Arn Anderson Breaks Down The Psychology Behind A Fatal Four-Way Match
Photo Credit: Lee South / AEW
Arn Anderson’s recent episode of his ARN show focused on The Fatal 4 Way PPV that took place back on June 20 ten years ago and The Enforcer gave a lot of information as to why producing a match pitting four competitors against one another isn’t the best route to have when formatting a story, especially when you have four of them on a single event.
I’m not a fan of having four in one night, as you can imagine,” Arn said. “If done properly and they’re the only one that night, they can be exciting but four of anything is just too much.”
Even just havinig one four-way contest produces its share of flaws in the storytelling aspect of a match.
“On a fatal four-way, technically there are no countouts and technically it’s a no DQ, okay. Number one, four guys, if they’re all fighting at once, which two are you gonna watch? So immediately, your attention is split. If you have two sets of guys that are fighting on opposite sides of the ring, the attention span is split. If technically there are no count outs, then a guy can lay out there for what seems like an eternity, and everybody on that side of the arena is screaming, ‘Get up, get up get up, get up.’ If you’re one of those guys laying there, that feels terrible as a talent. So if there is no DQ, common sense prevailing, what would prevent a guy from sliding out of the ring, right out of the shoot, and grabbing a chair and going to work? Nothing. What would stop a guy from reaching under there and grabbing a wrench and going to work? Nothing. It’s supposed to be that we, as creative, have to make sure that we just don’t push that envelope, and hopefully the audience is not just sitting there going, ‘Okay, this is legal, this is not, this is perfectly fine, what are they waiting on,’ because technically, it could turn into a TLC match, couldn’t it? Of course it could. So if you’re sitting there and you’re really in tune to the product, you’re going, ‘Well, why don’t they?’ Well, the idea is, just like we’re chronologically going through the matches today, that very first match could do all those things, but then what do you do for the next three? So what you have to do is compare notes, sit down with the other producers, make sure that you’re not doing two of the same thing and that all of the matches look different. Now that takes quite a bit of work if you’re talking about getting four sets of talent altogether during the today and comparing notes and getting those guys in the other matches to stick to their word and not doing anything extra. But as we know, the higher you are up the food chain, the more things you’re allowed to do that, you go back and talk to Vince in the afternoon, a little later and okay, so and so got this put through, which you never hear about once you break that first meeting, what are you guys doing, and we all separate and we go about getting out matches ready to go. You never hear about the ones that just got snuck in there at the last minute. But on the overall look of the show, it makes things look a lot different.”
Take a listen to the entire episode below:
Chris Siggia contributed to this article. Fans can subscribe to the Podcast Recapper on Patreon; the site features over 100 wrestling podcast reviews with 20+ current wrestling podcasts added weekly.