Written by: Tom Hopkins
Officially this is called, “Born To Controversy, The Roddy Piper Story,” but I think the shorter name works, too. This is a three-disc set on the Rowdy one himself.
The Main Characters
–Rowdy Roddy Piper was one of the biggest heels in the business in the early 80’s and one of the few who actually found a level of mainstream success outside of the wrestling world. This is his story.
Piper got his start in the late 70’s and wrestled way up into the 00’s for WCW and WWE among others. He was brought back even into the 00’s, showing that a good wrestler just can’t stay retired for long.
The Film (1:37:58)
We start with the beginning, Roddy being born in Saskatoon, Canada in 1954 and he lived in a new town almost every year, including Glasgow. He picked up bagpipes at an early age (6) and he actually left home at age 13, something that he seems broken up about right now. So Roddy’s first match was against Larry Hennig (father of Curt) and he was brought out by some of his bagpipe friends and the announcer called him Roddy the Piper, and the name stuck. His match lasted 10 seconds but he was offered a match in Kansas City and he stuck around, and a career was born. Roddy and some of the other old-timers (Brisco, Flair and Steamboat) talk about the rough times of breaking into the business in the 70’s.
So Piper went around from territory to territory, even Japan (which he hated) and finally in California where he got his big break. He worked the mic and get really over and had a long feud with Chavo Guerrero. Soon Vince McMahon Sr. got word of Piper. Piper really became huge when he worked Portland. He had so much respect for Don Owens the promoter, that he didn’t work against him when he was with the WWE. From there, Piper went to Charlotte and the NWA where Flair was stationed. Flair talks about the heat he would get wearing the kilt, but he would never take it off. While in NWA, Piper would have a brutal, bloody match with Valentine.
Soon, Piper was with the WWE and was used as a mouthpiece (thanks to his injured ear in the Valentine match) and got Orndorff over huge. Piper’s speaking ability even got a new little segment for himself, called Piper’s Pit. Piper’s first ever interview was with a jobber, where Piper just destroyed him. They show other memorable Pits, including the ones with Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, the Haiti Kid, and Andre tearing the shirt off of Hogan.
Piper worked very closely with Cowboy Bob Orton and they were real good friends. Piper had a very big feud when he knocked out Lou Albano and kicked Cyndi Lauper, which later created a feud with Hogan and led to “War To Settle The Score,” at MSG in February 1985 where Mr. T got involved. Soon after that, Wrestlemania was held and the wrestling world would never be the same again. Of course, both Piper and Hogan contend that they were the ones who drew the crowd at WM. The events of WMI led to Piper and Mr. T feuding up to WMII. Piper didn’t like T in “real-life.” Piper calls his WMII match the worst of his career.
From there, Piper had a great feud with Adrian Adonis that culminated at Wrestlemania III with Piper’s first retirement match. Piper wanted to go out on top and wanted to try something different. Enter, Roddy the actor. Piper starred in a film called, “They Live,” which is now a cult classic and had the greatest line in all of filmdom, “I came here to chew bubblegum and kick some ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum.” They go forward a bit to Wrestlemania V where Piper had a Piper’s Pit with Brother Love and Morton Downey was there, too.
Roddy would always push the envelope, too. At Wrestlemania VI, Roddy painted half his body black in a fight with Bad News Brown. Of course, Roddy couldn’t get the black paint off because the solution was switched by Andre the Giant and Arnold Skaaland. Roddy had to go through customs in Toronto with half his face black. Roddy said it took him three weeks to get it off. Piper the wrestler would take a rest for awhile and now we go to another phase of Piper’s career, Roddy the color commentator. He would co-host with McMahon in the early 90’s on Superstars. Piper would go back to the ring when Macho was added to the mix.
Roddy then went on to win his first ever title, winning the IC title in 1991. Piper said he is bothered that he never won the WWE title, but Ross and others mention that Roddy didn’t need it since he was a big enough star without it. Roddy says it wouldn’t have bothered him if he didn’t win it, but he says that Bret needed the push. Indeed, Bret would win the title from Piper at Wrestlemania VIII. Piper says he never lost the thing and complained about the officiating. He did it tongue-in-cheek, though. Ross mentions that Roddy couldn’t be that guy in the WWE that could work 250 days a year. He needed time to go home to Oregon and be with his family. They show Roddy with his family, his three daughters, his son and his wife.
Roddy came back to the WWE at WMX where he was the guest ref for the Yokozuna/Bret match. Lawler badmouthed Piper and this led to a feud between them. This led to a King of the Ring match where both Piper and Lawler admit it wasn’t a good match. Piper then became the “president” of WWE. They wanted Piper to wrestle OJ Simpson, but that was just too scandalous for them. So out was OJ, and in his place was Goldust, right at the beginning of his crazy character. They had a very, um, interesting match at Wrestlemania XIII where the less said about it the better.
