Thoughts On Arn Anderson's Retirement From Active Competition
Thoughts On Arn Anderson's Retirement From Active Competition
I think you agree with me that this was the saddest day in WCW history. I stood up when AA was announced, and as he made his entrance. It was sad to hear he is leaving wrestling. As he said, love him or hate him, he always gave it his all. I hope this isn't the last we see of him.
Rome, GA (Arn's real hometown)
P.S. It would be a nice parting shot to see him DDT Bischoff.
Last night's Nitro was, well, a sad night in wrestling history. Arn Anderson is in my estimation, one of the best "professionals" in the business - past, present, probably future. I guess what amazed me so much about last night is his persona - even in his final moment in the ring he stood tall and spoke with such dignity. AA will be missed, by me as well as many others. I too shed a tear as he spoke of his retirement, actually I was shocked. I believed all along that AA would return to the ring and battle a few more years.
This is going nowhere but I did want to comment to someone who appreciates AA as much as I do. Oh, please don't change your page to past tense - The Enforcer is AA, will always be.
I thought Flair was going to lose it and who would have blamed him, not me! I have to agree with a post I saw on another site. Arn was the Company Man all the way to the end of his speech. He was NEVER above getting someone over and he continued that unselfishness
last night by getting Hennig over. I hated him when I was younger and thought wrestling was real but appreciate everything he has done for the business now that I understand the business better. Sort of how I hated that loud mouth braggard Muhammed Ali when I was a kid, but love him now knowing what he did for the sport of boxing and people in general.
I just wanted to tell you that I couldn't help thinking of you during the whole Arn Anderson speech on Nitro. He is a great worker, athlete and personality, and his presence will be sorely missed in the ranks of WCW. I've been a wrestling fan twenty-five of my thirty years on this planet, and it hurt to see what went down.
Keep up the great work,
I am writing to tell you a story about what happened during Nitro last Monday. During the AA interview, I was over at my friend's house and we were watching it on his satellite dish and his girlfreind Sheila really hates wrestling. (When Micheal Buffer says "Are you ready?" she says "Nooooo!". It's really annoying.) Well, after the interview, I was choking a little and turned around so none of the guys would see and lo and behold Ms. I-hate-wrestling had both hands up with 4 fingers on each hand raised and a tear in her eye. I don't think I'll ever forget that.
This will be hard to write because I am paying my final tribute to man whose career shouldn't be over.
This past Monday, the day we had all been fearing finally happened, Arn
Anderson officially announced his retirement during the most memorable, emotional, and touching Nitro moments ever. What this means to wrestling is that we have lost an icon. Arn said we lost an icon when the whole nWo Sting deal started, he was wrong. We lost an icon on Monday and there will never be anyone like Arn. I could go on and tell about Arn's numerous title reigns, his record T.V. title reign, all his tag team success and what not, but I am not going reduce his career to numbers and statistics, he deserves more than that. I am not going go into individual matches, or even the Sid Vicious incident because they take away from what Arn was as a person. I am going give him a tribute the only way I know how, in writing.
If someone asked you what did Arn Anderson mean to wrestling, you would have to give him about a hour long speech just to scratch the surface because Arn meant so much to the sport he loved. The first thing that comes to mind when asked what did Arn Anderson mean to wrestling is the fact that he was a company and a team player as well as one of the hardest workers in the business. In the times of huge egos getting in the way of what is really important to wrestling, Arn never sunk to the levels of the Hogans, Ultimate Warriors, and Outsiders. Whenever you needed a job to be done, you could count on Arn to do it. Even if it was the most humiliating job, (e.g. The Renegade fiasco) Arn would do it because Arn never bit the mouth that fed him and that earned Arn mucho respect throughout the wrestling world.
Whenever someone needed to get over, (e.g. Luger at Halloween Havoc 96 and a lot more who owe a lot to Arn) Arn would do what he had to to get them over without question. Arn also sacrificed his own personal gain by watching Flair's back his entire career. This cost Arn the chance to hold the World Title but it showed us that friendship meant more to Arn than gold or fame, he would demonstrate this until the end. During his farewell speech, instead of getting himself over, he used the time to get Hennig over with the fans. Up to the end, Arn never shortened his work schedule for anything, unlike Hogan who thinks making horrible movies is more important than wrestling. Arn knew he had to give the fans their money's worth and he did every single time he got in the ring. Kudos to Arn.
