What Does Arn Anderson Think of the WWE Roster?


What does Arn Anderson consider the leading cause of the WWE’s recent rash of injuries?

A couple weeks ago WWE began posting new episodes of Table for 3, beginning with a loaded season premiere (if you’d call it that?) featuring the three most permanent fixtures of the legendary Four Horsemen–Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, and Arn Anderson. The episode kicks off with a recounting of the War Games match (beyond!) at the 1987 Great American Bash, including Anderson’s claim that “20 buckets of [Arn’s] blood spilled across this great land in War Games.”

The episode moves from the stories of hard partying and hard wrestling one would expect from this trio (with Flair genially laughing throughout while Anderson keeps shaking his head like a disapproving father, looking back on his own antics with a “boys will be boys” sense of “the hell were we thinking?”) to chats about the Horsemen’s WWE Hall of Fame induction and their takes on various second and third-generation grapplers currently employed by WWE.

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Eventually, conversation turns to the young wrestlers of today–a natural turn considering the work Flair and Blanchard’s daughters have been doing in the company (obviously everyone knows about WWE Women’s Champ Charlotte; Tully’s daughter Tessa, meanwhile, is currently making occasional appearances as enhancement talent on NXT).  Near the end of the episode, Double-A expounds upon the current WWE performance schedule, expressing an opinion seemingly counter to the general consensus of the Internet Wrestling Community at large that pro wrestling needs an offseason to protect wrestler health:

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"Now, people are gonna look at that as comin’ across as bein’ a negative–it’s a huge positive because you get in ring shape. And ring shape is a very real thing. It’s not just some adjective describing something that doesn’t exist. The kids today, when they’re four on and three off, or five on and two off, they never really get in ring shape…in my opinion, humble as it may be, that’s the cause of a lot of injuries, because their body never toughens up."

This runs fairly contrary to the conventional wisdom that seems to dominate most Internet discussion about wrestler schedules. However, most of the people who write on the Internet (this writer included) haven’t worked the grueling schedule Arn Anderson and the Four Horsemen worked in the 1980s. We obviously haven’t lived what he’s lived. Does Anderson have a point? Does a weekend prevent today’s WWE roster from developing the “callouses” (to use Anderson’s word in the episode) needed to prevent serious injury?

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With WWE only just starting to recover from the injury bug that threatened to derail this year’s Wrestlemania, it’s interesting to note the hot take from someone regarded as one of the toughest wrestlers of his era, especially since he’s still deep within WWE and sees everything that goes on with the roster week in and week out. Most outside observers–and even some who have been on the inside and aired very loud grievances about the WWE road schedule–think that WWE tends to ride its roster too hard. Arn Anderson thinks they aren’t ridden hard enough–and frankly, if anyone oughta know, it may be him.

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What do you think? Is he right?