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Arn Anderson On WWE’s Brutal Schedule In the ’80s & ’90s, Talent Using Drugs and Alcohol To Cope

February 5, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
Arn Anderson Tully Blanchard Image Credit: WWE

On a recent edition of ARN, Arn Anderson discussed how brutal the 80s/90s WWF schedule was. Arn explained how it drove many wrestlers to substances to cope. Arn wanted to go back to WCW bad enough he says he would have wrestled infamous team the Ding-Dongs for months to make it happen. Read on for more of The Enforcer’s thoughts:

On if going back to WCW meant he had to work with the Ding-Dongs: “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.”

Arn on why he never got 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.”

On how the schedule did not allow for much sleep: “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.”

On why the lifestyle led to many wrestlers turning to substances: “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.”

On what the boys did 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.”

If you use any of the above quotations, please credit ARN h/t 411mania for the transcription.

article topics :

Anderson, WWE, Jonathan Hunter