The Four Horsemen was an on-screen group of wrestlers within Jim Crocket Promotions and later World Championship Wrestling between 1986 and 1999. The Horsermen helped define the NWA in the mid-1980s and it set the bar for all future factions, spawning several recreations and imitations. The group consisted of about 25 wrestlers, managers, and associates, but the core members were Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Like the Mega-Powers and the Kliq, the original group members were genuine friends and their association kept its members elevated. The group was known for its legendary strangehold on titles, including NWA/WCW World Heavyweight championship, NWA/WCW United States championship, NWA/WCW World Tag Team championship, and NWA/WCW World Television championship.
The genesis of the group started in January 1986 when Flair, Anderson, Ole Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and James J. Dillon, had to combine their interviews into one segment due to time constraints, and they all appeared on stage together. Arn made a reference to group being the most destructive force since "the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," from which the tandem took its name. The first member to be removed from the group was Ole Anderson, replaced by Lex Luger and later Barry Windham. In September 1988, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard joined the World Wrestling Federation, which immediately put the group in question. Then, James J. Dillon took an office job with the WWF and the group was renamed to the "Yamasaki Corporation." Windham signed with the WWF in 1989, and there were a few half-hearted attempts to reform the group. Anderson and Blanchard were set to return after a year in the WWF as the Brain Busters, but Blanchard was not hired due to a failed drug test.
Regardless, the Four Horsemen tried to reform in December 1989 with Flair, Arn, Ole, and Sting (who was later kicked out for trying to challenge Flair for the World title) and later Sid Vicious, but the group fell apart again when Sid left for the WWF in May 1991, followed by Flair himself that August.
The next incarnation began in May 1993, shortly after Ric Flair returned to WCW. The group was promoted as fan favorites this time, and officially, the quartet was Flair, Arn, Ole, and Paul Roma, although Ole made only one appearance with the group. A couple years later, Flair and Arn had a rift, but it turned out to be a ruse by which another reformation of the Four Horsemen would start with Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit. Pillman left WCW and he was replaced by Steve "Mongo" McMichael in June 1996. After injuries sidelined both Flair and Arn, Jeff Jarrett joined the group (something Arn himself insists was unofficial). In August 1997, Arn retired due to injuries, and he selected Curt Hennig to take his spot as "The Enforcer" of the group. Although Hennig accept the proposal, he turned on the Four Horsemen to join the New World Order at War Games, allowing Kevin Nash to declare "death to the Horsemen in their own backyard!"
Finally, Ric Flair returned to WCW on September 14, 1998, after an extended hiatus with legal implications. Dean Malenko was adopted as an official member of the Four Horsemen, and the group united with Arn Anderson as their manager. However, their momentum was short-lived as WCW concentrated its creative efforts on the nWo and Goldberg's undefeated streak.