Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Crowbar Press
Photos: 130 b&w
Cover: Full color
Item #: cbp01-oa
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"If I had realized that you people would be so damned stupid as to give the world champion $750,000, I would have made myself the champion."
— Ole Anderson, to the executives at WCW and WTBS
Here, for the first time, Ole Anderson finally tells his story. The people who know him, know that Ole is never hesitant to speak his mind — and this book is no exception.
Combining facts and opinion, Ole's biography is a straightforward look at the many phases of his career in the wild, if somewhat seedy, world of professional wrestling. From his days in amateur wrestling, to the time when he hooked up with Gene and Lars Anderson as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, Ole relates 30-plus years of never-before-told stories.
Ole tells of his feuds, both inside the ring and out, with people like Ric Flair, Wahoo McDaniel, Mr. Wrestling, Dusty Rhodes, and Bill Watts.
However, his biggest feuds took places behind the scenes in the halls and offices of corporate giant, Superstation WTBS. The matches in the ring were nothing compared to his battles with The Suits, corporate executives like Vince McMahon, Jim Barnett, Bill Shaw, Jim Herd, and Eric Bischoff. In Ole's own words, "The wrestling matches may have been staged and scripted, but there was nothing ‘fake' about the corporate and legal battles."
As a former wrestler, booker, promoter, owner, and executive producer, Ole goes deeper in the inner workings of professional wrestling than anyone ever has. He tells the stories about financial, legal, and drug problems that plagued the wrestling business.
It doesn't matter whether you hate wrestling or love it. This is a powerful story about a man who stood up to the establishment. His insight, humor, and colorful use of the English language makes this a "no-holds barred" book that you won't be able to put down.
Ole shares his insight, views, and opinions on just about every subject imaginable. Here are a few of the subjects he covers.
OLE'S TRYOUT WITH VERNE GAGNE
As instructed, I showed up at WTCN-TV Channel 11 dressed in a sweatshirt, sweat pants, sweat socks and tennis shoes. Channel 11 was in the old Calhoun Beach Hotel in Minneapolis, right off Lake Calhoun, which is where they taped the wrestling matches on Saturdays. There were several wrestlers there when I walked in the door, but Verne was the one who started the tryout. Verne had me do all sorts of things. He started by having me run back and forth in the ring, rebounding off of the ropes. Of course, I had never done that before. When you do it the first time, it's really difficult. It's tough enough to just run in the ring, but hitting the ropes is really a trick. It looks easy, but it isn't.
I did everything Verne asked. He finally asked, "Can you do pushups?" "Sure." I did pushups. I did squats. He worked my butt off — and I was sweating like a pig.
Then Verne asked me, "Are you tired yet?"
I didn't hesitate. "Hell, no!" I was smart enough to know that you never admit that there's anything wrong. Even if there was, you don't admit it. I learned that lesson as an amateur wrestler. You never let anybody know that you were tired. You just keep on going until you drop.
OLE'S FIRST MATCH
When we went out to the ring to work that night, Jose was fighting for his life, hoping he wouldn't get killed. I was the drizzling sh—s, but I remember Harley Race telling me, "As soon as I met you, when you first started your training, I knew you were gonna make money in this business." Whether he was just trying to blow smoke up my ass, I have no idea. From that day on, though, Jose Quintero was scared to death of me.
THE ORIGIN OF THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW
Back to my call from Lars. He told me, "I'm in the Carolinas wrestling with Gene Anderson. We're wrestling as the Anderson brothers, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Why don't you come down and join us as the third Anderson brother." In mid-June 1968, I drove down and we started wrestling as the three Anderson brothers. I liked the idea of wrestling as an Anderson, but when I asked, "What's my first name?", Lars suggested Ole. I thought it was a rib, so I just laughed it off. I didn't know they really meant it until I got into the ring and the ring announcer introduced me.
"In this corner ... from Minnesota ... at 270 pounds — Ole Anderson!"
I realized then that it wasn't a rib, but I thought, What's the difference?
From that day on, I've been known as Ole Anderson.
REALISM IN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING
That's pretty much the way we operated. That was the way all the old promoters operated — Verne Gagne, Eddie Graham, Bill Watts, Roy Shire. They knew they had to have some wrestling. They knew they had to have some bullsh–. Even the Sheik, Ed Farhat. Talk about bullsh–. Farhat ran his whole business on bullsh–. But. The one ingredient Farhat had that worked was that the fans believed he was nuts. They believed he was nuts. They really did believe that his Sheik character was legitimate. They didn't think he was a wrestler. They thought he was a lunatic who would cut you in a heartbeat — and he would. He taped razor blades to his fingers. When he left the ring, he would cut people on his way back to the dressing room. I don't know if anybody ever put two and two together and realized that he had razor blades on his fingers, but even if they did, they would have simply said, "He's got razor blades on his fingers and he's cutting people with them. What a madman. What's fake about that? He's crazy!" That's all Farhat wanted. You didn't hear the Detroit fans say, "The Sheik is phony," because they were scared to death of him.
WORKING OUT WITH THE MARKS
Once I applied the sugar hold, I would really work it. The most effective thing I did with it was to take a mark to the edge of passing out, then bring him back. In other words, as he started to go under, I'd ease up on the pressure and let him relax for a second. Just as he began to take a quick breath, I'd clamp down on the hold and push him forward again. It's the most miserable feeling you could ever have because you get panicky. The worst thing about it is, you can't do a thing about it. You can kick or do whatever you want to do, but you just can't do anything to get out of it.
IN THE DRESSING ROOM
I went right on. "Spit it out! What are you stuttering about? If you guys came up with that finish, then one of you is stupid." What I didn't realize was that George had walked in and was standing behind me. It turned out to be George's finish — one that he had been saving for that very moment. Well, I had already said what a dumb idea I thought it was. Naturally, George was pissed. He said, "Why don't you just do whatever you want to do."
Flair was making $750,000 or more. Luger must have been making $500,000. They were paying me $250,000. $250,000? That was fine with me. I was happy with that. But paying those two more than a million dollars between them? I thought that was absurd. Worse than that, they were dumb enough to think they were going to continue making that amount of money forever. And worse than that, that amount of money wasn't even enough. They still complained and insisted that they should be paid more. After all, they both insisted that they were the stars.
DUSTY RHODES, THE AMERICAN DREAM
It could have been a combination of Barnett, Crockett, and Herd getting Dusty. At that time, I wasn't aware that Dusty was involved to any extent, but I did know that Crockett was mad at me because I had told him off so many times. What I couldn't understand was why Crockett was still in love with Dusty, even after Dusty took Crockett's multi-million dollar business and flushed it right down the toilet. When people ask me why Jimmy continued to use Dusty, I don't have an answer, other than the fact that he was blown away by Dusty's bullsh–. Dusty told Jimmy what Jimmy wanted to hear. I never did.
THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
Barnett used to hold meetings every so often. He would tell all the guys to come down to the Sports Arena, an old building that Paul Jones used to own, where we taped the TV. There would be 30 or 40 of the wrestlers there. An amusing incident happened at one of those meetings. Barnett said, "Boys, next week, the champion will be in the territory. As you know, we have to pay the champion 10 percent, and we have to pay an additional 3 percent to the National Wrestling Alliance. That means you boys will be getting a check for a little bit less than you normally get."
A voice piped up from the back, "Jim, judging by my checks, the champion has been here all year."
Bill Watts got fired during the first couple of months of 1993. Bill was always being Bill. He stepped on a lot of toes. Bill would wear what Bill wanted to wear. Bill would act the way Bill wanted to act. Bill wasn't above putting his legs up on the desk and farting, just to see what your reaction would be, or farting and not paying any attention to what your reaction was. Bill just didn't care. But the problem was, we worked for The Suits, who couldn't understand Bill's way of doing business. Bill would tell people what he was thinking, which didn't get over with The Suits.
HANDLING THE TALENT
When one of the guys wanted time off because his grandmother had died, I started to grill him. "What are you going to do — resurrect her from the dead?" He stammered. He didn't know how to respond. "If you wanna work, then let's get to work," I suggested. As I walked away, the guy pulled a gun out of his bag and aimed it at the back of my head. I didn't know about it until Stan Hansen and some of the guys told me about it later. I asked Stan, "Why didn't somebody warn me?"
He just grinned and said, "We wanted to see if he would actually shoot you."
DORY FUNK, JR. AND JACK BRISCO
I keep referring to Dory Funk Jr. versus Jack Brisco, or Verne Gagne and just about anyone, but with Jack and Dory, you won't find a better example of a great wrestling match. The odd thing about it was, there was no punching, no kicking, no hair pulling, and no eye gouging. They weren't ripping at each others' face. They were wrestling. Would that work today? No. Why wouldn't it work today? Because nobody knows how to do it. That's the bottom line. It wouldn't work because the promoters don't have anybody capable of having a match like Dory and Jack had.
THE BUSINESS END OF PRO WRESTLING
If you look back at other cities, you can find comparable figures across the board. When I came to Atlanta in 1974, Atlanta was a city of 600,000 people. Ticket sales ran $20,000 to $25,000 every week, except when we went to the Omni, once a month, where tickets sale totals ranged from $35,000 to more than $45,000. If you add those figures up, along with all the other shows we ran on a regular basis, we had a $5 million territory. That was with an average ticket price of less than three dollars. If we charged what Turner and Vince charged in the ‘90s, when ticket prices increased dramatically, we would have had a gross business of $35 million.
THE NEW ERA OF WRESTLING
Let's put it this way. Make a list of the wrestlers (and I use that term loosely) who are now working for Vince McMahon, the owner of World Wrestling Entertainment, or what used to be known as the World Wrestling Federation. Let's imagine that you still had territories and regional television in places like New York, Atlanta, Tampa, San Francisco, and St. Louis, not to mention the 20 or 30 other territories that were running prior to the 1980s. And let's suppose each territory extended no more than 200 miles outside of each city. In your wildest dreams, do you think you could draw a house with anybody that Vince has working for him? I'm not talking about once a year. Could you draw a house week after week? End of conversation.
1. Charles Atlas Wannabe
2. Greetings from Uncle Sam
3. "I’ll take the little guy ..."
4. The Shooters
5. Sports Entertainment
6. The Debut
7. On the Road
8. The Stampede
9. Minnesota Wrecking Crew
11. Working a Shoot
12. The Hooker
13. "I wanna be a rassler."
14. Fair Game
15. Early Retirement
16. Broads and Midgets
17. Back to the Carolinas
18. Georgia Championship Wrestling
19. Sharpening the New Pencil
20. Johnny Valentine
21. Making Sense — and Nonsense
22. The Life of a Salmon
23. The Sawmill
24. Spreading My Wings
25. The Psychology of Booking
26. The Third Man
27. Georgia on My Mind
28. Hiring and Firing|
29. The Road Warriors
30. "Be-eee there!"
31. Power Play
32. McMahon Makes His Move
33. Dope — and Dopes
34. Too Many Chiefs
36. Articles of Incorporation
37. Lawyer Jokes Are Based on Fact
38. Clash of the Titans
39. Starting from Scratch
40. Skyrocketing Expenses
42. Corporate Duh-merica
43. The "World" Heavyweight Title
44. Executive Producer
45. Spending Ted’s Money
46. No Work, All Play
47. Jim Barnett, Jr.
48. The Power Plant
49. The Prestigious Hall of Fame
50. Star Search
51. (Mis) Management
52. Nothing New under the Sun
53. The Finish
Please send your reviews and/or comments to us at:
I am finishing Ole's book for the second time. The fact that there are very few people like him left in this country is one of the big reasons we are failing as a culture. He reminds me of one of my first real bosses back when was 18. Tough, cranky, honest, and fair. I usually look for car mechanics like that because I know they are trustworthy and competent. Ole was a victim of a corrupt culture and the emergence of the girl-man. Please let him know that I watched during the '80s and '90s, and his kind of wrestling was far more compelling that the crap that Vince puts out. The first time Vince showed up on WTBS, I was horrified. It was like the circus had come to town. I never go to the circus. I don't respect people like Vince, and even Bret Hart punching him out didn't wake him up. Ole's stance during the whole thing was correct, and those of us that were watching back then are still behind him.
This review doesn't even scratch the surface of the knowledge that Ole lays down in this book ... It is easily one of the Top 5 wrestling books out there today ... I hope Ole has it in him to come up with a sequel.
Sean "The MiC" McCaffrey
Read the entire review on the Declaration of Independents website.
Got the finished product today. GREAT layout (with TONS of really cool pictures — mostly stuff never shown to the public before) to go along with some of the best written stories (and opinions) on the wrestling biz I've ever seen.
This book is like the missing link in the puzzle that is pro wrestling in the 20th century. If "Hooker" is the definitive history book of the first part of the century, and "Have a Nice Day" captures the mood of the "sports entertainment era," then Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Pro Wrestling is THE landmark when it comes to books about the territory days.
I've been fortunate enough to read a lot of this material over the past couple of years, but to see it come together in the form that it has is a thing of beauty. Ole Anderson and Scott Teal have truly created something special here. Love him or hate him, Ole's lived the life and knows how to tell a story.
Winston Smizith (Old School Mark)
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
From beginning to end, Inside Out captured my full attention, and it goes down as the best wrestling related book I have ever read. I strongly suggest it to anyone who was a fan of professional wrestling — regardless of where you were or when you were there.
