Time Capsule: The Andersons

1987 Wrestling Article on Andersons Full of Inaccuracies

Please note:

This 1987 article is full of historical inaccuracies, mainly having to do with timeline and when things happened.

The biggest inaccuracy has to do with when Lars became an Anderson, which was in the mid-1960s, well before Ole came in the "family".

Because this article and magazine still circulate among collectors, I thought I would post it and set the record straight on several of its points.

I have added footnotes correcting what information I am aware of. If you have other notes, please contact us.

Despite the inaccuracies in this article, it was very rare to see a mainstream wrestling magazine take a stab at documenting hte history of the Andersons, so we've included it here.

Thanks to Peggy Lathan for transcribing the article for us.

Magazine Articles Index


Anderson Brothers Classic Website


Mid-Atlantic Gateway




PLEASE NOTE: Our corrections to this original news stand magazine article are included in footnotes to the article. Click the links at each of the six notations to take you to the correct information.

The Minnesota Wrecking Crew. It is a name which has long been associated with excellence in tag team wrestling. Whether the team involved Ole, Arn, Gene or Lars, it was always one of contention. Not since the famous Dusek clan of the 1940s and 50s has there been a "family" of feuding siblings of this magnitude. Today, no other team comes close to the exploits of these Mid-Western ruffians.

Without question, the pivotal member of this wrestling dynasty is Ole Anderson, a big, bruising unorthodox and totally unpredictable son of a gun who has consistently proven his mettle against the very best the National Wrestling Alliance has to offer, whether it is in single or tag team competition. Ole has the dual distinction of being the only member of the family to tag up with the other three, as well as feud with them.1

The elder statesman of the family, Gene, began his career in the Mid-West during the early 1960s and was followed by Ole approximately six years later after completion of military service. The first collective effort by Gene and Ole occurred in 19712 in the Mid-Atlantic region under the Jim Crockett promotional banner where they eventually won most of the regional titles of the area.

They continued as one of the most successful tag teams for the next eleven years. They were also one of the most inconsistent teams as far as fan support went. They were intensely despised by the crowds when facing such duos as George Becker and Johnny Weaver, Steve Keirn and Tiger Conway Jr., as well as Jay Youngblood and Ricky Steamboat. At other times, the fans couldn't have cheered any louder for the "Crew" when they were pitted against the likes of Ernie Ladd and Ivan Koloff or the Mongols.

Gene, unfortunately, retired in 19823 after neglecting a serious neck injury which cut his impressive career short.4 Since that time, he has remained with the sport in the capacity of manager and matchmaker. Gene and Ole will go down in the history of the sport as one of the most exciting bad boy teams in the mat game.

During the early 1970s, Gene and Ole incorporated another Mid-Western grappler into the fold named Larry Heinemi and dubbed him Lars Anderson.5 Lars, during his formative years in the sport, had a style remarkably similar to Gene and Ole; however, within five years of competition, his philosophy and attitude had changed drastically. By the mid 1970s, he was ostracized from the group and wrestled, using both his real name as well as the Anderson name, in the International Wrestling Association.

Lars continued to develop his own ring persona and proved to be a superb mat technician, incorporating aggressive, sadistic maneuvers with the fundamentals of amateur wrestling. His crowning achievements occurred in 1979 when he dominated the competition in Florida. As state champion, he offered one thousand silver dollars and the title to anyone who could pin him in the center of the ring. The challenge eventually swelled to ten thousand dollars!

Winter of 1980 saw Lars and Ole reunite in the Georgia area as they went on a six month campaign in the region in hopes of defeating the Georgia tag team champions, the Assassins. Their attempts were fruitless and the duo quickly began to bicker amongst themselves. A split-up was inevitable and a major feud was imminent. Their matches were so bloody that the NWA refused to sanction them and they were presented throughout the "Peach State" as a "lights out" (non-sanctioned) event.

In the latter part of 1980, Lars entered into the promotional end of the sport, creating the World League Wrestling Alliance with several partners. The arrogant mat man, who calls Aspen, Colorado home, was indeed ahead of his time as he combined video taped matches from other wrestling booking offices (mostly Louisiana, Texas and North Carolina) along with his own studio matches featuring local talent under the WLWA banner.

Lars negotiated with cable systems across the United States and Canada to broadcast his program. It was the first opportunity fans had to witness matches from other parts of the country and gave wrestling fans a choice in their television viewing.

Lars, as WLWA champion, led his promotion into various regions of the United States that had long been held as strongholds of local promoters. Although he was able to obtain bookings in high school gyms and small arenas, the larger venues were virtually off limits due to monopolistic contracts which local promoters had entered into with the arenas in their area.

Had the necessary opportunities been present for the survival of this new venture, we would probably see the World League Wrestling Alliance as a force to reckon with within the sport today.

The last member of the Anderson family to enter the squared circle was Arn. He began his career under the name of Marty Lunde for the Fuller promotion in Alabama and attained great success in the area, winning the Southeastern tag team title on several occasions with an assortment of partners.

Later, venturing into the NWA Georgia group, Marty slowly climbed the ladder of contention and all the while, he used his real name.

He left the area for a two year stint back in Alabama and was brought back to Georgia as "Arn Anderson" and touted as the cousin of Ole Anderson. He has been with the Mid-Atlantic group ever since and has never looked back.6

Earlier this year, Arn, along with Tully Blanchard and Ric Flair, cast Ole out of their organization known as the "Four Horsemen" to make room for Lex Luger, wrestling's hottest new find.

This situation erupted into a blood feud between Ole and Arn. They have had many battles within the last few months, but as of this writing, there has not been a clear cut victor in this ongoing war.

Arn and Ole had a very successful run as tag team partners and one must wonder if Arn will eventually jump ship to side with Ole against the Horsemen. The youngest Anderson claimed he had been carrying Ole for far too long and had grown weary of the experience.

With each passing battle, Arn must be coming to the realization that Ole is far from being washed up and that his evaluation of the Rock's capabilities were sorely underrated. Will this lead Arn to a review of the situation and a possible apology to Ole?

Only time will tell.


1 Ole and Gene never feuded with each other. Ole and Lars had big issues in the state of Georgia in the early 80s, and Ole battled Arn and the other members of the Four Horsemen in 1987 and 1988. But he never wrestled against or feuded with Gene.

2 Ole first teamed with Gene and Lars Anderson in June 1968.

3 Gene continued to wrestle semi-regularly well into 1983 and sporadically into 1985.

4 Reportedly more to do with the after affects of a stroke.

5 Major error here. Lars actually teamed with Gene two years before Ole was involved. As best we can determine, Gene and Lars first teamed together in March of 1966, for Nick Gulas.

6 Arn wrestled under his real name, Marty Lunde, in several different territories following his breaking in the business in Georgia in late 1981. He first became Arn Anderson when Ole Anderson brought him back to Georgia to team with Matt Borne in April of 1982. His first real headlining stint was with Southeastern Wrestling (Dothan office) teaming with Jerry Stubbs (Mr. Olympia) to win the Southeastern tag titles several times. In 1985, he went to Jim Crockett Promotions right at the time they took control of the NWA Georgia office. It was here that Arn and Ole teamed up to recreate the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.


Article posted 1/17/10