As WCW got larger and competed and even started beating WWE, Hogan says that Piper was the final piece of the puzzle. Piper joined WCW in 1996 and Piper says he left WWE purely for money. He immediately feuded with Hogan. Piper ended up being terminated by WCW but he took them to court and got the rest of his contract. Piper returned to WWE at WMXXIII in 2003. McMahon wanted a short term relationship but Piper couldn’t wrestle thanks to a terrible car accident he suffered. The Piper’s Pit was reborn and we get clips of that. Of course, while with WWE an interview was aired with Roddy on HBO where Roddy was in a dark place and complained about all the deaths in wrestling and how the promoters were the people who killed them. They interviewed Vince afterwards, where HBO sort of gave a misleading documentation of the events. Piper said he never got a call, he found out on the Internet he was fired. Besides this, Roddy was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, cementing his place in wrestling history forever. We end with some comments from the guys who contributed to this feature.
This was a nice by the numbers Piper history. I think it wasn’t as in depth as other ones we have seen, especially for someone who was so instrumental in the popularity of the WWE in the early 80’s. Still, it hit the highlights, and even the lowlights, and it touched upon his biggest feuds. I would’ve liked to have seen more on his pre WWE career, but the feature was designed for newer fans who never knew the greatness that was Hot Rod. I thought it was a good summation of what he was as a performer, but it would’ve benefitted by being a bit longer and talking a bit more about his career in between the big feuds.
1) Piper Stories
—A) Piper: Roddy & Colt (1:03)
Colt is Roddy’s son, and he brought him to the ring with him for a while when Piper was in WCW.
—B) Bruce Prichard: Meeting Roddy for the first time (2:40)
Bruce just talks about meeting him for the first time. Bruce was a big fan of Roddy as a kid. He met Piper in preparation for the Brother Love segment. He quickly learned that Piper didn’t like being imitated.
—C) Piper: Hitting Rikishi with a coconut. (0:44)
Piper says he would’ve rather not done that since it diminished the Snuka incident.
—D) Piper: Mr. T (2:17)
Piper talks about how his real-life heat with Mr. T started.
—E) Piper: The Mexican Bullring (1:21)
This is a Guerrero story, where he fought in a bullring in the rain. Piper tried to find the door out of there but he couldn’t get there.
—F) Piper: Freddie Blassie and the Toilet Paper (1:57)
Piper talks about his first time at MSG and trying to play the bagpipes. Turns out Piper’s bagpipes were jammed by Blassie, since they didn’t want him there, and it took him ten years to get back to NY.
—G) Piper: Living on the Streets (2:03)
Piper talks about living on the streets as a young boy, playing bagpipes to earn money. He later ended up stealing to stay alive and was a ruffian on the street.
—H) Piper: Those Guys and Their Ribs (4:34)
Piper talks about all the ribs backstage. Valentine liked to poop in hats for some reason but he also filled up a guys car with water that later froze, so the guy got back to him and Valentine had his car welded. So Valentine got back at him (Jay Yorke) by putting lighter fluid in his inhaler. So Yorke came back with a shot gun ready to shoot him, dynamite was involved and things went crazy. Jay then shot Valentine and he had blood everywhere, but it was a big rib. Of course, no one expected Race to pull out his piece. Luckily no one was hurt.
—I) Bruce Prichard: Burt Reynolds at WMX (1:36)
Bruce says that because of Roddy, Burt yelled at him. Bruce told Burt not to announce Piper’s name until the music hit, but Burt took it the wrong way and actually got pissed at him.
—J) Bill Cunningham: Piper in Kentucky (2:48)
Bill’s a radio DJ who was friends with Piper. Piper had a problem with a DUI in Kentucky where Bill represented him.
—K) Piper: Trust in the Business (1:55)
This is just about Piper not signing a contract with the WWE around WMXXI because of his trust in the business and McMahon.
2) Raw Homecoming: Giving Back to the Business (2:30)
A bunch of the WWE superstars talk about Piper coming back to Raw. Orton enjoyed the moment, Foley was flattered to be on the Pit and that’s that.
3) Roddy Piper & Mike Popovich vs. Buddy Rose & Rip Oliver (4:00).
This is from Portland Wrestling. No date is given and we’re JIP. We come in to see Piper getting tagged in and Rose rolling up and getting an assist from his teammate to pin Piper about 30 seconds into the match. Not a match so it won’t be graded as such. This was a set-up to their title match next week.
4) Roddy Piper(c) vs. Buddy Rose for the Northwest Heavyweight Title (14:33)
This is also from Portland Wrestling and no date is given, though it’s a week after the previous “match.” Piper is the champ at this point and let me tell ya, the video quality here is pretty bad. It looks like a 5th-generation copy off the TV master. Rose says he’s gonna win before the match even starts so Piper says something about a loser leaving town match. Rose has like three gimmick shirts, too. Rose immediately bails to get some cheap heel heat. They finally start their wrestling with Rose punching Piper around the ring. Rose hits the headlock but Piper breaks free and throws some punches of his own. Piper locks on the sleeper and that’s all she wrote at 4:55. Oh this seems to be a 2/3 falls match. It’s nice that they don’t tell us this prior to the match starting. So someone comes in and revives Rose. We cut forward a but to Rose controlling things. Piper blades after being sent into the turnbuckle and Rose gets a few near-falls but Piper picks up the second pinfall at 8:10 (shown) with a roll-up. Rose attacks with a chair afterwards, but Piper takes it and fights back. This was not what you would call good wrestling or even an entertaining story being told. ½*.
