“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson opened up about WWE’s brutal schedule through the 1980s and ’90s, and what some stars did to cope with the demand.
Speaking on a recent episode of his ARN podcast, Anderson spoke candidly about how physically and mentally draining it was to be on the road so often.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
WCW’s schedule compared to WWE: “You know what – I would have done a two out of three falls every TV show for a month to get to go back to WCW. Two out of three falls, every week. Would have been just fine.”
On never getting into pills: “Mentally, physically, everything. I was completely drained. That’s a hard place to work, man. You hear about guys smoking dope, and drinking, taking pills and shit. I never was a pill head, because I had no tolerance for any of that stuff. I bet I could take a five milligram Valium and sleep two days. I didn’t have the threshold for it. So I didn’t take it. But I could see why guys had to do some stuff.”
Not getting much sleep thanks to the schedule: “Here’s one of the things that you may not think it’s a big deal. Try it for three months. When you’re on towards the end of the show, especially if you’re on last, and you’ve gotta go back to the hotel… you’re not going to get back to your hotel until probably 12:30. Every morning we had a six A.M. flight. That’s a four o’clock wakeup, if you stay around the airport area. Do the math. You’re in your room at 12:30, probably one-thirty getting to sleep. Up at three-thirty, four o’clock, because you had to be there at 5:15 for a six o’clock flight. All the guys were checking in; you had to go through security.”
The lifestyle being conducive to substance abuse: “It was a hard life, and I’m not kidding you. So if you had to suck down a six-pack, burn a doobie, take a pill, whatever it was; you were trying to crowd in and get that two and a half, three hours of sleep. And day after day, when you’d be out on a twelve-day run, my friend; it would wear you out, beat you up.”
How some talent tried to save money: “It was miserable. If you were on top, you could do some things to make your life a little easier. You could charter a plane if you wanted to. We weren’t making that kind of money. We were the rent-a-car guys, driving to every town, two to a room, and all the things you had to do to send your money home.”
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