Saturday, May 04, 2019

Unusual Tag Team: Ole Anderson and Pvt. Jim Nelson

Photo by Steve Davies

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

In the late summer of 1981, Gene Anderson was legitimately injured in the ring and was out of action for a prolonged period of time. He and Ole Anderson were the NWA World Tag Team Champions at the time.

Ole Anderson began taking substitute partners during the fall including Mr. Fuji, Buzz Sawyer, Stan Hansen, and on one occasion, Pvt. Jim Nelson, who was apparently on loan from Sgt. Slaughter.

On Friday, November 13, 1981, Ole took the young Marine recruit under his wing to take on the challenge of Jake "The Snake" Roberts and "Number One" Paul Jones.

In the rare photograph above taken in the Richmond Coliseum, Ole pushes an anxious Nelson back to the corner just before the opening bell, as if to say "Hold on there, kid. I got this."

Not long after, Ole took Ray Stevens as a partner and tried to sacrifice him to keep the titles in an angle that called back to the famous "supreme sacrifice" with Gene Anderson in 1975. Stevens, though, would have none of it, and the incident turned him babyface heading into 1982.

When the NWA finally stripped the Andersons of the titles in January 1982, Ole took Stan Hansen as his permanent partner and the team went on to win the tag titles in a multi-city tournament that lasted for months. (Read all about that tournament in our 12-part series.)