Wrestling News

“I Saw WCW On Fire. The Fire Trucks Weren’t Gonna Make It In Time” – Arn Anderson

Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard Thumb

‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson has lifted the lid on his disappointment of the closure of World Championship Wrestling and the sale to Vince McMahon.

Though a former WWF World Tag Team Champion, ‘Double A’ is a name synonymous with WCW and before that the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions.

Apart from being one of the longest tenured members of The Four Horsemen, Anderson captured countless titles with the company including a five time sovereignty as WCW World Tag Team Champion and reigning four times as WCW World Television Champion. He is one of the greatest wrestlers never to be world champion.

Returning to the company in 1989 after his brief stint in WWF, Anderson along with his Horsemen allies waged wars against Sting, Vader, Hulk Hogan and the NWO plus many more before wrestling’s technical whizz hung up his boots in 1997.

After retirement, Anderson remained loyal to the company in a Producer role and continued to make on-screen appearances. One of his final acts for the company came in 2000, forming the group The Old-Age Outlaws with Paul Orndorff, Larry Zbyszko and Terry Funk.

Now, Anderson has sat down on on his ARN Podcast to discuss the closure of the place he called home, how he couldn’t save it after the Russo debacle and the effect it had on him:

“I couldn’t sprinkle any magic dust on it and I couldn’t put a new coat of paint or rationalize it. For me, it was a period of my life that the companies I really loved – Jim Crockett Promotions that morphed into WCW, and then it became WCW – I saw that it was on fire, and the fire trucks weren’t gonna make it in time. I was the guy that took the call and was standing in front of the house, and it’s three-fourths on fire. The guy calls from dispatch and says, ‘Sorry, Arn, we’re still 45 minutes away with the firetrucks. We’re not gonna make it in time.’

There’s that moment where inside your head, you go, ‘This is over.’ The business as I know it is over, this company is probably gonna be done. I can no longer wrestle no matter how much I will myself to do it, I’m just physically not able. It was a really down, depressing time for me. I was looking at all the jobs, all the dreams, all the young guys – when that company goes down, at least half the jobs in the industry are gonna go down the sink with it. To sit there and have to watch, it’s like somebody is holding my head straight and saying, ‘Watch the monitor. There’s the future. It doesn’t look very bright.’ Not a good feeling.”

On March 26, 2001, the unthinkable happened when World Wrestling Federation purchased World Championship Wrestling and the contracts of several of its talent. Arn Anderson was one of these names who transitioned into a Producer role for his old employer.

Credit for the interview: The ARN Podcast

h/t for the transcription: Hooked On Wrestling