IYH Brad Anderson Interview Recap
by Neal Jones
Brad Anderson, of the famous Anderson family, was the guest on the September 12th edition of the In Your Head Wrestling Online show, hosted by Jack, One Inch Biceps and Barbie Richards at http://www.inyourheadonline.com
Brad is welcomed to the show and talks a bit about his myspace and his quote â€œunnatural selectionâ€ referring to feeling like the black sheep of the Anderson family at times. To visit Bradâ€™s myspace visit http://www.myspace.com/andersonwreckingcrew. Brad tells some stories on George South, and how he would pay guys with diet soda.
Jack asks if it was easier to get into wrestling with the Anderson name, but at the same time more to live up to. Brad says it was very easy to get into, but he would work TV under a mask as Agent Steel or Zan Panzer so an Anderson wasnâ€™t seen doing jobs. Brad tells a story of his first day for NWA where Ric Flair tells all the boys they can use Brad to get back for all the years Gene was stiff or stretched on you. Brad says he was just ribbing, and Flair loved Gene and was the first guy to come by their home the night Gene passed away. Brad says no ever shot on him to get back at his dad.
Brad talks about Ole, and how he was like an uncle to him growing up.
Jack asks Brad about the stories of the Andersons stretching guys. Brad said they never did to him, but he saw and heard guys squealing during try outs. Brad tells some stories of Ole and Gene stretching guys in training, including one where Ole had his finger in a guyâ€™s eye socket/ Brad explains back then they needed to protect the business, but there were sometimes they did it maliciously but usually it was to protect the business.
Barbie asks Brad about rumors of stretching guys and keeping the money. Brad remembers one time Gene and Nelson Royal would bring guys in to train and just beat the hell out of them and send them home. He doesnâ€™t remember any of them making it. Brad says on the other hand most of the try outs were just big fat pieces of garbage who had no chance.
Brad says Tough Enough was pretty much a joke to him. Itâ€™s a different business today, he isnâ€™t sure how youâ€™d even train guys today. Brad remembers taking back drops after back drops, now they train them to do backflips.
Brad tells a funny story of training with Lex Luger for Ric Flair. Brad and Tommy Angel were about the size of Ric Flair and Flair wanted them to test some moves out so the could choreograph spots for Flair vs. Luger match (with Brad doing the moves as Flair). Flair calls a spot for a backdrop, and Luger runs up and stops saying he canâ€™t do it, he cant take a backdrop without a crowd getting his adrenaline pumped up. Brad also mentions Dick Murdoch would always rib Luger because he didnâ€™t know how to do a headlock takeover. Jack asks if guys like that with a big contract have less respect for the business. Brad says youâ€™d think Luger was the biggest a-holes the way he walked around, but when you got to know him he was a very nice guy who would help you out.
Caller Brian Jones asks about the Zan Panzer gimmick. Brad says he wanted to use the name originally but his dad said it sounded like a queer, so he used the name Agent Steel first. When he started using it he thinks he based it off Mexican wrestlers, he could see out of the mask fine.
Brad explains he would wear the mask on TV so he could get experience wrestling without being seen doing jobs and burying himself and the Anderson name. He got into wrestling as the territories were drying up and you couldnâ€™t make any money there, so he had to get experience wrestling on TV under the mask or on house shows.
Brad talks about being â€œsmartened upâ€ to the business at the age of 16. He says his son dad Gene always kept it pretty kayfabe. Brad tells a story about a kid making a bet with him at school that Ricky Steamboat and Youngblood would win the straps off Gene and Ole Anderson. When he lost his dad blew up when he found out he made a bet on a wrestling match. His dad encouraged him to be a wrestler and to go into amateur wrestling, since in his dadâ€™s days you needed some shooting training. Later on his dad told his mom that he got Brad in wrestling too early, and looking back Brad agrees.
Jack asks if there were ever talks of bringing him on TV as an Anderson. Brad says there were a few times. One time Dusty Rhodes came to him with an idea of bringing him and Dustin Rhodes in under masks as Agent Steel #1 & #2 then they will lose the masks and be Anderson and Rhodes â€œThe American Wrecking Crewâ€. Brad never heard anything about that and a few months later Dustin was tagging with Kendell Windham. The 2nd was Sidâ€™s idea (when he was on the booking committee) of tagging Brad with Kevin Nash as the Master Blasters, with Brad the small guy who talked and Nash the big monster based off â€œMad Max Beyond Thunderdomeâ€. Brad goes into talking about his hair salon, and being friends with Kevin Nash, but he doesnâ€™t do Nashâ€™s hair.
Jack asks if Brad got treated differently when Crockett was sold to Turner. Brad says yes they all did slowly. Brad talks about Gene working for Turner until December 1990, he believes his dad died of a broken heart not being part of the business anymore. Brad talks about how WCW changed from the NWA, how they wanted to be like WWF. Jim Herd, former Pizza Hut manager, was running WCW. Brad says it was a joke, people ran this million dollar company and was run like a joke.
Brad talks about the wild days of partying, and the road stories in the NWA and WCW. Brad says it was just insane and a bunch of kids who never grew up. Brad talks about Mike Shaw (Norman, Bastion Booger) being a huge ribber and no one wanted to travel with him, but he was the funniest guy to be around. Brad tells a story of Mike Shaw, Ranger Ross, Nick Patrick and himself driving in a car. He wouldnâ€™t say which of them but one was smoking pot, they got pulled over for speeding and Mike Shaw told the police officer â€œwe couldnâ€™t see the speed signs with all the pot smoke in the carâ€. Jack asks if they got away with a lot being wrestlers. Brad says he got away with a lot of speeding tickets because he was the son of Gene Anderson. Today it is different because guys feel important arresting a celebrity today.