5) Roddy Piper vs. Jack Brisco (16:26)
This comes from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling 07/07/82. Piper is the champ at this point and we have a really tight camera following the action. I think that Piper’s the champ at this point. Brisco hits an armdrag that sends Piper to the outside to regroup. Piper comes back in where Brisco rides in an actual mat wrestling sequence. Piper takes control by pulling his hair (well, now we know who’s heel!) but gets tossed to the outside again. Piper comes in only to walk into a side headlock. He breaks but Brisco clotheslines him down and its back to the side headlock. It’s actually a good game of cat and mouse, as both try to get pinfalls and Piper cheats as much as he can to break free (pulling the tights or the hair, or etc). See, that headlock actually told a story of two guys battling out and it wasn’t just for them to take a breather. Piper finally breaks free with a belly to back suplex and he chops at Brisco. Piper sends Brisco head first into the corner, so Brisco fights back by punching Piper’s leg (he wants to set up for the figure-four) so Piper dumps him to the outside. They come back in and they slug it out leading to Piper locking on the sleeper. Brisco breaks the hold the same way Piper did to the headlock earlier in the match, with a belly to back suplex. Brisco ducks a clothesline and puts on a sleeper of his own, but Piper manages to slither out with a good ol’ fashioned thumb to the eye. Brisco goes right back on the offensive, sending Piper’s head into the turnbuckle and punching him to the outside. Piper grabs a roll of coins and punches Brisco in the face. He covers for the pin at 15:07. The referee raises Piper’s hand in victory, completely disregarding the pennies in the ring. Piper claims he’s the undisputed champ. Well, you can’t argue with that. Cheap ending aside, this was a really good TV match. ***.
6) Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine(c) for the NWA US Title (20:29)
This is from Starrcade 1983, held on November 24th. They have the dog collars tied around their necks and they start with a tug of war. Piper gets the first shot in with a whip across the back of Valentine. Valentine tries to whip Piper in the head but Piper ducks it. Slugfest won by Piper and he slugs Valentine in the corner with the chain. Valentine works on the ear of Piper, something he injured earlier to star their feud. From there, it just devolves in a pure bloodbath. They choke each other with the chain, Piper wraps it around the ringpost for leverage then brawl outside. Valentine is busted open already but he goes back to the ear and clubs Piper and Piper is busted open now. With only one ear, your equilibrium is gone and Piper falters and shows no balance. Valentine with a suplex, an elbow and a cover for two. Another elbow and another two count. Valentine walks away but Piper pulls him back with the chain and starts with his offense, using the chain as a whip. Valentine fights back, drops a knee and gets a two count. Valentine tries for a suplex but Piper blocks it twice and gets one of his own. They are both out and get up at the same time, Valentine sends Piper to the corner then grabs a sleeper. Piper fights out of the hold, pulls Valentine off the second rope then smashes Valentine with the chain and covers for the pinfall and the victory at 16:07. Valentine is a sore loser and attacks Piper afterwards. This was a bloodbath pure and simple, but was more of a punchy-kicky match. The finish was out of nowhere, too. **. It was nice to hear the great Gordon Solie calling the action.
—Disc Two— (2:51:27)
1) Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff vs. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (21:21)
This was the main event of the first ever Wrestlemania, held on 03/31/85 at MSG. Pat Patterson is the real in-ring referee. Piper and Hogan start, and it takes a while for them to get going, though the fans are super-hyped. Mr. T wants to be tagged in and Hulk obliges. Piper and T exchange slaps, with Piper going behind T and riding him. T escapes to a huge pop. T with a fireman’s carry, then slams Piper down. Piper charges T into the heel corner, drawing Hogan to the heel side. Orton steps in, as does Snuka and Ali. Ali restores order (even knocking Piper to the outside), thankfully. Piper bails and they are on their way to being counted out before Hogan breaks the count. Piper and Orndorff return to the ring where all four men battle. Hogan takes on Piper and throws in an atomic drop. There’s a really wide view of the ring now, something you don’t really see. T comes in and Piper is clotheslined down by both. T with a bodyslam, then a hiptoss on Orndorff. T with another slam on Piper, and he may have exhausted is offense by now. Hogan comes in slugging away and tosses Piper to the outside. This draws Orndorff who clotheslines Hogan from behind, dumping him. Piper chucks a chair at Hogan and returns to the ring. Hogan comes back and is double-teamed in the corner drawing in T. T is forced to his corner by the ref, and Hogan takes a double atomic drop, drawing in Ali. Orndorff suplexes Hogan, then comes off the top with an axehandle to the back. Orndorff with a backbreaker on Hogan, then heads to the top rope. He misses a flying knee drop and Hogan makes the hot tag to Mr. T. T’s cleaning house doesn’t last long, as Piper comes in and the heels double-team. Piper comes in with a reverse headlock on T, but T escapes and makes the hot tag to Hogan. Orndorff comes in and we get the 80’s staple, the double noggin-knocker. Orndorff comes back with a suplex. Orton comes in, drawing Snuka, who headbutts him out. Patterson is busy getting Snuka out of the ring, allowing Orton to set up on the top rope. He comes off but instead of hitting Hogan, he hits Orndorff, who was holding the Hulkster up. T is holding off Piper and Patterson comes over and makes the three count, giving Hogan the first ever main event victory at Wrestlemania at 13:29. Piper and Orton bail as Orndorff is helped up by Hogan, T and Snuka. This was a fun match, had time to develop, and T wasn’t as bad as you’d think. **1/4.
2) Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff (5:56)
This is from Saturday Night’s Main Event (SNME) and is one of the first episodes, airing on 10/5/85. This stems from Wrestlemania I and Piper leaving Orndorff in the ring. Orndorff had become face in the process. Piper has Heenan with him and Bobby has a briefcase, I think some money that Orndorff would get should he win. The two brawl to start off, literally punching and rolling on the mat. Piper DDT’s Orndorff then kicks him to the outside. They brawl outside the ring, then head back where Orndorff connects with a double axe-handle from the top and a belly to back suplex. Double shoulderblock knocks both guys down and a crossbody again sends both guys over the top to the outside. They continue brawling and both men are counted out at 4:05. They had great intensity to start the match, but they couldn’t sustain it and the match never had a chance to develop. ½*.
3) Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T (17:40)
This match comes to us from Wrestlemania II, held on 04/07/86. This is a 10-round boxing match, with each round being 3 minutes. Round One sees T playing Rope-A-Dope and Piper not breaking clean. Bart Gunn could’ve used lessons from these two. Round One ends with the two brawling in the corner. I’d score Round One in favor of Mr. T. Round Two starts and Piper has way too much grease on his face and it needs to be wiped clean. Piper wails away on T, but T gives him a facewash in the corner. Piper corners T and wails away, and T starts staggering, and eventually T drops, to a big cheer from the crowd. T gets up by 8. The fans start a Roddy chant, already turning on the non-wrestler Mr. T. Piper wails away on T in the corner again, but T is saved by the bell. Between rounds two and three, Orton splashes T with a bucket of water. Round three begins and Piper is a little overconfident and cocky. T starts working Piper over in the corner now, and hits him with some weak shots, clearly pulling his punches. Piper is sat down in the corner and the ref starts counting. Piper is up by 8. Piper gets pushed into the corner then takes a right from T, sending him out of the ring. Again, T is clearly pulling his punches. Piper makes it back into the ring and up by nine. Round three finishes with the two wrapped up near the ropes. Piper throws his stool at T prior to Round 4 and the two start wailing away on each other with roundhouse punches (think Rocky IV). Piper eventually decides he’s had enough and just bodyslams Mr. T, drawing a DQ at 13:20, bell to bell. Chaos ensues in the ring, Mr. T is announced the winner and I guess this was the big blowoff to the feud, thankfully. This was a good little bout, if not looking completely fake at times. ***.
4) Roddy Piper vs. Iron Sheik (3:52)
This is another SNME offering which first hit airwaves on 10/4/86. We actually have a minute-promo from Sheik as he exits his limo with Slick. You see, Piper was supposed to wrestle but Morales was brought in as a replacement. Piper hobbles out and tells Morales to leave and he obliges. Piper nails Sheik with the crutch he had, but the ref allows this and the match continues. Sheik goes right after the injured leg, but Piper counters a suplex with a small package 43 seconds in to pick up the victory. DUD since it was no match, but it was an entertaining angle.
5) Roddy Piper vs. Bob Orton (8:23)
Another SNME match, from 11/29/86. I don’t remember why these guys fought. Luckily we get an interview with Orton and Hart, conducted by Jesse Ventura, wearing a bad toupee here. Orton was mad he was abused by Piper, who was now face. We also get a silly video of Piper and Orton palling around. Piper gives a crazed interview to Okerlund prior to going down to the ring, too. Orton has both Hart and Don Muraco with him in his corner. Muraco and Hart interfere early and Hebner, our official, tosses Muraco from ringside. Piper just pummels Orton to start, tosses him to the corner and knee-lifts him for two. Orton gets in some token offense and a near pinfall, but Piper picks up the win after he knocks Orton into Hart, standing on the apron, and rolls him up at 3:46. Another quick SNME match. And you thought the quick matches only came about during the late 90’s Monday Night Wars. ½*.
6) Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis (11:32)
This is from the biggest WWE event ever, Wrestlemania III, held on 03/29/87. The stip here is that the loser gets his hair cut, and Adrian has not only Jimmy Hart, but a pair of shears with him. Slugfest right away, and Roddy wails away on Adonis with the leather belt he had in his tights. Hart distracts and its Adonis’ turn to use the belt. They continue brawling and Adonis bails, but Roddy pulls him and Hart back into the ring. He sends Hart into Adonis and they both tumble to the outside. They make it back in and this time Hart is sent off the top rope into Adonis. Piper is sent off the ropes and Hart trips him up, allowing Adonis to take over with his fat-guy offense. Piper is sent to the outside, where the ring apron is ripped off, and Hart throws in some cheapshots. Piper gets back in where a slugfest ensues, and again Hart interferes, spraying perfume into the face of Piper. Adonis locks on a sleeper as Hart celebrates on the outside. The ref checks the arm of Piper, and it drops twice, but not a third time and Adonis locks the hold, thinking he’s won. Barber comes in and revives Piper, who dispatches of Hart and locks the sleeper onto Adonis. Adonis succumbs to the sleeper at 6:07 and so Piper, with the help of Barber, start cutting the head of Adonis. The razor doesn’t work too well as they shave him, so they just go to the back to finish shaving him. Not a great match at all, but it definitely had the crowd going and told a good story. *.
