As a child, Arn Anderson was not a typical wrestling fan. He had his favorites and there were those he disliked, but he was not an emotional observer. Arn, the nephew of Ole Anderson, would sit in front of the TV set and not utter a sound. He was studying.
"I've followed Uncle Ole's career ever since I was old enough to sit in front of the TV set," Arn said. "The whole family would watch, but I would analyze every move he made. And when he came to visit, I'd make him teach me all the basic holds.
"In my eyes, wrestling is the ultimate for a professional athlete. There's nothing protecting a wrestler but a pair of kneepads. It's a one-on-one test of courage, determination, and skill."
Anderson, who grew up in Minnesota, began wrestling in high school, winning the state title and placing second in the national regionals. After high school, he became involved in powerlifting, adding 40 pounds of muscle to his already impressive frame.
After reaching his current weight of 255 pounds, Anderson felt he was ready to break into professional wrestling. The first person he would contact after making the decision would naturally be his uncle. Ole, however, slowed down the process.
"I thought I'd just start wrestling," Arn said. "Uncle Ole had some different ideas for me." Ole wanted his nephew to see firsthand what the life of a pro wrestler was all about, so he took Arn out of the road with him. They trained during the day, and Ole wrestled at night, with Arn watching at ringside.
Ole would be the judge as to when Arn would be ready to climb into the ring. That time came in January, 1982, in Pensacola, Florida. His opponent was the veteran Bob Armstrong.
"Strength, size, and knowledge of the basics are very important," the younger Anderson said, "But you can know every move in the book and still lose. Experience is the key. Armstrong had it. He astounded me with his experience and smoothness. He just outexperienced me."
After that bout, Ole threw his nephew out of the nest to fly on his own. After a brief stint in Pensacola, Anderson moved on to Louisiana. The he established a partnership with Matt Borne.
"Matt and I are about the same age and we found that we had compatible wrestling styles," Anderson said. "We were very successful right off the bat. We started training together, working on teamwork and timing, and we got even better. After a few sessions in the gym together, everything fit together."
Anderson does not have any plans to team with his uncle in the near future. "With the experience he has, I have to be honest and say I would be holding him back at this point of my career," he said. "Besides, he has commitments all over the country."
Anderson and Borne are now campaigning in the Georgia area and have set their sights on the National tag team title, which Arn calls "The most prestigious tag team championship in the world." The championship is currently vacant and a tournament is being planned to determine new titleholders.
Anderson and Borne have taken on the management of Precious Paul Ellering. "The are many reasons why we have asked Paul Ellering to aid us," Anderson explained. "First, and foremost, he is a superior physical specimen and he offers us a number of training methods we were not before aware of. He is also a man of incredible intellect and a brilliant technician in the ring. He also gives us an outside, objective opinion. He can see our mistakes and help us to correct them."
In the ring, Anderson and Borne use frequent tags and speed to their advantage. They also engage in tactics that are far outside the realm of the rulebook, something of which Anderson is not ashamed.
"What impressed me about Uncle Ole is that he won," Arn said. "He wasn't a doormat. He wasn't gonna wait for someone to do it to him first. All that matters is winning, no matter how you get it done. That's what puts the money in your pocket."