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 - David Stone
(with thanks to Larry Stoy)

Most wrestling career stories involve a turning point in which the main character undergoes a drastic change by which he or she finally comes of age and achieves some sort of credibility as a survivor. That is not quite the case in the Ole Anderson story -- he was always a survivor. Ole Anderson's nick name is "The Rock" not because of any resemblance to Rocky Maivia, but because he had always been the very embodiment of what a professional wrestling "tough guy" was supposed to be. From his huge neck down to his oversized boots, Ole Anderson always had an indescribable look about him. If there was going to be a fight, even a casual observer would predict Ole as being the guy most likely to dish out the most punishment, as well as the guy most suited to absorb it from anyone else. Some things (and people) never change. If one were to apply that cliche various wrestlers, Ole would top the list.

His travels seem to have been limited for the most part to the eastern United States. He was quite successful in three of the NWA's most exciting playing grounds: Florida, Georgia, and the Mid-Atlantic. His early career can never be separated from his partnership with his "brother" Gene Anderson, as they formed the original Minnesota Wrecking Crew. It should be mentioned that Ole, born Al Rogowski, was not a "real" Anderson. His resemblance to Gene, though, both in physique and wrestling style, was more than enough to solidify the idea that these guys were partners for the long haul.  

Ole first hit the wrestling circuit as far back as 1967, around the Omaha area.  Here he was known as Alan "The Rock" Rogowski.  In October of '67, Ole won the Midwest Heavyweight Title from Bob Orton. In 1968, Ole headed to the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic territory where he stayed through 1970.  

In April of 1970, Ole & Gene captured the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title, the very first (to this researcher's knowledge) of a VERY long list of championships won by Ole with several partners. From the start, Ole & Gene took no prisoners and had no second thoughts about using vicious tactics without the fans' approval. A win was a win was a win, and there were many more to come.  More...


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