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Ole Anderson, Wrestling Legend & Original Four Horsemen Member, Dead at 81

Ole Anderson, Wrestling Legend & Original Four Horsemen Member, Dead at 81

Ole Anderson, one of the toughest pro wrestlers during his time in the business, died on Monday at 81 years old. Anderson was an original member of the “Four Horsemen,” one of wrestling’s earliest and greatest factions. Besides Ole, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and Ric Flair made up the group.

Anderson and his partners were red hot as “heels,” or bad guys, during their times working in Georgia and the Carolinas for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling. For a period of time, the “Four Horsemen” dominated competition on Georgia Championship Wrestling in the 1970s and ’80s.

Getting on the popular Saturday night two-hour television show also provided Anderson a chance to have people all over the United States see him thanks to the early days of satellite television. SuperStation WTBS scored some of its biggest ratings due to that show and Anderson had a part to play.

Ole Anderson Worked Best as a ‘Heel’ in the Wrestling World

His on-air promos made fans know that Ole Anderson was not putting up with his opponents’ garbage. For a time, Anderson also worked as a “face,” or good guy. Still, his time working as a “heel” allowed fans to boo and holler at him all the time.

Upon hearing of Anderson’s death, Ricky Morton, one half of the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Express” tag team along with Robert Gibson, posted a tribute to Instagram. “Ole Anderson’s passing is a somber moment for the wrestling world,” Morton wrote. “Ole was not just a colleague; he was a formidable opponent, a respected veteran, and a part of wrestling history. Our battles in the ring were intense, and the memories we created together will always be cherished.”

Morton also shared more about his time with Anderson in and out of the ring during a Tuesday morning visit on Busted Open Radio on SiriusXM. He said that when he visited with Anderson later in life, Ole always would ask him why he was still in the business.

Ole Anderson retired in 1987, then briefly came back in 1989 before retiring for good. Anderson, whose real name was Alan Rogowski, was head of the WCW booking committee in 1990 upon his final retirement. That means he had a role in determining how matches played out on different cards.

Ric Flair Offers Tender Tribute to His Fellow Horseman

Ric Flair also took time out to write a tribute to Ole Anderson. “I Am Forever Thankful To Ole And Gene For Bringing Me In To Crockett Promotions As A Cousin,” Flair wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “It Launched My Career. I Will Be Grateful Forever For You Giving Me The Opportunity To Become Who I Am Today. We Didn’t Always Agree With Each Other, But The Honest To God Truth Is You & Gene Started Me. Rest In Peace My Friend!”

On Monday Night Raw, WWE took a moment to recognize Ole Anderson’s legacy. A card with two photos from Anderson’s wrestling days was displayed during the show. “WWE is saddened to learn that Ole Anderson has passed away,” a statement posted on X reads. “WWE extends its condolences to Anderson’s family, friends, and fans.”

All Elite Wrestling, or AEW, also put up a statement on Monday. “AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of the legendary Ole Anderson. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans,” the company said in a statement posted on X. At this time, Flair is the only member of the “Four Horsemen” still active on weekly wrestling television thanks to AEW.