a big cigar. The cigar was just a heat magnet, as somebody smoking a cigar like that meant they thought they were somebody special.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Harley Race spoke with Sports Illustrated’s “Extra Mustard” section on his health and pro wrestling. Here are some of the highlights:

How he’s feeling after falling in his home and breaking both of his legs back in June:

“Right now, it’s the legs that are bothering me. I’m sitting here now with two legs that aren’t very good. They’re in route to recovery, and I’m right along with them. In a little amount of time, I’ll be up walking again.”

Inspiring generations of wrestlers like Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and CM Punk:

“I love that. And it’s all true. I was the guy who would go out and do whatever he needed to do, no matter what.”

Being the “world’s champion”:

“Being world’s champion is what I set out in life to do. I’m one of the few people on earth that can say they completed, in every aspect, what they wanted to do with their life. …Whether it was sitting in a steak house eating a steak or getting onto the edge of the ring with two or three people standing there, it was all the same to me.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Earlier this week The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomed Arn Anderson to episode #263 for a very rare 40 minute interview promoting his upcoming appearance at the Mid Atlantic Wrestle Expo (http://www.wrestleexporva.com) on May 20th in Richmond, Virginia. In this excerpt, The Enforcer reveals how close Ric Flair came to jumping with The Brain Busters to the WWF in 1988 as well as how Dusty Rhodes played an immense role in his career success. The full episode is available for download at this link.

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 Horseman to be the perfect opponent for him in that era:

“I think Dusty needed The Horseman and The Horseman needed Dusty, I agree with that 100%. 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 Horseman:

“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 Horseman 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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Today The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling tackles a little horseman business as John and Chad welcome “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson to episode #263. Promoting his upcoming appearance at the Mid Atlantic Wrestle Expo (http://www.wrestleexporva.com) on May 20th in Richmond, Virginia, Double A relives some of the Four Horseman’s most classic feuds and matches in a staple area for the Crockett territory as well as shares what the modern day wrestling convention means to the “old timers”. But what would an interview with Arn Anderson be without discussing the most influential faction in wrestling history? Arn dives deep into the formation of the Horseman, the promos they cut and what made them become such a dominant group in the business. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.

Appearing at the upcoming Mid Atlantic Wrestle Expo Convention in Richmond, Virginia:

“I’ve been working for WWE as a Producer for the last sixteen years so I’ve been back to Richmond but when you are behind the scenes versus being in the ring it is a total different job and a total different feeling entirely. To be able to sit down and go eyeball to eyeball with people that tell me that they hated my guts when they were growing up or I loved you guys when growing up. Either way I am just as satisfied because I spent all of those years in the ring looking out and you don’t really see faces and all you can hear is the roar of the excitement going on but you don’t really get to have the personal one on one relationship that you do like at one of these conventions. I haven’t done that many and my time would not permit it but now I am getting to go to a couple here and there and this one is really near and dear to my heart because Richmond was a great town with some great support from fans throughout the years.”

Being able to crossover and cover both major territories in the 1980s:

“In those days if you lived up North and you didn’t have TBS you were WWF fans at the time (obviously now WWE) and they didn’t get a lot of stuff unless it was syndicated Crockett stuff. There were definitely two distinct audiences. People still come up to me now and know me in The Brain Busters. It is not so much the Horseman (of course they know about it) but they were Brain Buster fans or they hated The Brain Buster’s guts. The cross pollination of all of that with the brands being consolidated and it is always somebody that has a different story but I think everybody understands that Crockett was something pretty special and a lot of major talent came from that company and that era and I will be forever grateful because that is where I cut my chops and figured out what to do in this business and how to grow, excel and add to the business itself and contribute.”

Did he ever feel his “Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse” promo would have such a major Impact on the wrestling business:

“No. Just like I didn’t walk into that interview planning to say any of that. It literally was and a lot of people don’t believe it but most do because this is the absolute truth and it all just popped into my head. It was just born that day and it is funny the very next week people were starting to chant “Four Horseman” and after that the four fingers went up and it was something that literally came out of nowhere but as soon as it was done, Tony Schiavone stepped up and said; “You just named you guys”. I could see the look in everybody’s face and they immediately got on board and we knew we had something special, we just didn’t know how special.”