Jack asks about working with Kevin Sullivan. Brad says he was always scared of him until he worked with him. He tells a story about Kevin Sullivan changing the finish of the match in the ring, putting Brad over. Backstage Kevin said all the guys in the crowd knew who was going over so something like this gets people talking. He remembers Kevin Sullivan telling him not to do silly moves like monkey flips, that stuff doesnâ€™t get you over.
A fan asks Brad about Lanny Poffoâ€™s interview on IYH where he said Gene tried shooting on him in a battle royal. Brad says Gene and Ole would joke shoot on guys in the ring, but some people would take it as legit. He thinks they only shot on guys on TV who didnâ€™t know what theyâ€™re doing.
Brad talks about his philosophy on wrestling, thinking it needs to be snug/stiff and look real. He remembers Johnny Valentine telling him â€œthey might not believe itâ€™s real but they believe Iâ€™m realâ€. He talks about his dad and Ole throwing punches that people believed were real. He understands itâ€™s a different business today but he prefers wrestling to look real. Brad thinks he just doesnâ€™t fit in anymore. He watches today what he can but he gets fed up with it, and heâ€™s not a big fan of the product today. Brad talks about liking guys like Steven Regal and Chris Benoitâ€™s style. Brad tells a story of working an Indy show and trying to tell his opponent you need to sell moves to make the moves look good.
Brad goes into TNA. Brad thinks they are giving a very bad product, like bad WCW near the end. He says there is a market for different wrestling. WWEâ€™s product is all the same, ECW is just like the other brands. There could be a marker for old school style, it wouldnâ€™t get over on RAW, but TNA needs something different.
Brad tells a hilarious story on meeting AJ Styles at Greg Priceâ€™s Fanfest. Brad is in the suite with Shannon Moore and AJ walks in like a big star, similar to how Lex Luger used to carry himself, except heâ€™s never done what Luger has done. AJ pulls out a DVD of himself doing highspots and marks out for himself doing highspots on TV. Brad says AJ was so cocky he wanted to stretch the guy deep down inside. AJ kept calling Shannon Moore over to check him out on the DVD. This story really has to be heard to be appreciated.
Brad talks about leaving NWA and working for Indys such as Portland Oregon, where he fractured his back. He then went to Puerto Rico for Ricky Santana. He came back to WCW, at this time they didnâ€™t care anymore if he did jobs on TV as an Anderson. He then went to WWF and did TV jobs. He feels bad today he did that to the Anderson name, but he knew he was on his way out of the wrestling business to pursue his hair salon. Originally WWF wanted him to wear a hood, but then when he got there they told him they push guys in masks so he couldnâ€™t wear one. Brad thinks the animosity towards Ole Anderson on Vince McMahonâ€™s part was partly the reason. Brad says most guys say they love his dad, but arent always big on Ole. Jack says Ole was the nicest guy at the NWA Fanfest this year talking to the fans for hours at a time. Brad says Ole used to want to keep the gimmick up, but now Ole probably realizes kayfabe is dead.
Jack asks if Brad ever met CW Anderson. Brad says he isnâ€™t sure how he feels about it. He is always professional with him, but he doesnâ€™t think CW should be doing the Anderson gimmick. If he does he should act more like an Anderson. Brad jokes if CW ever makes money he will ask him for a cut.
Brad says he will never do the Anderson brothers gimmick with CW, but something like that is about the only thing he would come back for. Brad tells a story about talks of a Horseman H20 stable with him Brant Anderson, David Flair and Dustin Rhodes managed by JJ Dillon that never quite happened.
Jack asks if there is a connection with all the 2nd generation wrestlers. Brad says he grew up with Dustin. Brad tells a funny story of hitting David Flair with a cane so hard he lost his eyesight. Brad says it was scary at the time, but he can laugh at it now. Brad says thereâ€™s an instant understanding/bond with guys like David Flair and Barry Windham. He says he even felt a bit of it seeing Brooke Hogan on Hogan Knows Best.
Brad says looking back he definitely looks back and wishes he dedicated himself more to the wrestling business. He was young and all he cared about was hitting the club and picking up the ring rats.
Brad mentions he has 3 sons but would want the wrestling business to change before he tried to get his sons into it. He says there is only one company where people can make a living. Brad says without anyplace to go besides WWE he wouldnâ€™t want his sons in it.
Jack asks if there is a place for another big company. Brad says he thinks so, his dad always told him the wrestling business is like a Ferris wheel it has its up and downs.
Jack asks what Brad felt like when WCW was bout by WWE, since he grew up in NWA. Brad says he really lost it when NWA was sold to Turner and Crockett left. It surprised him such a big company went out of business, but it was such a bad product and you had to kiss Eric Bischoffâ€™s ass to make it there.
Jack brings up meeting Brad recently at the NWA Legends Fanfest where he received a plaque in his dadâ€™s honor at the Hall of Heroes Banquet. Brad says he has the plaque is downstairs with the American Flag that was on Geneâ€™s casket when he was buried.
The IYH crew thanks Brad for coming on the show, Brad thanks everyone for being on and would love to come back sometime.
You can listen to the full-length interview along with WWE Diva Search Finalist J. Kim at http://www.inyourheadonline.com and new episodes every Wednesday at 8e/9c PM including this week with â€œOne Warrior Nationâ€œ and coming soon Chris Jericho.