The Gimmick is a mean bagpipest
Thu, 2 November 2006
by: The Gimmick
Email the Author
Whenever I hear bagpipes I think of one man. No not Groundskeeper Willie, or even Johnnie Walker, but the "Rowdy Scot" himself - Rowdy Roddy Piper. He is the man who was first a skinny 17 year old rookie and later became not only the greatest Heel in wrestling, but one of the most revered and respected in the sport's history. Now for the first time, the WWE have released (through Shock) a 3 disc set on this legend's career, entitled - Born To Controversy: The Roddy Piper Story.
Disc one has a great feature documenting Piper's entire career, from his childhood on the streets through to his first match at aged 15. The story of his first match is great! He touches on the territories he worked for early on including Winnipeg, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Texas. Then it was onto Los Angeles where he got his big break in a program with Java Ruuk (aka WWE Hall Of Famer Johnny Rodz).
But it was a moment he had involving the Mexican fans in LA that caught the eye of Vince McMahon Snr. The story is typical Piper and is one of the funniest I have ever heard.
He didn't make it to New York right away (and he tells why in the extras section) but he did head to Portland Oregon where he shot to stardom. From there it wasn't long before he was mixing it up on the other side of the US, Charlotte NC (Mid Atlantic) to be exact, and butting heads with Ric Flair and notably his classic feud with Greg "The Hammer" Valentine culminating to their timeless Dog Collar Match from Starrcade 83.
It was now time to head to the World Wrestling Federation, but he didn't go as a wrestler, due to the equilibrium problems he sustained from the Dog Collar Match. Instead he entered as a manager and soon after he also became host of the landmark interview segment known simply as Piper Pit.
|Did Brian Singer consider using the Hot Rod in Superman Returns? |
From there the DVD goes into detail of his involvement with the "Rock 'N' Wrestling" connection and, ultimately, the first Wrestlemania. His friendship with "Cowboy" Bob Orton is covered, as is his rivalry with Hulk Hogan and his real life feud with Mr. T.
In 1987, Piper left wrestling for Hollywood, his most memorable role was as the lead in John Carpenter's They Live. But Roddy would return to the squared circle in 1989 and feud with legends such as "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Ric Flair and Bad News Brown (his fued with Bad News included some of the most controversial moments in Piper's career!).
Along the way Piper also became a co-commentator with Vince McMahon, and captured his only WWE strap: the Intercontinental Championship, before leaving full time again in 1992. He resurfaced in 1996 as an interim president for Gorilla Monsoon, only to hand the duties back within a matter of months.
Next, Roddy turned up in WCW, to battle with his long time nemesis Hulk Hogan (and the NWO faction "Holywood" Hogan was leading at the time).
Finally, the Hot Rot came back to WWE, to sparsely compete and eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The remainder of disc one is filled with incredible stories of ribs, (one in particular involving Johnny Valentine and Jay York, a Classic!), and four matches, two from Portland and two from Mid Atlantic.
Disc two is all about his matches in WWE, from 1985 through to 1996, including: "The war to Settle the Score" against Hulk Hogan. The Main Event from the original WrestleMania where he and Paul Orndorff fought Hulk Hogan and Mr.T and the WrestleMania 2 boxing match against Mr.T. Three Saturday Night's Main Event matches against "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, The Iron Sheik and former bodyguard "Cowboy" Bob Orton. Four more WrestleMania matches (so there are 6 overall)are included as well: The "Hair Vs Hair" match against "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, Bad News Brown, Bret "Hit Man" Hart and the "Hollywood Back-lot Brawl" against Goldust. Also included is a Steel Cage match from 1989 against "Ravishing" Rick Rude, his IC Title victory against The Mountie and his match in WCW at Starrcade 1996 against Hulk Hogan. There are approximately 3 hours worth of Roddy Piper matches on disc two alone!
Onto Disc three and here is where Roddy Piper shines like no other, as it is filled with classic Piper's Pit segments - from the original in 1984, through to 2006. All the classics are here , such as: The Piper's Pit from MSG a month before the original WrestleMania, the Jimmy Snuka "coconut" Pit, the Andre The Giant challenge for Hulk Hogans title prior to WrestleMania III and the infamous Bruno Sammartino "Wop" Pit, which set up a great off TV feud between the two. Also included is the WrestleMania V return pit with Brother Love and Morton Downey Jr and his farewell Pit back in 1987 before he headed to Hollywood.
Also on here are some of the more recent Pits with names such as Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin & Carlito, Mr. McMahon & Rikishi and Shawn Michaels. Again this is a 3 hour disc and every one of those minutes is highly entertaining.
|Which of them truly has the bigger "grapefruits"? |
I know this run down doesn't do this compilation justice. With almost 9 hours worth of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper at his best - and sometimes his worst all - all I can do is urge everyone reading this to go out and get a copy and watch it. My only problem with it was that it could've included more of the older Piper's Pit segments, but other than that it (which probably have required a fourth disc) it would be hard to think of anything that could make this any better. As the Hot Rod has said himself, "May you be a half an hour in heaven, before the devil knows you're dead."
Wrestling is real, everything else is fake!
by: The Gimmick
Email the Author
More articles by The Gimmick
Born to Controvery: The Roddy Piper Story is full of so many stories of backstage goings on and ribs that, personally, I know it won't ever be very far from my DVD player - just in case I need a fix of the Rowdy one!