Eyewitness Account in Greenville

by Don Holbrook

Editor's note: When Don Holbrook told me he was present that night in Greenville when Ole Anderson was stabbed by an angry fan in 1976, I asked if he would be kind enough to share his memories of that night with the visitors to this site. He graciously agreed, and I am pleased to present his e-mail account here. It is a rare inside view into one of the most remembered and talked about incidents in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history. Thanks, Don.


  I was a part time employee of Greenville Memorial Auditorium. I was not working the night Ole got stabbed, but as I often did on Monday nights, I'd go to the auditorium, usually after the matches had started and stand in the back and watch. I also had access to the back door stage entrance. All the security people knew me and I just walked in the back door since I worked there anyway.

The night Ole was stabbed, he and Gene had just finished a world tag title main event with Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods) and Dino Bravo. It was one of those heated match endings. The crowd was in an uproar. As Ole and Gene were exiting the ring, an old man named Oscar Ramsey who sat second row ringside every week, stabbed Ole with a hawkbill knife. The funny thing was, the old guy lived about a mile from me. I didn't know him that well but he got free tickets each week because his friend was on the board of directors for the auditorium.

As the wrestlers left ringside, Gene was far ahead followed by referee Angelo Martinelli. Ole was lagging behind jawing at the fans at ringside. As fate would have it, the police officers who normally worked wrestling were off that night, attending a retirement party or something. So the officers at ringside were not as well informed about getting the heels out of the arena as quickly as possible and staying close to them. If the police had been in position the stabbing probably would have never occurred. Ole was all alone with no officer close by when he was stabbed.

The crowd was on their feet headed toward the exits. I was standing against the wall where I usually stood. The heels would walk right past me. I saw Gene go by. When I looked to see where Ole was, I saw Oscar Ramsey moving toward Ole. The place went wild. The next thing I saw was Ole kicking Mr. Ramsey, down to the floor. He was kicking him in the head and his head was hitting the floor. Blood was pouring from Ole's chest and wrist. I think if he hadn't been hurt so badly, he would have killed Oscar Ramsey.

Anyway, I pointed to Angelo Martinelli and he turned around and ran back toward Ole. Gene looked around, never changing expressions or stride. I helped Angelo get Ole to the back. There was a hallway leading to the stage entrance door. Ole collapsed in the floor. The cop on the stage door was trying to call the front office on an inside phone line but no one answered. Just then, Tim Woods came up the steps with a towel. A nurse on duty came in and put towels and ice on Ole's chest.

I ran to the front office; I knew all the short cuts. When I went in, Sandy Scott and Mr. Leslie Timms, auditorium manager, were there. I shouted that Ole had been stabbed. Sandy immediately jumped up and ran out the door. He started into the arena. I told him to come with me. We went through a short cut to the back. When we got back to the stage door, Ole was almost unconscious. He was saying something about loving somebody, (don't know who). I think he and all of us around thought he was going to die.

Then the ambulance arrived. They loaded Ole up and out the stage door we went. There must have been 500 people out back. I didn't know what to expect. The ambulance took off to the hospital. Sandy Scott rode in with them. I went back inside the building and waited for Gene to come up from the dressing room. The building was empty. When Gene came up he asked me to tell him how to get to Greenville General Hospital. I walked him to the warehouse where the wrestlers parked, inside the building, away from the fans. Gene and Ole always traveled together in an old red car, Oldsmobile I think. Gene drove away.

I was told later the next day that Ole refused to be admitted to the hospital. They stitched him up and he and Gene drove back to Charlotte at around 4 am in the morning.

 In all my years of following wrestling, this is one night I'll never forget.

 

-Don Holbrook


2000 Mid-Atlantic Gateway | Ole Anderson Stabbing