The Undertaker recently sparked controversy when he said that younger wrestlers “lack an edge to them” and that the current WWE product is “soft.”
In a recent edition of ARN, Arn Anderson gave his take:
“Not being a talent and being in a backstage capacity running the talent and taking care of the talent and taking care of the towns – looking after the company, but yet looking after the talent. I’ve seen every side of it you can see of the evolution of this business of the last 38 years. When I first started in the business, there was no such thing as wrestling school. There was no such thing as having a conversation about the match prior to. You would walk in a new territory and not know a soul. It was hard to get information, and back in those days, it was very competitive. There weren’t that many wrestling jobs, and there were probably over 15 territories. But the crew was not as big as it is now. You didn’t have guys in a territory that didn’t wrestle every night. Everybody that worked there worked every night, so you didn’t have leftovers and you didn’t have guys if somebody got hurt, you had somebody to put in that situation.
“We didn’t have the company provide athletic tape. We didn’t have the company provide doctors or trainers or any of those things. Certainly not meals. You arrived at the arena, you brought your gear, and you brought everything you needed to work. If you wanted to have a bottled water in the back, you better bring it because nobody was gonna provide it. The medical care back then, we were a bunch of crackpot chiropractors adjusting each other. And you traveled together no matter what because it was the only way you could save money. Four guys would get in one guy’s car and he would charge four or five cents a mile, and he would drive his car to the town. The next week, the next guy would, and you would pay him. It was one of those deals where if you got hurt, you still better figure out a way to tape it up and get to the ring. It didn’t matter that they didn’t have a four-star match, but it did matter that you made the effort to get there and do something. People did not miss towns in those days because if you missed a town, it was a major conversation. If you missed two, there was probably no conversation. You were gone. The business was completely different.”
H/T to 411 Mania