Does he have a favorite version of The Four Horseman:

“The first will always be special just because it was the first. It was unique. I would say that I agree with the fans that say the Barry Windham incarnation was probably the most functional and most fun to watch and most exciting and best group bell to bell. You can probably name any other grouping and it is open to conjecture but certainly the first one and the Barry Windham version would be the top 2.”

Getting the chance to wrestle fellow Horseman and best friend Ric Flair during a brief program in 1995:

“A lot of people go to talk about the Ric Flair and myself match in Asheville, North Carolina on a pay per view. I don’t think that match was one of my favorites and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. It is kind of hard to pound a knot in your best friend even if he is acting up and showing his ass and doing a lot of things that are disrespectful to you. I guess we had to have that match and get it out of our system.”

The long lasting impact of the War Games matches:

“It was a full days work that is for sure. A lot of nights I thought that this was a hard way to make a living. When you are trapped in that cage with Dusty, Nikita, The Road Warriors, Luger and whoever else it was like a Barry Windham or Ricky Steamboat it is a hard 35-40 minutes. But it also played perfectly into what we were and we always said and we made no bones about it, if you jump on one of us you will jump on five of us. We were in our element and I can’t remember a War Games where we got dominated. I don’t if we won (if we won any) but the fact is if you ask anybody today who won War Games in a particular town that they were in that night now I am not sure if they can tell you but they would say; “My God what a blood bath and what a war”. That is what sold tickets and to be able to pull off 22 out of 36 days one summer where we went on tour in the stadiums and all of us almost bled to death that summer. It was something special and has also stood the test of time and that is one of those instances where adversity introduces you to yourself and in one of those War Games matches is probably where that quote came from.”

Terry Funk went on Busted Open satellite radio to share his thoughts on “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Below are some highlights:

On Dusty Rhodes and the chemistry he had with the fans:

He just had a great amount of charisma. Why did I love going in the ring with him? Was it because I was his great buddy? I was his friend, was that the reason? No. What the great reason was that why I enjoyed so much going in the ring with him… and believe me, as I loved him too and everything else and I love him for those two other reasons … but I loved going in the ring with him because I made more money with him than I did with anybody else. He was a tremendous attraction. That’s why I enjoyed going with him (laughs) ya make more money with him. The Dream was something special. He was a phenomenal in-ring performer but his greatest attribute was his mind and his ability to interact and talk to the people themselves… to the fans themselves.

On the last time he spoke to Dusty:

Oh heck, I don’t know when it was. Probably a year or two ago… that’s how we always went. Wrestlers are that way. We say we love each other and we say goodbye then we go onto the next town. We don’t ever really say goodbye … just go to the next town… the next day. And whether you see those guys … you see them again. I talked to him a few times through the years… probably a couple times a year. Telling him … whatever, you know … or just running into him. We always feel like we are going to run into each other again … we never say goodbye… it’s just like, going down the road.

On Dusty inducting The Funks into the WWE Hall of Fame:

It was [a special moment]. Of course it was. Like I said, he was a special guy. I just had so much compassion for him. You don’t start out with somebody and go up and down the roads with em and learn together like we did. I would say that it was an education traveling with him and he would have told you the same thing about traveling with me … it was an education traveling with me.

On Dusty’s relationship with Vince McMahon and the WWE and working deep into the NWA territory:

If going to the WWE was like going to school, he was just in his freshman year. The WWE is a wonderful, wonderful, great place. And Dusty had so much ability and they realized that too, that’s why he was there. Dusty was the best at talking and teaching people to talk. Dusty was an innovator. Dusty wasn’t just a wrestler, he was a manipulator… and that’s very true. He was great at whatever he did. He had such compassion, such love and he instilled that love into his two kids. You watch those kids, and I call them kids now and they aren’t kids anymore, but they are going into their prime now and you watch them in the next 10 years. They are going to be very well known in the business for one reason: they idolize Dusty, both of them. And they should have idolized him because he was one of the very best in the country. I truly believe both of them are just wonderful pieces of talent that are going to be pushed to a different level than what they have been … at least I’m hoping that they will… I think that’s the smart thing