Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bryant and Ole Anderson



This a screen capture from Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1994 from a tape George South dug out of his huge collection of video tapes. It shows Bryant Anderson, Jim Ross, and Ole Anderson on the Smoky Mountain set. Bryant was making his SMW debut on this program.

We were excited to find this tape becasue I have very little material on Bryant, and have been looking for photos for awhile. It's nice to have this clip if for no other reason than that.

Bryant wrestled on the show, with Ole in his corner, and won by making his oponent submit while working over the arm, the same way Ole and Gene Anderson won matches for so many years in the 1979s and 1980s. He spoted those trademark Anderson sideburns and wore the raditional maroon and gold striped Anderson boots.

If you have any photographs of Bryant Anderson, please let us know at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway by sending an e-mail here.

- D. Bourne

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Brad Anderson on In Your Head Radio



Brad Anderson recently appeared on the In Your Head internet radio program. The archive is avialble for streaming or down load at http://www.inyourheadonline.com/.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Education, Murder, and Mayham in Burlington

Andersons Plan to Get Becker and Weaver
in Thursday Match
January 4, 1968, Elon College, Burlington, NC

A big grudge match and a six-man tag team bout highlights the best professional wrestling program ever presented in Alamance County Thursday night. The action will begin at the Elon College Gymnasium at 8:15 o’clock. Spectators are urged to come as early as possible to assure getting good seats. Huge crowds have attended all matches held in the county.

The main event Thursday has the Anderson Brothers, Gene and Lars, against the popular duo of Johnny Weaver and George Becker.

On TV programs last weekend, the Andersons told a huge TV audience that they would murder Weaver and Becker.

“We have college educations,” said Lars, “and we’re smarter than Weaver and Becker. They are not in our class. We’re going to show them up for what they are - just third-rate wrestlers who have been getting by on the easy competition for years.”

Frankly, the Andersons are about the dirtiest fighters around and will try to use their roughhouse tactics and dirty tricks to beat Becker and Weaver. The match will be best of three falls with an hour time limit.

The semifinal match rivals the main event for six well-known stars will be featured. The Masked Infernos and their cowardly manager, J. C. Dykes, will face Chief Little Eagle, Bobby Red Cloud and Nelson Royal in a six-man tag match. The Infernos have drawn much criticism for their extremely cruel tactics which have even included burning their opponents. The Infernos are from Europe, and Dykes usually stays on the outside of the ring and gives instructions to his boys with a whistle. But he’ll have to leave the whistle at home Thursday night and take his chances in the ring.

To open the action, very popular Roger Kirby faces newcomer Hiro Matsuda, a very tough Japanese grappler.

Advance tickets are on sale at Alamance Sporting Goods, Eckerd’s and Rose’s at Curn-Park Plaza, Fairchild Baseball Park, Lilien and Lee and Graham Soda Shop. To avoid lines at the box-office Thursday night, fans are urged to get tickets in advance, if possible.

Clipping courtesy of Carroll Hall at WrestlingMemories.com and treanscribed by Peggy Lathan.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Classic T-Shirt



On the first day of the 2007 NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte, Ole Anderson showed up for his autograph signing and the rest of the day's festivities wearing the t-shirt from the first Anderson Brothers Classic tag team tournament, held in December 2004 in Shelby NC.
Photo by Peggy Lathan

Monday, August 6, 2007

You Can't Say You Weren't Warned

I was going through a memorabilia collection I acquired a few years back, and stumbled across this classic clipping from the Greensboro News & Record from June 1984. It was from a section called " Hello Hotline" where readers wrote in with questions. In this excerpt, a wife had written wondering how her husband could become a wrestler.

Gene Anderson had basically retired from the ring at this point, and was working in the front office for Jim Crockett Promotions. On the side, he and Nelson Royal trained would-be wrestlers, with only a small percentage ever making it through the brutal try-outs. Charlotte wrestling lore is full of stories of guys who thought they were pretty tough and wanted to be a rassler facing reality when they got in Gene's ring.

