“You’re wrestling each other every day,” says the Fijian native who made his debut in 1970 and, even at 70 years old, considers himself only “semi-retired.” “No one wants to hurt anybody else, and no one wants to get hurt. Says Ottman, “You never told the hotel clerk you were a wrestler because wrestlers liked to trash the room.

“Locking up with a guy means you listen to him,” Snuka explains, “you read him, you know him. When you mix testosterone and attitude—and your family’s living in another part of the country—you get into some precarious situations.” The destructive road stories from that era have become engrained into wrestling folklore. ” O’Neil has heard the tales, and he salutes the talent who came before him.

“In the ‘80s, the boys each other,” he contends, overlooking the fist fights that occasionally erupted backstage and in hotels. Because of this, road life and home life became interchangeable. When I was working the San Antonio territory, there were a lot of dry counties in Texas, so it was good to have an experienced, older guy with you who knew all the beer stops.” With no Internet, wrestlers would rely on Dave Meltzer’s him.

“We trained together in the gym, hung out together after the show. We actually to each other.” Still, because of the way wrestlers depend on each other in the ring, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka believes the intimacy transcends eras. In addition to working and socializing together, groups of wrestlers rented apartments in the various territories. But when someone had a copy of the dirt sheet, they’d all crowd around it like a bunch of little old ladies at a coffee klatch.” Before wrestlers were known as celebrities with crossover appeal, they were often perceived as overmuscled brutes who tended to destroy property.

“But you have to sit there and act like it’s the greatest thing in the world. There are people you work with—even work well with.

But you’re not going to have them at your house, hanging around your kids.” On the road, few after-hours scenarios satisfy Ziggler more than an empty, 24-hour hotel gym—without a fellow WWE Superstar in sight.

Dolph Ziggler showers and goes looking for his rental car.

The former WWE world heavyweight champion may be alone or with his two best friends in the company, The Miz and Zack Ryder.

A generation earlier, a group of fans—regulars on the circuit—would be waiting to chauffeur the guys to a series of clubs and buy all the drinks.

A few hours later, there might be a call to the front desk of the wrestlers' hotel—from an irate guest disturbed by the sound of a woman’s shrieks reverberating through the hallway—followed by a visit from the police.