Tuesday, June 13, 2023

the last book I ever read (Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America, excerpt two)

from Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America by Andrew Riesman:

Unbeknownst to viewers, GCW was racked by internal division between co-owner Jim Barnett and Ole Anderson, who was his “booker”—the guy given the weighty task of mapping out story lines and deciding who was going to beat whom. They each represented much about the questionable morals of the NWA.

Barnett was a bespectacled nonwrestler from Oklahoma City with a business degree and a somewhat openly gay lifestyle. He has been among the most powerful promoters of the preceding decade. He developed a reputation as a colorful, beloved personality, a friend of celebrities, and a pathbreaker for gay men in the athletics industry.

Anderson (born Alan Robert Rogowski), by contrast, was a deeply disliked ex-wrestler—“Ole was a true curmudgeon; he very much liked to bully people,” is how one former colleague put it to me.

That said, the beloved Barnett had also been accused of running an informal brothel during the early 1960s, in which he induced college football players to have sex with himself and others—including actor Rock Hudson. It’s hard to find a blameless man in wrestling.

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