Georgia Wrestling History
Great read. I got my copy this morning at 9:00/am and just put it down at 7:32/pm. The best wrestling book I have bought so far. Thanks for all the memories, Ole.
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
Got mine yesterday and was astounded at the quality of writing and design. After only reading the first ten chapters, thus far, I can safely say that this is easily one of the top five (maybe higher) wrestling books of all time. Order it, because like Ole or not, this is the best look at the 1970s territorial system that I've seen available.
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
Inside Out is right up there with Hooker (by Lou Thesz), Have A Nice Day (by Mick Foley), and Pure Dynamite (by Dynamite Kid). Ole is so blunt, so brutally honest. Just an incredible book.
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
I got my copy yesterday, and found it difficult to put down. Having been privileged to have seen Ole in his debut matches in 1967/68 as Rock Rogowski, I have enjoyed his own stories relating to his entering the business.
I was always disappointed that Ole (and Gene Anderson) never returned to the AWA, as I always felt that they would have been excellent editions to the tag team wars in the AWA. In the book, Ole explains why that didn't happen.
For fans of the AWA, Ole goes into detail on many things that took place. One thing that has been very evident in several of the chapters that I have read so far, is that Ole has complete respect and admiration for Verne Gagne. He admits that they didn't always see eye to eye, but makes it a point to talk of his friendship (even to this day) with Verne. Others he talks highly of are Bill Watts and Eddie Graham. He makes it clear more than once, that Verne Gagne, Lou Thesz and Danny Hodge were the best of the best the business has ever seen.
He alludes to the territories, the personalities, and payoffs. Some of the greats mentioned (aside from those I already listed above) are Louie Tillet, Boris Malenko, Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, George and Sandy Scott, Tim Woods, Johnny Walker, Nick Bockwinkel, The Funks, Black Jacks (Lanza & Mulligan), "Iron Mike" DiBiase, Bret Hart, Paul Orndorf, Stu Hart, Bob Roop, Doug Gilbert, Reggie Parks, Mad Dog Vachon, Tom Renesto ... ah, the list is almost endless!
He talks about his creating the Road Warriors, his many times as a booker, and, of course, his long partnership with Gene Anderson. He even gives another side to Stan Hansen! And, he talks about the time when Stan walked out on Verne, and took the AWA belt with him.
To anyone who truly wants an interesting inside look into the business before the mid 1980's, THIS IS THE BOOK! I strongly recommend this one!
Scott Teal who worked with Ole on the book, shares a passion with many of us from the kayfabe era, to see that the business and the history of it, are remembered and recorded in a factual manner. Scott's efforts sign in the book. GREAT JOB, Scott!
Finally, my THANKS to Ole Anderson for taking the time to share with us. You were one of the all-time greats in wrestling, and anyone who reads your book will appreciate your honesty and contribution to giving us a factual look at time when wrestling was "real", before entertainment became the show instead of wrestling. THANKS, ROCK!
I will say what Marty O'Neill used to say, "Run, don't walk", to get your copy!
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
Loved the book. Very profound material making a case that WCW was destroyed by The Suits at WTBS. Great read! Even if Ole did say that I had a big fat ass. I read that to a second grade class I had last week, substituting butt for ass, and they laughed harder than I did.
Former Olympic wrestler and pro wrestling legend
Great read thus far. Ole pulls no punches and even gets a dig in already on Arn's book in regard to kayfabe. I'm going to take my time and savor this one — it's that good. Scott is to be commended for leaving in the swear words (when you read the acknowledgement, you'll get what I mean).
Wrestling Classics Message Board
Ole & Scott did a fabulous job. I got it last Friday and finished it the next day. Every aspiring wrestler and promoter should be required to read it.Inside Out is more than just a wrestling bio. It's a landmark in the literature of our sport and an important chronicle of the pro wrestling business in the 70's and 80's. Ole Anderson is not just a salty old grappler with a lot of amusing stories. He is a guide and a teacher. He is someone who backed his talent up with brains, guts and good old common sense. You will laugh at some parts, you will think about others. You might even disagree with some things, but you will learn a lot by reading it. Every independent wrestler and promoter needs to read it and take Ole's lessons to heart. This ranks right up there with Lou Thesz's "Hooker" as the best and most important books written on American pro wrestling. Thank you, Ole and Scott.
Owner and promoter of New England Championship Wrestling
I just finished reading the book and I had to drop you a line to tell you how much I enjoyed it. You guys have a near masterpiece on your hands. I have read other wrestling books (Foley and Lawler just to name a few), but I have never read anything quite like Ole's book. I must tell you ahead of time, though, that I have to call myself a former fan of the [wrestling] business. I say former because the business that I watched while still a child of the late 70's and mid 80's bares no resemblance to the McMahon era. To me, there was nothing as good as the old Georgia Championship Wrestling of the early 80's. Please pass along to Ole how much that promotion meant to at least one fan — and how much his dedication to the business still means even today, in a land dominated by garbage wrestling.
My wife purchased Ole's book as a Christmas gift to me. I read it pretty much non-stop since the time she gave it to me Christmas Eve. I enjoyed every page! Although what McMahon has done to the business has turned me against it, I still love reliving the old days. Again, thank you guys for a wonderful read. Please pass this along to Ole...You have so much to offer to us old school wrestling fans. Please keep writing books, doing interviews, or whatever it takes to make your voice heard! Thank you so much for shining some light on the 'biz as it used to be (and what some of us old schoolers think it should be again).
Some of my fondest childhood memories include the many Friday nights my grandfather and I spent watching Gene and Ole Anderson wrestle at the City Armory in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia. This was probably sometime during 1969, 1970. Nobody but nobody could put on a show like Gene and Ole. Ole could just jump into the ring, step up on his toes, point a finger at one of his opponents, and sneer — and the whole place would go nuts — even before the introductions were made. I especially remember a brilliant and brutal series of matches between the Andersons and George and Sandy Scott, that stretched out over weeks and weeks weeks of rematches, each match dramatically building on and extending the events from the previous week. One thing is for sure, you got your money's worth when Gene and Ole Anderson were on the card.
And you get more than your money's worth with Ole's book, Inside Out. For me, reading this book was like getting a personal visit from an old childhood hero. It was fascinating to go behind-the-scenes with some of the old performers I remember so well, guys
like Johnny Weaver, George Becker, Rip Hawk, George and Sandy Scott, the Missouri Mauler, Johnny Valentine. Great stuff. Over the years, I've often wondered how professional wrestling went from being a live passion play I could witness every week down at the Armory, to nothing more than bunch of muscle-headed cartoon characters on cable TV. Now I know. Ole tells it like it is. Thanks, Ole.
