WWE Hall of Famer JJ Dillon talks to ECWA about the formation of the Four Horsemen, and more

Dillon has had a long career wrestling and managing since the 70’s! He guided Ric Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and more to numerous title runs in the NWA. He ventured into the ECWA on December 7, 2013 in support of his longtime friend and new ECWA Mid Atlantic champion Chris Wylde. Right before he led Wylde to the promised land just he did for so many before him, we sat down with JJ Dillon and asked him a Special Four Horsemen Forever 4 pack of questions. Read on:

Question 1: When did you know you wanted to be apart of the wrestling business?

JJ Dillon: I started as a fan. I was born and raised in Trenton, NJ. As a young teenager I discovered wrestling on… I’m giving my age away (laughs)… on a black and white television. It was on one night a week for an hour and a half. And eventually a live event came to my hometown to the armory in Trenton. And when I went to the show and saw all these larger than life characters in action I was hooked. At that point, I said “this is my dream and I’m gonna pursue it.”

Question 2: How did the formation of the Four Horsemen come about?

JJ Dillon: Actually the formation of the Four Horsemen was a spontaneous thing. It came along rather late in my career. I started as a full time wrestler in 1971. The Horsemen came together somewhere around 1985. And I was in Charlotte, NC where I actually started my career all those years ago. So I’d come full circle. We were doing the programming on TBS every Saturday for 2 hours. Ric Flair was the heavyweight champion, Tully Blanchard was the United States champion, and Ole and Arn were the world tag team champions. And I actually just managed Tully at the time. And because there was 2 hours of programming to fill, somebody said “Why don’t you go out after the break. You got all the gold. You have all the bragging rights. So go out there and tell the fans where you’ll be appearing the upcoming week.” So that’s what happened. The mic was passed around and when it came to Arn he said “Why don’t you people take a long, close look at your screen because never has so few reeked so much havoc on all the rest. You’d have to go back in history to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Then he held up four fingers. And it was just a passing comment. And then every time one of us went out after that we started hearing “Four Horsemen! Four Horsemen!” and the fans were holding up four fingers. It was a couple weeks before Jim Crockett jr. kept hearing it and he asked me “What is this Four Horsemen thing?” and I told him “It’s something the fans picked up on and it’s something you better pay attention too.” At that point, never in our wildest imaginations did we dream on how big it would become and how long it would have lasted.

Question 3: The Four Horsemen were legendary for their partying ways. Can you share a road story from the Horsemen days?

JJ Dillon: Oh boy…. Most of ‘em I can’t tell (laughs). Eh… I got one Ric Flair story I guess I can tell. Flair got booked in the Netherland Antilles, St Martin. And I went down with him. And I took a young lady friend of mine with me. St Martin is divided in two. Half Dutch, half French. And on the north side of the island on the French side is a nude beach. So Flair and I we’re there and we thought “We should take in all the sights.” So the three of us went up to the nude beach. It was kinda shaped like a horseshoe. You pull up on one side and walk about a mile along this beach through the naked bodies until you end up basically where you started from. So as we’re walking along , the young lady who was with me… who later would become my third wife… She swam out.  She took her top off and she’s swinging it around so I say to Ric, “Ya know we’re here. Don’t cha think we outta, ya know get with it?” and he says “I’ll do it if you will.” I said “Ok!” and then he says “You go first.” So I strip down and put all my clothes on the beach and dove into the water out to where my girl was. I got out there and we’re frolicking in the water. And I finally turn around just in time to see Ric Flair picking up my pile of clothes, putting them under one arm and waving goodbye to me as he walked on down the beach. And of course I had to walk naked for a mile down this beach (laughs) in St Martin until I got back to the parking lot. There was my clothes, wallet, and keys by our car. Typical Ric Flair.

Question 4: Managers in wrestling have become a dying breed. Discuss.

JJ Dillon: Well what’s happened is not so much what the manager is or does has changed. It’s the landscape that’s changed so dramatically. Back in the day, you had more diversity in the characters. And some of them were very bizarre. Bizarre to the point they were more effective… and I’ll use Abdullah the Butcher as an example… he was more effective, this monster of a man if he never opened his mouth. So the manager served that purpose to be the catalyst to tell the story and to help get the fans excited about seeing whatever the match was. But as the business changed and those diverse characters no longer existed, the role of the manager went by the wayside ‘cause there was no need for it. Just when everyone thought managers were dead, never to be seen again along came a guy named Brock Lesnar who is more effective as a visual picture and not opening his mouth. And along came Paul Heyman, who was and is one of the best managers of all time in wrestling and a great mind and guy, who all of a sudden revived the role of the manager because finally the scenario warranted it.

We thank JJ Dillon for taking the time to speak with us here at the ECWA website. You can read this article, past “10 Questions with…” articles, and ALL information about upcoming ECWA events at ecwaprowrestling.com!

ECWA’s next show is on Saturday January 4, 2013 at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club in Newark, DE! Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Our next interview: ECWA Heavyweight Champion Kekoa the Flyin’ Hawaiian!

Be on the look out for how you, the fans, can contribute to the interview! See ya next time guys!

Stay tuned to ecwaprowrestling.com or the ECWA group page on Facebook for more information as it becomes available!

East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE!
Sat, Jan 4th, 2013
Greater Newark Boys’ & Girls’ Club
109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place
Newark, DE 19702
(302) 836-6464
Doors Open: 6:00 PM
Bell Time: 7:00 PM

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