Kayfabe, Lies and Alibis: Stan Hansen Q&A recap

The Lariat covers football, breaking Bruno’s neck, Brody’s death and much more!

This is a Fanfest Q&A.

Presented by NWALegends.com

Hansen starts off by talking about how Georgia had so much talent when he was there – Dick Slater, Mr. Wrestling II, Tommy Rich etc.

Stan Hansen decided to write a book because he was sitting at home one day and realized how many wild characters he came across during his long career. He promises there is no dirty laundry spread in it.

Due to having lousy grades, Hansen had to go to West Texas University to continue his football career after being a good high school player.

They go over the list of Tito Santana, Bruiser Brody, The Funks, Bobby Duncum, Tully Blanchard, and others who all played football in West Texas.

Brody being killed made Hansen upset since they were very close. 20-plus years later he still has trouble talking about Bruiser’s death.

Hansen has two replaced knees and two replacement shoulders. He also had back surgery.

The Funks trained Hansen.

Rick Martel met Hansen in Texas when both were young. They ended up working a lot of matches together. Fritz Von Erich was the headliner but he and Martel had to do the long hard-hitting bouts..

Bruno Sammartino was the real deal when it came to being beloved by fans. He earned his “living legend” moniker.

Hansen worked his butt off in Japan, and he thinks that’s why the Japanese fans embraced him.

Winning titles was not a big priority for Stan, as he never saw himself as the championship type. He liked the money working on top brought.

Quitting while AWA World champ is gently gone over – Hansen praises Gagne but won’t get into how he and Verne had such a falling out.

Vader was a monster and the two men really smacked one another hard, Hansen never meant to crack Vader so hard to cause a serious injury, such as when he popped Vader’s eye out of it’s socket.

Hansen left WCW in the early 90’s because he didn’t like the direction he was heading.

Japan workers busted their butts to out shine you, so you had to keep up the pressure on your own end to avoid losing face.

Stan would spit tobacco juice all over himself because he figured if he was so foul no one would dare cheer him.

In the mid-80’s, Hansen had a run in Memphis that ended abruptly after he was fired for beating up Austin Idol.

The territories drying up in America lead to him not working too often there anymore. He used the extra time in between Japan tours to spend more time with his kids.

Not making a serious run in WCW or the WWF is a regret, only because of how much money he could have made.

Ole Anderson interrupts the session to tell a story about how Vince McMahon Sr. wanted Hansen blackballed, but Hansen drew money for Ole, so Stan got booked.

Anderson was amazed at how much money Hansen was making per week in Japan ($12-15,000).

Working with Andre the Giant in Japan helped put Hansen on the map.

Dibiase and Hansen first met on the football fields of West Texas. Dibiase got involved in All-Japan before Hansen arrived there – but Hansen watched his matches while Stan was working in New Japan and was impressed. They would form a team once Hansen made his way to Baba’s organization.

The modern product holds no interest to Hansen, but he knows there is talent out there.

The Road Warriors faced off with Harley Race and Hansen in Florida, Hansen accidentally split Hawk’s head open with his cowbell.

The WWWF brought Hansen in during the mid-70’s even though he was green because they needed new bodies for Sammartino to face off with. It caused some contentions with the vets. Bruno went to bat for him after hearing he was like a young Bobby Duncum.

Hansen ended up accidentally breaking Bruno’s neck with a slam and he took tremendous heat from everyone for it since Sammartino was the face of the promotion.

Terry Gordy and Dick Murdoch were among the best big men workers Hansen ever saw.

Gordy was supposed to take over Hansen’s spot in Japan, but Gordy’s substance abuse led to his early death and ruined those plans.

Steve Williams was the strongest man Hansen ever met in the ring. Dr. Death contacted Hansen as Willams was battling cancer and left him some messages that Hansen plans on saving for the rest of his life.

Chief Wahoo McDaniel was one of the toughest guys in the business. He was more than willing to work stiff with guys, and took the abuse directed right back at him.

The NWA title was never a goal for Hansen, he knew his behavior and style would not garner him support for such a spot.

Bill Watts was hard to work for, Hansen ran afoul with him as a young man.

Ole Anderson would tear you a new asshole, but would be mostly joking about it.

Nick Bockwinkel was a great guy. He counseled Hansen when Hansen was going through a bad time.

Brody and Hansen were both raised poor, and grew up to have success in football, and ultimately were both very frugal people once they started making big money in wrestling. Having so much in common helped pull them together.

Hansen has 5 kids. He tried to make sure they did not grow up to be wrestlers. One of his kids plays in the MLB minor leagues.

Learning to speak Japanese is one thing Hansen had wished he had done during his career. Hansen might not even be living in America if he could have mastered the language.

Tony Atlas was “loud” when he came into Texas as a rookie. He learned his role fast.

Giant Baba did not talk to Hansen very often, but he was a great boss who compensated Hansen very well.

Living in Texas is a bit tough, lots of days of 100 degree plus heat.

Hansen retired after he could no longer meet the standard he set for himself.

During his retirement ceremony, Hansen had just had his knees fixed eight weeks earlier, which made the long walk in the Tokyo Dome quite the small bit of Hell to get through.

Being expected to be part of a comedy angle in WCW with Black Bart, Randy Colley and Dutch Mantel as the Desperados made Hansen quit.

If you’d like to read another shoot interview with Hansen, I covered his RF Video interview a few years ago: http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/stan-hansen-shoot/

Final thoughts: Hansen was very fun to hear reminisce, and if I had any complaints, I’d have to say it was due to Hansen answering so many questions about particular guys as “he was great” or some variance therein. This happened time and time again, to the degree that I did not bother adding them to my recap.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

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

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