I just finished Inside Out and I wanted to commend you and Ole on doing a wonderful job. If everyone would take the time to read the book, they would gain a whole new perspective on Ole Anderson and the wrestling business as a whole. I have been involved in the business as a worker, booker, and promoter for eight years and I have worked closely with many individuals who Ole talked about in his book. I feel that he was right on the money with his opinions on many in the business and I gained a wealth of knowledge from this book that I will use extensively in my continued endeavors in the business. Good luck.
Sean Pascoe, aka Sean Davis, The Heartbreak Express
Ole' to Ole!
A masterpiece that is the epitome of just how the Pro Wrestling business was run both before and after corporate America took it over.
Ole and Scott cite a myriad of example and anecdotes that clearly show the game could be and was run successfully before the folly of corporate businessmen tinkered with something they knew nothing about, nor did they care to learn about.
Ole reveals like never before, not the gimmicks of the game, like other books, but the details of what made Pro Wrestling work or not work. The premise that corporate America destroyed the game is well proven over and over by a man who knew the game "Inside and Out." The older fan owes a debt of gratitude to Ole for bringing the inside out to us.
It was upon finishing the book that it occurred to me that I had also just finished reading the epitaph of Pro Wrestling as well. Gone forever was the mystique and attraction of the old days of the game when you would sit on the edge of your seat in a suspension of disbelief — when you could not tell a "shoot" from a "work".
I used to think that Bruno Sammartino was the only one who saw the writing on the wall with the changes coming to the game back in the 80's, but now know that Ole saw it too — perhaps far earlier than Bruno. Yes, corporate America did destroy Pro Wrestling, but as Ole shows, from the inside, while changes in society destroyed it from the outside, Corporate America destroyed it because of greed, waste, ignorance, and stupidity. Society destroyed it because of complacency to allow and accept wrestlers using drugs and steroids, profanity, vulgarity, and semi-nudity in the squared circle. Sadly, the cat is out of the bag forever. But a big thanks go out to Ole and all the past greats of the game for memories that will never die — for their dedication to "protect the business" in the "kayfabe" fashion that made the game great.
Mark A. Cappuzzo
I read Inside Out last week and want to commend you and Ole on a great piece of work. I absolutely loved the book and consider it the best, and most interesting by far, of all of the books written by wrestlers, and I think that I've read them all (except the wwf/wwe stuff. I know that I'd hate those). I never thought that I'd read something that almost mirrors my opinions to a T (I guess I'm just as big of an asshole as Ole admits he is), but Inside Out did. Excellent job.
Ole was great on Wrestling Observer Live last night, too. It was the most entertaining show that I've heard in years. Give Ole my regards. I never met him, but hope that he attends CAC 2004, as I'd love to talk a bit with him.
I really enjoyed the book. I would not put it ahead of Mick Foley's first book, though for historical significance, it is better. After Foley's masterpieces, no other book comes close. This blows away the Heenan and Lawler books. I liked it better then the Dynamite Kid book. It was fascinating. His opinions on modern day wrestling are out of touch, but that takes nothing away from all he had to say pre-1984. And I agree that I would spaz if Ole got me in the sugar!!! Just the parts about the old-timers stretching Ole and the people Ole stretched after taking money to "train" them are worth the price alone!
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
Ole and Scott have put out a fantastic book. I have had to force myself to put it down this week just to go to bed at night, or I would have finished it the day the mailman brought it.
Ole IS definitely a no-nonsense guy who isn't afraid to express his opinion, and he is, indeed, entitled to his opinion, just as we all are. No where, in what I have read, does Ole put himself on a pedestal. In fact, he knocks himself MUCH MORE than he knocks anyone else. The fact that one doesn't agree with his opinions doesn't mean that anyone is necessarily wrong. Ego? — sure. Anything wrong with having an ego? No. (I believe it can also be called self-esteem.)
I am very MUCH looking forward to meeting Ole at FANFEST and telling him that, irregardless of how many errors he might have made in the book concerning whatever — the crux of the text, I believe to be accurate. Not many of us are in a position to dispute Ole about HIS life story. Yeah, he might have wrestled Pedro Godoy in Charlotte in 1969, not 1968, but that isn't important.
The background and philosophy he writes about is what I want to read about. He's not a big fan of the Briscos. He tells why. He didn't think Johnny Weaver was a good booker. He tells why. He all but worships Verne Gagne, but didn't want to work for him. He tells why.
Just because one doesn't like what he said about Ric Flair (my all-time favorite, by the way) is not a good reason to not read the entire book. A bit like quoting the Bible out of context, I believe.
Great book ... great job ... see you guys at FANFEST.
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
Ole's book is a wonderful read, in my opinion. I literally could not put it down. Ole does see the world through Anderson-tinted glasses, but everyone in this business seems to view the world through slanted perspectives, Dave Meltzer and the Observer included.
Put aside his popping off about certain people in the business that you may like, read the book and read the sections about booking and talent contracts, and running a business, and see if you don't come away with some new insights, especially as they apply to the Kayfabe era. He was one of the most influential people in the business in the 1970s and 1980s and booked two of the most successful territories in wrestling. How could you not want to know what went on the guy's head?
So he doesn't have much use for Ric Flair. Flair probably doesn't have much use for him, so where does that leave us? I personally think Flair is the greatest ever, but it doesn't change the fact that I also equally feel Ole Anderson had an amazing wrestling mind. It's fun to peek inside.
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Gateway
I just finished the book. It was the best wrestling book I have read!!!
I started watching wrestling in 1969 (I was 10) here in Tennessee. It was not as bad as folks say it was; though not the same product as Georgia or Mid-Atlantic. I watched Georgia beginning in 1977 on WTBS and I own several wrestling magazines from the 1970s to 1990s. I guess I have been a big fan.
It's hard to be a fan of today's crap. It is all entertainment and no wrestling. I appreciated reading Ole's perspective. I agree that matches of that era were 100 times better than today (the best match I ever saw was a 60 minute draw). I might disagree with Ole's assessment of Flair, but he clearly branded it as "his opinion."
All-in-all, a great book. I suspect he could have gone on for another 400 pages.
I think Ole's story is the best wrestling book since Mick Foley's first book — probably a shade better because it involves "old school" wrestling rather than WWE.
Evergreen Video Productions
I finished ready "Inside Out" in three days. I certainly enjoyed it. I love books written books by older wrestlers (that aren't published by the WWE). I'd rank this book right up there with Heenan's first book and Roddy Piper's book.
