The Four Horsemen were a legendary wrestling group that always had Ric Flair as their leader. Flair was usually the World Champion which made this group the elite entity of the NWA and WCW. The legacy of the Horsemen can be found in the many entities that have spawned as imitations. Without the Horsemen there would be no New World Order, D-Generation X, or Evolution.
The Foundation of the Horsemen:
The group started with Ric Flair and his interactions with his "cousins" Ole and Arn Anderson. They teamed up with Tully Blanchard because they shared the same enemies in Magnum T.A. and Dusty Rhodes. Tully was managed by J.J. Dillon who would become the manager of the Horsemen. While the wrestlers started teaming together in 1985, the group officially formed in 1986. Arn Anderson came up with the name for the group while doing an interview.
The Era of the Original Horsemen:
The four men ran roughshod over the NWA during 1986. The Andersons were in tag team title contention, Tully was the National Champion, and Ric Flair was the NWA World Champion. Their biggest nemesis during this era was Dusty Rhodes. Their most famous incident during this era was when they followed Dusty Rhodes car and hired a camera man that filmed them break his arm with a baseball bat. Magnum T.A. was another rival of the group but a near-fatal car crash in the fall of 1986 ended his career.
The War Games:
Ole was kicked out of the group in the beginning of 1987 and was replaced by Lex Luger. The new era of the Horsemen feuded with the Road Warriors and the Super Powers (Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff). The War Games match was created to try and settle this feud. In this new group, some of the roles changed. Lex fought for the U.S. Title while Arn and Tully formed a tag team that won the NWA Tag Team Championship from the Rock-n-Roll Express.
The End of an Era:
In early 1988, Lex was kicked out of the group and a few months later he was replaced by Barry Windham. With Barry in the group, the Horsemen held all of the top belts in the company. However, politics ruined the group and due to pay issues, Tully and Arn left the company that summer. In the WWF, Tully and Arn won the WWF Tag Team Championship from Demolition. Barry and Ric tried to continue the Horsemen with a new manager, Hiro Matsuda, but the group quietly folded.
The Horsemen Return:
Arn left the WWE in the winter of 1989 and quickly reunited with Ole and Ric. Sting joined the group but was kicked out within a few months. Sid Vicious and Barry Windham were added to the group in the spring of 1990. This version of the group broke up when Ric left WCW to join the WWE in the summer of 91. When Ric returned in 2003, the fans wanted the Horsemen reformed and they didn't get exactly what they wanted.
"Pretty" Paul Roma:
The group reformed with Ric, Arn, and Paul Roma. Paul Roma was a mid-card talent for many years in the WWF and not the elite wrestler that the group was known for. Paul left the group a few months later. The group reformed again in 1995 with Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit. When Pillman left WCW, he was replaced by Steve McMichael. Jeff Jarrett joined the group by winning matches over Benoit and McMichael but was quickly kicked out.
Arn was forced to retire in the summer of 1997. He gave his spot in the Horsemen to Curt Henning who quickly turned on the group. In 1998, Dean Malenko joined the group. A few months later, Flair became the President of WCW and got the group their own referee in the form of "Little Naitch" Charles Robinson. Benoit and Malenko left the group in 1999 which ended the era of the Horsemen.
The Members, Managers, and Ladies of the Four Horsemen:
Members & Managers (year of originally joining the Horsemen)
Ric Flair - 86
Ole Anderson - 86
Arn Anderson - 86
Tully Blanchard - 86
J.J. Dillon (manager) - 86
Lex Luger - 87
Barry Windham - 88
Hiro Matsuda (manager)- 88
Sting - 90
Sid Vicious - 90
Paul Roma - 93
Brian Pillman - 95
Chris Benoit - 95
Steve McMichael- 96
Jeff Jarrett - 97
Curt Hennig - 97
Dean Malenko - 98
The Female Associates of the Four Horsemen