This week’s “ARN” podcast is an “Ark Arn Anything” episode. Arn Anderson and Conrad Thompson talk about Arn’s career and the current wrestling landscape. Topics include Bojangles, hating on cheese, Andre The Giant’s bladder, the heat between Scott Steiner and Ric Flair and much more.
Here are some highlights:
Arn talking about former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz: “To his credit, there were some things that would be written, but every writer from him to Ed Kosky and everybody who’s been in that seat I disagreed with at some point. I had no problem voicing that because I would always tell them I don’t agree with this and here is why. It was never, this sucks. But Brian was a pretty solid writer. He had an idea for the show. In those days, which was better for everyone intended. He would write a show. We would get to TV. We would read through the show, There wouldn’t be, let’s spend two hours picking it apart and coming up with alternative ideas. We used that as our template and we tried to, from a wrestling perspective, put those ideas into place. It made everyone have a much easier job instead of changing and rechanging and what it evolved to and is now, which is changing at the last minute, rewriting the show 5 times. On Monday afternoon while you are waiting to see what you got and before you can go to work and all those headaches. When Brian was writing the show, we pretty much stuck with what he had written and went with it. It made for a calmer stable environment.”
Arn discussed his dislike of the King of the Ring gimmick: “Hokey, bogus, dated. I think it made fun of the talent. They won one match, the King of the Ring. So you get to win one match but you have to wear this silly ass get up for the next two years or at least a year. I don’t know if it was a yearly PPV because to be honest with you, I tried not to watch. To me, I think it watered the talent down. It made them a goofball. You can go out and be a tremendous worker under that getup, but it was so dated and hokey. The one guy I think made it work only because of the personality behind who it was, was Booker. Booker did a good job being King of the Ring because of his persona and his personality played into it. Other than that, I think everything else did more damage than good. Wade Barrett was a good performer. I don’t think having that crown and cape and staff did anything for him.”
Arn reacted to Charlotte losing her debut match on Raw in her hometown: “What does that tell you about the idiot choices that are made. Our audience is very smart. They do their homework. When you have a debut of a talent, if they’ve been anywhere, done anything, been on any television, been in any place that social media goes, our audience knows who they are before they come through the curtain. Certainly, Charlotte Flair couldn’t go anywhere in the civilized world without people knowing who she is. She is a tremendous talent, as good as anyone out there on the female roster of any company. You can argue the point that she is the best. There’s probably three or four girls you could argue who is the best, but she is damn good. She’s a hard worker and into her character and presence and what she brings to the table to be the face of the company where she is trying to get. But to beat her on her debut, our audience would look at that and go, ok, well she must not be a star like her dad. She failed her first match. That’s not good. I don’t give a shit what anybody says. People say wins and loses don’t matter. When you debut and you get beat in your first match and you have a lineage and a heritage like that, name me one person, and I mean just one, that lost their way into getting over. You have to present new talent as the star you’re trying to profess them to be and they have to be successful from day one and over a year period. They need to stay successful. If you want somebody that can stand alone on one side of a card against another opponent and headline a PPV and draw, it takes a year to get over. That’s being on TV 52 weeks a year and out there doing your stuff and having good stuff to perform and good stuff to talk about and the right opponents. When I watch these talents that debut from NXT and get beat in their first match on the big show, who’s trying to prove a point? It’s pretty obvious to me.”