As I said, I thought it was a great read. You (Scott) certainly did a great job of keeping the book in Ole's voice. Even though I disagree with some of his opinions, I like the fact that he says what he feels, even if everyone is going to disagree with him. I thought the last two paragraphs of the last chapter summed up the book and Ole's attitude towards the business in a bitter-sweet way. The last sentence read, "As I said before, things just aren't the same when you get older," really summed it all up. It was sort of sad actually, but the Epilogue was also a great little story that was perfect in that it gives the book more of a happy ending (for lack of a better term).
I also enjoyed Ole’s self-deprecating humor that you inserted. It balances the book. If he didn’t have any of that in there, he might have come across as if he thought he was the only good wrestler/booker that ever lived.
Judging by what was written in the Acknowledgements section, Ole gave you so much good material, that you really had to edit it down to 380 pages. I would have liked to see more stuff on the Four Horseman days, as the NWA
was really hot then. I know Ole was only wrestling at that time (and not booking), but I'd like to know what he thought of that time. He talked about Flair during the book, but there was hardly any mention of Arn Anderson or
JJ Dillion, and no mention of Tully Blanchard. That was the only real disappointment I had as far was what wasn’t included in the book.
I'm assuming that he specifically asked you keep his family stuff mostly out of the book, but I'd like to know a bit more about his family (wife, kids) and what they thought of him traveling all the time. I didn't sense what was going on with that. I mean, in Jerry Lawler's book, he came out and said he was a horrible husband/father and how he cheated all the time. Other guys revealed how they drank too much. As I said, maybe he didn't want any of that stuff included (which is understandable), but I think the reader would like to read about it.
There are some points made where I think many people in and out of wrestling would disagree with Ole, but that is okay. As he said in the book, it is his book and his opinions. That's what makes the book so entertaining.
I received the book on Monday, and I can't put it down. Have been reading as much as time permits, about 2/3 through. The details of the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia touring loops were fascinating, and the story about punching the four fans in Stampede was hysterical! Definitely right up there with "Hooker" as the best wrestling book I've read. Blows both of Foley's books, as well as Heenan and Blassie's, away. Thanks for the incredibly fast service!
The best wrestling book about what goes on behind the scenes. Whether you agree or disagree, Ole's honesty on the various personalities and aspects of professional wrestling is refreshing. A book that you can't put down until you finish and one that you'll read over and over again.
Up and Coming Weekly
The book was very good. I have been traveling on business this week and read it on the plane and in my hotel room during the past few days. Too bad it is not about 200 pages longer because I still have to fly back home this afternoon. First of all, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed stories about the Ole's early years, when he was in college, and his early years in wrestling. I grew up in St. Cloud and played football at St. Cloud State University back in the late 70s, early 80s — sure, I was a tough guy, too — a 215-lb. linebacker, started for most of my 4 years on the team, bounced in a local bar, and never doubted I could handle the rowdies that came in on Friday or Saturday night. Some of the guys that used to come back for our alumni game played with Larry Heineimi, so the references to Heineimi and Buddy Wolf were fun to come across — as were all of the references to St. Cloud.
Ole Anderson was always one of my favorites, along with Mr. Wrestling II, Les Thornton, and Verne Gagne. I would guess this might have been because of the way Ole described them in the book, legitimate tough guys who wrestled tight.
I still live in Minnesota and hold a corporate-type job in the Minneapolis area. Once in a while, I run across one of the old AWA wrestlers in town here. That's always interesting. One thing for sure, the old days of wrestling were great. Today, as it says in the book, it's the sh—s!
Thanks for writing the book. I wish you and Ole the best of luck with sales.
Ole's description of how he built Tommy Rich into a star is interesting. Against the instincts of Jim Barnett, Ole describes recognizing that Rich didn't have the look to come across as dominant, so Ole built him up as having incredible heart and balls by having Rich's ass kicked repeatedly without surrendering.
Ole goes into detail about the money problems of GCW in 1983-84, but my impression is that he thinks the biggest problem in the promotion at that time was almost universal drug use — leading him to fire various strong characters for things like missing house shows. (And, of course, he describes his impressions of the tactics the WWF used at the time to expand into the territory of other promotions.)
While he bashes modern wrestlers generally for not knowing how to work believably, he distinguishes somewhat between the early Flair of the late 70's and early 80's, and the Flair of the mid 80's, with the latter coming in for especially harsh criticism for doing the same spots in the same sequence in front of the same audiences. (Lex Luger, on the other hand, is an occasional whipping boy.)
The person he bashes the most is himself — for being such an abrasive a—hole that even his closest wrestling acquaintances want to kill him at times.
From the book it's clear that for Ole, making wrestling look real and leaving doubt in people's minds about how real it is was very important. Allowing people to suspend disbelief. He much preferred to be punched in the nose hard than to have someone miss him with a blow that didn't look believable. Better to work stiff than to "expose the business" by working too loosely. He seems to think that Flair's predictable spots (face flop, turnbuckle flip, etc.) exposed the business as a work, even if they got a crowd response. Although fans may have enjoyed seeing what they wanted, they wouldn't get truly emotionally invested in angles because they'd know it was a work, and that meant less money in the long term.
Ole doesn't make this analogy, but maybe one would be with those movie stars who always want to look like movie stars in their roles, and those who really get into their characters in gritty ways. The former may give the people what they want, but you always know you're watching a movie star acting rather than totally suspending disbelief. A Julia Roberts movie is a Julia Roberts movie. Someone like Ed Norton, say, really disappears inside the character. Since wrestling depended largely on fans suspecting that maybe it was for real, Ole seems to think that Flair's approach (especially once he started wrestling in front of the same audiences repeatedly as champion and wasn't just touring between promotions) was the kind of thing that hurt the business. He actually criticizes Harley Race for similar reasons.
His ideal champions seem to be guys like Jack Brisco and Dory Funk, whose matches were different and varied, and who could make you think it was all for real.
It's a fascinating and fun book. He comes across a lot like the Ole Anderson wrestling character actually — very tough and willing to pick a fight.
Posted on the Kayfabe Memories Message Board
I wanted to let you know that I thought the book was one of the best wrestling books I've read. Without a doubt, the top two books are Ole's book and Lou Thesz's book. I was in amateur wrestling from when I was young, all the way through high school, and eventually trained for professional wrestling. I really only work(ed) independent shows throughout West Virginia. Growing up, I was always an original 4 Horsemen mark. Eventually, when I got into pro wrestling, I became booker for a promotion in southern WV. The fans there are still very into the better days of wrestling (70's early 80's). Doing something kind of proving I'm a mark for the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, I put together two guys who had a style very similar to Ole's, and cleverly named them the West Virginia Wrecking Crew. They are one of the hotter tag teams in WV to this day.
