WWE & TNA Roundtable: Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson: The Best Team Ever
Welcome to the second edition of the WWE & TNA Roundtable. Here, you will find four featured columnists ranting on any given topic in the business of professional wrestling. Just four fans who love to debate the sport, and who want your input. What do you think? Who's right? Who's wrong? We want to hear from you!
While there were tag teams with more flash (Road Warriors, Demolition) and tag teams that were bigger and stronger (Powers of Pain, Crusher and Dick the Bruiser), none may have been as skilled and defined a wrestling era than Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson.
I realize this is not a “sexy” choice for the best tag team of all time, but what the two men accomplished at the height of wrestling’s popularity in the mid 1980s helped define what we see today.
As two men who were brought together through a great concept (The Four Horsemen) and could wrestle as a single’s champion or in their case, three-time NWA World Tag Team Champions, Tully and Arn were the best. Period.
Blanchard, a second-generation wrestler who learned his craft in Joe Blanchard’s San Antonio promotion, was the smallest of the four members of the group. He could talk, chain wrestle and “win” with the best of them.
Anderson was a mid-card wrestler before he joined Jim Crockett Promotions. And with Ole Anderson and Ric Flair, there was magic. But the reason for this choice goes well beyond being able to apply arm bars and wear opponents out. The two men were the best at a time when “The Best” wrestling was happening. The Road Warriors were hot. The Powers of Pain were popular. Rick Rude and Manny Fernandez were on the scene, and let’s not forget The Rock & Roll Express or The Midnight Express. Any of these teams could prove to be better than any tag team in the business today.
They also set the tone for others to emulate; they have donned face paint and used abrasive bullying tactics to win matches like the Road Warriors. Whether it was a “Gourd Buster” or “Slingshot Suplex” or “AA Spine Buster” these guys perfected what they did. I don’t recall either of them having a bad match in their careers.
And they most certainly could have carried a promotion on their own given the chance. Anderson may be the best wrestler to never hold the world title on his own, and Blanchard surely knew how to feud with the bigger wrestlers of his generation: Dusty Rhodes.
It was once written that the best tag teams in wrestling are those that have components that complement each other. Tully and Arn did that for each other. You could argue that Edge and Christian or the Hardys were better and showed more flash. But if you are talking about “wrestling,” and I mean true wrestling, then you don’t need to look any further.
These guys set the bar pretty high to begin with.
To read what featured columnist Tom Clark has to say about the Road Warriors, go to http://bleacherreport.com/articles/909649-wwe-tna-roundtable-the-road-warriors-the-greatest-team-of-all-time