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Four Horsemen: A Timeline History Paperback – May 1, 2017
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Arguably wrestling’s greatest faction, the Four Horsemen entertained fans with their wild interviews that promoted their larger than life partying (and the stories were all true), affluent lifestyle, and desire to excel at everything they did. In the ring, they cheated their way to victory, playing heels who weren’t as good as some of their babyface opponents, but who were more than willing to take shortcuts. As Arn Anderson once succinctly said, “We are the original gang.” When a babyface wrestled one Horseman, they knew they were facing all four. Many a babyface would get a Horsemen beatdown, sometimes in the ring, but just as often backstage or in a parking lot somewhere.
Reading the book is like listening to a well-versed and well-spoken wrestling fan fill you in on some wrestling lore. Bourne is entertaining and he takes a complex timeline, breaking it down into something understandable and interesting. You’ll understand why the Four Horsemen were legends in their own time and appreciate their many contributions to the industry, particularly during their heyday during the Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) era. You’ll also understand that while the Horsemen’s glory days were behind them by the time of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), there was still gas in the tank for some memorable moments and angles.
That’s not to say that "Four Horsemen: A Timeline" is a deification of the group. Dick Bourne explains why the Four Horsemen were so important (and his favorite faction), but he’s not above pointing out their flaws, particularly their later runs when they suffered from inconsistent booking and questionable members (Heaven help us, Bourne even acknowledges Paul Roma’s inclusion in the group, and while he’s polite about his discussion of Roma’s value to the group, just about everyone besides Paul Roma will agree he wasn’t the best fit).
The book is well-researched and contains a number of charts and timelines to track the various incarnations of the Four Horsemen. Dick Bourne digs deep, looking at instances where fans still debate whether someone was a Horseman (such as Gene Anderson and Kendall Windham). The Horsemen have a long history with a number of members, associates, and managers/valets. Thanks to Bourne’s book, you can understand who participated in wrestling’s elite group and what the big programs were they participated in.
"Four Horsemen: A Timeline" contains a lot of eye-catching black and white pictures, including promotional photos from wrestling events, photos from wrestling trading cards, and of course, cover photos from the Apter mags. As wrestling’s elite group of bad boys, the Horsemen had plenty of coverage in wrestling publications, usually mentioning their latest sins against top JCP stars such as “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Sting, “Magnum T.A.,” and the Rock-n-Roll Express.
At 152 pages, the book may seem like a light read, but it punches above its weight, and it includes behind-the-scenes information, important dates in Horsemen history, evaluations of each incarnation of the Horsemen, and a discussion of why the Horsemen were so important in wrestling. Bourne even breaks things down by the time frames the Horsemen wrestled in, whether it’s the heyday of the Jim Crockett era, WCW’s early years, or the era of Monday Night Nitro.
It bears mentioning the book is not a collection of road stories (although that would be an entertaining book as well). Nevertheless, this is a comprehensive book and a fascinating read. Whether you’re a Horsemen fanatic or not, this book is sure to entertain any wrestling fan. Dick Bourne has done a fantastic job with this book of giving the devils their due.
"Diamonds are Forever, and so are the Four Horsemen"