When Arn Won’t Break Kayfabe
While the quality of matches are solid and the WWE’s “Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen” ultimately does its job of cementing the stable’s legacy to both hardcore newbie fans of professional wrestling, this DVD is almost laughable in the end.
What? How can any compilation based on one of the most dominant stables in pro wrasslin’ history earn a snicker? Well, considering Martin Lunde, AKA Arn Anderson, fails to break kayfabe (He acts like his wrestling character, rather than himself.) throughout the entire thing, it’s easy to say that this is one of the most unrealistic and robotic sets the WWE has ever produced.
It’s sad too, considering how candid Tully Blanchard and Flair get at times, which, by itself, makes the program entirely worth a purchase and entertaining.
It’s all ruined though, every time Anderson opens his yammer, a wrestling cliché finds its way through, which induces more scoffs than anything else. A shame, considering Anderson is often referred to as a fatherly influence by a plethora of young talent in the WWE. His words of wisdom alone could have made this one of the best WWE DVDs to ever hit shelves.
Luckily, the rest of the program is a solid chronological tale of the stable’s history, with nearly every stone overturned. From their origin, to many revivals, no DVD has ever discussed the stable at this length before. However, the segment where Paul Roma discusses his tenure in the group is easily the most entertaining of the DVD. Other moments, where Barry Windham discusses Lex Luger’s role in the group and the exploits of the stable, are also enjoyable. While these segments do a great job of providing laughs and insight in between the history lesson, it would have been even better had Anderson himself discussed his encounter with Sid Vicious or Flair gotten a little more in-depth concerning his issues with former WCW head Eric Bischoff.
Because of this, for the most part, aside from the matches, the documentary on this set doesn’t provide much more of an education than a few wikipedia articles on the group do. While it’s great to hear stories from particularly Flair and Blanchard, the best part of the set is seeing these guys work in the ring. Make no mistake, from their promos to their in-ring exploits, this was the premiere stable in wrestling in the mid to late-’80s. Without them, it’s doubtful if there would ever be an nWo or a DX.
For that reason alone, this set is a must watch for any young fan who wishes to be educated on the rich history of the sport. Older fans will grumble at Anderson’s comments and the lack of secondary sources, but with a few hours of matches and extras, it’s hard to not find something to enjoy on this set.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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