7) Roddy Piper vs. Hulk Hogan (12:30)
This is also from the 02/18/85 MSG show. This has a cool title though, the “War to Settle The Score.” Orton has his cast on now at ringside, hurting it in the previous match. Albano, Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper are at ringside as well. They charge at each other right away and exchange punches. Hogan gets the better of it and sends Piper to the corner, then charges Piper in the corner. Piper drops and Hogan slams the Rowdy one, following with an elbow. Hogan bites the Irishman, but an Irish whip is reversed, followed with a clothesline for two. Piper stomps the Hulkster on the back of the head, then covers for two. Piper with a sleeper hold, but Hulkster gets out. Piper works over Hogan in the corner, and Orton cheats by choking Hogan. Hogan hits the injured arm and Orton goes to the back as Hogan clobbers Piper. Orton comes back with Orndorff as Hogan atomic drops Piper. He goes for another one but Piper punches Hogan, who falls into the ref. Piper holds down Hogan as Orndorff drops a knee from the top rope. Now both Orndorff and Piper are pounding Hogan and Cyndi gets on the apron to help Hogan. Orndorff and Piper head for Lauper but Mr. T hops over the railing to protect Cyndi and T comes into the ring. T turns around and Piper hits him from behind, and the duo stomps him. Hogan hulks up and is back up, and now T and Hulk are up and the duo of Orndorff and Piper flee, until Orton comes back. The NYPD get involved to separate the two parties and you now have your Wrestlemania I main event. Hogan is declared winner via DQ at about 7:00 or so. This wasn’t a match, but an angle to set up WMI. It was fun for what it was. *.
8) Roddy Piper vs. Rick Rude (14:15)
This is a steel cage match from a MSG show held on 12/28/89. I bet a lot of kids got tickets to this show as Christmas gifts. Did these guys have a feud at all? I don’t recall. Rude looked ripped at this stage. A new wrinkle was added to this, that you can win via pinfall inside the ring. Rude attacks Piper as soon as he enters the cage. Piper responds by whipping Rude with his belt. Rude is sent into the cage and is cut open, but he responds by punching Piper down and trying to make a break through the door. Piper stops him but Rude comes back with the Rude Awakening. Rude opts not to pin but to leave through the cage, allowing Piper to catch him. They run into each other and the double count is on, even though it’s a cage match and those rules don’t apply to this type of match. Both men get up and start climbing up the same side of the cage. They exchange rights and lefts and both climb over and escape, and both men hit the floor at the same time (in a spot that was REALLY contrived). The match must continue, though. Rude, it should be noted, has a really bad case of plumbers ass right now, as Piper pulled his tights down earlier and Rude never pulled them up. They get back into the cage and Rude climbs to the very top of the cage and stomps the head of Piper. Rude pins but Piper kicks out at two. Rude piledrives Piper and climbs up to the top of the cage again. This time Piper shakes the cage and Rude is crotched on there. Rude gets hung upside from the cage and he’s tied up allowing Piper to walk through the door. Except for the fact that Heenan slams it on his head. Rude, at the top of the cage already, climbs back in to cover and he only gets a two. Belly to back suplex for Rude allows Heenan to toss some brass knuckles to him, but Piper gets them, punches Rude, and he climbs out the door at 12:56. Well, that was one of the most boring, disjointed, most contrived matches I’ve ever seen. ¼*.
9) Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown (11:51)
This is from Wrestlemania VI, held on 04/01/90. They show the pre-match interview where Piper has half his body colored in black. Yeah, that would fly today. There’s a sign saying Piper for PM, and Jesse says something about being president. He would actually end up in office as governor of Minnesota years later. Brown goes right after Piper but Piper comes back with a cross-body for two. They brawl a bit, Bad News controls most of the match until he takes the turnbuckle pad off and ends up getting whipped into it. Piper puts on a white glove on his black hand and punches Brown around. The two end up brawling on the outside, Bad News punches the steel post, Piper misses with a chair and the ref calls for the bell at 6:47. This was just a brawl from start to finish, and not a real good one. The official decision is a double count-out. ½*.
10) Roddy Piper(c) vs. Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Title (19:36)
Piper won the belt at Royal Rumble (his first ever title) though that much is shown next. Weird. Anyway, Piper won his first belt and was really just a lame-duck champ until he met Bret Hart at Wrestlemania VIII, held in Indianapolis on 4/5/92, an event my cousins went to. Piper and Bret were both face at the time, they show the pre-match interview, and this may be the only real wrestling match we see on this collection! They start with some mat wrestling until Hart dumps Piper and Piper comes back in and smacks the Hitman. They wrestle some more and Hitman ducks a clothesline and responds with a dropkick, but injures shoulder on the way down. He was just playing possum and small packages Piper for two. Piper smacks Hart and now they start getting a bit rough. Hart hits a crossbody on Piper and they cautiously make their way over the top rope to the outside. Piper actually lets Hart back into the ring, then sucker punches him. Piper bulldogs Hart, who is now busted open, and covers for two. Piper slugs Hart down and covers for two. Hart start fighting back and forearms Piper to the outside. Piper comes back in and a double clothesline sends both men down to the mat. Piper is up first and heads to the top rope, but Hart pops up and brings Piper down. Atomic drop leads to a suplex for two. Side Russian Legsweep gets two, backbreaker leads to Bret trying for the Sharpshooter. Roddy blocks it so Hart drops an elbow in Piper’s face. Hart tries for the second rope elbow but Piper puts up the boot and catches Hart on the way down. The two battle it out, the ref is bumped, and Piper takes the ringbell. He can’t bring himself to use it on Hart so he tosses it aside. Piper goes for the sleeper hold instead. Piper has it locked on but Bret uses the turnbuckle to push himself on top of Piper to pick up the pin and the title at 13:50. Definitely the best match on here, and one of Roddy’s best pure wrestling matches. Bret must be one of the only guys to own a clean win over Piper during his time in the WWE. ****.
