RF Video Shoot Interview with Ole Anderson

This was filmed in 2008

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs at two hours and forty-three minutes long

Ole said he was not a fan of wrestling growing up and had no clue about it until one day a guy he was working out with at the gym was a wrestler and wanted him to meet Verne Gagne. Ole knew of Verne’s Olympic credentials and ended up going. Ole said at the time he probably weighed about 265 lbs when Verne asked if he wanted to be a wrestler. Ole was interested in football and teaching at the time but Verne offered to bring him in for a tryout. At the same time, Dick The Bruiser asked if he wanted to try out with him but Ole said he was nuts and went with Verne.


On the training, Ole said Danny Hodge stretched him out and kicked his ass but that as tough as it got for him. Ole never thought that Verne was a tough trainer and felt he was nice and easy going.


His first day on TV was August in 1967 and the next day, Ole said he heard a bunch of commotion in front of his house and it was fans who found out where he lived as Ole was wrestling under his legal name at the time. Ole changed his name to Anderson after that as he was aligned with Gene & Lars Anderson.


Ole said that Dick the Bruiser was “crazier than a shithouse rat” and would want to fight everyone to prove how tough he was. He said The Crusher was a nice guy who was easy to get along with. On Lou Thesz, Ole said he never saw him wrestle but visited him in Florida several years ago and they worked out together then Thesz asked if he wanted to get on the mat. Thesz then took Ole down after catching him in the face and showed Ole a bunch of holds.


He talked about leaving wrestling when he was 27 years old and went to work for his dad in the liquor business as he got banged up but left after Eddie Graham called him up and offered a spot in Florida.


Ole went to Georgia in 1971 as Graham told him there was a new booker and he’d make money as Ole was originally going to work for Roy Shire in San Francisco. He’s asked about Jim Barnett as Ole tells us he was gay, which he also said has nothing to do with anyway, and that he ran in Australia. They met a year prior in Hawaii where Ole wanted $1,200 a week but Barnett said it was too much money so they opted to go to Japan.


He said that Harley Race came in but was an awful booker and the houses were going down then Ole asked and got $1,500 a week from Barnett, who could no longer afford that as Ole left and Harley was fired as booker and replaced with Tom Renesto. After that Ole talked about booking in Georgia later on where he said Barnett drove him crazy so he would book everything from home then bring it into the office and never even gave Barnett is phone number.


Feinstein asks Ole about Tito Santana’s claim that he was racist. Ole said he has nothing against Tito but did not see him as someone who could make money. Ole is then asked about guys who made him money and said Stan Hansen, Dick Slater (who Ole calls a “stupid shit”), and Thunderbolt Patterson. Ole said Thunderbolt could be a pain in the ass to deal with but you had to swallow your pride as he drew a lot of money. He also agrees with Thunderbolt’s claim that Dusty Rhodes copied his gimmick.


Regarding other guys, Ole said he liked Roddy Piper until his cocaine habit caused him to miss shows to the point that Ole fired him. Ole also said Piper was making $3,000 a week guaranteed. He calls Hulk Hogan a “joke and a half” and how Gary Hart called him up and put over his look but wouldnt answer when asked if he could actually wrestle. Ole said he gave Hogan the “Sterling Golden” name and only lasted one week as Ole said he was horrible and did not have time to teach someone how to work so he called up Vince McMahon Sr. and did the same thing over the phone that Hart did to him. Ole then credits Verne for teaching Hogan.


Ole has no recollection of the Buzz Sawyer/Tommy Rich angle in Georgia being memorable. He did love Sawyer and thought he was a great kid with an amateur background but had no idea about his drug issues as he never hung out with the guys and was in his room working like crazy to put together the card. He had to fire him due to how screwed up he was then about a year later Sawyer called up asking for a job saying he was clean but the first day back he was clearly screwed up as Ole fired him and never heard of him again until he passed away. Ole said Rich never lifted a day in his life but saw something in him and paired him against Abdullah the Butcher as an underdog babyface and caught fire quickly with the fans.


