Andre the Giant’s drinking prowess is nearly as legendary as his stature or pro wrestling career, and we’ve featured plenty of anecdotes about his alcohol tolerance in the past. But an interview with retired pro wrestling legend Gerald Brisco in this morning’s Tampa Bay Times (the article’s not online, somehow) revealed some more stories I hadn’t heard before:
Andre used to ask me to get him six bottles of Mateus wine and ice them down. He would drink those before we went to the ring and no one could tell.
One night in Sarasota, Andre is traveling with us. So we pull over and get two cases of tall boys. By the time we get from Sarasota to the Tahitian Inn on Dale Mabry, the two cases were bone dry.
I’m not sure which of the two are more impressive! Brisco also shared a bit about Dusty Rhodes:
We became good friends with Willie Nelson, and Willie would invite Dusty out on stage to sing with him, and Willie would secretly say, ‘God, Dusty’s awful.’ One time we’re drinking at the Imperial and Dusty said, ‘I’m gonna rent the Tampa armory and have me a concert. I bet I can get 5,000 people.’ Well, maybe about 125 people showed up but Dusty goes out there anyway.
So a bunch of us wrestlers are backstage with some cold beer and Don Muraco, a 330-pound Hawaiian, is totally wasted. We are all supposed to go out on stage and join in for Johnny B. Goode. Don Muraco goes charging out and starts screaming, not singing. Dusty waves for security and they get Muraco off stage.
When the show was over, because he didn’t make enough at the door, it cost Dusty $5,000 to do the concert, but he had the time of his life.
The whole interview was great. I’d link you to it so you could read the whole thing, but like I said—it’s not online. You most likely remember Brisco as one of Vince McMahon’s stooges during the Attitude Era, but Gerald (along with his late brother Jack) won 20 championships of his own back in the NWA.
Update (July 25): The Times put the full interview online.