The next thing to come to mind is the fact Arn got over with the fans of the 80's without a gimmick. As we all know, Vince had ruined the image of wrestling with his cartoonish gimmicks he had given his wrestlers. However in the NWA of the 80's, God rest its soul, the gimmicks weren't neccessary for the wrestlers. If you look at the original Horsemen group, not a one had a cartoonish gimmick and everyone of them will go down in history as the most over heels in the history of the sport. Even when the Enforcer went to the WWF with Tully, he didn't need a gimmick to form one o fthe most dominant tag teams in the history of wrestling and the first tag team to hold the NWA and the WWF tag team titles. When asked during an interview what his gimmick is, Arn simply replied, "the extent of my gimmick is wearing a jacket to the ring." That should sum it up for you there.
Next, Arn will be remembered as the man who gave the greatest interview in the sport. Whenever we heard Arn give an interview it would send chills down our spine and thought into our mind. In a time where wrestlers were thought of as dumb and ignorant, Arn showed the world that he had knowledge and that he could use that to give one of the best damn interviews in the sport. My personal favorite has to be the following about the nWo, "Whenver a burglar breaks into your home, you don't squirt him with water, you find something to bash his brains in." Of course, this was followed by the thumb across the neck which added the final touch to a classic Arn interview. He lived up to this in the end as his farewell speech was one of the most well executed Arn speeches in history. Hell, it was the most well executed speech in Arn's career. If you can bring Ric Flair to tears, you did a good job.
Finally, let's look at some things Arn Anderson has done which will never be done again. The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that Arn Anderson is the only man to hold back to back clean wins over Hogan and another over Flair. No one can say else can say that. Savage can't even say that. It's a damn shame he never held the World title because he sure deserved it. Next, Arn Anderson will be remembered as one of the Original Gangsta's, in other words he was an original Horsemen. He along with Flair, Ole, and Tully formed the most dominant stable in history. Whether it was stomping a mudhole in Dusty Rhodes or Magnum T.A., or winning every title the NWA had, they ruled.
The Horsemen always had Arn from day one and now they don't, that will take some time to get used to. Also, Arn is credited as being the longest running NWA World Television Champion. Too bad he couldn't have held that record for the NWA World Heavyweight title because you all know he deserved it. Sure, people can come and break the record for a Television title holder in WCW like Steve Austin did but no one will ever be the longest running NWA World Television Champion, Arn will always have that record to hold.
Now let's look at Arn in the end. We probably all saw or read about his emotional speech on Nitro that was almost ruined by Gene's missed spot (he should have been fired there). For those who saw the interview happen on live TV, the standing ovation that Arn got was long overdue. For what the man has done for wrestling, he should have been getting pops like that for his entire career. In the end, he went out like he came in. He allowed someone else to get over in his spot, literally. By offering Hennig his spot, Arn made sure the fans accepted Hennig as a Horseman. The speech itself must have brought tears to a lot of fans eyes because it did bring
them to Flair's eyes and he was having a hard time containing them. Even though the speech was hard enough, at the end when Arn raised the four fingers up and said, "One last time", that was the hardest because it meant we would never see Arn as a Horsemen again. However, in all our minds he will always be what the Horsemen once were and what they should be now.
To sum it all up, we lost a role model of what wrestling once was and what it should be today. Hard working, team play, and dedication were all qualities that were possessed by Arn that should be possessed by everyone in the sport. I never got to see Arn wrestle live, I
did get to see Flair even though he was way past his prime but I wish I got to see Arn wrestle once because I wanted to congratulate him in person for what he has done for the sport. Like Arn stated Monday, don't remember him as he is now, remember him as he was: What wrestling should always be. I don't want to steal away from Arn's spotlight but he probably would have done the same. He is not the only legend retiring, in about 2-3 weeks we will lose Terry Funk. Man, wrestling is losing it's last links to its golden era. Flair will be out of the ring soon and I can only pray Hogan is as well. A new era is dawning, one that will see the likes of Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and others to lead the way. I personally would have liked to seen Arn pass the Enforcership to Chris because of the fact that Chris was always Arn's favorite. Benoit has a good 10 years left in him and a world title reign. He is in the mold of Arn Anderson, a hard working company man who will put others over before himself. Hennig will never be the Enforcer.
But anyway, so long Enforcer, there will never be another one like you and that is a shame. Have the best of fortune in whatever you do because you deserve it, you were, are, and always will be what wrestling should be.
