Former NWA United States, Television, and Tag Team Champion Tully Blanchard was a recent guest on Robbie E’s Why It Ended podcast.
Blanchard went into detail regarding why his relationship with NWA ended while he was wrestling under Jim Crockett Promotions, why his WWE stint was short, and how all of this led to his current role as a minister.
Blanchard revealed why his successful stint for JCP ended.
“It was not the fact of getting paid, it was signing contracts,” said Blanchard. “When [Ted] Turner was hiring and buying the company, he was signing people to big contracts and other people had got the contracts, and they didn’t sign Arn and I to a contract. So, it was job security as well as money. When you’re the people who are selling tickets, when it’s a sellout when the Road Warriors are beating you up, and it’s not a sellout when they’re beating somebody else up.
“[Jim] Crockett was negotiating with Turner to sell his company to Turner, and Turner was doing interviews with the key players, which I was one of, and we were instructed to be honest with everything. And I said, ‘ok, I will.’ So they asked me some questions, and I was honest with the answers, and Crockett didn’t like my answers because the people at Turner asked him some questions that I guess were uncomfortable to be answered. And I wasn’t smart enough to just sashay around the questions. I answered them. I’m just a plain old simple guy. So they politely kicked me off the plane, and told me I wasn’t loyal, and so I said that I don’t need to work here. And Arn and I dropped the titles the next night in Philadelphia.”
Blanchard also revealed that he and Arn had a secret meeting in his house while they were with Crockett, and Vince stated that they had a job anytime they wanted. Blanchard stated that he was going to quit and go up to WWE alone, but he was pleasantly surprised that Arn went up with him. He and Arn dropped the titles to the Midnight Express, and he said goodbye to everyone. Blanchard added that the locker room was cold when he walked in after the dissension with the executives.
Thankfully, Blanchard and Arn as the Brainbusters achieved success in the WWE, winning the tag team championship and being asked by Dick Ebersol to compete at Saturday Night’s Main Event due to being two of only a few other heels to be able to opposite Hogan on a big stage.
Although Blanchard did state that moving to WWE was a lateral move, he made a request to Jim Barnett to resurrect the original Four Horsemen. They made a request to leave WWE at Survivor Series 1989, and Arn made it but Blanchard did not due to admittedly failing a drug test for “licking the bag” of cocaine to “look like a party animal” after buying it for the women. However, they planned on heading to WCW to reform the Horsemen, and now was offered $750,000 to compete there. At the time, WCW did not have a drug policy, so he “did not see anything coming down the road that would be harmful.”
WCW pulled out of the $750,000 deal for Tully, after Ric Flair called him on November 13, 1989, at 1:00 in the morning, due to WCW finding out that he was popped for a drug policy in WWE. Unfortunately, Blanchard stated that Arn Anderson’s salary was reduced as well, which he had some heat with Arn for a while following this.
Now unemployed because of his decisions, Blanchard felt like everything was crashing in his life. At a state of rock bottom, Blanchard stated that he surrendered to God and felt an indescribable calmness. Since his conversion in 1989, Blanchard has mainly devoted himself to ministry, and still finds time to appear at conventions. Blanchard also had a brief stint in ECW in 1995, as well as competed on the Heroes of Wrestling debacle in 1999.
If any portion of these quotes are used, please credit the Why It Happened podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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