Today I am going to do a story of the Four Horseman. I hope you like it. Feel free to let me know if you liked it or not. Enjoy!!
The original Four Horseman consisted of:
Ric Flair (1986-1991, 1993-1999)
Arn Anderson (1986-1988, 1990-1999)
Ole Anderson (1986-1987, 1990, 1993)
Tully Blanchard (1986-1988)
James J. Dillon (1986-1989)
There were several wrestlers who the Four Horseman allowed to be considered part of the “main” Horseman. They were used to fill in when an original member was injured, or when one of them left the faction. These were:
Lex Luger (1987)
Barry Windham (1988-1989, 1990-1992)
Sid Vicious (1990-1991)
Paul Roma (1993)
Brian Pillman (1995-1997)
Chris Benoit (1995-1999)
Steve “Mongo” McMichael (1996-1999)
Curt Hennig (1997)
Dean Malenkov (1998-1999)
These wrestlers were considered Associated members of the Horseman:
Kendall Windham (1989)
Jeff Jarrett (1997)
David Flair (1999)
The following individuals were a Manager or Valet of the Four Horseman:
Bobby Heenan (1996 for one match at The Great American Bash)
Torrie Wilson (David Flair’s valet)
Most Notable Feuds:
The Road Warriors
The Dungeon of Doom
New World order
They were the most flamboyant group of wrestlers ever put together. Ole and Arn Anderson were the enforcers, Tully Blanchard could wrestle with the best of them, and then there was Ric Flair. He could talk like there was no tomorrow, but his wrestling backed up anything that came out of the “Nature Boy’s” mouth. They were managed by J.J. Dillion.
It all started in the beginning of 1986 with Ric Flair acting as the cousin of Arn and Ole Anderson. They teamed up with Tully Blanchard with James J. Dillon as their manager. They wrecked havoc on the likes of Dusty Rhodes (breaking his ankle and hand), Magnum TA, The Rock “n” Roll Express (breaking Ricky Morton’s nose), Nikita Koloff (injuring his neck) and Barry Windham.
The Four Horseman always bragged that they had all the titles and their success in the ring and also out of the ring with the women. The name of the group was put together due to time constraints on a TV taping. An impromptu tag team interview was thrown together by the production crew consisting of Flair, the Andersons, Tully Blanchard and Dillon in July 1985. It was during this interview that Arn said “The only time this much havoc had been wrecked by this few a number of people, you need to go all the way back to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!” The name stuck and they lived the gimmick inside the ring they wrecked havoc, while outside the ring they took limos and jets to the cities in which they wrestled.
In the beginning of 1987, Arn, Ric, Tully and JJ Dillon started to leave Ole out of things, after Ole cost him and Arn the NWA Tag Team Title at Starrcade in 1986. In February 1987, Lex Luger was made an associate member of the group after he expressed his desire to become a Horeseman. In March Ole was kicked out in favor of Luger. Blanchard and Dillon questioned Ole’s loyalty to the Four Horseman after Ole missed a show to watch his son Brian wrestle.
Lex Luger’s time with the Horsemen was short lived, as he was kicked out of the group after blaming J.J. Dillon for costing him the U.S. Title. In January Lex teamed with Barry Windham to feud with the Horsemen. They even defeated Anderson and Blanchard for the NWA World Tag Team Championship at the Clash of the Champions. In April 1988, Windham turned on Luxer and took his spot in the Horsemen during a title defense against Anderson and Blanchard. Also, in 1988 the Horsemen held all the major NWA titles at once. This group of Horsemen, Flair, Anderson, Blanchard and Windham are considered the greatest technical group of all-time.
In September 1988, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson left to join the World Wrestling Federation. The remaining members, Flair, Dillon and Windham continued to refer themselves as “The Horsemen.” There was even talk of making Butch Reed a member after he took James J. Dillon as his manager. Barry’s brother, Kendall Windham, appeared to join them and even held up the four fingers. Dillon left NWA and the Horseman became Yamasaki Corporation after hiring Hiro Matsuda as their manager. New feuds developed against Eddie Gilbert, Sting, Lex Luger and Ricky Steamboat. Kendall was not being used much and Barry left the NWA. The added Michael “PS” Hayes, but then Hayes left to reform the Fabulous Freebirds in May 1989. The Horseman carried the NWA during the mid to late 1980’s. The departure of Anderson and Blanchard was huge at the time, Dillon and Windham's departure made it worse, and despite numerous revivals over the coming decade, things were never quite the same.
Trying to capitalize on the popularity of the Horseman, NWA reformed the faction in December 1989. Flair and Arn Anderson welcomed back Ole Anderson, but the shocker came with the introduction of Sting as a Four Horseman. They played the role of the good guys and fought with Gary Hart’s J-Tex Corporation which consisted of The Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer, The Dragonmaster and Terry Funk. At the end of this feud, the Horseman returned to being bad guys, kicking Sting out of the group. Ricky Flair took a new valet in Women. The faction feuded with El Gigante, Rick and Scott Steiner, Sting and Lex Luger.