I was saddened by AA's announcement that he would retire and someone mentioned your site to me so I thought I'd check it out...Let me just say, I have sincerely always believed that AA was one of the best workers of all time and that he was not about gimmicks...Your site has got to be without a doubt one of the best sites around..not just fact-wise...it helps others to realize just how much AA can inspire us. I believe that he truly is a role model for younger wrestlers and nonwrestlers alike.
It was bound to happen. Arn finally retired. And the sport lost one of its best workers. I don't agree with the choice for the new "Enforcer". I personally believe that Benoit would be a better choice. However, regardless of what Arn does now, he will always have an impact on WCW.
I sure hated to see Arn Anderson retire Monday night. I wish him the best in his retirement from active wrestling, I hope he can stay in wrestling in some other position. I never saw a Arn Anderson match where he did not give his all. I liked him best teamed with Ole
Hey...I have to say that your Nitro report from this past week was probably the best I've ever read. The Arn Anderson part was moving - almost as moving as his speech. It must be tough for you to see Arn leave the business. It's tough for everyone, really. He represented an entire of era of wrestling. A lot of people may not realize it, but that era ended Monday night. His interviews were awesome because he spoke from the heart. It's a huge loss for wrestling.
On that topic, I don't buy this "Hennig - New Enforcer" business. Hennig and Arn are just about opposites. Wouldn't Malenko be better fit for the role??
Anyways, keep up the good work on the site!! Great job on the Nitro report.
This is Dan R. again. I've got one comment about your page. Do not change the Arn Anderson page in the slightest. Last night on Nitro, he said, "remember me as I was, not as I am." Changing the page to past tense will remember him as he is, not as he was. Just a small suggestion. Thanks, dude.
I am 14 and have been a wrestling fan forever. Never in my life have I ever been moved so much watching wrestling. I don't think,
however, that I would have cried if I had not seen Flair on the verge of bawling but, when he did, it made me think of what AA was saying. He was a "realist" and the spot was real, too. For Bischoff to have a guy get up and give up wrestling (his life) in front of millions nationwide is too much. But for Arn the moment was "Toooo Sweeeet" (even if it is nWo, the saying fits perfect).
I agree with you a lot that mean Gene Okerlund should be fired immediately, he is an embarrasment to WCW. I also agree with you
about Arn Anderson. He was one of the greats of WCW, and it is a shame to lose him. Well that's all for now and keep up the good work on your page.
I've been a long time follower of Arn since the 80's when he was tag-teaming with Tully Blanchard. It was disappointing to watch Nitro last night and see that he had gave his spot to Curt Hennig. Curt Hennig is NO Arn Anderson but I guess we will have to wait and see. I've never found him to be quite as entertaining as Arn, but of course I am partial to Double A so no one will fill his shoes.
You know, people like to rip on wrestling for being scripted (fake) and what not, but the "acting" in interviews is no worse than it is in "90210" or "Melrose Place." The emotion displayed by Ric Flair was especially touching, you won't find that kind of genuine human emotion on ANY TV show. Seeing his lip quivering and his eyes filling up with tears made it clear that many of these guys pour their hearts and souls into this business, and Arn Anderson's retirement speech was just as poignant as that of any "legitimate" athlete.
Just wanted to thank you for the Double A page. I watched the interview last night, and it was the best good-bye to wrestling I've ever seen. But, what else would you expect from the best interview in the sport.
Arn, you were the best at what you do. The Four Horsemen were the best in the late 80s, that's when I got into wrestling. 1987 was the best summer of my wrestling life. War Games, the Bashes were awsome.
I believed in you and your work ethic. I always and ever will be a Horseman. I have a IV across my heart.
To close, you made the right choice in life. Your life is more important then your career. We will miss you.
Long live the horesmen.
A Long Time Horseman,
I just wanted to add my condolences to all those you have already received regarding Arn's retirement. I just got back from a week's business trip, and missed the Aug. 25 Nitro, so your Web page was the first I'd heard of it.
What a bummer this past week has been, what with Princess Di, the injury to Jerry Rice, and now this news about Arn. If it helps at all,
I want you to know that you are not alone in your depth of feeling for the guy. For me, he was the main attraction of pro wrestling, and the whole scene is just not nearly as interesting without him.
If we are very lucky, he will stay with WCW in some capacity, hopefully in front of the camera.
Yours in mourning,
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