Anyway, back to the point. I really miss the days of territories. Had Ole's book came out sooner, I would have done things much differently than I did. I don't care what some people may think of him or his attitude. I think he is one of the greater minds in the business of pro wrestling. I don't know if you ever get many requests to send Ole a message, but seriously, if you can relay just one message to him, tell him I am a huge fan of his craft and appreciate the great memories he gave me in the past, and appreciate it that he released a book to let me relive how great I had it as a fan, growing up watching Georgia Championship Wrestling.
As a long-time wrestling fan (I grew up watching Bruiser's WWA and Gagne's AWA in Chicago, where Rock Rogowski himself got started), and as someone who has announced for two nationally-seen pro wrestling organizations, I truly enjoyed INSIDE OUT, which is a real insightful and entertaining look at wrestling, through the keen eyes of Ole Anderson, from the inside out. It's a storybook, a history book, and a respectable inside trade publication all rolled into one.
Ole admits from the start that he "might have a few dates wrong, or events out of order", which he does at times — for example, he talks about Ric Flair working in WCW "in 1992" twice, even though Slick Ric was in the WWF throughout that year — and I'm not even going to waste my time debating Ole's controversial remarks about who he thinks is a good worker or bad worker (which does, however, make tremendous bait for wrestling message boards, and there are plenty of sharks going after the bait!).
I saw the book from a broader perspective. Not only is it a must-read for diehard wrestling fans, wrestling historians, and those who work/have worked in the wrestling industry in any capacity, but I also think its perspectives give knowledge and inspiration for any type of performer in any entertainment field (for example, when Ole says "After trying a hundred different things, you have to be smart enough to select those things that do work, and you have to refine those things that do work until they're good enough, hopefully, to draw some money") and for anyone in the business world in general (with Ole's battles against seedy promoters and The Suits, and their, in my words, "playbooks").
I'll admit that I'm letting out my own behind-the-scenes frustrations here, but also, I'm backing up Ole's statements about how there are "writers who are supposed to come up with creative and entertaining ideas" for today's wrestling, and how there are coaches and rehearsals for wrestlers' TV interviews nowadays (when in his day, they were "good enough on the mike to talk on the fly, without being given a complicated script of nonsense"). For the first series of FMW Wrestling home videos I co-hosted/announced for — unbeknownst to me, when I was first hired and before my first taping, the original management hired three Hollywood scriptwriters to write joke-filled, nonsensical scripts that I was forced to read word-for-word off of. Thank God the latter series of FMW Wrestling videos allowed me and my new partner, Dan Lovranski, to do more WRESTLING-oriented commentary, sans those Hollywood writers the first regime hired.
When I did play-by-play for the syndicated Urban Wrestling Alliance TV series (shown in 20 major markets around the country), there were not only writers writing interviews and skits for the wrestlers (these writers wrote for TV sitcoms like COUSIN SKEETER and THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW), but they also actually had a TV/film character actor come in regularly as an acting coach, to coach the wrestlers for their skits and interviews.
These TV writers and the acting coach for the UWA were nice people and meant well (they were just doing the jobs they were hired for, and thank goodness, I was allowed to talk on the fly, about wrestling, for that show), but at times, I do think they strayed away too much from what Ole would call the "foundation." Just like good comedy improvisation, as much as it may evolve, will always be based on the foundation/teachings of Viola Spolin, good wrestling always needs that solid building foundation, built on the nuts & bolts/essentials that make WRESTLING work. In my opinion, the jokes written by TV writers for today's wrestling are not a solid building foundation, but window dressing at best.
Overall, INSIDE OUT is a sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, and always intriguing and entertaining journey through the 1960s-1990s wrestling landscape. Once you're lured inside, into the doors of INSIDE OUT, you'll want to stay inside and never want to step out!
Former host & play-by-play announcer for FMW and Urban Wrestling Alliance,
and current announcer for KDAR-FM, Oxnard, CA
Ole's book is one of the finest that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is a book that, once you start to read it, you simply don't want to stop until you have finished.
I am a 48-year-old male who never missed a Saturday night wrestling event at the old Starland Arena in Roanoke, Virginia. It was as awesome place to see the matches. I'm sure I have seen Gene and Ole wrestle at least a hundred times there. Their matches with Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson, as well as the Masked Infernos, were totally awesome. I have a few of them that I taped on Super 8 camera. My only regret would be that I never had a chance to meet Ole in person. That's something that I'll always regret.
I will never forget one Saturday night, when one of the idiots in attendance did something to Ole as he was leaving the ring. I'm not sure what he did as I was not close enough to see what had taken place—BUT ... I did see the packed arena move very quickly as Ole chased the guy and beat the crap out of him. It was truly a sight to see. In my mind, Ole Anderson was as intimidating a person that I have ever seen. You have to respect his direct in your face, straight-forward attitude. I can't tell you how much I miss seeing those two guys in the ring wrestling. They were always as professional as professional could possibly be. The book is something that I will always treasure.
Okay, so I've finished the book.
It's a little different from other wrestling books, in that Ole doesn't talk a lot about this match or that match. He talks more about the business itself.
Ole puts himself over early and often. It's his book. I think Ole truly sees himself as the ultimate babyface in his story, even though he acknowledges being an *******. If I start writing nonfiction, I'll probably put myself over as the greatest street lawyer since Hammarabi's Code.
Still, I could not put the book down. Ole talks a lot of sense about the wrestling business &mdash what makes it work, and what makes it stink. There are tons of stories he tells, and many of them are probably true. Surprisingly, he doesn't even mention some of the things I was hoping to read about, including the infamous turn on Dusty in Atlanta.
I learned quite a few things I didn't know, including that at one point, Ole was booking BOTH Georgia and the Carolinas. Also learned that Ole was tagging with Watts early in his career.
Ole doesn't pull many punches with his opinions of people in the business, but for the most part, he avoids the gossip. He does talk about drug use, but avoids naming names other than a couple.
He doesn't have many good things to say about very many people, but I have no doubt that he's calling things as he saw them. Ole articulates his frustrations with the management side of the business, and says many of the things that have been posted on the message boards. He also gives his opinion on the Internet wrestling sites and lawyers, neither of which are flattering.
As I posted above, I see this book as a MUST READ for any serious wrestling fan. There's so much information inside that this little mini-review can't do it justice. Read it for yourselves. You will not regret the purchase.
Ole Anderson's book, "Inside Out," is a must read for every wrestling fan and wrestler alike. Ole tells it like it is and his words are as hard hitting as he was in the ring. While he may ruffle some feathers, Ole makes you think much more deeply about how the wrestling business operates, then and now. Filled with his experiences, once you pick it up you won't be able to put it back down again.
I really enjoyed the book. I have purchased several books written by wrestlers and Inside Out is right at the top. Ole's perspective from being a wrestler, booker, and promoter is extremely interesting and unique. And overall I feel his observations are correct.