Regarding other wrestlers, Ole thought Jake Roberts was really good at the beginning but his drug problem ruined him. He talked about creating the Road Warriors after seeing the film with the same name and called Eddie Sharkey, who gave him a bunch of guys. Sharkey had guys lined up and they all kissed Ole’s ass but when Ole approached Michael Hegstrand (Hawk), Hegstrand told Ole he didnt look too tough to him and Ole wanted him and Joe Laurinaitis (Animal) was his friend and came with him.


He is asked about Ric Flair as Ole calls him a liar and has been a “piece of shit” for a long time. Ole said Flair could have the same match every night touring around the country as it was the only way it could work. Ole tells a story of how he booked for Crockett in 1981 and the first thing he wanted to do was get him out and by making him champion, he could be used to tour around all of the NWA Territories and do the same match. Ole thinks Flair truly believe he is the best in the world but to him is the “drizzling shits.” Ole also tells a story of how Flair made some kid up a bet from $25 to $100 for a football game and when the kid won the bet, Flair pretended like it never happened but Ole witness the whole thing and told him to give the kid $100. On the other Horsemen, Ole thought Tully was a liar but did like Arn.


On the Rock & Roll Express, Ole said they did two things: listen and knowing how to sell and puts them over as workers and they drew money together. Ole felt Magnum TA was good and said he once told him to slow down in his car before he got into an accident.


Ole doesnt give a shit if people like him or thinks he’s bitter.


He came back to WCW in 1989 to team with Arn and was going to have a feud with the Steiners but Arn broke his neck and had to get surgery and the feud was done after that.


When asked about Jim Herd, Ole absolutely hated him and said Herd told him to not only to book but exactly what to book. Ole said he told Herd if he booked and failed, then fire him, but if he booked what Herd wanted and it failed, then he wanted for Herd to say it was his idea.


Ole is revving up a bit as he asks Feinstein to name the booker of WCW in 1991 then keeps grilling him and says it was Jim Cornette, Kevin Sullivan, and Ric Flair who Herd ended up firing and replacing with Ole.


On the Black Scorpion, Ole proceeds to do the voice then re-wrote the card for Herd and put the Black Scorpion against Sting. Herd liked it as ole said he had no idea who would portray the character but did the voice off camera. Ole said he left about a month after it started then said Dusty Rhodes screwed it all up when he took over booking.


He was surprised that Mick Foley and Brian Pillman went on to become successful. He then went on to say Foley was a nice kid who at the beginning would sleep on people’s hotel room floors as he had no money but did too much “stupid shit” that damaged his body.


Feinstein asks Ole if a lot of young guys in the locker room were demoralized when Vader squashed Tom Zenk. Ole has no idea what Feinstein was talking about and says if a guy was good, why would he kill him off.


When he got fired, Ole was getting asked about the shitty storylines as Ole said it was all Herd and called Herd an idiot but it turns out that Herd witnessed the conversation and Ole got axed.


Ole talks about Eric Bischoff and how he got hired by writing a letter to Ted Turner about how he was running everything in Minnesota. Ole said Bischoff could do something he was incapable of and that was “sucking ass.”


He was contacted by the WWE to be part of Ric Flair’s retirement ceremony but declined to attend.


Ole said wrestling will never be like it was as guys today have no idea what they are doing.


On the Freebirds, Ole said Terry Gordy was okay but that Michael Hayes was an asshole. Ole goes on to say Hayes told him in WCW that it was the 90s and what worked in the 60’s wasnt going to cut it as Ole talks about psychology works no matter the decade.


He said that making money is what matters and the guys talking shit about him for the most part probably have not drawn a dime and why get pissed at him if they did not get paid a lot if they could not draw for him.


Ole closes by thanking the fans for the wonderful career he has had.


Thoughts: Ole was quite salty here. He’s actually gotten worse in that department since getting older. As an interview it was okay at points and he gave a bit more credit to others than I expected if you can believe that. He frequently admitted his memory was poor and only thought Bill Watts and Eddie Graham were good bookers though and not once admitted fault for anything.

He did have a few good stories though and Ole can at least hold your attention and speaks his mind so in that regard, I’d recommend the interview even if it can be a bit eye-rolling at times.