Prior to 1985, heel wrestlers existed in wrestling. From the Fabulous Freebirds to packs like Jimmy Hart’s First Family, the heel stable was a natural for the business. Yet the Four Horsemen were always something else. Ric Flair was the focus of a quartet of top heels from Jim Crockett Promotions (later WCW) who helped Flair retain his title and feuded with nearly every face in the promotion.

RELATED: Every Version of The Four Horsemen Ranked From Worst to Best

Horsemen had a style, often wearing fine suits and displaying their power and greatness. They can back it up in the ring, winning titles and defeating anyone in their path. Through all their ups and downs, the Cavaliers were the dominant force in WCW for years and still had an aura that no one could touch. His 2007 DVD documentary honored his legacy as these photos show how much fun the greatest heel in history made WCW have for so many years.

10 The original foursome

The Horseman story began in 1985 when Ole and Arn Anderson helped Ric Flair defeat Dusty Rhodes in a brutal attack. Meanwhile, top heel Tully Blanchard was tagging Anderson. All four were put in a joint interview as Arn noted how one would have to go back to “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” to find such a strong group.

The name stuck and the Horsemen soon began running wild over JCP and WCW with JJ Dillon as manager. At least two horsemen ever placed gold to prove their mettle in company.

9 Luger replaces Ole

By early 1987, Ole was taking time off to watch his son wrestle, causing a rift among the Horsemen. Ole was punched in the back by Tuli who called him out and was soon kicked out of the group. They then recruited newcomer Lex Luger to fill his place.

RELATED: 10 Great Four Horseman Moments Fans Forgot

While raw, Luger had the power and charisma the team needed and soon won the US Championship. He was part of the Horseman team that competed in the first War Games match and was still going strong as Tully and Arn added the tag titles to things, though by the end of the year, Luger had similarly drifted away from the group.

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8 Windham joined for the best version

In early 1988, Luger formally turned face and teamed with Barry Windham to win the tag titles from Arn and Blanchard. Just two weeks later, Windham shockingly turned on Luger and helped Arn and Blanchard regain the belts and joined the Horsemen.

Windham surprisingly fit into the group, a natural, and soon won the US title. This gave the Horsemen control of the three main championships in WCW at the time and was considered by many to be the best version of the group. It all ended in the fall of 1988 when Arn and Blanchard left the NWA along with Flair and Windham, finally ending the original Horseman era.

7 Brief returns

In late 1989, Horseman was re-teamed with Flair a Face. Arn returns, but Blanchard doesn’t, joining Ole and Sting as the Horseman. But Sting was kicked out when he refused to give up his title shot against Flair.

RELATED: 10 Things Most Fans Forget About The Four Horsemen

For a while, it was mostly just a trio before Sid Vicious joined the group to challenge NWA World Champion Sting. In early 1991, Flair got the title back and to Larry Zbyszko The wounded were stepping for wet. But the Cavaliers had done much before Flair’s firing in June, and would remain so for nearly two years.

6 Paul Roma?!

When Flair returned to WCW in 1993, a Horseman reunion was inevitable. Ole is brought back with Arn but Blanchard declines the offer to rejoin. So instead, out of everyone in WCW, they went with…Paul Roma.

A long-time midcarder with zero main event appearances, he didn’t fit into the group at all. Roma and Anderson won the tag titles, but the fans could not accept him, and so by the end of the year, the Horseman unit split up. The DVD doc makes no secret of how this was the worst cavalry unit and that the Roma are still a surprising choice for them.

5 loose cannon

In 1995, it appeared that Flair and Arn’s long friendship had ended as they began feuding with each other. Arn had Brian Pillman by his side and Flair recruited Sting for a tag team match. Flair, unfazed, turned on Sting and revealed it was all a big setup.

RELATED: 5 Worst Additions to the WCW Stable (and 5 Best)

The trio teamed up with Benoit for a new Horseman unit that feuded with Sting, Hulk Hogan and others. They later joined Dungeon of Doom before Pillman’s loose canon act forced him out of WCW.

4 Brief work by Mongo and Jarrett

Over time as a clearly terrible commentator, Steve “Mongo” McMichael teamed up with Horseman against Kevin Greene. McMichael then turned on Green to join the group and he was incredibly good at the role, even becoming the US Champion.

Jeff Jarrett tried to enter the team, briefly stepping in for Arn, but that didn’t last long, and the quartet of Flair, Arn, Benoit and Mongo would continue as the Horsemen even with the NWO. His rise to power began

3 Hennig Fakeout

In late 1997, after years of wear and tear, Arn finally had to formally announce his retirement. In an emotional speech, Arn offered his position in the Cavalry to Curt Hennig, who accepted.

Related: Each member of the Four Horsemen ranked by promo ability

This led to a massive War Games match against the NWO, with Hennig looking injured. Instead, he turned on the Horseman to help the NWO win the match. The NWO did skits mocking the Horsemen but the Horsemen never got their revenge as WCW pushed them to the backburner.

2 The Last Ride

The Cavaliers were largely ignored in 1998, but they had a great moment in the fall. Arn did a big ceremony where Dean Malenko joined the team in his place. Flair then made a big return and cut a wicked promo against Bischoff.

But despite that, the Horsemen aren’t considered a big deal anymore, nothing big despite a few tag title runs and David Flair hanging with them. By mid-1999, it was finally disbanded and the Horsemen were a relic of the past, as WCW itself went under.

1 Hall of Fame

While there have been a few copycats like Evolution, there has never been a full-on Four Horsemen reunion. Their 2007 DVD was a great showcase of their history, and in 2012, Flair, Anderson, Blanchard, Windham and JJ Dillon joined together as the entire group was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Since then, there have been other takes on the group, from Evolution to Fortune to Peak. Still, the Four Horsemen remained one of the sensational heel teams that brought WCW huge success and never duplicated the act, despite many others following suit.