Reviews Arn Anderson 4 Ever
This book is a must for anyone who is a fan of pro wrestling! The truth about wrestling once and for all revealed by a man who lived it. Nobody tells it like Arn, straight and to the point. The inside stories of events and people in pro wrestling from Ric Flair and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew to the modern day NWO, and everything in between. This is a powerful, true life story filled with wit and wisdom that's not just for wrestling fans. It’s a success story about a man who became a legend. It’s about clawing and scratching your way to the top, and the sacrifices made along the way. You will love this book!
Marty Lunde (better known as “The Enforcer,” Arn Anderson) is a wrestler who stood in the presence of giants, not so much standing in their shadows, but content with his role as a supporting player. Consequently, Arn Anderson always makes fans’ short list when it comes to wrestlers who somehow never held a world championship, despite possessing all the skills and abilities to do so.
While Double A’s career was defined by his time in the Four Horsemen, he had other outstanding runs including his time in the Dangerous Alliance in WCW and his WWF tenure as one-half of The Brainbusters (alongside fellow Horsemen Tully Blanchard). Arn’s status in the wrestling world continues to grow as a new generation of fans have come to appreciate his talent as a worker and a talker.
Even now, he continues contributing to the industry and is seen as one of the best agents in the sport, someone willing to help today’s generation with making the most out of their matches and improving their craft. In 2000, Anderson released his memoir Arn Anderson 4 Ever, a short but fun account of his life up until his retirement from active competition.
The book is a strange but effective blend of kayfabe and truth as Anderson recalls his childhood and the events that took him from a life of poverty into one of wrestling’s most recognized stars. Like Bruno Sammartino’s memoir, Bruno Sammartino: An Autobiography of Wrestling's Living Legend, Anderson’s mixture of kayfabe doesn’t take away the book’s value, but it can be disconcerting at times as Anderson goes from writing fact to fiction without skipping a beat.
As Lunde documents in his book, life for the future wrestling star was not easy growing up. With his parents out of the picture, he was raised by his grandmother in a house most people would call a shack, but which he saw as his home. He didn’t let his poverty hold him back and he took enjoyment in professional wrestling, little envisioning the future that lay ahead for him. Anderson doesn’t complain about his early life, instead describing it to show it affected him throughout his life.
Anderson tells a compelling story of a hardscrabble life with many paths to ruin, but which he overcame. His break into wrestling did not lead to instant success, but it was obvious to most people around him he had a natural talent just waiting to be developed. The man who would become known as “The Enforcer” paid his dues, working for smaller promotions before catching the eye of bigger promotions.
As fans know, Anderson’s break-out came when he went to work in Georgia Championship Wrestling. Although he wasn’t an instant success, his hard work paid off with a singles push that led to him teaming with Ole Anderson as they formed an updated version of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. From there, Arn became a fixture in Georgia Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions.
Arn discusses the ups and downs of the businesses, mixing kayfabe with what happened backstage. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of working in different promotions ranging from Jim Crockett Promotions to the WWF to WCW.
The book is never boring and its only drawback is it’s far too short for someone of Anderson’s stature. As a result, he glosses over things such as the infamous fight with Sid Vicious that nearly cost Anderson his life (Anderson states he cannot discuss it in detail due to legal restraints).
It’s difficult to assess Anderson’s legacy as sadly, his career was cut short by the frequent and chronic injuries he suffered on his head, neck, and back. “Double A” retired when he was about a month shy of his 39th birthday. Speculation as to what he might have achieved later in his career is anyone’s guess, but there’s little doubt he would have found work in the WWF or NWA-TNA.
Nonetheless, his body of work speaks for itself and as “Double A” famously said on at least one occasion, “I’m not one to toot my own horn, but ‘Toot! Toot!””
Reading Arn Anderson 4 Ever can be a bit uneven at times because of Anderson’s switching into kayfabe mode whenever he discusses his in-ring career. Nevertheless, it provides some insight into Anderson’s personal life and what transformed him from a party-hardy brawler into one of wrestling’s most respected individuals. It’s a must-read for Anderson fans and Four Horsemen fans and a short, but fun read for any wrestling fan. Buy it if you’re a fan of the Horsemen and/or “Double A” and borrow it if you’re not.