As recapped by The Inquisitr on Friday, a number of WWE employees were released this week, as the company confirmed the departures of SmackDown Live lower-carder Tye Dillinger and 205 Live mainstays Hideo Itami and TJP. Prior to those announcements, however, reports stated that WWE had also released longtime backstage producer and Four Horsemen icon Arn Anderson. Those reports made no mention of the reasons why both sides parted ways, but a new update on the situation suggests that Anderson was fired following an argument with WWE’s owner and chairman, Vince McMahon.
Citing two backstage sources, WrestlingNews.co reported on Sunday that the argument between Anderson and McMahon might have started because of Arn’s reputation as a “straight shooter.” As noted, Anderson was known as someone who wasn’t afraid to question WWE’s creative decisions and point things out if he noticed that match finishes and storylines didn’t make much sense.
“The boys looked up to Arn because he would go to bat for us,” one of the sources related.
“Double A would always speak his mind and sometimes that would rub people in management the wrong way so I’m always grateful because there aren’t many people like him willing to put their neck out.”
Separately, WrestlingNews.co cited comments made on Sunday by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, where the veteran wrestling journalist corroborated the rumors that Arn Anderson was fired over an “incident” with Vince McMahon.
“I don’t know the whole details of the incident other than it was something at a house show that evidently wasn’t handled well and Arn took the blame for that,” Meltzer said.
— WrestleZone on Mandatory (@WRESTLEZONEcom) February 24, 2019
Furthermore, Meltzer explained how Anderson and McMahon “were not really on the best of terms” at the time of the firing. He added that both men had disagreed over a lot of things over the years, and had another serious argument “not too long ago.”
With Arn Anderson gone from WWE after almost two decades with the company, there has been some speculation that he could bring his many years of expertise to All Elite Wrestling. While it’s far from certain whether Anderson will indeed move to AEW and work in a similar backstage role, the upstart promotion’s co-vice president, Cody Rhodes, had some positive things to say about “Double A” in a recent interview. As quoted by Ringside News, Rhodes credited Anderson for helping mold WWE’s current crop of main-event talents and added that he is, in a positive way, “not corporate.”