Ole Anderson, the cantankerous, grumpy old man of professional wrestling. A main event singles and tag team star, he booked, promoted, and did about everything in the world of professional wrestling. Older fans remember him as a member of the famed “Minnesota Wrecking Crew” with his “brother,” Gene Anderson. Fans in my age bracket know him for another version of that team with another “family member,” Arn Anderson. He was also an original charter member of a little group known as “The Four Horsemen.” We can add author to this long list of accomplishments. Along with Scott Teal, Anderson wrote Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Professional Wrestling.
I’ve had the e-book for a while now and needed a new read. Just how did corporate America destroy professional wrestling? In plenty of ways, I’m sure. What reasons did Ole Anderson provide? I don’t know, I didn’t get that far. I tried. Instead, I have to place it on the “so bad I couldn’t finish shelf.” Of course, I can’t just say that and finish. There needs to be an explanation.
Inside Out is a book I just couldn’t get into from the start. It isn’t titled like an autobiography, but it’s an autobiography. It doesn’t exactly read like one either. Most autobiographies start with an interesting story to draw you in, then go to childhood and progress into the life of the individual. Not Inside Out. We get a vague story here and there. I think the best analogy is we get a few dots, but not the lines connecting them. Those dots are few with large gaps between them. Anderson says he’s the writer, but the majority of the blame goes on assistant writer Scott Teal and the publisher Crowbar Press.
I was hoping there would be a lot of good stories about his amateur background, breaking into the business, backstage, individual wrestlers. Anderson does have a decent story to tell about breaking into the business. There’s another one about him working out with an 80 plus year old Lou Thesz a year or so before Thesz died. The majority of what I read before I tapped out was dry, bland, and not very entertaining. There was also a lot of him repeating the following statement in various ways. “I’m not the toughest guy, but I’m tough, and there’s guys tougher, but I’m a tough guy.” There wasn’t any real flow or chronological order. I couldn’t take anymore when he brought up taking money for training sessions and hurting the guys and enjoying it because they didn’t know any better. Yep, real tough guy.
There are other professional wrestling books to read. Perhaps they’re written better, and more entertaining. They can’t be any worse than Inside Out.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2016