Ole Anderson became manager of the Horseman in May 1990 and Sid Vicious was added to the group. The 4 Horseman’s main opponents were Dudes With Attitudes which was Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, Steiner Brothers, Lex Luger and Sting. Women and Ole left the NWA in December 1990 and Ted Turner had bought Jim Crockett Promotions, the biggest NWA organization, and named it World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In late 1990, one of the biggest con jobs in the history of the Four Horseman occurred when WCW World Champion Sting, defending his title against the Horsemen's Sid Vicious at the Halloween Havoc pay-per-view. During the match, Sting and Vicious brawled backstage. A few moments later, they returned to the ring. Sting attempted to slam Sid, but lost his balance and fell to the mat with Sid on top of him. Vicious got the pin and became the new World Heavyweight Champion. It was revealed, however, that the Horsemen had attacked Sting after the brawl into the backstage area. It was then that Barry Windham (in matching Sting gear and face paint) inserted himself into the match and let Vicious pin him. The real Sting showed up after the three count, which caused the match to be restarted. The real Sting was able to defeat Sid and retain the title. The Horseman eventually split up in May 1991, when Sid and Ric joined the WWF, Windham feuded with Lex Luger and Anderson teamed up with Larry Zbyszko.
A short lived reformation occurred in May 1993 and lasted until December 1993. Flair, after returning to WCW to rejoin Arn promised a Horseman reunion at Slamboree. Paul Roma replaced Tully, who could not appear because of a failed drug test. Ole Anderson was their for one appearance as an adviser. This, group of 3, took on Barry Windham and the Hollywood Blondes, which were Steve Austin and Brian Pillman. This group was the weakest of the Horseman. An Arn Anderson stabbing incident with Sid Vicious during a tour of England, and Roma leaving to join Paul Ornforff ended this run of the Four Horseman.
After a two year hiatus, the reemergence of the Horseman began in 1995, when Flair and Arn teamed with Vader to beat up Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Hogan beat Vader at Bash at the Beach, Flair entered the cage and yelled at Vader. Vader attacked Flair, and Arn came to help. At Clash of the Champions XXXI, Vader had a handicap match against Ric and Arn. He won that match. Flair and Arn then began to bicker, as Arn always felt he did Flairs dirty work. At Fall Brawl, Arn defeated Flair with the help of Brian Pillman. Flair began Sting to help him against them. Sting did not trust Flair be he finally agreed. Then at Halloween Havoc, Flair turned on Sting to reform the Horseman with Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. The also added Chris Benoit to make it Four again. The Horseman’s main competition was Lex Luger, Sting Savage and Hogan. Ric Flair took Miss Elizabeth and Women from Hogan and Savage, and they were his valets for the next six months.
In 1996, Pillman left WCW to go to ECW and then the WWF. Benoit took over to create one of the most talked about feuds of all time. In this feud, Woman, who was really married to Kevin Sullivan, left him for Benoit. However, life imitated art, and Woman actually left Sullivan for Benoit. This feud got heated and some of the matches were shoot-style with the performers using stiff or even full contact moves, rather than the typical North American style of softening maneuvers. At the Great American Bash, June 1996, former football player Steve “Mongo” McMichael turned on Kevin Greene. During this match McMichael’s then wifr zDebra was chased to the back by Women and Miss Elizabeth, but later came back with them with a steel briefcase, which she handed to her husband. Steve opened the briefcase to reveal a Horsemen t-shirt and money. After thinking it over, he closed the briefcase and hit Greene with it, allowing Flair to put thepin on Greene. Now Mongo was officially the fourth Horseman, and also added a new valet in Debra.
When the New World Order was founded, in mid-1996, the Horseman became good guys along with the rest of the WCW roster. At Fall Brawl, the War Games, in September 1996, Fand Anderson teamed with their arch enemies, Sting and Lex Luger, to lose to the now (Hogan, Hall, Kevin Nash) and an imposter Sting, when Luger submitted to the imposter Sting. This upset Anderson, an he feuded with Luger for about a month. In October, Jeff Jarrett came to WCW from the WWF, and expressed his desire to join the Horsemen. Ric Flair was interested, but the rest of the Horseman weren’t interested. Soon, Miss Elizabeth officially announced that she had joined the New World Order. Flair finally let Jarret join the group in February 1997. Jarrett began arguing with Mongo over Debra’s attention, and in June won the U.S. Title from Dean Malenko, with help from Eddie Guerrero. In July he was kicked out of the stable by Flair. The inclusion of Jarrett was done by the objection of the Four Horseman. The Horseman usually picked their own members, but at the time, WCW held extreme control over the storylines and this may have forced them to accept a member for those purposes. Arn Anderson was forced to retire in August 1997 due to a neck/back injury that did not allow him to wrestle. Curt Hennig took his spot as “The Enforcer” at the insistence of Arn Anderson. Henning turned on the Horseman and joined the New World Order. Flair disbanded the group and they went their separate ways.
