Those who work in wrestling are mostly decent people. They reside on the island of misfit toys, and a lot of baggage goes with that. They often wind up in wrestling because they can’t cut the mustard in a more legitimate athletic endeavor, and a lot of baggage goes with that, too.
But mostly, they’re OK. Nuts, but OK.
Ole Anderson (pictured at right) was an exception. He was/is a bully and a jerk. His post-career comments about Ric Flair proved that.
Anderson rode Flair’s coattails in the Four Horsemen, and it took him to the pinnacle of an admittedly very good career. For Anderson to jealously denigrate Flair’s legacy years later was ungrateful and inaccurate. Anderson was good. Flair, he wasn’t.
So it pleases me to look back at the time I tortured Ole Anderson.
It was the early ‘90s, and I was writing for the very cosmopolitan Pro Wrestling Torch. Anderson was booking WCW and hated the dirt sheets, just HATED THEM. Anderson also hosted a day on WCW’s fledgling 900# and, in one of his segments, offered $10,000 to any dirt sheet writer who had the guts to step in the ring with him.
So I accepted.
I was relatively young, slightly over 30, and I’ve never been a shrinking violet. That said, I never intended to fight Ole Anderson. I knew TBS would never let him. I just wanted to humiliate the old gasbag, generate material for my columns and 900#, and maybe…just maybe…get a payoff from TBS because, after all, I had fulfilled the terms of Anderson’s challenge by accepting.
I accepted Ole’s challenge through Mike Weber, who worked in WCW’s marketing department. I got to know Weber quite well when I wound up working for WCW. I faxed Weber, then got him on the phone. Mike was confused, and also laughing, because he realized Ole had set himself up to take a huge bite out of a big stink sandwich.
“Well, Ole didn’t really mean that as a serious offer,” Weber said.
“Sure sounds like it to me,” I replied. “My lawyer thinks so, too. My lawyer sees this as a binding verbal contract.” (Meanwhile, I never even talked to a lawyer. If I could have afforded to do that, I wouldn’t have been trying to scam TBS out of a lousy 10K.)
“Um, well…[nervous laugh]…we’re going to have to get back to you on this. I’ll talk to Ole,” Weber said.
NOTE: Click below for Page 2 of Mark Madden’s column.
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