The short chapter on him having Meniere's disease is interesting. My mother has had this for years and there is no cure. Luckily she hasn't had a bad spell for about 3-4 years.
The book was well worth the money and I highly recommend it to anyone.
I have taken this one cover to cover three times. "Inside Out" is the best work of it's kind that I have found.
It would be interesting to know who the old guy was that Ole learned to respect at the YMCA in Duluth (page 35.) It would also be interesting to hear the story behind the picture of Johnny Valentine on page 153. Looks like a classic moment.
Regarding the shoot that Valentine had with Joe Pazandak. I happened to meet Greg Valentine this fall at a local restaurant, he was in town (Nashua, NH) for an independent show and autograph session. He told the story as Ole did. As Ole says, though, Lou Thesz' version is more entertaining!
Thanks to you and Ole for "Inside Out".
Thanks for an incredible book. I've read a lot of wrestling books (as long as I don't see WWE/F involvement). Yours is by far the best. Thanks to you both.
Had a chance to read the book from cover to cover in less than a week. I really understood that the no nonsense approach, much like business today, is the only way to survive. Being a long time fan of Bay Area Wrestling, I really wished someone would have rescued it before it's downfall in the late 70's.
I've read all the wrestling books that I can get my hands on — Mick Foley, Freddie Blassie, The Rock, Stu Hart, etc — and this is the first one that really gave me a glimpse of the true business that was run behind the scenes in a wrestling promotion. Did Ole toot his horn? Of course, but as my dad always said, "If you don't toot your own horn, someone is liable to fill it with sh–!"
I was hoping for more text on the Horsemen. The first time I ever felt so engaged in a match was watching a match on TV at my home. That was when the match ended up being a 5-on-1 in a steel cage and a babyface-turned Lars Anderson tried to get in the ring to help a fallen Dusty Rhodes. The fans looked like they were going to riot. I seem to remember that the cage was
ripped apart the fans. I never hated the Andersons and Assassins so much! Ole did his job very well!!!!
Finally, I hope Ole's book is the first of many to provide a glimpse behind the scenes. I look forward to a Pat Patterson book from his San Francisco days, or a Mike Graham book from the Championship Wrestling from Florida days, or even a Dusty Rhodes book. The problem today is that most books are subsidized by the wrestling machine (WWE) and the stories are completely slanted. I've never been in the Carolinas, or Georgia, or Florida, but even fifteen years removed, I can sure appreciate tactical wrestling with captivating wrestling story lines.
I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the book. I haven't paid much attention to wrestling in years but as soon as I heard that Ole wrote a book, I knew I had to get it. I was a smart fan back in the days when everything in wrestling went crazy, and I always saw the Ole-Vince battle as the ultimate showdown of the babyface vs. heel. Of course, we know who won, but sometimes it works that way in real life. I would like Ole to know this, though — I have always considered him a real life hero. A rare example of someone who stands up for what they truly believe in, and an example of what I try to be in my own life. I'm proud to own the book and now that I'm paying attention, I'll hope to hear of a personal appearance by Ole in the area sometime in the future so I might actually get to meet him. It would be an honor.
I read Arn Anderson's book and enjoyed it for what it was, so, when I read that Ole Anderson had just written his autobiography with Scott Teal, I wasted no time in sending for it.
I wasn't disappointed. And the flack that followed made it even better. Because of his comments, Ole has been called a bitter has-been. Hey! If you're that thin-skinned, then don't read the book. Yes, he takes pot shots at Lex Luger (and who shouldn't, or doesn't), and Ric Flair (to name a few), but he also takes jabs at himself. He's not afraid to laugh at himself or write about the mistakes he made. He doesn't whitewash the fact that he let his mouth get him into trouble more than once. When a recent interviewer asked Ole about his negative remarks and comments about the wrestling business and certain wrestlers, Ole asked if the public would rather he tell the truth, or blow smoke up their behinds.
I've always been a fan of the original Four Horsemen. When it came to television interviews, Ole was and is my favorite. Dressed in black (pants, shirt, suspenders), and referring to everyone by their last name, he came across as someone you just didn't want to tangle with. He wasn't some blonde, pretty boy with dazzling
outfits and robes, who had a beautiful babe hanging on each arm. He looked, talked, and acted like a tough son-of-a-bit—. With each word I read, it was like listening to Ole talk. I could almost hear his voice. (Are there plans to put the book on audio tape with Ole reading it?)
Ole's book was a lot of fun to read and it was hard to put down. There were a couple of late nights when it had me laughing so hard that I woke my wife up. Thank you, Ole and Scott, for such an entertaining book. It was great fun. Or, as Dusty might say, it was shuper, just shuper.
I've been watching wrestling for around 25 years and one of my first memories was of Ole Anderson on WTBS. He brought a legitimacy to wrestling similar to guys such as Lou Thesz, Harley Race, Greg Valentine and even Taz during his ECW days: ie., you got the impression that any one of those guys could snap you in two if they wanted to. It's something that's missing from today's product, unfortunately. Ole was a guy who was a success as both a wrestler (arguably the greatest tag team wrestler of all time) and promoter, and I'm very interested to hear his opinions on the past and how the business has changed.
I just completed my 2nd reading of Ole's book. It's one of those books that will always draw you back into it ... the best kinda books.
This book tears the covers off the wrestling business as we "marks" know it. We all knew that everything was not on the level, and that many behind the scenes politics came into play, but never to the level described in the book. Did the book ruin/tarnish my memories of the sport I love? Hell, no. It made many things clearer years later and rasied a million other questions ...
I dont know enough about the business to determine what Ole believes is the truth, a variation of the truth, or complete fabrication. I do know now (and always believed) that Ole loves this business and knew how to make each and every one of us believe that he and Gene were real. To read about setting up a simple "hot tag" where the opponent is trying his best to escape, only to be controlled by Ole or Gene until the right moment for that "hot Tag" ... so simple, but so important, if the opponent believes/knows that he is doing all he can to escape, I certainly would believe it as a fan.
The one aspect of the book that bothered me, is that he comes as one who pointed a lot of fingers, but didnt heap out a lot of praise to other wrestlers. In many parts of the book, he did praise others, but not to the same level as he praised himself. True.. he didnt look up to many people to praise them, but I think as one looks back over any time frame/career, we find many people who helped us along in our careers.
Now, the love he had for Gene [Anderson] comes thru strong and clear.
My dad was a master sergeant in the 101st airborne from the begining of WW2 thru the end of Korea, honored by the service with the Silver star, 3 bronze stars, 3 purple hearts. Yes, I know what a man is ... especially a large, strong, opinionated one, who don't take nothing from nobody and will rip you apart verbally, and if you're dumb enough, physically ...