The reformation of the Horseman happened in September 1998. On September 15, Ric Flair returned after a disagreement with WCW president Eric Bischoff. Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit kept going to Arn Anderson about reforming the Horseman. Arn refused. Even James J. Dillion made a request. Arn eventually gave in and they reformed the Horseman with Benoit, Malenko, McMichaels and Flair with Arn as the manager. The fought with Eric Bischoff (who Flair had some real backstage heat with) and the New World Order. The return of the Horseman, and Ric Flair, had boosted Nitro’s ratings and WCW beat WWE Raw for the first time in 11 weeks.
In early 1999, the Four Horseman turned heel. Mongo left wrestling, that left benoit, Malenko, Flair with Anderson and manager. The also had a biased referee in Charles Robinson. Even Ric’s son David Flair, wrestled with them and wore Horseman shirts. Ric Flair, the (onscreen) President of WCW at this time, had awarded David with the U.S. Title and had the Horsemen help David to keep it. Eventually, Benoit and Malenko left in May in protest over Flair's selfishness and joined other wrestlers, thereby effectively ending the Four Horsemen
The Four Horseman wrestled in the following Wrestling organizations:
Jim Crockett Promotions - National Wrestling Alliance
World Championship Wrestling
1985 PWI Wrestler of the Year - Ric Flair
1986 PWI Wrestler of the Year - Ric Flair
1986 PWI Match of the Year - Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes
1987 PWI Feud of the Year: Four Horsemen vs. The Super Powers and The Road Warriors
1987 PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year - Ric Flair
1988 PWI Feud of the Year - Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
1988 PWI Manager of the Year - James J. Dillion
1989 PWI Feud of the Year - Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
1989 PWI Wrestler of the Year - Ric Flair
1989 PWI Match of the Year - Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat
1990 PWI Feud of the Year - Rick Flair vs. Lex Luger
2003 PWI Rick Flair ranked #2 of 500 best singles wrestler of the year.
More Accomplishments from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards:
Wrestler of the Year: Ric Flair (1985, 1986, 1989, 1990)
Most Outstanding Wrestler: Ric Flair (1986, 1987, 1989)
Feud of the Year: Ric Flair vs Terru Funk (1989)
Best on Interviews: Arn Anderson (1990), Ric Flair (1991, 1994)
Most Charismatic: Ric Flair (1993)
Match of the Year: Ric Flair vs Barry Windham (1986), Ric Flair vs Sting (1988), Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat (1989)
Best Heel: Ric Flair (1990)
NWA Television Championship - Tully Blanchard April 28 - July 6, 1985
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship - Tully Blanchard July 21 - November 28, 1985
NWA Television Championship - Arn Anderson January 4 - September 9, 1986
NWA National Heavyweight Championship - Tully Blanchard March 4 - August 28, 1986
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair August 9, 1986 - September 25, 1987
NWA National Television Championship - Tully Blanchard November 27, 1986 - August 17, 1987
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship - Lex Luger July 11 - November 26, 1987
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair November 26, 1987 - February 20, 1989
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship - Barry Windham May 13, 1988 - February 20, 1989
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair May 7, 1989 - July 7, 1990
NWA National Television Championship - Arn Anderson January 1 - April 12, 1990
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair January 11 - March 21, 1991
WCW World Television Championship - January 14 - May 19, 1991
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair May 9 - September 8, 1991
WCW World Television Championship - Barry Windham April 27 - May 23, 1992
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair July 18 - September 1993
WCW United States Heavyweight Championship- Rick Flair July 7 - September 1996
WCW United States Heavyweight Championship - Steve McMichael August 21 - September 15, 1997
WCW World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair January 11 - July 1, 1991
WCW World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair December 27, 1993 - April 17, 1994
WCW World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair April 21 - July 17, 1994
WCW World Television Championship - Arn Anderson January 8 - June 18, 1985
WCW World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair December 27, 1995 - January 22, 1996
WCW World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair February 11 - April 22, 1996
WCW Cruiserweight Championship - Dean Malenko May 17 - June 11, 1998
WCW World Heavyweight Championship - Ric Flair March 14, - April 11, 1999
Tag Team Championships:
NWA National Tag Team Championship: Ole and Arn Anderson March 22, 1985 - February 1986
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) - Arn Anderson &Tully Blanchard September 29, 1987 - March 27, 1988
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) - Arn Anderson &Tully Blanchard April 20 -September 10, 1988
WCW World Tag Team Championship - Arn Anderson and Paul Roma August 18 - September 19, 1993
WCW World Tag Team Championship - Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko March 14-29, 1999
Note: All titles and awards listed were won while they were Horsemen