The History of the Four Horsemen

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The Illustrated History of the Four Horsemen

Part 14: Horsemen Minus the Brainbusters - In December 1988, the Horsemen were at an all time low. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard had decided to take their act on the road to the WWF where they entered into a feud with an ersatz version of the Rock & Roll Express (see image above). It was like deja vu as the former NWA Tag Champs battled the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty - recently brought in from the AWA where they had been the World Tag Champs as the Midnight Rocker). In their first encounter the match never took place. Arn tripped up Michaels before they even got into the ring - Jannetty responded by diving over the top rope onto Arn. From there things went downhill as the two teams battled it out on the floor. Tully and Arn would eventually hold the WWF Tag Titles for a short while.

Meanwhile, back in the NWA the remains of the Horsemen were defending their Titles. Barry Windham (seen here with manager JJ Dillon) had betrayed Lex Lugar to join the group, and would be a member on and off in succeeding years. At this point in the story he held the US Championship and was taking on such competition as Bobby Fulton of the Fantastics, and Bam Bam Bigilow.

Ric Flair had his hands full with Lex Lugar. In this sequence he get hoisted on his own petard by being put into the figure four leglock by Lugar. He escapes and takes a cheap shot to turn things around. Later in the match he seems to have his opponent at his mercy, but Lugar had other ideas and reverses it! Flair found himself in the Rack, but Lugar's weakened knee wouldn't support him and he went down to be pinned by the Champ.

About this time "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, was becoming a particular thorn in the Horsemens' side. In fact Ric Flair chose to get involved in this fight and he would live to regret it. As Windham and Flair congratulated themselves on their triumph, Eddie Gilbert was planning his revenge.

He goaded Flair himself into a match, which Gilbert lost because of interference. On a later program he came out during a Horsemen interview and challanged them to a Tag Team match against himself and a mystery partner. Flair and Windham readily agreed.

A week later Gilbert showed up with a disguised wrestler, who removed his Dragon costume to reveal that he was Ricky Steamboat! (unfortunately I haven't yet found my tape of that match) Steamboat pinned Flair during that match and went on to challange and beat Flair for the World Title!

Go to Part 15

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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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