Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, Arn Anderson, who knows a thing or two about being a rugged heel, has reserved special praise for William Regal and Finlay.
Although William Regal is now known as the NXT General Manager, during his career as a wrestler, he was looked upon as one of the most talented performers to never win a world championship. While his Northern Irish compatriot Finlay, who now works as a producer for WWE, was regarded as one of the toughest heels in the business.
On the pay-per-view in question, Lord Steven Regal met the Belfast Bruiser and the results were typically hard hitting. Reflecting on the match and the careers of the two men in general, Anderson says on that they “beat the ever-loving crap out of one another.”
“Steve [William] Regal was a great wrestler. I love that European style. He could have a match literally with a salt shaker and make it good.
And Fit Finlay now walks in the door. Prior to this, before he came to work for us, just out of the blue I was talking to Terry Funk up in the stands and we’re talking about ‘we need some fresh talent in here’, ‘it’d be nice if we could get somebody that nobody knew’, ‘I mean, we need some heat on some heels’. He looked and said ‘Arn you’re got to get Dave Finlay’. I said, ‘who’s Dave Finlay?’ He said ‘he’s the best heel in the business’. That came from Terry Funk in a time that I thought I was pretty good, a hot commodity. I thought I was a good heel, I thought Curt Henning was a good heel. Ted diBiase was a good heel. He said ‘I’m telling you, you see this guy work, he is a vicious son of a b*tch’. Well when we got Fit, and he came in from day one, he was a assassin.
To this day ,I’ve never seen anybody that’s as vicious, had a grasp of psychology, was a nasty heel, could make guys and make himself at the very same time. Man when he mugged you, he really mugged you – it was solid. It was relatively safe I would say. […] He was a superstar I was just in awe of the different things he did – that European style amazes me anyway. Him and Regal, mostly him, beat the ever-loving crap out of each other.”
On the same podcast, Arn Anderson also recalled one of the least successful European imports into WCW, Loch Ness. By the time the man more well known as Giant Haystacks arrived in Atlanta, he was a long way passed his prime and failed to recapture the heights he had enjoyed in Britain years earlier.
Since retiring from in-ring competition, William Regal almost immediately transitioned into being the NXT General Manager, where he can be found making ‘landscape changing’ announcements on Wednesday nights.
Finlay retired as a wrestler in 2012 and has since become a producer backstage. After being furloughed by WWE in April 2020, ‘The Fighting Irishman’ was back in his role by mid-November.