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Alan Robert Rogowski (September 22, 1942), better known by his ring name of Ole Anderson, is a retired professional wrestler and a promoter. He held numerous NWA World Tag Team Championships with Gene Anderson, who was portrayed as his brother.
American Wrestling Association
Anderson started wrestling in 1967 in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) as Rock Rogowski, where he held the AWA Midwest Heavyweight and the AWA Midwest Tag Team Titles.
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, and became a member of the legendary tag team called the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with his "brother" Gene Anderson after Lars Anderson left the team in the late 1960s. The team of Ole and Gene became synonymous with tag team wrestling in JCP and GCW for many years running.
The Andersons feuded with such stars as Mr. Wrestling and Mr. Wrestling II, Wahoo McDaniel, Jack Brisco, Jerry Brisco, 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 super cards 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 as a part owner along with Gene Anderson.
When part owners Jim Barnett, Jack and Jerry Brisco sold that promotion to Vince McMahon in a middle of the night power play, Anderson resisted the change, and joined forces with longtime NWA-sanctioned promoters and fellow part owners Fred Ward and Ralph Freed to start a new company called Championship Wrestling from Georgia which was moderately successful. A lawsuit against McMahon led to the buying of Ole's, Fred's, Gene's and Ralph's shares in GCW by McMahon. During this time period Ole also began booking for Crockett's Carolina's based promotion again.
Teaming with Arn Anderson
In April 1985, Jim Crockett Promotions bought out McMahon's Championship Wrestling from Georgia to obtain the 2 hour time slot forcing the closure of Ole's GCW as both were NWA based promotions. Besides booking GCW and Crockett Promotions Ole had also been 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 as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. However at the time Ole was wrestling as a babyface with Thunderbolt Patterson as the promotions National Tag Team Champions. So a storyline was developed with Ole coming out to Gordon Solie's announcing desk to watch Arn's matches. Slowly Ole sold that Arn's Anderson heel heritage was making Ole rethink his being a babyface who had to "carry" the rest of the promotions babyfaces. This then brought out Tbolt to complain that Ole as a babyface shouldn't be praising Arn's heel traits with Tbolt further complaining the Tbolt had been repeatedly warned that Ole wasn't to be trusted.
The distrust between Tbolt and Ole came to a head during a match between Arn and Manny Fernandez who was wrestling against Arn after Arn had broke a prelim wrestlers arm during a match. During the match Manny was dumped at Ole's feet as Ole was ringside coaching Arn against Manny. As Ole went to toss Manny back into the ring Manny attacked Ole drawing Arn out of the ring to assist Ole. During the fracas Tbolt came out to persuade Ole to stop the attack. Arn attacked Tbilt from behind and threw Tbolt into the ring and continued his attack. When Tbolt started fighting back Ole joined Arn in stomping Tbolt causing Manny to attempt rescuing Tbolt. Several wreslers entered the ring causing Ole and Arn to retreat. This caused a tag match between Ole and Arn vs Tbolt and Fernandez for the National Tag Team Championship belts. Ole and Arn won the match and they became the National Champs.
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 because Ole was more interested in spending time with his son who Ole was training for school boy wrestling then in continuing to travel all around the country supporting the 4 Horsemen.
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 (PPVs) 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. 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 1993, both Anderson and his son became a casualty of his "house cleaning" when Bischoff fired Brian while he was training at the WCW Power Plant. This prompted Anderson to call Smoky Mountain Wrestling head Jim Cornette to try to get his son a job. Anderson's judgment to deal with Cornette, someone Bischoff was on bad terms with, on WCW property, was the factor that led to his firing. Infamously, 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 business, but wrote a book on it titled Inside Out. He has also hinted at having heat with former partner and friend Ric Flair by criticizing that Flair has wrestled the same match for years. In July 2007, Gerweck.net reported that Anderson has been suffering from multiple sclerosis and had gotten worse with decreased mobility and memory loss.
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
Championships and accomplishments
(The team of Ole and Thunderbolt were Tag champs and wrestling as baby faces, Marty Lunde came into GCW as Arn Anderson Ole's nephew/cousin. Ole was so impressed by Arn's carrying on the Wrecking Crews hard as nails history that it caused a split between him and Thunderbolt. After a TV match where Ole helped Arn stomp Manny Fernandez to mush Thunderbolt confronted Ole. Arn then jumped T-Bolt and started fighting with T-Bolt, dragged him into the ring and Arn & Ole stomped on T-Bolt until the Ragin Bull rescued him. A tag match between Ole & Arn and Thunderbolt - Manny (Ragin Bull) Fernandez determined who were the tag champs) Video of the turning of Ole against T-bolt