Arn Anderson Recalls Brian Pillman Being WCW’s Top Babyface, Facing Bobby Eaton


On the latest episode of his ARN podcast, AEW’s Arn Anderson talked about his legendary WCW World Television Championship match with “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton in May of 1991. Anderson also discussed some secrets about the art of color commentary and recalled the rise of Brian Pillman as a top babyface of WCW.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:


On Pillman in ’91 being one of WCW’s top babyfaces: “You wanna make Brian tough. You wanna give him a set of balls. You don’t wanna make him a monster cause it’s not believable, it’s not credible. But the fact that he’s convincing you now that you’re not gonna punk him out, you’re not gonna slap this guy and get away with it… he’s gonna fight you. And that’s all a babyface really needs to have is the people’s one-hundred percent confidence that ‘this guy ain’t gonna let us down, because he won’t quit.’ You’re going to have to kill the guy to get him to stop. And that’s the way they’re building Brian.”

On the babyface needing to stay in the fight: “The fact of the matter is, that’s how you build a babyface. Just when you think he’s gonna win, what do the assholes of the company do? They pile in on top of him. And he stays in the fight! It’s not one of those deals where you leave him down all the time. You can leave him down once and that’s enough. Then you gotta let the audience know that just cause this guy’s in trouble, doesn’t necessarily he’s out of the fight.”

On how much of the TV title match vs Bobby was called in the ring: “I would say we called 100% of this match [in the ring]. We’re doing some stuff, but we’re not just running spots. You gotta wrestle some, you gotta work some holds. Just like selling one punch, like he knocked my head off with that clothesline. We didn’t do anything after that for like thirty seconds.”

On calling spots during holds: “Your spots are being called right now [in the match, Arn has Eaton in a leglock], going through all this stuff. You’re not ever gonna see it because part of your job in those days was to be a ventriloquist. Get your message out, nobody sees your mouth move. Part of your job, man.”

On some of the tricks wrestlers used to communicate: “You pride yourself on never ever getting caught talking in the ring. It was just easy to do it. You could just scream ‘hey, that’s it, ask him to give up!’ and then right on the end of the ‘give up,’ you’d call something. So it was like all you heard was ‘ask him if he’s gonna give up,’ you didn’t hear ‘backdrop, arm drag’ right behind it.”

On those Omaha steaks: “Overrated.”

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