“Diamonds are Forever, and so are the Four Horsemen”
When the elite faction known as the 4 Horsemen formed in 1986…nobody could fathom just how influential the group would be. When you think about the truly great Horsemen, we immediately think of the names Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn and Ole Anderson and Barry Windham. Along with James J. Dillon as their manager…the Four Horsemen dominated the competition in the National Wrestling Alliance.
What made them so great and successful? They not only talked about the jet setting lifestyle…they lived the gimmick. They flew in private jets, limousines, women in every city, fine tailored suits etc. They also were legitimately an elite group. While other factions had high turnover rates, the Horsemen stayed close knit and joining their group meant something.
With that said, when bookers and “creative people” got involved with choosing new members….they quality of choices watered down the significance of what the Horsemen were all about. In absolutely no particular order, are the less successful Horsemen…the men who had no business holding up the four fingers. The men who did not live up to the ‘symbol of excellence’ as fans had grown accustomed to.
Let’s first address the 800 pound gorilla in the room…we all know Paul Roma had no business as a member of the 4 Horsemen. He spent a large majority of his career in the WWE as enhancement talent. When he would be pushed on occasion, he was mostly used in tag teams. When he arrived in WCW, he still had that stigma surrounding him. Paul Roma was not the right Paul selected for the group….Mr. Wonderful Paul Ordorff would have been a much more satisfactory choice. There was even rumors to that Orndorff was asked, but turned them down.
There was a point in time where Sid Vicious was the golden boy of the NWA/WCW. It only made sense that to further Sid’s career, he be aligned with the elite of the company. Unfortunately, egos and alcohol don’t mix and it caused a legitimate fight between Sid and the Horsemen ‘Enforcer’ Arn Anderson. The fight could have easily ended the life of “Double A,” as he received over 20 stab wounds to the chest and stomach with a scissor that Sid used in the fight. Sid would be released from the promotion soon after.
Jeff Jarrett was just one of those pro wrestlers that always found himself falling into a good situations. Whether it was wrestling for his father’s Memphis promotion or befriending head writers like Vince Russo…Jarrett always found a way to get a significant push. When Jeff joined WCW in 1996, he found himself in another prime situation…a top “free agent” between the nWo and the 4 Horsemen. Jarrett chose the Horsemen, but the fans didn’t choose HIM.
It became clear that the fans didn’t think he was Horsemen material and as quickly as he joined the Horsemen…he was kicked out or left…just as quick. A really unmemorable run for Double J as a member.
Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael
If there was one choice worse than Paul Roma…it would have to be former NFL player turned announcer turned wrestler Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael. The Four Horsemen had always prided themselves on being technicians in the ring and Mongo was not only not a technician….but lacked the personality that fit with the group. It was obvious that this was solely an Eric Bischoff decision to bring in mainstream media to talk about the WCW product. Much like when he brought in other celebrities like Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman and Kevin Greene.
The reason Curt made this piece is simple…it was nothing more than a swerve that made the Horsemen look weak and stupid. All it did was build up the nWo more…which is a shame because while Hennig was lost in the New World Order…he was a perfect fit for the Four Horsemen. What made the entire situation worse was the fact that Arn Anderson brought the house to tears with a heart felt retirement speech and giving Hennig his “spot” within the group. Bad booking…
The year was 1989 and the decision was made to turn the heel Horsemen into babyfaces. To solidify that endeavor, the Horsemen added perhaps the most popular wrestler in the company…the man called Sting. The partnership was short lived as fans didn’t see the marriage of Sting and the Four Horsemen as making much sense. They just didn’t fit well together and in no time, the group turned on the Stinger rekindling that long standing feud. Sting joining the 4 Horsemen made as much sense as Dusty Rhodes in Polka Dots….oh wait.
The Alliance to End Hulk-A-Mania
This final entry isn’t about one single individual that didn’t fit the Four Horsemen mold…it is more about an angle that didn’t fit their mold. The Alliance to End Hulk-A-Mania was a partnership between the 4 Horsemen and the cartoonish heel group known as The Dungeon of Doom. Why is this angle on the list? The Horsemen were suppose to be an elite group. They worked together as one unit. For them to be used in an alliance with such a silly group as the Dungeon of Doom, went against everything the Horsemen were about. Especially, considering it was one man that they were opposing.