Monday, September 7, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Mongo should NOT be a Horsemen
Football players. Everywhere I go, I see football players. Professional wrestling has changed in many ways in the past few years, but football players?
Having celebrity football players does boost ratings and the popularity of professional wrestling, but it is so depressing when it is obvious these guys don't have a single clue what they are doing in the ring, and it is even more depressing when it is obvious they don't care. They only thing they care about is the large paycheque that comes after the match. With most of these guys, the only thing they can do is a running tackle. What is that? It's not even a wrestling move. It's a football move.
Occasionally, I don't mind seeing these huge guys come in like Lawrence Taylor and Kevin Greene have. If a guy comes in to make one appearance, I can live with that. After all, it does provide some suspense. It's exciting (to me anyway) to see a famous person step into the ring. But it has gone too far. These football players have messed with the one true group that still symbolizes greatness in wrestling and not entertainment. These football players have invaded the group who knows what wrestling is all about. These football players have "messed with" the Four Horsemen.
Arn Anderson. Great wrestler, great guy. Many consider him the greatest tag team wrestler there ever was, and he may very well be. But for him to tell Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko that they haven't EARNED it while he stands aside and watched Steve "Mongo" McMichael walk right into the Horsemen after one match makes me sick! I don't care who thinks what! Steve McMichael does NOT belong in the Four Horsemen, and that is that! The Four Horsemen, as stated before and as stated by Arn Anderson just a few weeks back, are a group of excellence. They are a group of achievement, a group of honor and pride. They are not a group out to show off to the crowd. They are certainly not a group that welcome guys that may not be the best wrestlers but are good entertainers. And they sure as hell aren't a group to welcome a guy with open arms after simply whaling his partner over the head with briefcase! You have to do more than that to be a Horsemen! Give me the briefcase! Let me hit Kevin Greene! Look! I can be a Horsemen! Look! I can style and profile with the likes of Ric Flair! Whooo! Is that all it takes to be a Horsemen these days?
I can tell you people that when the Horsemen originated, it dawned a new era in professional wrestling. This was a group of allegiance. They were there to show the world what wrestling was and is about. Steve "Mongo" McMichael isn't a Horsemen. Mongo isn't even a good entertainer let alone a wrestler. I just don't understand it. He does not belong in that group. I'd hate to say it, but WCW has spit in the face of the Horsemen allowing a man the likes of Steve McMichael to join. It just isn't right.
And now I hear that once Ric Flair returns, so will the Horsemen. I found it quite humorous when Tony Schiavone stated that if there was any man to reform the Horsemen, it would be Arn Anderson. No offense to Arn, but I think we all know that the Horsemen just aren't the Horsemen without Ric Flair. Anyway, I hear the Horsemen will be reformed for another time. This time the group will consist of Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Steve McMichael under the guidance of the one and only Arn Anderson (again, these are just internet rumors). People around the internet have been saying, "Sure Mongo is back in the Horsemen, but it's only for a short while. Down the road, he will get thrown out and the rumor is that Bret Hart or Barry Windham will join." Oh. I see. It's only for a short while. We only have to see the Horsemen be disgraced for a few more months, right? Wrong.
As I said before, the Horsemen are a group of allegiance. Allegiance does not mean the group breaks up every time there is a simple disagreement. Each time the Horsemen "get mad" at one another and go their separate ways NOT on good terms with one another (at least in the angle), WCW is spitting in the face of the Horsemen. And you may say, "But the Horsemen can't stay together forever," Sure they can't. But they can go their separate ways on good terms with one another.
I think the best thing WCW could do right now is bring back the Horsemen with Flair, Malenko, Benoit, and Hart. Malenko and Benoit are the two best wrestlers in WCW today, Ric Flair is Ric Flair ('nuff said), and Bret Hart is not only a great technical wrestler but an experienced wrestler. He can also interview, and he has shown us that he fits in well with groups. Just look at the Hart Foundation. Sorry, Windham. Your time is up. Give Bret Hart a chance. Flair, Malenko, Benoit, and Hart. I don't think you could come up with a better Four Horsemen.
Well, maybe you could, but not if you are including Steve 'Mongo' McMichael, former football player.
Brian Read is from Little Falls, NY. He can be emailed at email@example.com