Thanks so much for the great book.
Wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I really enjoyed reading Ole's book.
Most of the criticisms of the book are targeted at historical accuracy, which is unfair. Ole is pretty clear that his recollections are fuzzy. The strength of the book is in the perspectives on talent and booking, which I would love to have seen more of.
A couple of things I really liked. One is the insight into talent, especially Flair. I think a lot of people, both inside and outside the business, forget that pro wrestling is a work. Like the suits at WCW, they think that the World champ is really the best and forget that it's the promoter who hangs the belt on him. I think a lot of people miss the point about the Hall of Fame, too. From my reading, the problem isn't that Ole and Gene were not voted in, but that there's a Hall of Fame in the first place. It's not like anyone actually won those titles. I don't see how anyone could disagree with Ole's take on Flair. From what I've heard among ring veterans, it's a commonly held view. Arguments about ranking and rating talent are nonsense, like arguing about who is stronger, Tarzan or Flash Gordon.
I also liked the story about booking Tommy Rich. It's the only thing I've ever read that provides insight into the principles of successful booking.
Thanks for your work on the project and please pass my compliments along to Ole. I really enjoyed it.
While Ole Anderson's entry into the wrestling bio market does cover a long history in the business and the fall of Georgia Championship Wrestling in detail, it does leave this reader questioning something.
Ole in many places says that he knew what Vince McMahon was up to and tried to warn the other promoters about McMahon's actions, and while that is great to hear the question begs to be asked — "If Ole had the respect his book claims he did, why didn't the other promoters listen to him?"
Outside of that detail, the book is very well written, and otherwise, a very pleasant and enjoyable read that I would recommend to most looking for a collection on the history of wrestling.
I have to congratulate you and Ole on a fantastic book. This is the best book on wrestling I have read — bar none, and I want to thank you for publishing it. You should be proud. Thanks to you and Ole for the great memories.
Mark A. Thomas
I finally finished reading "Inside Out". I did enjoy it, as I've read probably 95% of the books out there related to pro wrestling and try to find the good in each book rather than the negative.
I enjoyed and soaked up all of the info Ole gave about his times in GCW. That's where I was introduced to him, along with all of the other guys back around 1982, when we first got cable TV and happened to switch the channel one Saturday to see wrestling from Georgia. I was already a fan, so I took to this show like white on rice.
I like to learn about the history of the business and the territories, so I did like Ole's story of his amateur days and how he entered the business. Although I, as well as many others have, felt he enhanced stories, or portrayed himself as the good guy a majority of the time, I certainly respect his opinions, and can't disagree with him, as I wasn't there to see it for myself. I certainly do feel Ole misses the business the way it was. I wish it could be back the way it was with the territories, and getting fresh faces every few months for new angles/matchups.
As far as the writing style, it was difficult to read, as to me, it seemed as though you had been having a conversation with Ole, and just included everything that was talked about, but then that to me also gave the book a uniqueness (is uniqueness a word?) to it, not just one of the many "cookie cutter," ghost-written autobiographies. I didn't notice any spelling or punctuation errors, which usually jumps out at me.
Overall, I had the feeling Ole had "it" when it came to the business, but his personality, unfortunately, rubbed others the wrong way, which probably hurt him in the long run. He certainly has a deep down love and respect for the business, and it hurts him, as well as many other veterans, to see his great sport turn into the garbage it has turned into over the past 8-10 years, minus a few good promotions/matches.
If you speak or correspond with Ole, please let him know that I enjoyed the book overall, and I can always remember that when he came on TV, he had that aura of believability, and that he was dead serious when he stepped in front of the mic or into the ring. There were no comedy spots with Ole — just wrestling.
I just finished the book "Inside Out" and felt compelled to write and give you my two cents worth on what I thought about it. I have been a fan of wrestling since I was a small child, so naturally, I thought the book was extremely well done. It brought back quite a few memories from my childhood. I remember going to quite a few matches as a child because back then, the stars would travel to small towns to do shows (you'll never find the WWE here unless they got very lost on the way to a larger town). I got to meet many of the wrestlers and found them to be great guys, always willing to spend a minute or two with the fans, unlike many of today's "wrestlers" who have no talent whatsoever, but still think they are all superstars.
I want to congratulate both Ole Anderson and Scott Teal on a fantastic job on this book. Hopefully, it will open some eyes out there as to what a mess corporate America has really made of the wrestling industry. Hopefully the book will get someone motivated to bring back wrestling as I and many others remember it.
I just wanted to let you guys know that I really enjoyed Ole's book. His humor, along with the endless stories, you truly did not want to put this book down.
I grew up watching Ole and Gene, and those guys kept you on the edge of your seat. I had the honor in spending some time with Ole back in July of this year. Talking with him was awesome.
Love him or hate him, The Rock told you how he really felt. The man is truly a legend in my book.
I really enjoyed "Inside Out." I went to many of the Andersons' matches in Greenville, SC in the 70's. Ole's description of them as "worked shoots" is right on target. I dare anyone to watch one of their matches (or those of Valentine and McDaniel) without wondering if there was real heat.
I personally watched Ole being loaded into the ambulance behind Greenville Memorial Auditorium after being stabbed by the old guy. A few of my friends were sitting in rows nearby where the stabbing happened. We all wondered if it was part of the show, which is a tribute to the realism the Andersons brought to their matches.
Finished Ole's book last night and wanted to put my signature on a "must have" list for all who were in the business and working around the Carolinas and Georgia during that period.
If what he says is true about the wrestlers (?) /media talent of the 80's and 90's, I am very glad I got out and didn't see the fall of our generation of wrestlers. Our group that was trained by Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson was comprised of Sgt. Slaughter, Buddy Rose, myself (Butch Malone), and Chris Taylor. We went through the same torturous training that previous students had, and the only major difference was that I was already driving the ring around and was smart to the business. Needless to say that I loved the business, but when my son was born, I just
re-evaluated what the future would bring — long periods away from home and no making decent money to cover the looming expenses of child rearing. Plus, I wouldn't be there to see him grow! Now he has graduated from college as an Electrical Engineer (Cum Laude) and currently is working in the Air Force in research and development.
In Ole's book, it sounds like my estimation of his business acumen in the 70's has proven out and I believe he invested all he could for his eventual retirement. Good for you Ole!
Hey Ole, how long did you drive that brown Ford? You must have had it for at least 5 to 6 years. That is something Flair never figured out — he had a new Lincoln every year and a big house with a pool just down the block from Mulligans home in Charlotte They were always in some competition about who could spent more. It got so bad that Crockett had to put Ric on a $700 a week plan and bank the remaining money for him, or Ric would spend it all.
Bill Crouch, aka Butch Malone>
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