The Wrestling Merchandise and Memories Interview
Originally published February 13, 2017
"We were the first group ever that was comprised of the world heavyweight champion, world tag team champions, and the world television champion."
The name "Tully Blanchard" is synonymous with "greatness". Not only was he one of the top stars in the heyday of Jim Crockett Promotions, but he's also one the original Four Horsemen and a WWE Hall of Famer.
Born in Canada, Blanchard competed in the NWA, WWF and AWA as well as Southwest Championship Wrestling during his legendary career. During that time, he battled the likes of Terry and Dory Funk, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A., The Rock 'n' Roll Express and Demolition. Among his accolades were the NWA United States and Television Championships and tag team titles in both the NWA and WWF with Arn Anderson. The son of promoter Joe Blanchard, Tully's daughter Tessa Blanchard is now climbing the ranks as a top female competitor.
Ahead of his appearance at The Legends Of Wrestling Professional Wrestling & Sports Convention in Winnipeg this month, Tully was gracious enough to speak with us about his legendary career.
Canadian Bulldog: Many fans may not realize that you were born Canadian (in Calgary, specifically). How long were you there for?
Tully Blanchard: Less than a year.
CB: You will be appearing at the Legends of Wrestling Convention (along with a host of huge names), which will be the first convention of its kind in Winnipeg. Do you have any memories of working in the area, be it through the NWA, AWA, WWF or elsewhere?
TB: I wrestled once in Winnipeg, if I remember correctly. We had great response from the fans all over Canada.
CB: You had some memorable runs in the NWA as a singles star, capturing both the Television and United States Championships and having some tremendous feuds with the likes of Magnum T.A. and Dusty Rhodes. In this day and age, is it difficult to make a major championship like that means something the way you'd been able to?
TB: I think in today's time there is no emphasis on the titles as there was in my era. It could still be done today but the emphasis would have to be put on the belt instead of the performers.
CB: The Four Horsemen was an incredibly influential group in wrestling. Why do you think that, when people think of different factions and stables, The Four Horsemen is always the first one that comes to people's minds?
TB: I'm very biased on this subject. We were the first group ever that was comprised of the world heavyweight champion, world tag team champions, and the world television champion. That made the four Horsemen a very unique group never to be duplicated yet they've tried for years to resurrected and imitate.
CB: Would it be possible, in today's wrestling environment, to replicate what The Four Horsemen accomplished?
TB: I don't think so.
CB: When you and Arn Anderson signed with the WWF, you kept your name, your look and really a very similar persona to the NWA. Most of the talent going into the WWF back then were re-cast as very cartoonish characters. How come The Brainbusters were largely left as is?
TB: I don't really know the answer to that question. But I know that the cartoon characters wouldn't fit well with Arn or myself.
CB: Did you have a preference for working in the NWA or the WWF?
TB: I think if you look at our matches with the NWA at the WWF you see very little change in what Arn and I did.... so I don't think I had a preference. Many great memories with both organizations.
CB: How is your daughter Tessa Blanchard progressing in wrestling? Could you see her competing against Charlotte Flair someday in a battle of Horseman descendants?
TB: I think that would be a logical direction at some point in time, but I'm not sure logical direction holds true in any longer. Tessa is working hard and improving every day. I'm very proud of her!
CB: Finally, is there any message for your fans out there, those attending the Legends of Wrestling Convention in Winnipeg and beyond?
TB: I'm looking forward to meeting all the wrestling fans from Winnipeg and surrounding areas. I look forward to meeting and answering questions from everybody. I hope this will not be my last trip to Canada. Look for my book to be out this year.
CB: Thank you so much for your time.
Tully Blanchard is just one of the many legends that will be on hand for the Legends of Wrestling Professonal Wrestling & Sports Convention on Saturday, February 18 in Winnipeg.
Among the other participants: WWE Hall of Famers Arn Anderson, Bobby Heenan Howard Finkel, Paul Orndorff and Ricky Steamboat, as well as Baron Von Raschke, Cyrus, Lanny Poffo and The Grappler.
For more information on this historic convention, please visit here.