MACW #20 Page #2
4th, 1969: Rip Hawk, Swede Hanson, & Rock Hunter won the
last two falls to defeat The 3 Andersons (Gene, Ole, & Lars) best 2
out of 3 falls.
Then, in 1970, Lars left the Charlotte-based promotion, and it was now left to Gene and Ole to carry on the Anderson tradition. And carry on they did! This duo captured the prestigious Mid-Atlantic Tag Team championship five times from 1970 to 1975, and beginning in 1975, they won the JCP version of the NWA World Tag Team title an incredible EIGHT times during the next six years. They were THE TEAM by which all others became judged. Their style was innovative, team-oriented, and extremely brutal. They perfected the art of concentrating on one particular body part of one of their opponents. This was usually an arm or a leg, but no appendage was safe from the onslaught of the Anderson Brothers. They were so devoted to winning at all costs that Ole would occasionally grab an opponent and ram his head into Gene’s (who was on the ring apron), rendering both men unconscious! This “sacrifice” became legendary in the Mid-Atlantic area for many years!
One of the biggest surprises came about in 1976 and
continued throughout 1977. Usually,
the Andersons would be matched up against baby face teams.
But, as seen in 1969, several heel-versus-heel matches could draw
heat and considerable interest from the fans.
Not only had the Andersons battled the IWA Tag Team champions THE
MONGOLS (JCP referred to them as the “International Tag Team
Champions”) in February, the newly-formed team of Ric Flair and Greg
Valentine would step forward to challenge them for the top spot in the
On Christmas night, 1976, Flair and Valentine not
only won the coveted tag team belts, but Ole had to be carried out of
the ring that night on a stretcher!
This feud continued into 1977, and in May, a special steel cage
match was booked to bring this war to a bloody end.
A special referee was assigned to this match…Chief Wahoo
McDaniel! Gene and Ole
emerged from this battle with the belts, but not total satisfaction.
Several more Andersons –vs- Flair/Valentine bouts were held in
the area in the summer of 1977. I
attended one of these clashes at the Carolina Coliseum in August.
It was the first time I had seen a heel-on-heel matchup.
The crowd was split between the two teams.
Ole and Gene drew awesome heat for this match, but Flair and
Valentine matched them move for move that Sunday afternoon.
They bout went to a wild double disqualification as all four men
couldn’t control their tempers and brawled all over the Coliseum floor
and back to the dressing room!
The Andersons would continue to dominate the tag team scene until late 1981. Then, Gene was “injured” and the NWA World Tag Team belts were stripped from them. But, during their incredible 11-year run, the Andersons were truly THE TEAM in pro wrestling!
1976 - The year in review
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