Arn Anderson Discusses the Legacy of the Road Warriors

Nov 12, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck

In a recent edition of ARN, Arn Anderson discussed WCW bringing in Bret Hart, the Road Warriors’ legacy, how WWE plans a Royal Rumble match, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Arn Anderson on WCW bringing in Bret Hart: “This is not my way of copping out when I tell you this, it’s the God’s truth – there were so many meetings that involved that top tier stuff like Bret Hart and him coming over, and we heard all these huge amounts of money that he was making. I could care less about any of that. My only concern was how are you gonna use him and what do you want me to do to help if anything. But it was all behind closed doors and it was so above my pay grade. I had no idea. I didn’t know what was gonna go down until the guys got in the ring, and I don’t think the whole angle got started effectively. I thought it got hurt pretty quickly. I just think a lot of things caved in everywhere that were unexpected. I was just like a fan on the outside looking in. You would’ve thought it would’ve been an easy fit walking across, but to be honest with you, I don’t know. It’s one of those things in history that everyone will have a slant on that tells the story. I have no idea what happened on that deal.”

On the Road Warriors’ legacy: “I was kind of there from the beginning, and I saw the evolution of the Road Warriors as everyone did. Paul Ellering was a huge asset because he was a legitimate manager for those guys. He planned their travel, he planned their hotels, he planned their rental cars and all the things that they did. He was probably a big help in negotiating their contracts. Mike Hegestrand (Hawk) from day one – you figured out if Mike liked you, immediately you had a friend and a guy that would say what he thought to whoever he intended to say it to. He didn’t mince words. Joe (Animal) was the mediator and was the calming effect – not much of a partier, if at all. He and Paul would keep Mike the best they could on an even keel, but the main thing is, those guys were a huge attraction. A Road Warrior pop is a very real thing. It’s a reaction coming through the curtain that’s at a different level. It’s a badge of courage that those guys have taken on their next trip with them. Anyone that saw them come through the curtain and were lucky enough to be in the ring waiting to be their opponent and to experience something that you’ll probably never experience again – they were special and they were good human beings. They’re gonna be missed. They were both taken away way too soon.”

On how WWE plans a Royal Rumble match: “An hour is a long time to watch a match. You’ve gotta be careful that you separate your surprises from your superstars and you’re gonna have your day-to-day talent that need to be in there too that have earned the right to be in the Rumble. Certainly, the prize – the main event of WrestleMania – makes everybody that comes through the curtain special because it could literally be anybody. The key is to not have the ring too full at any one time – figure out what four or five guys you’re gonna feature and come up with something and scatter it through that match to where you have some really big explosions and a roller coaster ride where you really feature some talent and some eliminations. Eliminations at the Royal Rumble – I think Kane had the record or it might have moved to someone else – that’s something you walk away with if you don’t win the match. It’s something you can hang your hat on going forward.”

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