After Steamboat departed JCP for the WWF, Blanchard and Dusty Rhodes began a feud for the TV title. On March 16, 1985, Rhodes defeated Blanchard to win the NWA Television Championship, ending Blanchard's 353 day reign. The title would soon be renamed the NWA World Television Championship and the two continued to feud throughout the first half of 1985 with Blanchard regaining the title and losing it back to Rhodes in early July 1985 at the Great American Bash inside a steel cage; Rhodes also won the services of Baby Doll for 30 days.
In late 1985, Blanchard fired Baby Doll as his manager, slapping her during an interview segment and ignited a feud with Dusty Rhodes, who came to her aid. After replacing Baby Doll with James J. Dillon,
After Blanchard's feud with Rhodes ended, he soon found himself immersed in another high profile feud over the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship held by Magnum T.A.. Much like his feud with Dusty Rhodes, Blanchard's rivalry with Magnum escalated into a series of bloody and brutal matches, and became one of the top feuds in the NWA. On July 21, 1985 Blanchard defeated Magnum for the U.S. Championship by punching him with a foreign object in his hand given to him by Baby Doll, who came to ringside dressed as a security guard. The feud culminated at Starrcade '85 during a brutal and extremely bloody I Quit match held inside of a steel cage for the title. The match ended with Magnum driving a piece of a broken wooden chair into Blanchard's forehead, which was already deeply cut and bleeding profusely, forcing him to submit.
Throughout the latter half of 1985, Blanchard and a number of high profile wrestlers in the company often competed together, usually in variations of tag team matches or interferring in one amother's matches if they appeared to be losing. These wrestlers included Ole Anderson, who had long since become a legendary figure in the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia territories, rising star Arn Anderson and Ric Flair, the biggest star in the promotion and NWA World Heavyweight Champion. In early 1986, the foursome became a solidified group and called themselves the Four Horsemen. The group quickly established dominance within the territory by capturing numerous championships with Ole and Arn capturing the NWA National Tag Team Championship with Arn being the NWA World Television Champion simultaneously, Blanchard winning the NWA National Heavyweight Championship in March 1986 and with Flair as the NWA World Champion. The Horsemen feuded with the top baby faces of the territory including Magnum T.A., Nikita Koloff, Dusty Rhodes, Wahoo McDaniel, The Rock 'n' Roll Express, the Road Warriors and others.
The Horsemen continued to feud with the other top stars of the NWA throughout 1986 and 1987, particularly after forcing out Ole Anderson and replacing him with Lex Luger. By mid 1987, Blanchard and Anderson began competing regularly on the tag team circuit and quickly entered into a feud with the Rock 'n' Roll Express over the NWA World Tag Team Championship. The feud culminated in late September after Blanchard and Anderson won the titles after a number of high profile matches.
Around the same time, Lex Luger defected from the Horsemen and feuded with all of them over the course of the next several months. Luger quickly formed a partnership with Barry Windham and competed in the tag team division as well. The new duo defeateted Anderson and Blanchard on March 27, 1988 though they would lose the titles back to them a little more than a month later after Windham turned on Luger and became the newest Horsemen.