The last line is the one that strikes me funny. Sure you want to be a wrestler. But you can't say you weren't warned. - D. Bourne

Thursday, August 2, 2007

In the Woods of North Georgia

by Dick Bourne
originally published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The mid-winter blues. We all get them at one time or another. Those grey December days, made tolerable by Christmas lights and family gatherings, suddenly turn into bitter, sometimes lonely, and always cold days of January. It was on one of those raw cloudy days, a Tuesday afternoon, I was miserable, business was bad, nothing was working out like I wanted it to. Then the phone rang.

“Highspots needs two cases of Ole’s book, and they want them autographed,” George South said. “Ole doesn’t want to ship them, so I’ve volunteered to go get them, and that way I can visit with him. I’m going to Toccoa tomorrow morning. Want to come with me?”

The real world suddenly seemed less important for the moment. This is not a question George needed to ask me twice.

Wednesday, in contrast to the day before, was one of those beautiful cold winter days; sunshine and blue skies. The temperature was right at freezing when I arrived at 7:45 AM to pick George South up at his house in Concord. His twins Abigail and Scarlett and youngest son Garrett were getting ready for school. The smell of bacon and eggs still lingered, and George’s wife Missy had started chili in the crock pot for supper later that night. Man, that house smelled good.

We headed out for a three-hour road trip to Toccoa, GA. Journey is the official music of Gateway road trips. They are George’s favorite band. That music takes him back to the early 1980s, during the time Gene Anderson managed US Champion Jimmy Snuka, when Steamboat and Youngblood ruled the world as tag champs. Like a lot of us, George lives in the past, so Journey just always seems right, no matter what the circumstances. That music had gotten us through two separate 22-hour round-trip adventures to the Headlock Ranch, and it was now serving us well on our way to see Ole Anderson.

Toccoa is a small north Georgia town at the intersection of US highways 17 and 123, several miles off Interstate 85, just south of the Georgia/South Carolina state line. Business-17 is the main drag through town, littered with the usual suspect steakhouses and fast food joints. The original plan was to meet Ole for lunch at Quincy’s restaurant downtown, where we were to meet him for lunch and pick up two cases of autographed books to take back to Highspots in Charlotte. But the plans changed when we called Ole mid-morning from the road to make sure we were still set to go.

“We’ll have lunch and then you guys follow me out to my house and you can pick up the books there,” Ole said.

We were in shock. A day earlier when George had called to line up the trip, he told Ole we would be glad to come to him and pick up the books so he wouldn’t even have to leave his house. “Hell no!” he said. “There has never been a wrestler at my house, and the first one sure isn’t going to be George South!” Needless to say, we thought this was a great change of plans. We couldn’t believe we were going to Ole’s house.

We got to Quincy’s Steakhouse around 11:30 AM and Ole got there not long afterward. He looked great, shook our hands, and seemed glad to see us. I had met Ole on a few occasions before, at a show three years earlier in Hartwell, Georgia where he was there signing autographs. David Chappell and I had been fortunate enough to have dinner with Ole and Paul Jones at the NWA Fanfest in Charlotte in 2005. George of course had known Ole for almost 25 years, first doing TV matches for him in the last days of Championship Wrestling from Georgia in 1985 on TBS, and then as a regular enhancement talent for Crockett Promotions throughout the rest of that decade. There is lots of video tape of Ole and Arn Anderson beating the crap out of George in buildings everywhere from Shelby to Roanoke.

When we had walked into the restaurant, it was like walking in with Norm at Cheers. All the waitresses said hello to Ole. We found out later that this was where Ole had lunch almost every day. A waitress came over and asked Ole to sign an autograph for a lady at another table who was too shy to ask for it herself. The girl that ran the cash register told us she had grown up watching Ole on TV with the Horsemen, watching wrestling out of Atlanta with her Dad every Saturday. Ole Anderson should run for Mayor of Toccoa. He’d be a sure bet.

