Arn Anderson discussed the changes he has noticed in today’s professional wrestling environment, compared to his early days in the business.
During the TLC 2015 episode of ‘Arn’, Anderson and podcast host Conrad Thompson were discussing Mauro Ranallo, and the backstage issues he allegedly had with members of WWE staff. Arn went on to describe the competitiveness of the professional wrestling business, and the importance of looking out for yourself:
“It’s a definite shark tank, this business. You better have thick skin, you know. And you better know when the cut off point is when some guys on your shoulder giving you a bunch of shit, when it’s time to pop him in the mouth with an elbow. Look after yourself, you know. You’ll figure that out in the business.”
Ranallo allegedly had issues with commentary partner John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield during this time, eventually leading to Ranallo’s absence from the company. Whilst discussing the issue with Thompson, Anderson recalled what the backstage environment and wrestling business was like for him in the early days of his career:
“Wrestling for me when I started was a totally different cut throat, way more cut throat than it is now. No one was helping you along gently by the arm and there was no such thing as ‘cut, lets do that again’. None of that existed, it was a tough business. And the one thing you learn right away, is you be respectful of every single person who had been in the business before you and was in the business currently. And you showed them that respect.
And when somebody stepped on your neck, you didn’t wait to see if it was okay to get their foot off your neck, you bit their frickin’ ankle off. That’s the world I came from. Maybe there should be a little more of that behind closed doors. Who am I to say.
Arn Anderson made his professional wrestling debut in 1982. He rose to fame during his time with Jim Crockett Promotions before becoming a member of one of the most legendary stables of all time, The Four Horseman. Anderson would go on to become a WWF Tag Team Champion, WCW and NWA World Television Champion and WWE Hall of Famer. Anderson retired from in-ring competition in 1997, but would go on to play a pivotal role backstage in WWE as a road agent. He is currently signed to AEW, appearing as advisor and coach to Cody Rhodes.
You can hear the full episode of ‘Arn: TLC 2015’ here.