Ole Anderson’s outspoken views on a potpourri of wrestling personalities:

Hulk Hogan – “He was a good-looking guy who had what should have been great qualifications as far as a wrestler, but didn’t have any idea how to wrestle, at least from a professional standpoint. He didn’t learn until later.”
Steve Austin – “A lot of potential, even when he was here at TBS, but people didn’t realize it. His potential was realized with Vince McMahon.”

Vince McMahon – “He did some good things, but overall I didn’t care for his philosophy of wrestling. I don’t like the way he does it.”

Mick Foley – “A hard-working kid. I didn’t approve of what he did. I didn’t like it, but he made money at it.”

Lou Thesz – A truly genuine great wrestler and a tough guy. Just a hell of an all-around type of guy. I was very proud to have been able to know him.”

Sting – “He also had a lot of potential. He made money, but didn’t realize the potential he had.”

Lex Luger – “He would have been better off if he just had been what he should have been: a skycap at the airport.”

Ole Anderson

Ole Anderson

Randy Savage – “When I first met Randy, he was 180 pounds. He’s blown up to 200 or whatever it happens to be, but he’s got the same ability he had when he was 180, and that is hardly any. But he’s made a lot of money.”

Bill Watts – “Another guy’s who a legitimate athlete. Tough kind of guy, smart for the business, which is very rare, because he knew the business not only from a standpoint in the ring, but how to manipulate the people in the ring.”

Dusty Rhodes – “We made a lot of money with Dusty. A great talent, not to be confused with a great worker, but he could draw money, and that’s what the game was all about.”

Eric Bischoff – “A guy who was able to put the Peter Principle to fact. He managed to rise to the level of his incompetence.”

Verne Gagne – “Just like Bill Watts and Lou Thesz in the sense that here was a guy who was a legitimate wrestler, a national champion, Olympic team. To me the guy who I would revere most if I’m talking about wrestlers that I respect or like. Verne would be at the top of the list.”

Ric Flair – “I thought a lot about Ric Flair when I first met him. The first few years I knew him I thought he was a breath of fresh air and I thought he had what his name implies – a lot of flair. But over the years it soured and I learned more about him. The more I learned, the less I liked him. To me he’s a caricature of himself. He belongs in the comic books.”

Arn Anderson – “Arn also was a good talent. He was very much like Gene in the sense that when he was in the ring, I would almost think that you’d have a hard time telling them apart. Just a nice guy.”

Gene Anderson – “A guy who knew the wrestling business. Very quiet, very dedicated. To me, he was very loyal.”

Lars Anderson – “Another guy that I really liked, but he was an odd one. He was a little goofy, and could pull a shady deal and not let you know until the deal was done, and then disavow any knowledge of it. Lars fancied himself as being a fairly tough guy, and he was. He was a decent amateur.”

Tully Blanchard – “A guy who in the beginning, when I first knew him, was good. Very good. But later, either when he found he wasn’t in demand or couldn’t get a job wrestling, he changed and became someone who for a long time I wouldn’t even talk to.”

Johnny Valentine – “A great worker and a tough guy. He had a lot of great ideas. He really loved pro wrestling, and he was very careful to do things that would perpetuate pro wrestling.”

Jim Cornette – “I can’t hold any grudge against him, although I fired him. What can you say about a guy whose only contribution has been a tennis racket?”

Tommy Rich – “He was a heck of a kid when I first met him. He could listen, which was important, he could fight and he showed that he had a lot of guts. I think the people saw that, and thought a lot of him for that.”

Roddy Piper – “Roddy potentially had so much that would have made him money. Well, he did make a lot of money, and he was good in a lot of people’s opinion. But he had a dark side that I couldn’t live with. So I fired him too.”

Dick Slater – “Great talent. Always had to argue with him. If you said yes, he’d say no. If you’d say up, he’d say down. But a great talent in the ring.”

Jack Brisco – “A great amateur, an NCAA champion, a great professional. Some of the greatest matches I ever saw were between Jack and Dory Funk Jr.”

Jerry Brisco – “Another guy I liked to begin with, but Jerry just became obsessed with the idea that he had a brother named Jack and couldn’t be Jack.”

Dory Funk Jr. – “Dory was a real low-key guy who came across like paint drying. But in the ring he changed into a superman with a great amount of talent.”

Terry Funk – “Terry had the talent. He had everything. But sometimes Terry could just get a little too nutty.”

Black Jack Mulligan – “He was another guy who had talent and some great matches, but he had moments where you would never be able to know where he was. He was like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Jimmy Valiant – “I liked him. He had a unique interview. He had a unique way in the ring. And he was probably the easiest guy that I ever had working for me. I liked him a lot.”

Tom “Z Man” Zenk – “Good kid. Minneapolis, Minn. How could I think bad about him? Nothing was ever done with him to realize the potential that I think he had.”

Mark Bagwell – “Gutless. Had to take second place behind Lex Luger. Just a waste of time. Made money, so for him that was wonderful, but nothing in my book.”

The Steiners – “Two tough kids who were good wrestlers. To me, Scott was a little goofy, Rick had the brains.”

Nikita Koloff – “Pretty decent. With somebody watching him closely, he could do some good things. But he also made a change in later life, and I have no idea what prompted it. To me it wasn’t one for the better.”

Tommy Young – “Nice kid. A referee who used to push Ric Flair on his ass. Didn’t like it.”

Ronnie West – “Great kid. Also a very good referee, hard-working, would do anything you asked him to do, and did it well.”

Rocky Johnson – “Like father, like son. Rocky was a nice guy who sure as hell didn’t like me, but that’s another story.”

Rip Hawk – “A guy who knew the business very, very well, did well in it and was just a good all-around straight-up guy.”

Lord Al Hays – “A hell of a guy. I never saw him wrestle, but we had a lot of fun together.”

- Mike Mooneyham