Gene and Ole Anderson, respectfully known as “The Minnesota Wrecking Crew,” helped define the art of tag-team wrestling during the ’60s and ’70s. Working over one part of the body, tagging in and out, and the blocking technique were all Anderson trademarks. Their timing, precision and ring psychology were impeccable. And their “working” ability, according to many of their respected peers, was beyond reproach.
Gene’s health deteriorated over the years, and he died of a heart attack on Oct. 31, 1991, in Huntersville, N.C. He was only 52 years old.
Although not actually blood relatives, Ole (Al “Rock” Rogowski) was listed as a surviving brother in Gene’s obituary in the Charlotte Observer. “I just couldn’t go (to the funeral),” said Ole. “It wasn’t that I was in denial, although maybe to some degree I was, but having known him like I did for so many years and having been together like we were, I just didn’t want to look at the guy dead. I just couldn’t. Had someone like Flair, Wahoo or Paul Jones called me and told me to get up there, I might have, but I suppose most of them thought I was going to be there automatically.”