Arn Anderson Says Vince McMahon Doubled His Pay After He And Tully Gave Notice In 1989

It was on the July 29, 1989, edition of Saturday Night's Main Event XXII that The Brain Busters won the WWF Tag Team titles, ending Demolition's historic reign of 478 days. According to Arn Anderson, however, not everything was going as great as it seemed.

On the most recent episode of his ARN podcast, the current head coach of the Nightmare Family spoke about his and Tully Blanchard's 1988-89 run with the company and why they turned in their notice only a few weeks after winning the belts.

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“Yep. How could we be $50,000 behind what we had made with Crockett at that point in the fiscal year? It wasn’t because the business was down. So, when you ask that question, there are probably two answers. One would be, ‘Oh God, I had no idea, I will fix that.’ Or, ‘Oh well, s**t happens.’ and we got the oh well, s**t happens. If you are the tag champions, which are not paid like a single main event, it’s split four ways vs two ways. So, you’re not going to make singles money no matter where you are positioned if you are in a tag. We figured out three weeks later when we were told, ok, let me research this and I will get back to you at the next TV taping and it was a no go to catching us up to where we needed to be so we could go forward with the rest of the year, so we turned in our notice.”

Arn continued on, sharing the story of Tully failing a drug test, Vince being insulted by them wanting to leave, and his pay being doubled as a goodbye dig.

“In those days, they weren’t concerned with your health and well being and sent you to rehab. They left you off for 90 days without pay. That was the punishment. If you got popped for the drug test, there were levels of punishment. It wasn’t about spending $100,000 to send you to rehab. That wasn’t one of the options. He (Vince) was insulted that we would leave him. When you send a guy home like that, a guy that is that high profile, it’s going to make news. It’s going to be a negative that he is going to work with the other company, even though 90% of the guys in the locker room were doing something. It was going to be a black eye on us returning there (WCW) before we ever got there.

That’s where Vince is smart. He knows how to play the game and use everything to his advantage. Here is the real rib. Let me tell you how smart and diabolical he is. After Tully was sent home and however many weeks that I had left (on his contract), we were working with Demolition. Suddenly my pay doubled. Every week it was like, wait a minute. Am I getting the right check here? He ended up paying me more than I had made with Crockett, substantially. So at the end of the day, he did what he said he was going to do, even though he didn’t tell us at the time he was going to do it. It was like an F.U. to Tully and an F.U. to me that hey guys, see, I told you to stick with me. I can do anything I want, anytime I want. That ended up being my biggest year in the business, year to date.”

When WCW was purchased by WWE in March 2001, Anderson was brought back to the company, working primarily in a behind the scenes role as a producer. He joined All Elite Wrestling in the summer of 2019 where he is currently signed to a multi-year contract.

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