Last week, Dave Meltzer in his Wrestling Observer daily update made this quip:
Raw last week was No. 5 and No. 6 in the cable ratings, trailing only Monday Night Football, another game on the NFL Network, the pregame show to the NFL Network game, and Walking Dead on AMC, which is not about 1980s WWE wrestlers after 32 straight days on the road.
The humor is directed at the often recalled insane road schedule that WWF wrestlers experienced. I checked the great The History of WWE website, which among other treasures lists out tons of info about WWF tours each year. In December 1986, for example, the WWF ran 45 house shows and TV tapings, and that includes a 10-day break between shows just before Christmas.
On Christmas Day itself, the WWF ran two shows in Detroit and Landover, MD. It appears all of the big stars, including Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, worked that night. On December 26 — the day after Christmas, mind you — the federation hosted three separate house shows, including one at Madison Square Garden.
By comparison, the WWE website lists 22 house shows and tapings for December 2011. Even 22 shows sounds plenty busy during the holidays (granted, it’s a good time to draw crowds after Christmas). I can’t even imagine how the WWF doubled that number 25 years ago.
You can only wonder what wrestlers did, drank, or took to keep themselves afloat back in ’86.