Kayfabe, Lies and Alibis: Stan Hansen Shoot Interview

Behind Closed Doors with Stan Hansen


Presented by RF Video

Hansen is enjoying retirement and gets to watch his college and high school aged sons play baseball.

The kids aren’t wrestling fans.

Hansen says his matches with Terry Funk and Andre the Giant in Japan were among his career best.  Teaming with Bruiser Brody against Tenryu and Jumbo Trusuda also produced great results.

The Funk matches went so well because the two men laid into each other.

Funk broke Hansen into wrestling and was Stan’s mentor. 

He met Funk while playing college football.

Brody and Hansen were able to create their special brand of chaos but no one has been able to match their wild matches.

Hansen and Brody couldn’t work in the United States because they were so stiff and the Americans wouldn’t put up with it.

Stan regrets not making a serious American run after WCW and WWF started out bidding each other for talent.

John Nord claims Brody was talking with the WWF about coming in around the time he was stabbed to death.

Japanese fans loved Terry Funk and he became the most popular worker in Japan.

Brody and Hansen worked hard to remain bad guys in Japan.  Stan ended up being popular just from the respect he earned over his long Japan career.

All Japan made some lawsuits go away when Hansen would be sued for attacking fans with his bullrope.

Hansen doesn’t watch wrestling anymore and doesn’t like the overtly fake nature of the modern product.

Flair working into his 60’s didn’t bother Hansen as he can’t bash a guy for staying over.

Hansen has 4 artificial joints from his physical style of working.

Stan’s wild style could still get over but it would depend on who is promoting it.

Brody’s death crushed Hansen inside and Stan regrets not getting to feud with Brody in Japan.

Japan worked a much more stiff fashion and Hansen had to warn guys to “fight” or they would get eaten up by their opponents.

Pro wrestling in Japan is now becoming more like the WWE.

Hansen enjoyed the Inoki Genome Federation where the guys worked a MMA style but without holds being locked in for real.

Funk gave Hansen a pair of boots and trunks and let him learn in the ring.

Hansen pretends not to know the meaning of the word “kayfabe”.

Stan got to see Japanese wrestling trainees being tortured before live events as part of their training.  Guys would leave with internal injuries.

Vince McMahon Sr. was really pissed off at Hansen for botching a body slam and breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck.

Hansen heard that guys were worried about working with him.  His WCW run in 1990 started with several top guys avoiding him in the ring.

Stan had great stamina and that was a big part of his success.

Lex Luger was willing to follow Hansen’s directions and they had solid matches because of it.

Vader had his eye knocked out of it’s socket after a blow by Hansen.  Stan laughs a bit and puts over Vader’s size.

Baba ran All Japan like an American wrestling company while New Japan was more oriented to the Japan culture.

Getting a push from locker room politics was never am issue for Stan.  He knew he’d get himself over.

Inoki and Hansen barely ever spoke outside of the ring.   Hansen respected Inoki for doing what was best for his own business.

Inoki’s sometimes-wacky promotional stunts were a bit much for Hansen.

Hansen and Hogan were quite friendly in the early 80’s and that was part of why their 1990 match in a Japanese dome went over so well.

Stan discusses the culture shock of being an American in Japan.

Hansen watched a lot of American movies to make up for being so far away from home.

Andre helped put Hansen on the map in Japan by having a wildly entertaining match with Hansen in the early 80’s.

In an odd moment Hansen says he needs a break and they clip to him coming back sweaty (?)

Vince and Hansen never agreed on a deal since Hansen wouldn’t give up his Japan deal.

Ole Anderson was friendly with Hansen and that led to Stan’s WCW run.  Dusty Rhodes took over booking and made Hansen a bit of a cartoon, so Stan quit.

Ole would tell you what he thought about you and that turned a lot of guys off.

Dutch Mantell is a good talent.

Stan had worked too hard to let Dusty make him into a joke character.

The AWA had a rep for having great pay offs and Hansen was excited to have a run there.

Verne was a hardass but Stan understood Verne had to control his business.

Hansen didn’t know he was going to be named AWA champ when he started his mid 80’s run there.   Stan felt the title would make him some big money and was reluctant to lose it since he felt like he was a mere transitional champion.

At a old timers convention, Hansen was seated at the same table as Verne and after some awkwardness the guys were able to separate business from their personal lives and chat.

Rick Martel is put over.

Vader was still a green worker when he and Hansen worked in the AWA and Hansen and he had minor issues as Vader felt he was too big to get roughed up.

Hansen would occasionally spew tobacco juice on Japanese fans.

Carlos Colon and Hansen made each other a lot of money while feuding in Puerto Rico.

“Dr. Death” Steve Williams was Hansen’s most admired worker due to his strength and toughness.

Terry Gordy should have been the next big Japan star but drugs got in the way.

No one ever complained about Hansen squashing them.

Austin Idol got roughed up by Hansen during a match in Memphis and Idol got him fired over it.

Hansen feels Japan needs to find a real nasty heel to boost business.

American heels need to quit trying to look cool and looking for pops.

Stan laughs when he learns that the WWE scripts promos.

Hansen liked working for Georgia Championship wrestling since the trips were short and the money was good.

Red Bastien was a straight shooter as a booker.

Stan admits to running over the AWA title with his truck and mailing it back to Verne.

Gordy, Brody, Curt Hennig, Gary Albright and others are the peers Stan misses most.

Stan doesn’t understand why guys use pills, as they just lead to medical issues or dying.

Hansen thanks the fans for their support.

Final thoughts:  Hansen was upbeat during this interview, which was a nice change of pace from some interviewees.  A man at peace with himself.  RF had his usual inane questions tossed in but that is to be expected.  Stan protects kayfabe at times which is almost charming – although I can see some finding that annoying given the format.  Overall they touched on most of Stan’s career highlights and Stan stayed away from burying anyone – so if you’re here for dirt you’ll be disappointed.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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