The History of the Four Horsemen

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The Illustrated History of the Four Horsemen

Part 12: Of baseball bats and the Midnight Rider - In early 1988, the Horsemen continued to dominated the NWA. Ric Flair was again the World Singles Champion and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard had won the World Tag Team Titles from the Rock and Roll Express. Ole Anderson had been replaced by a young lion named Lex Lugar who had promptly taken the U.S. Title from Nikita Koloff (with an assist from J.J. Dillon), and then lost it to Dusty Rhodes (see Part 9).

Following his tragic automobile accident, which left his right arm useless, Magnum TA was attempting to make a career for himself as a color commentator. After calling several Horsemen tag matches, he got tired of sitting by while the Anderson and Blanchard mauled their defeated opponents. He began to carry a baseball bat with him to ringside and was quite adept at wielding it with his good left arm (see the image above), much to the Horsemens' annoyance.

Tully and J.J Dillon confronted him at the TBS studio arena during the regular Saturday morning program. Magnum had laid his bat aside. Barry Windham tried to step between Blanchard and Magnum and got floored by Tully. Then the Horsemen attacked the helpless Terry Allen.

At this point, an insensed Dusty Rhodes, who had observed the attack on the backstage monitor, waded into the frey. He grabbed the bat and hit his friend's attacker repeatedly as Dillon and the announcers ran for cover. Finally, Dusty put the bat to Blanchard's throat and started choking him out!! It took six other wrestlers to pull them apart.

Later that week, at a meeting of the NWA Executive Committee, Dusty was suspended for two months for his actions. He apologized to the committee and his friend NWA President Jim Crockett, but refused to apologize to J.J. Dillon and warned him that he wouldn't be responsible for "what might happen to the Horsemen" during the suspension period.

Soon after that the masked Midnight Rider surfaced in the NWA and wreaked havoc for the next 120 days.

Go to Part 13!

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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

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