A review of Stan Hansen’s “The Last Outlaw” book

Sep 9, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck

This is a review of the book “The Last Outlaw” by Stan Hansen and Scott Teal

by Sean Banner

The book is available for purchase only at www.crowbarpress.com. Forewords are given by Pete Roberts, a British wrestler Hansen befriended while in Japan, and Terry Funk. The prologue is the call Hansen received when he learned Giant Baba passed away. The first three chapters deal with Hansen’s early life, High School days and his time at West Texas State University, where he first met Frank Goodish, better known as Bruiser Brody. Hansen then relates how Stan met the Funks and was introduced to the business by them, Through Chapter 9, Hansen speaks on deciding to leave the Funk’s promotion in Amarillo, the various territories worked, reuniting and teaming with Brody and his first major injury, making his first trip to Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling, and describes his initial observations of Japan, and the origin of the “Bad Man from Borger” nickname. Then, in Chapter 11, Hansen talks about the infamous match where he accidentally breaks Bruno Sammartino’s neck, the fallout from Vince McMahon, Sr, and Bruno’s surprising words for Hansen. Also discussed are the death threats Hansen receive as a result of the match, the rematch at Shea Stadium, and how the rematch almost didn’t happen, and the ramifications if it didn’t. Through Chapter 19, Hansen works for Bill Watts in Louisiana for Mid-South, returns to Japan, and learns the wild and crazy style he was known for. Hansen goes on to talk about the Japanese people and lifestyle, the evolution of the Lariat finisher, the split of Hansen and Brody as a team as Brody defects to New Japan. Chapter 20 talks of Hansen’s AWA run and the events leading up to Hansen’s treatment of the AWA Belt before returning to Japan. Hansen then through the end of the book speaks of the infamous match against Big Van Vader where Vader’s eye pops out, Brody’s death, the “silent heat” he got during a match with Tony Atlas, the life and death of Terry Gordy and Bobby Duncum, Jr, meeting Ted DiBiase Sr. when he first entered wrestling, his time in WCW, various other wrestlers, and his back problems which forced his retirement. Overall, I highly recommend this book. It is for fans who are interested in wrestling from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, as well as providing a glimpse into the Japanese wrestling, or puroresu culture.

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