It was a wrestling world much different than it is today...
It was an era of territories and it was an era where people had infinitely more patience to allow an angle to play out than they do today.
Today its the instant gratification generation - if it doesnt work in three weeks, drop it. If a crowd decides it doesnt want to have fun at a show they paid for and sit on their hands, lets drop everyone's pushes that isnt in the Golden Circle. Storytelling seems to be a lost art.
However, it was 34 years ago today [July 26, 1980], on an episode of Georgia Championship Wrestling, that storytelling saw one of its finest hours. The Big Turn of 1980 saw Ole Anderson turn on Dusty Rhodes in Georgia. Throughout most of 1979 in GCW, the big feud was Ole & tag partner Ivan Koloff vs Dusty and his partner of the month. 2/7/79 at The Omni saw Ole & Ivan face Dusty & Bill Watts. The following month they rematched in a Texas Bullrope match. April's show saw Dusty teaming with Mad Dog Vachon to face Ole & Ivan in a Cage. July saw Dusty team with Mr Wrestling 2 vs Ivan & Ole. 8/17/79 saw Dusty & Bill Watts lose a double Bunkhouse match vs the duo. Along the way, Ole also faced guys like Tommy Rich, Tony Atlas. However, by the latter part of 1979, Ole seemed to change his tune. He switched allegiances, and now he and Koloff were on opposing sides. Ole was now a friend to Atlas, Rich, his brother Lars. He even became a friend to former mortal enemy Dusty Rhodes, teaming with Rhodes in his feud against The Assassins. A match on 6/22/80 ended in a wild no contest. 7/6 The Assassins got the better of them. Ole seemed to have turned over a new leaf.
Or did he?
It all culminated at The Omni on July 20, 1980. A Steel Cage showdown between The Assassins vs Dusty Rhodes and Ole Anderson. Each team was allowed to choose a special referee. The Assassins chose Ole's former partner, Ivan Koloff. Ole & Dusty chose Gene Anderson. Within seconds, all five men attacked Rhodes. People that were there that night say the crowd was enraged beyond belief. Babyfaces and fans alike attempted to scale the cage to save Rhodes from a five on one massacre. It was a classic angle.
But it was made better the following week on WTBS - 34 years ago today, Ole Anderson came out to explain himself and gave one of the all time great heel interviews to explain an angle. "I plotted and plotted for a year and a half to get rid of Dusty Rhodes", Ole said. "I told no one. I bided my time to a place where I could get Dusty Rhodes all alone. And I finally did it. I had to take alot of hard knocks from my old friend Ivan Koloff and The Assassins and everybody else but I wouldnt tell them what was on my mind. The only one who knew was Gene, and thats why he hasnt been here in a year because he couldnt stand the sight of me hanging around with Tommy Rich or Stan Hansen or Lars."
I have done this interview no justice with the written word. Thankfully, the interview has been saved. Many Georgia television shows from that era didnt make it. This one did. Hopefully, some newer fans will watch this, do a little research, and truly understand what a tremendous heel Ole Anderson was. For the older fans like myself who lived through this, its a great trip down memory lane to revisit The Big Turn of 1980 - one of the best stories ever told in Georgia Championship Wrestling's history.