‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson has told the story of why he wasn’t present for the final bout of Ric Flair’s WWE career at WrestleMania 24.
In the years prior to Shawn Michaels ending the career of ‘The Nature Boy’ – even though it was only temporarily – Arn Anderson had been a factor at the side of his friend and leader in almost every situation.
As The Four Horsemen, ‘Double A’ was a loyal subject and henchman who did his masters bidding whether it was crippling Dusty Rhodes or betraying Sting and handing the mental advantage to ‘Naitch’ ahead of a vital WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match. He even put himself on the line to join Flair in a Handicap Match against the fearsome Vader.
In later life, Anderson came to the aid of his best friend at WrestleMania X8, subjugating The Undertaker with a wicked spinebuster and proving that the Horsemen were for life.
However, when Ric Flair faced the very end of a career that will never be matched or duplicated, the former WCW Television Champion was nowhere to be seen and didn’t even make an appearance at the very end to escort his chum backstage.
Speaking on his ARN Podcast, the technical marvel explained why he voted against an appearance at WrestleMania 24, wanting the end of his friend’s career to be clean and memorable:
“I wouldn’t have thought it was a great idea if anyone would’ve asked me. I would have said it was not a great idea when you have two people who have meant what they have meant to the industry. That’s one that you would have settled clean with one guy’s finish. Let it build, give it 25, 30 minutes and let it build and let it be what it’s supposed to be. Somebody’s gotta retire tonight and that’s what I’m gonna see and that’s what I do see.
I was probably glued to the monitor where I could hear the commentary to get the full picture. I’m sure I could’ve found a crack in the curtain, any number of ways to have watched that match but for me to get the full value of it, you gotta hear what the announcers are saying because you’re gonna get a feel of what the audience is doing because the whole place was rumbling, you know? You’re not going to miss out on that, but to get the full viewing experience I found, find a monitor where not too many people are cause I don’t want to hear any distractions. I want to just watch it just like I was sitting on my TV at home cause that’s the full viewing experience.”
Despite not putting in an appearance on the night, Anderson was present alongside Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham the following evening in order to pay his respects to the career of Ric Flair as WWE gave the greatest wrestler in the history of the industry one of the most tearful send-offs in memory.
Credit for the interview: The ARN Podcast
h/t for the transcription: WrestleZone