Behind Closed Doors with Stan Hansen

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Without a doubt one of the most controversial and successful wrestlers of the 20th century was Stan Hansen. Nicknamed “The Lariat”, Hansen brought his roughhouse style all over the world for some of wrestling’s greatest battles. Hansen is one of a handful of wrestlers to have headlined matches all over the world against legends like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Antonio Inoki, Nick Bockwinkel, Kenta Kobashi, Giant Baba, and more. These battles not only brought bruises, blood, and triumph, but they brought stories. Stan Hansen finally tells those stories.

For RF Video, this was a much different kind of shoot interview. We went right for the jugular with the Lariat and asked him directly about his greatest battles and foes. Hansen spent a couple of hours with us revealing anecdotes about his in-ring battles that he has never shared before. We were in awe as we felt like the fourth man in the ring in Shea Stadium as Hansen took on Bruno Sammartino in front of a rabid New Yo rk audience.

We couldn’t talk about battles without including Hansen’s legendary tag team battles with Bruiser Brody. We spent quite a lot of time talking about what it was like fighting along side one of the most controversial wrestlers of the last generation. Hansen also opens up and tells us the impact his friend’s death had on him in and away from the business. Speaking of controversial, Stan brings us inside of the ring during his stiff matches with the crazy Texan, Terry Funk.

Hansen goes more in depth about his feud with Bruno Sammartino. It was a tense moment when we asked him point blank about the bodyslam that broke Bruno’s neck. Stan didn’t appreciate the question but he answered it. What was it like explaining to his fellow wrestlers that their biggest draw was going to be out of action due to his mistake?

Stan also brings us behind closed doors and breaks down the secret world of pro wrestling in Japan. Hansen explains the politics and what it was like working for both Baba and Inoki. What was it like to make the jump and what were the possible repercussions? We go beyond the ring and into the booking offices of one of wrestling’s most mysterious world.

We travel all over the world with Stan from his run in New York, to Georgia, to Japan, to WCW, and more. This isn’t just Stan Hansen part 2. This is Stan Hansen part 2-10. This is the interview with the bad man from Borger, Texas you never thought you’d see.

What do you think of the business today
What is lacking
How would you fare in today’s business
What is the difference between working stiff and working sloppy
Memories of your first match
What was your payoff
Memories of your first days training
What did you have to do to protect kayfabe
How much more serious is the business taken in japan as compared to here
Is i t true that fans want wrestlers to hit them or slap them
Can you talk about the dojo
Do you think things are ever taken too far in the dojo
What made you and Brody so good
Did you ever rib Brody during a match
Any good Brody road stories
How hard did you take the news when he passed
John Nord told us that Brody was negotiating with Vince when he died. How do you think he would have fared there.
You describe yourself as a bit of a loner on the road, do some guys confuse it with arrogance
How pissed were the top heels in the WWWF when you broke Bruno’s neck
What was Vince SR’s initial reaction
Were guys apprehensive to work with you after that
Memories of the match where Vader’s eye popped out of his socket
Did you work more stiff with Vader than others
Can you talk about the politics in New Japan during the 80s
Was Inoki hard to do business with
Do you think Inoki believes his gimmick too much
What is life like on the road in Japan
What is it like to be a superstar professional wrestler in Japan
Why do you think you fit in so well with the style over there
Was it hard for Americans to adjust to the style
How much of the match did you know before you were in the ring
Good Japan road stories
What were the politics like behind the scenes when you worked with Hogan
Was Hogan worried you wouldn’t do business
Do you think Terry Gordy should have done the match
Why do you think the business is so bad right now in Japan
Did O nita and death matches hurt the business long term
Did you ever talk to Vince JR about coming back in the late 80s early 90s
Who were your favorite guys to work with and why
Who were your least favorite and why
Favorite matches that stand out
Did you ever spit on guys with the tobacco juice as a rib
Talk about doing interviews with Larry Nelson for the AWA
Why do you think Verne didn’t want to give you a big run with the title
Greg Gagne did an interview and said that Verne thought Hogan’s telegram was a rib. Do you believe that
Is it tempting to wrestle past your prime
Are you surprised that Ric Flair was wrestling up to just a few months ago
Did you ever attempt to go back to WCW
Thoughts on Ole Anderson
Ole wrote a book and thinks that guys like Hogan and Flair were interchangeable, do you agree
Thoughts on Dusty Rhodes
Did you and Brody ever have problems after matches where guys felt you didn’t sell enough
Could territories work today
If you were starting a company, how would you go about it
Talk about Baba
Can you talk about how the jump from New Japan to All Japan happened
How did Inoki take it
Can you talk about the influence of the Yakuza over there
Did Inoki threaten to get the Yakuza involved when you jumped
Did you have to earn Baba’s trust
Talk about the differences between Inoki and Baba
Are you surprised at Johnny Ace’s position in the WWE
How politically involved were you with All Japan
Why do you think guys like Steve Williams and Terry Gordy got so over in Japan and never got a fair shake in the states
Memories of working in Memphis
Memories of working with Austin Idol
Good road trip stories
Thoughts on Lawler the booker
What were some of your favorite feuds and why
What makes a good heel
Can a great heel exist in today’s wrestling
What makes a good promo
How would Stan Hansen react if he were told to do scripted promos
How did you develop your promos
Favorite promoter to work for
Least favorite promoter
Jim Barnett stories
Do you regret sending the belt back to Verne running it over
Who do you miss
What makes a good brawl
Drug testing in wrestling