At one point Ole asked George “So you are still doing this horseshit?” George responded “Shoot Ole, I’ll probably never quit wrestling.” George told Ole about the short little program he had with Brad Anderson, Gene's son, the previous summer, and how Brad carried his dad’s boots to the ring, how he wore his Dad’s ring jacket (that famous maroon jacket with “Gene” written in script on the front and “Anderson Brothers” on the back.) Ole stopped eating and looked at us. “You’re kidding,” he said. He paused for a moment, smiled, and said, “Well that’s great.” It was sort of a special moment; you rarely seem to get a smile out of Ole. He started talking about those boots, the maroon and gold stripped boots so closely associated with the Andersons over the all the years they wrestled. He told us Gene and Lars wore them first, and then he started wearing them when Gene brought him in to the Carolinas in 1968 and made him one of the Anderson Brothers. It was such a thrill for us just to hear him talking about simple stuff like those boots. Those boots are so iconic of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, one of the strongest lasting memories I have of watching wrestling growing up. The Andersons always wore those maroon and gold boots.

I’m surprised Ole could finish his lunch with George talking a mile a minute. No kid on Christmas morning could possibly be more excited than George South at 44 years old when he gets to spend time with one of his childhood heroes. Ole gently kicked me under the table. “Does he ever shut up?” he asked, with a quick wink. “My God, how in the hell did you ride down here with him?” We were just glad Ole seemed to be having a good time.

After lunch, we headed for Ole’s house. He still drives that same old Cadillac that he told us later had over 300,000 miles on it. George rode with Ole, and as I followed behind them, all I could see was the profile of George’s face, that mouth yacking a mile a minute. Poor Ole.

We drove along a two lane highway, and then off onto a winding road that snaked around Lake Hartwell, occasionally crossing bridges that spanned inlets and entrances to small lake coves, then through long sections of deep woods.

I imagined for a moment that Ole might actually be taking us out in the woods to shoot us.
Suddenly he pulled off of the two-lane road onto the shoulder. There was this long pause and I could see Ole talking to George. Then George got out of the car. My goodness, Ole has had enough and thrown George out, I just knew it! Thankfully, he had only asked George to get the mail out of his mailbox. To this day, that’s one of the things George liked most about the trip: he got Ole’s mail out of his mailbox.

We pulled off the main road into the drive way, a long winding gravel road that led to the back of his 14 acre property. You always hear people talk about what a cheap son of a gun Ole is. When we got to his house, we got to see first hand what being a cheap son of a gun all those years allowed him to enjoy now. What a beautiful home. He built the house himself, a huge 4000 sq. ft. two-story Cape Cod-style structure sitting on a hill some 200 feet high over looking Lake Hartwell. That house is immaculate. Ole even made us take our shoes off in the garage before we could come in. So there we were, getting a tour of Ole Anderson’s house - in our sock feet. This was pretty cool.

Ole showed us the rock work he did himself on the fireplace in his bedroom, the furniture he had re-finished, even a table that he had made. He was especially proud of the wood work he had done, the custom molding he had made around the ceiling. It was simply a beautiful house, inside and out.

There was a huge bookcase in the living room full of photographs of his family. One in particular caught my eye, his son Bryant graduating from college, walking the stage in cap and gown, receiving his diploma. What jumped out were Bryant’s huge trademark Anderson sideburns. Ole explained Bryant was getting started in pro wrestling at the time, and he had the complete Anderson look. He was the spitting image of his Dad.

Ole sat down at the kitchen table and stated signing the books we were picking up to take back to Charlotte. He bitched and griped about signing every one. “We aren’t through yet?” he asked when I opened another case. In between every fifth book or so, George kept shoving something in for Ole to sign. At one point Ole punched George right in the chest, never looked up, signed the photo, and then grabbed the next book. “Jesus Christ, how many kids do you have?”

When he got through signing books, it was my turn to pester him. What a mark I am for him. I had brought my replica NWA world tag team belts with us. These were custom made from Reggie Park’s original 1974 engraving artwork. I wanted to get a photo of him with them if he’d agree to do it. I was half-way expecting him to throw me out the bay window there in the kitchen. But his reaction actually surprised me. He held one of the belts and said “These look great,” but then he quickly pointed out they weren’t exactly like the originals. The original plates were in two pieces, the engraved pieces attached to a seperate flange piece. The plates on my replica belts were all in one piece (as they are typically made today.) Ole actually remembered how the original belts were made. Dave Millican, who made these beautiful belts, later told me it was really kind of neat that Ole made that observation because so many of the guys never paid attention to things like that. For someone who would occasionally insist that belts were simply props, Ole sure had a good memory of those belts that he hadn’t seen in 27 years.

