Thursday, January 12, 2012

Old School Profile - Tully Blanchard

To round out the series of old school profiles of the 4 Horsemen we finish with great Tully Blanchard. Tully was born with wrestling in his blood. He is the son of the legendary promoter and former AWA superstar Joe Blanchard.

Tully's wrestling connection actually runs a little deeper as he was a member of the West Texas State University football team. Where he was a teammate of Ted Dibiase(Million Dollar Man) and Tito Santana. Other wrestlers have been a part of this legacy including Stan Hansen, Bruiser Brody and Dusty Rhodes.

After school Tully broke into the family business. He was trained by his father Joe and the legendary Jose Lothario who also trained the great Shawn Michaels. Blanchard when on to wrestle for Southwest Championship Wrestling (SCW). He started out his career teaming with his dad and taking on the Funk brother Dory Jr and Terry. While at SCW he also learned a lot about the back of the house of the wrestling business. From there Tully made his way to the Mid Atlantic territory(Jim Crockett Promotions).

Blanchard caught fire soon as he got to the new territory and began competing for the NWA TV title in 1984. He won the belt on March 28, 1984 and defended it against the top performers in the promotion. One of his primary opponents and most seen throughout his career was Dusty Rhodes. He and Dusty wrestled many times from 1984-1986 and competed for everything including the services of Tully's valet Babydoll(Nickla Roberts).
After replacing Babydoll with JJ Dillion as his manager, Blanchard help form a group that would ever change wrestling and his career. He along with Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and World Champion formed The 4 Horsemen. They modeled themselves in excellence have the championship legacy to prove it.

Blanchard's career continued with the pursuit of gold as he went after Magnum TA's NWA United States Championship. Tully was also able to go after the TV title and the National Heavyweight Championship. He fought guys like Magnum, Dusty and Nikita Koloff. With Ole and Arn winning the tag team titles the Horsemen were always with gold. After Ole left the group and was replaced by Lex Luger, Blanchard started teaming with Arn and became a very formidable team. The feuded with the likes of The Rock N Roll Express for the NWA Tag Team titles. One interesting feud they had was with the Road Warriors. The Blanchard and Anderson were one of the few combinations that fans actually believed could beat Hawk and Animal.

Day In The Life of A Horseman

After some clashes with Jim Crockett about their pay Anderson and Blanchard made the move in 1988 to the WWF to form The Brainbusters. Managed by the legendary Bobby "The Brain" Heenan the team quickly stuck tag team gold. The beat popular team of Demolition, where they ended their historic first title run.

In 1989 Anderson and Blanchard were due to return to Crockett Promotions but prior to leaving the WWF Blanchard failed a random drug test. He tested positive for cocaine. The news of his positive reached Atlanta and Crockett declined to resign. After that Blanchard became pretty much quiet in large professional wrestling circles. He has done a lot of independent shows and popped up on WWE television for interviews regarding his past in the business.

Today is very active in his ministry and speaking to prisoners about getting their lives together. He will be part of The 4 Horsemen WWE Hall of Fame Induction this year at Wrestlemania.

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Ric Flair and The 4 Horsemen

Ric Flair and The 4 Horsemen