Arn Anderson Discusses The Challenge Of Wrestling In Japan, More


Arn Anderson has been reflecting on his career, and on a recent episode of ARN, he talked about working in Japan in the ’90s. Anderson spoke of the differences in psychology and crowds, and his first impression of the Tokyo Dome.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:


His first impression of the Tokyo Dome: “It’s huge. They said sixty-five thousand that night, I wasn’t going to argue with them. It was all the way to the ceiling, and a huge building. Huge building. We had the opportunity to work with two of their better talents [Masahira Chono, Masa Saito].”

Japanese talent trying to “make a name” off American wrestlers: “The only advice the American boys give you when you go over there is: take care of yourself. If you let them, these guys will test you and they’ll eat you alive. Gotta remember, over there, we’re the bad guys. We’re the gaijins. We’re coming over to step on their company and their talent. You gotta fight ’em sometimes. That’s mostly with the young boys, they’re trying to make a name for themselves with their office, with their fans.”

Teaming with Barry Windham to face Chono and Saito: “Let me point out. I know it looked a little funky to our fans because that’s the way American fans are accustomed to a match going. When that hot tag came down, he shoulda came in and cleaned house. But you can get away with it, over there, if he steps through and you pound him down, they just want to see the comeback even more. So that psychology works. In the States, that would’ve killed the match. Most anyplace in the world it would’ve killed the match. But it worked. As you saw, they got with it.”

The difference with a Japanese audience: “The reaction of the audience is the biggest thing. They’re all dressed to the nines; it’s a sporting event. It would be like, back in the day, going to a Muhammad Ali boxing match. They sit there, and they watch. Whatever it is they like, they clap, react, and then they settle right back down. It’s such a weird feeling.

“You’ll see something that you thought was going to get a big reaction, punch in the mouth? No. I remember doing a deal I was working with Rick Steiner over there one night. He just ran over me, did something else, shot me in the buckle, and came sailing in and I just stepped out and kicked his head off. It wasn’t the kick that got over, then I did the (imitates Rick Steiner’s bark taunt) ‘hoo hoo hoo hoo’. Then the crowd popped. They were wanting the entertainment point. You just never know what you’re going to get, audience-wise over there, but it’s different.”

Whether the different crowd messed with a performer mentally: “You feel like you’re busting your ass, you came a long way to do it… this worked every place you worked in the States, whatever this move-slash-whatever it is you’re doing. Then you don’t get a reaction at all? It confuses you for a minute. Okay, that didn’t work, let’s try something else. You can almost get into a panic stage to where, ‘wow, maybe they just don’t like me.’ Maybe they just don’t give a s**t. Especially if it’s your top shelf stuff that you’ve been using all over the States and people have been eating it up.”

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