11) Roddy Piper vs. Mountie(c) for the Intercontinental Title
This is from the 1992 Royal Rumble, which took place on January 19th. The champ is introduced first, followed by the challenger, Piper. Piper blindsides the Mountie to start and Mountie immediately tries to bail, but Piper keeps pulling him away. Mountie eventually gets to the outside, and Piper follows. Mountie hides behind Hart and gains the upper hand. It doesn’t last long as Piper smacks around Mountie. Heenan and Gorilla talk about Flair and Gorilla teases Bobby saying Flair will be #1. Heenan has been saying all night Flair will win since he’s the true champ. Mountie dodges a dropkick attempt and covers Piper for two. Piper is sent to the outside but comes back with a sunset flip for two. Atomic drop almost sends Mountie over the top, but he holds on. Hart has distracted Piper and Mountie charges. At the last minute, Piper evades and Mountie hits Hart. Piper goes right for the sleeper hold and that’s all she wrote, as Mountie is out at 5:22. That was a short match. Hart comes in with the shock stick but he’s sent outside and Piper uses the shock stick on the knocked out Mountie, complete with piped in sound effect. Piper is the IC champion, his first WWE belt. Very short match, and it was mostly a comedy match, but one which I enjoyed **.
12) Roddy Piper vs. Goldust (15:34)
This debacle comes from Wrestlemania XIII, one of the worst Wrestlemania’s ever, and took place on 03/31/96. We get the recap video for this whole feud, and it’s nothing that interesting. This is a back-lot brawl and fitting enough, this match start on the back lot of the arena. There are fans cheering him on outside as Goldust enters in a gold car and Piper meets him with a bat. They do some senseless brawling, Goldust hits Piper with his car, Piper chases Goldust in a white Bronco (cue the OJ Simpson footage!) and they end up at the arena. They make their way to the ring where they finish their “match.” Goldust piledrives Piper and then rips his shirt off. They continue brawling, Piper grabs Goldust’s nuts (and Goldust was the gay one?), then rips his clothes off to reveal women’s underwear. Goldust runs off after about 13:00 and this was just terrible. DUD.
13) Roddy Piper vs. Hollywood Hogan (17:55)
This is the only WCW match on here, and it’s from Starrcade held on 12/29/96. The whole thing here is that it’s ICON vs. ICON. Slugfest to start, won by Piper, sends Hogan reeling. Hogan comes back with some rights of his own, but misses a clothesline in the corner. Piper clothesline Hogan down and Hogan bails to the outside again. Hogan walks into a side headlock once he returns, but he manages to break free and they brawl outside for awhile. The fans are just going crazy sitting on their hands during this match. Back inside and Piper ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own, then kicks Hogan to the outside. Hogan starts leaving but this time Piper follows. Piper whips Hogan with a belt then chokes him with it in the ring. They end up outside again, DiBiase (in Hulk’s corner) interferes and now Hogan has a chance to control this awful match. Hogan starts working the hip of Piper, even throwing in an abdominal stretch. Piper comes back with a small package for two. Piper suplexes Hogan for two, Hogan misses the big boot, the Giant makes his way to ringside and tries to chokeslam Piper. A fan tries to run into the ring and he’s taken out by security, Piper gets free of the Giant and locks the sleeper on Hogan and Hogan is out at 15:37. I didn’t think that would be the finish, but there it was. This was incredibly boring. Hall and Nash come out to attack Piper afterwards. Eh, not too much of a match. ½*.
—Disc Three—(2:51:48) Disc Three is the Piper’s Pit portion of our collection, and it must have almost all the Pits on here.
1) Championship Wrestling (CW) 01/24/84 – Guest: Robert Debord (2:26)
This was the first ever Piper’s Pit, and Robert Debord talks about a newly renamed magazine (WWF Magazine) and a new article called Piper’s Pit. Piper’s face is pretty scarred here. Piper says he won’t be stupid like Debord is and makes fun of Putski.
2) CW 03/06/84 – Guest: Andre the Giant (2:03)
Piper interviews Andre, berates him, claims that Studd slammed him and claims that he can slam him, so Andre chokes him down. Piper does lay down the classic line, “You do not throw rocks at the man who has a machine gun.”
3) CW 03/27/84 – Guest: Frank Williams (2:08)
This is where the Pit got put on the mat. Piper berates a jobber, Frank Williams, and it’s just classic Piper. Another classic line, “Just when they think they’ve got the answers, I change the questions.”
