Vince McMahon banned every WWE Superstar from consuming alcohol in the locker room in the 1980s, with the exception of Andre the Giant.
Various stories have been told over the years about the WWE icon’s legendary drinking habits. In 2020, former Intercontinental Champion Jacques Rougeau told Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Dr. Chris Featherstone that Andre often drank alcohol throughout the day.
Bill Anderson, a former WWE Superstar and ring announcer, recently spoke on the Cheap Heat Productions Podcast about his backstage experiences in the 1980s. He said alcohol was no longer permitted in the locker room at one stage, but Vince McMahon still allowed Andre to drink beer and wine:
“Vince finally made a big decree to the boys, ‘No more alcohol, period, in the dressing room, except Andre the Giant.’ Andre would come in, pull his bag open, there would be a bottle of Cognac, maybe five, six, seven, eight bottles of wine, and Andre was gonna carte blanche it, do whatever he wanted. Vince had that much respect for Andre,” stated Anderson. [36:15-36:45]
Billed at seven-foot-four and 520 pounds, Andre the Giant is one of the largest superstars in WWE history. He passed away on January 28, 1993, at the age of 46 due to congestive heart failure.
Why did Vince McMahon ban alcohol?
Today we remember the late, great 8th Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant.
More than three decades ago, it was not uncommon for superstars to drink alcohol in the locker room on the day of their match. While some performers were able to control their alcohol intake, other members of the roster were occasionally intoxicated when they arrived in the ring.
Bill Anderson said Vince McMahon likely enforced the rule due to some superstars, including Adrian Adonis, becoming reckless during their matches:
“I think that was partially because of Adrian Adonis, who would always come in quite intoxicated, and I was on the receiving end of some of that. I got 27 stitches in my mouth courtesy of Adrian Adonis from a match in San Diego where he was high one night and alcohol’d up.” [35:33-36:00]
Nowadays, WWE’s Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy states that superstars are “expected to be free of the influence of alcohol when performing.” It adds that superstars cannot use or consume alcohol within a 12-hour period before a WWE performance.