|Birth name||Alan Robert Rogowski|
|Born||September 22, 1942|
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
|Residence||Toccoa, Georgia, U.S.|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Ole Anderson|
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||256 lb (116 kg)|
|Trained by||Verne Gagne|
Alan Robert Rogowski (born September 22, 1942), better known by his ring name of Ole Anderson, is an American retired professional wrestler, referee and promoter. Part of the Anderson family, a fictional family, Anderson was a founding member of the influential stable The Four Horsemen.
Professional wrestling career
American Wrestling Association
Anderson started wrestling in 1967 in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) as Rock Rogowski.
National Wrestling Alliance
He went on to work for National Wrestling Alliance-sanctioned promotions such as Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP, out of Charlotte, North Carolina) and Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW), where he adopted the ring name Ole Anderson (a play-on-words referring to the toxic shrub oleander) and became a member of the legendary tag team called the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with his kayfabe brother Gene Anderson after Lars Anderson left the team in the late 1960s. From the mid 1970s through the early 1980s, The Minnesota Wrecking Crew became synonymous with tag team wrestling in the Georgia and Mid-Atlantic territories by capturing the NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship and the Mid-Atlantic territorial version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship 7 times each. The Andersons feuded with such stars as Mr. Wrestling and Mr. Wrestling II, Wahoo McDaniel, Jack Brisco, Jerry Brisco, Dusty Rhodes, Tommy Rich, Johnny Weaver, Dino Bravo, Paul Jones, Ric Flair, Greg Valentine, Ricky Steamboat, Rufus R. Jones, The Mongols, and Thunderbolt Patterson throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Behind the scenes, Anderson was also the primary booker for GCW and also had a stint booking JCP in 1981-82. For a time he even booked both companies simultaneously, often combining both rosters for supercards which were noted for offering some of the best action in the business at that time. He later left JCP to book and wrestle for GCW full-time. When Jack and Jerry Brisco sold their majority interest in the GCW promotion to Vince McMahon, Anderson resisted the change, and joined forces with longtime NWA-sanctioned promoters Fred Ward and Ralph Freed to start a new company called Championship Wrestling from Georgia.
Teaming with Arn Anderson
In April 1985, Jim Crockett Promotions and Championship Wrestling from Georgia essentially merged. Anderson was teaming with Thunderbolt Patterson in GCW just as Marty Lunde was debuting in JCP as Arn Anderson. It seemed like a natural fit to put the two Andersons together, especially considering their similar facial appearance. Anderson soon turned on Thunderbolt and teamed with Arn as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.
The Four Horsemen
In 1986, Anderson became part of the original Four Horsemen, a heel stable, with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and manager James J. Dillon. During his time in the Horsemen, Anderson feuded with Magnum T.A., Dusty Rhodes, The Rock 'N Roll Express and The Road Warriors. Anderson was later kicked out of the group in favor of Lex Luger in early 1987. Anderson retired in 1987, when his son, Bryant, was starting his own amateur wrestling career. Bryant later joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) wrestling under the ring name of Bryant Anderson. Anderson reappeared in 1988 when he rescued Lex Luger from a beating by their former Horsemen brethren.
World Championship Wrestling
Anderson returned to wrestling with WCW in 1989 to reform the Four Horsemen with Flair, Arn and Sting. They quickly kicked Sting out of the group, and Anderson retired again to manage the Horsemen, who by then also included Barry Windham and Sid Vicious. By 1990, Anderson had been chosen to head the booking committee for WCW, which was at that time beginning to phase out the use of the NWA name on its television programming. Appearing in the credits for WCW pay-per-views under his real name, Anderson was responsible for some of the more infamous creative ideas tried by WCW. Among his creations were The Black Scorpion, which was intended to be a nemesis from Sting's past. After several miscues, the Scorpion's identity was eventually revealed as Ric Flair, in a ploy to confuse Sting and force him to lose the WCW World Heavyweight Championship back to Flair. For this, Anderson was dismissed as head booker by Herd, who despised Flair. Around 1991, Anderson became a referee. After Bill Watts was ousted, Anderson took control of WCW.
When Eric Bischoff took over control of WCW in 1994, both Anderson and his son became a casualty of Bischoff's "house cleaning" when Bischoff fired Bryant while he was training at the WCW Power Plant. This prompted Anderson to call Smoky Mountain Wrestling promoter and head booker Jim Cornette to try to get his son a job. Anderson's decision to deal with Cornette, someone Bischoff was on bad terms with, on WCW property, was the factor that led to his firing. Bischoff fired Anderson over the phone, even though he spoke to Anderson face-to-face the day before. The chain of events was covered in a shoot interview by Cornette. In his book, Controversy Creates Ca$h, Bischoff noted that Blackjack Mulligan once overheard Anderson trash-talking Bischoff to other WCW staff. Mulligan, who was loyal to Bischoff for giving him a job when he needed the money, promptly thumped Anderson.
Since that time, he has stayed away from the sport, but wrote a book on it titled Inside Out. He has also hinted at having animosity with former partner and friend Ric Flair after criticizing him for wrestling the same kind of match for years. In his WWE biography, Flair recalled that upon returning to WCW from the WWF in 1993, Ole - who was WCW's head booker at the time - asked what good he was to WCW after losing a loser-leaves-town match with Mr. Perfect on national TV. Flair took this as a personal attack and it led to his ending their friendship. In July 2007, Gerweck.net reported that Anderson has been suffering from multiple sclerosis and had gotten worse with decreased mobility and memory loss. Anderson has also been vocal about his personal issues with Vince McMahon, Dusty Rhodes, Michael Hayes, Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff, Tully Blanchard, Jim Herd, Roddy Piper, Bruiser Brody and Lex Luger.
On February 27, 2011, it was announced that Anderson had been nursing broken ribs due to a fall he suffered from earlier that day, as well as a broken arm.
His book, Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Professional Wrestling, was released on November 28, 2003.
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA Columbus Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (17 times) – with Gene Anderson (7), Ivan Koloff (5), Lars Anderson (2), Rene Goulet (1), Ernie Ladd (1), and Jerry Brisco (1)
- NWA Georgia Television Championship (2 times)
- NWA Macon Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Macon Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Gene Anderson
- NWA National Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Thunderbolt Patterson (1)
- NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship (Georgia version) (1 time) – with Gene Anderson
- NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Gene Anderson
- NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Gene Anderson
- NWA National Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Arn Anderson
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (8 times) – with Gene Anderson (7), and Stan Hansen (1)
- WCW Hall of Fame (Class of 1994)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Southeastern Championship Wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Tag Team of the Year (1982) with Stan Hansen
- "Ole Anderson profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "Top 20: #6 The Minnesota Wrecking Crew". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 42–46. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6.
- Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 3:Jim Crockett and the NWA World Title 1983-1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 149480347X.
- Cawthon, Graham (2014). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 4: World Championship Wrestling 1989-1994. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1499656343.
- RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-584-7.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Ole lets loose in new book - SLAM! Sports
- Wrestling Observer
- "Ole Anderson Suffers Nasty Injury". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-09.
- AWA Midwest Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- AWA Midwest Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Florida Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Florida Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Columbus Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Georgia Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Georgia Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Macon Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Macon Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA National Tag Team Title history Archived 2007-12-18 at the Wayback Machine At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Southeastern Tag Team Title (Georgia) history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-Atlantic/WCW) history At wrestling-titles.com
- WCW Hall of Fame history At wrestling-titles.com
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com