Throughout the visit, we got Ole talking about our favorite old wrestling angles, including the “Supreme Sacrifice” that took place during Gene and Ole’s epic feud with arch-rivals Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel. Grumpy old man that he is (and by his own admission, by the way), Ole seems to dog everyone, but he clearly has respect for those two guys. He seemed most proud of their one-and-a-half-hour time limit draws that led to two hour time limit matches in the Mid-Atlantic territory in 1975.

Finally, after several hours, it was time to head home, and I was sure Ole was quite ready to get rid of us. We loaded the books and put our shoes back on out in the garage. Ole thanked us and told us to be careful driving home. It took several minutes to load everything up and get turned around in the big driveway.

As we pulled away, the sun had started to set over Lake Hartwell, and it was getting cold again. I looked back and saw Ole standing out at the edge of his garage. He was waving goodbye. There are a couple of people who know Ole really well that have told me that despite his gruff exterior and constant grumpy disposition, he is basically an old softie deep down. I obviously couldn’t tell you, but there was something special about seeing him at that moment. It is a memory I never want to forget.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gene Anderson Returns to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling


This Individual Suits the Family Just Fine
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine, 1978

Is there a new kid in town? There might even be three “new folks” on the block.

For starters, Gene Anderson has returned to the mat scene of the Mid-Atlantic area, and in a relatively short period of time, created some shocking waves throughout the southeast. Gene was best known as half of the Anderson Brothers tag team that held the World Tag Team Title for about three years. After the tandem lost the title and failed to regain it in the recent tournament, observers and fans figured the Andersons were through. Ole would go his separate way and launch individual campaigns and Gene would fade into obscurity. These plans suited the observers and fans just fine, but they forgot to ask a couple of people their opinions. Namely, Ole Anderson and, most importantly, Gene!

To put things very straightforward, Gene Anderson has put himself back at the top! He is seriously challenging such talents as Steamboat, Dick Murdoch, Paul Jones and others. Anderson is in top physical shape and has pulled out a whole arsenal of weapons from his vast knowledge and experience. The Anderson Brothers as a tag team were renown for their use of arm holds and leg techniques. Gene has carried on this methodology and whenever he enters the ring, he works relentlessly on the limbs of his opponents. He picks one point of the opposition, arm, leg or back, and works to weaken it until the opponent is at a disadvantage or not able to perform at full capacity. Then he moves to put his man away. These may not be the prettiest or the most spectacular tactics, but no one who has ever entered the ring with Anderson will deny their effectiveness.

Gene Anderson, although on an individual campaign in the Mid-Atlantic area, has brought some company with him. “The Family”, a term that was dreaded in the wrestling world several years ago, is once again an applicable term describing a formidable triad of power. Ric Flair, Ole and Gene Anderson are once again a unit dedicated to the protection of each other, both as a group and individually.

“I am expecting Ole to return to the area real soon,” Gene Anderson declares. “We should be working as a tag team and combine our forces with Flair to get rid of that punk Steamboat, and particularly, Mr. Blackjack Mulligan. We will make those two sorry they ever had enough guts to challenge anyone as powerful as “The Family.”

Blackjack Mulligan and Ricky Steamboat have their work cut out for them in dealing with the Family. The Andersons will do their best to weaken the opposition and Flair has publicly stated that he plans to put Mulligan in such bad shape that he can never wrestle again. All three members of the triad do not mind employing whatever tactics are necessary to accomplish their mission. Gene Anderson seems to be issuing a challenge and a warning to the Mid-Atlantic area……"Beware! For the Family is not to be dealt with lightly!"

And watch out for the new kid in town; Gene Anderson has plenty to rely on in his arsenal.


This article is believed to have been written by Woody Smith.
Thanks to Peggy Lathan for transcribing this article for us from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine.