Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard recently discussed if a Brain Busters run in All Japan Pro Wrestling was ever on the cards.
AdFreeShows recently hosted a watchalong stream with Dax Harwood and Arn Anderson. Fans were able to watch The Brain Busters vs. The Rockers from Saturday Night’s Main Event (25.11.1989) with one of legendary duo present. After the match fans were able to ask the wrestlers some questions, but not before the surprise appearance of Tully Blanchard!
During the Q&A session, Inside The Ropes’ Scott McDonald had the chance to hear from both Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. The Brainbusters were asked if there was ever a time where they could have made their way over to the famed All Japan Pro Wrestling tag team division of the 1980s and 90s:
Tully Blanchard – ‘There was not a time where we could ever get that much time off to go to Japan for six weeks to get over, and I mean we were too ingrained in Crockett [Jim Crockett Promotions] and working every night for that company and then for Vince [McMahon Jr.]. And you just couldn’t – our careers didn’t have that “I need six weeks off so I can go to Japan.” And those other guys were making great big money over there, and they’d have had to give us starting money, or close to, until we got over over there, and it just never fit in right.’
Arn Anderson – ‘I have a little different slant on it. If we could have walked in the door and been wrestling [The Great] Muta and [Hiroshi] Hase, for an example, yeah, we could have shown the Japanese audience something that they had never seen before. However, if we would have been over there and booked with a couple of the young boys or some of their big guys that didn’t like to sell…that could have got out of hand really quick, because the one thing that we did better than anyone else is sell for guys. Well, with that strong style there’s a little bit of no-selling for each other. And I get it: that audience loves that and that’s the difference, that’s the Japanese style. For me that was completely anti-everything I’d ever learned about the business, and Tully, too. So we might have ran into a brick wall and not got over at all with that style because it was very foreign to me, if that makes sense.’
Many gaijin wrestlers found massive success in both AJPW and NJPW, particularly in the 1980s and 90s but continuing to this day. Stars such as Stan Hansen, Terry Gordy and Steve Williams all became integral parts of All Japan’s roster. A celebrated, technically gifted team such as The Brain Busters, it seems, would have fit in well.
Facing off against the likes of the legendary Four Pillars of Heaven – Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue and Kenta Kobashi – these foreign heels took part in the famed World’s Strongest Tag Determination League, a yearly tag team tournament hosted by AJPW. Over the years the tournament has produced five Wrestling Observer Newsletter five star matches. All Japan Pro Wrestling tag team match accounts for twenty three of the WON’s five star matches.