By Mike Mooneyham
Sept. 4, 2005
Ole Anderson’s been out of the wrestling business for some years now, but that doesn’t mean the contentious ex-mat great has quit generating headlines.
The always controversial Anderson got into what was described as an embarrassing squabble with David Flair, son of 16-time world champion Ric Flair, at a recent NWA legends convention and fanfest in Charlotte. Anderson, who was there signing copies of his book, took umbrage at the junior Flair when he discovered that he was selling old photos of the Four Horsemen, of which his father and Anderson were senior members, at a nearby table.
Anderson says he noticed the Horsemen photo when a fan approached him at his table. “I asked where he got it and if he minded me asking how much he paid for it. He told me he paid $40. That’s what they sold them for when we (the Horsemen) were in New Jersey at a signing a few years ago.” Photos at that convention, says Anderson, were signed by all the Horsemen (Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and manager J.J. Dillon).
“He was selling the Four Horsemen deal, which I’ve got 10,000 copies of but don’t sell them,” says Anderson. “At first I didn’t know who was selling them. I’ve only met him (David Flair) once.”
Anderson said that he half-jokingly asked Flair for royalties.“I asked him if he had ever given any thought to asking anybody for permission to sell these pictures. I couldn’t believe he hadn’t given any thought to the idea that none of the guys in the picture were him, and that he wouldn’t at least ask the guys for any permission, or that he might offer any of them a couple of bucks. He said he was sorry and that he’d quit selling them, but I told him to forget about it, that I just couldn’t believe he was doing it.”
A number of sources reported that Anderson struck Flair, but the 62-year-old veteran downplayed the incident.
“I took my left fist and rapped him in the jaw a little bit. I had a fist and I brought it up real easy, and I just clipped him on the end of the chin. It was nothing. It didn’t draw any blood and it didn’t knock him out. Not even a slap on the back would have been harder.”
Anderson, who called Flair “a nice kid” despite a lingering dispute with Flair’s legendary father, says he walked away at that point and quit selling his books, although it had nothing to do with Flair. “I was there only to see friends like Ox Baker and Paul Jones and a few guys I wanted to see.”
Anderson says he only sells copies of his book at similar gatherings. “Everybody in the world is selling pictures down there, no matter who they are, and they have little or no regard for whose pictures they’re selling. And the only guy who was worried about selling pictures was me, because I’ve got pictures here and I could sell them too, but I don’t.”
One veteran wrestler said he wasn’t surprised to see Anderson making negative headlines.
“Ole is a bully. It just makes him look even worse than he already looks in the industry. There’s no excuse intimidating a 26-year-old kid who’s really impressionable and who even respected Ole. He’s got major problems.”
– John Heidenreich still hasn’t talked to his father since his hometown in Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina last week. According to the WWE Web site, Heidenreich also has been furiously trying to re-connect with his wife and children, who he last talked to a day before the devastating storm hit. They safely left New Orleans for Hammond, La., to stay with friends.
Heidenreich says he plans to return to the area Wednesday “come hell or high water.”
“I believe the Baton Rouge airport is open. I’m flying to whatever airport will land me, taking whatever rental car will drive me and I’m going to buy a gun for protection. If there’s no law down there, I’m not going to have some moron running around shoot me. I have a father, wife and kids to track down.”
Heidenreich reportedly was able to track down his father’s wife, who was staying with family friends well outside of New Orleans, although her husband decided to stay behind.
“Apparently, it wasn’t too bad in terms of initial damage there,” Heidenreich told the WWE Web site Friday. “I also talked to an ex-girlfriend who told me my area in Meterie (Louisiana) wasn’t hit too bad. Still, now that the flooding has started, there’s no telling.”
– Chris Jericho’s recent matches with John Cena will be his last with WWE for the immediate future. Jericho had been granted some time after signing a short-term contract extension in order to fulfill his Summer Slam date with Cena.
Rumors had been swirling about a possible signing with TNA where the Canadian-born grappler would be a centerpiece attraction. Jericho, however, says he plans to spend more time touring with his band and pursuing some possible acting roles.