4) Tuesday Night Titans (TNT) 03/07/86 – Guest: The Haiti Kid (2:31)
This is yet another classic moment for the Pit. Piper and Bob Orton bring Haiti Kid, a midget wrestler, the Pit and they shave his head. This was a set-up to the Mr. T match.
5) Wrestling Challenge (WC) 02/07/87 – Guests: Jesse Ventura, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant (4:09)
This was a big angle for the Pit. Piper was a face at this time, for the record. Piper brings out Hogan, Ventura brings out Andre, Andre demands a title shot and rips off the shirt of Hogan which of course was the opening shot to the Wrestlemania III main event. Piper was really just an observer here but this showed that the Pit was a vehicle to set up other angles as well as his own.
6) TNT 06/26/84 – Guest: Jimmy Snuka (4:24)
This is probably one of the most well-known Pits. Basically, Snuka is on the Pit, Piper berates him then smacks him in the head with a coconut. It borders on racist, as Piper calls Snuka a monkey and gives him bananas. Piper whips him then runs away and hides in his locker room.
7) Madison Square Garden (MSG) 03/17/85 – Guests: Mr. T, Hulk Hogan & Jimmy Snuka (15:39)
This was a few weeks before Wrestlemania I. Piper has Bob Orton with him and Piper starts this off by mentioning its St. Patrick’s Day. He makes fun of New York, of the Yankees, then brings out Paul Orndorff. T, Hogan, and one other jabroni comes out. They argue, and Piper and the heels leave to boos. Mr. T says he’s been training and not eating and he doesn’t play fair. He won’t wrestle either but will play dirty. Of course, the fans cheer this obvious disregard for the rules.
8) Primetime Wrestling (PW) 01/22/85 – Guests: Salvatore Bellomo & JunkYard Dog (10:48)
This is another live one in the ring. Piper again has Ace with him (Bob Orton). Piper makes fun of Jersey, so I guess they be in Jersey right now. He makes fun of a guy and a gal from Jersey, then he calls out JYD. Bellomo comes out instead. Orndorff comes out, to join in on the berating of Bellomo. They rough him up a bit, prompting JYD to run out and help his friend.
9) TNT 03/22/85 – Guest: Paul Orndorff (1:58)
This is just a self-congratulatory promo where Piper, Orton and Orndorff make fun of Hogan and T.
10) PW 11/05/85 – Guest: Bruno Sammartino (9:41)
Piper makes fun of NY and the Yankees, so I guess this is MSG. Bruno comes out and demands that Orton leaves so they can interview like men. They basically trade barbs back and forth, until Bruno shoves Piper down. Piper responds with a chair shot.
11) SuperStars (SS) 10/18/86 – Guest: Jimmy Hart (4:07)
Piper’s career is done according to Hart, and he gives Roddy some demeaning gifts. Piper ties Jimmy down and washes his mouth down with some sort of rubbing alcohol. Not too entertaining.
12) SS 11/08/86 – Guests: Bobby Heenan & Harley Race (2:56)
Heenan and Race come out, and no one can beat Race according to the King. Roddy crowns Race with a toilet seat.
13) SS 11/15/86 – Guests: Hulk Hogan & WWE Executives (2:10)
Piper brings out Hogan, and Piper doesn’t like Hogan. Hogan congratulates Piper on destroying the Flower Shop (Adonis’ interview segment) and the two just show mutual respect for each other.
14) SS 03/14/87 – Guest: Hulk Hogan (3:29)
Piper says this will be one of the last Pits we’ll see because Piper will be retiring in two weeks after WMIII.
15) SS 03/28/87 (3:11)
This is the final Pit, and Piper says this will be the last one we see in our entire life. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Rod. Roddy gives a good interview talking about his children and he can be home with them (to raise them as good Americans).
16) Wrestlemania V 04/02/89 (WM) – Guests: Brother Love and Morton Downey Jr. (18:17)
Two years after Roddy said there would be no more Pit’s, we have this. This is 20 minutes of interview time, DONE AT A WRESTLEMANIA. Brother Love comes out, makes fun of Piper, then brings out Morton Downey Jr. Piper comes out, knocks out Love, then gets into a war of words with Piper and ends up getting doused with a fire extinguisher. This was way too long, but the Brother Love imitation of Piper was funny.
17) Smackdown (SD) 04/10/03 – Guests: Vince McMahon & Rikishi (15:02)
Well, after 14 years, the Pit returned. McMahon is out there first, bragging how he killed Hulkamania. Vince brings out Piper and Vince makes fun of Piper a bit, so Piper comes back with the failures of McMahon. So after that little exchange the two celebrate their hatred of Hogan. But Piper’s hatred extends to McMahon, too. Piper rubs it in his face that McMahon lost to Hogan at WM and McMahon leaves. Rikishi comes out, coconut in hand, to complain about what happened to Snuka 20 years ago. Sean O’Haire comes out to attack Rikishi as Piper cheers him on. Piper smashes the coconut into Rikishi’s fat head.
18) SD 04/17/03 – Guest: Jimmy Snuka (11:12)
Piper shows footage of what he did to Snuka way back in 1984, then shows what he did to Rikishi, then brings out O’Haire (who has terrible mic skills) until finally Snuka comes out to defend his honor. Snuka fights off Piper, causing O’Haire to come out and protect Piper, drawing Rikishi.
19) SD 04/15/03 – Guest: Mr. America (10:29)
Mr. America, who looks like Hulk Hogan in disguise, and moves like him, comes out. Well, it can’t be Hogan because he’s not allowed in the WWE! McMahon has placed an open contract on Mr. America. You know, I watched the product religiously up until 2004, but it seems everything after 2001 has been completely erased from my memory. Anyway, Piper attacks America from behind, but he’s Americaning up (thanks for that line Tazz), and American downs Piper and O’Haire but they double-team him and try to rip his mask off. So a “fan” at ringside comes in to save America (the same fan who America gave his flag too as he ran out) and Piper attacks him. He pulls at his leg and it comes off. It was prosthetic, it seems. This was the start to something completely terrible, I recall now.
20) SD 06/12/03 – Guests: Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri (5:41)
Eddie and Tajiri join the Pit, where Piper has laid out some Mexican and Japanese food. Tajiri gives the belt to O’Haire in exchange for food but O’Haire won’t give the belt back, so Tajiri spits in their faces.
21) WM XXI 04/10/03 – Guests: Stone Cold Steve Austin & Carlito (14:13)
So this is another year Piper’s Pit takes away from actual wrestling at the biggest WWE event of the year. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame earlier that weekend and he acknowledges that, then brings out Steve Austin. They jaw a bit, then Carlito comes out. Carlito wants both of these old-timers to leave the ring. Piper takes Carlito’s apple then spits it in his face. Carlito responds by knocking Piper down and beating him, prompting Austin to stomp a mudhole in him. Stunner sends Carlito down, then Piper tosses him to the outside of the ring. Austin and Piper celebrate in the ring with some beers, then Austin stuns him.
22) RAW 07/11/05 – Guest: Shawn Michaels (10:21)
Michaels cuts a promo against Hulk Hogan, in preparation for an upcoming match. Or a match they just had. I didn’t pay too much attention to be honest with you. Yeah, it is hype for their Summerslam match. Piper takes a super-kick in the process of this interview segment.
23) RAW 10/03/05 – Guests: Mick Foley, Randy Orton & Bob Orton (7:44)
Foley introduces our host, Roddy Piper. Randy and Bob Orton interrupts and Randy’s pissed at Roddy for the humiliation his father suffered back in the mid 80’s as Piper’s bodyguard. Orton end up hitting the RKO on both Piper and Foley.
24) SD 06/02/06 – Guest: The Great Khali (6:57)
Piper brings out Khali, who man-handled the Undertaker at the previous PPV. Cole says he’s never seen that before, but we have, at Royal Rumble with the Giant Gonzalez. That didn’t turn out well. Piper makes fun of Khali, smacks down Khali’s manager, then gets chopped by Khali. Man, those last few Pit’s didn’t turn out well for Roddy.
This is the standard WWE release. It’s Widescreen and Dolby Digital, but it really doesn’t need all the surrounds since the documentary portion has them just talking and wrestling is just the wrestling. The video quality varies, especially the non-WWE stuff and even the earlier Pits. Still, its better than old tapes I have and that’s a big plus.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This was the standard WWE three-disc fold-open package. The liner notes include the chapter descriptions, the extras and the matches on the disc. It’s well done.
D) Easter Eggs
1) Starrcade 83 Memories (0:56)
To get to this interesting story of Roddy’s experience in the Dog Collar Match go the Chapters, highlight Starrcade 1983 and hit left twice.
Previews actually start this off. I mean real-life movie previews. Well, it’s for Cena’s, “The Marine,” but still, it’s an actual movie preview. Of course we get the WWE 24/7 ad, the Hulk Ultimate Anthology DVD set (which I have and need to review), the Brian Pillman DVD (again which I have and need to review), the McMahon DVD (again, which I have and need to review), and the usual don’t try this at home PSA. The main program was one I enjoyed and in all the stuff on Disc One was gold. Disc Two does a really good job showing the highlights of Piper’s time in wrestling. It hits almost all his big matches in the WWE. Some may complain of a lot of duplication here, but really, Piper really only wrestled at the big events like Wrestlemania. There were some great old matches from SNME and MSG shows, all his WM matches, and a WCW match thrown in for good measure. It’s a career retrospective so it’s appropriate they show his biggest and best matches. I have no problems with any of the matches included here, and I can’t think of any other ones that should be on here. One drawback was that the Piper matches usually weren’t that great, wrestling-wise, so beware of that. Disc Three had some absolute classic Pit moments, but everything after the WMV Pit was just very long and tough to sit through. You know, I don’t know if this is every Pit ever, but if it isn’t, more of the earlier years would’ve been nice. Actually looking at the DVD case, there are clips form older Pits that didn’t make it on here. It’s just the product had degenerated so much by 2003 it was tough to watch anything, including Piper. Another minor gripe is that the Pits are presented here out of order. Why not just put it chronologically? Whatever, this really was the best of Piper. What little exists of his pre-WWE career is on here, his whole WWE career is represented very well, though more Pits from the 80’s should’ve been on here. There’s some really classic things on here and for any Piper fan or fan of the classic Rock N’ Roll wrestling era WWE should have this in their collections. Newer fans should pick this up to see why Piper main evented the first Wrestlemania, though skip the last few matches on here.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 There’s at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, don’t even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.