Re: current WWE champion's schedule compared to 80s NWA champion's schedule?
Sheamus did an interview last year with the Examiner, where he mentioned being on the road for a minimum of 4 days a week. Christian did an interview about working an overseas tour and wrestling every night for 2 weeks. So add that in with having time to work out, doing media appearances and making time to spend with family, it has to be pretty rough.
The grueling travel was the reason Brock left in 2004. But, keep this in mind. For some stars, it will appear rough. When you take a guy like Brock or even Kurt Angle, who neither had prior experience in the world of sports entertainment and their style of wrestling, the schedule will appear rough. Daniel Bryan said in an interview that he doesn't think it's that rough. Might be because even as an indy worker, he always had a rather tough schedule, touring overseas and having extensive tours of Japan. But, it also increases the chance of the body being broken down and having a short career.
Also, compare Flair to a guy like Punk or Cena today. I admit, with all the territories, things were pretty hectic in the 80s. But, when you look at guys like Punk & Cena, your typical "off day" is spent doing promotional work, charity events or radio interviews. It really provides little time to properly heal or spend time with family. And while they may travel in luxury, it's a lot more travel involved. Take Cena, for example. Top guy for 6-7 years, always making media appearances, made a few movies, attends charity events, works house shows and often toured overseas to mingle with the troops. Compare that to a guy who wrestled for 345 plus days a year and it's the wrestling aspect that gives Flair the edge. But, as for actual travel and time away from home, todays top stars have it rougher.
Jeff Hardy is another good example. He busts his ass for WWE for years, since his teens. Never was really given ample time off and attempted to appease the schedule with drug usage, which did more damage to his career. So, when WWE decides to really get behind him and make him a star, he chooses to leave because of the schedule, which left him burnt out. Either way, I feel the top stars always have the rougher schedules but when you're a media figure or icon (especially Hogan in the 80s), the actual travel is more grueling and affects you more physically and mentally.