Monday, June 13, 2022

The Anderson/Flair Feud Puts Gene Anderson in the Hospital

During the year of 1977, the Anderson brothers had a torrid feud with their young cousin Ric Flair and his partner Greg Valentine. The two teams battled over the NWA World Tag Team titles.

What was unusual about the feud was that the two teams wrestled out of different territories. Flair and Valentine were the top heel team in the Mid-Atlantic area, while the Anderson Brothers were the top heel team for Georgia Championship Wrestling.

The Andersons left Jim Crockett Promotions in the fall of 1976 after Ole Anderson lost a series of "Loser Leaves Town" matches to Wahoo McDaniel. Behind the scenes, Ole had taken the job as booker for Georgia Championship Wrestling and he and Gene had moved to Atlanta. 

The Andersons were NWA World Tag Team champions at the time, and took those titles with them to Georgia. Flair had a falling out with his cousins in October of 1976 and formed a new tag team with partner Greg Valentine. The Andersons returned to the area for a title defense against Flair and Valentine in Greensboro the night after Christmas of 1976. The "blond bombers" upset the Minnesota Wrecking Crew to take the tag titles.

Mid-Atlantic booker George Scott maintained a working relationship with Georgia booker Ole Anderson and there were several talent exchanges throughout the year of 1977. This allowed for the Andersons to continue their feud in the Mid-Atlantic area with Flair and Valentine throughout the year of 1977, with the  Andersons making sporadic appearances in the territory, usually over weekends, to continue the feud. 

In the Mid-Atlantic area, the Andersons had become 'fan favorites', but were still hated heels in Georgia.

The Andersons regained the titles from Flair and Valentine in Charlotte on May 7, 1977 in a famous cage match where Wahoo McDaniel was the special referee. However, on October 30 in Greensboro, Flair and Valentine got the titles back and badly injured Gene Anderson in the process.

Behind the scenes, Gene Anderson was in need for neck surgery, and the injury angle was shot to explain his long absence during his recovery. 

The interview with Gene and Ole Anderson seen in the YouTube video embedded above was shot in Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta as Gene was recovering from that surgery. It was shot by the Georgia office, hosted by Freddie Miller, and the tape sent to Jim Crockett Promotions and aired on their syndicated television shows.

In the months that followed, Ole Anderson took different paths in the two different territories. in Georgia, he took Sgt. Jacques Goulet as his new tag team partner and the hated team went on to win the Georgia Tag Team titles. In the Mid-Atlantic area, though, Ole became even more of a fan favorite when he asked Wahoo McDaniel to become his tag team partner to challenge Flair and Valentine for the NWA World tag titles. 

It was all part of a long feud between the Andersons against Flair and Valentine that lasted off and on for the better part of nine years, until finally "the family" was reunited in 1985 when the Four Horsemen were formed. Gene retired and the younger 'cousin' of Ole Anderson and Ric Flair emerged on the scene to make the Anderson family stronger than ever.  

For complete details on every twist and turn in the Anderson/Flair family feud over the years, check out our timeline history book on the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, available at Amazon.