Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Bill Camp
It seems like a popular time to talk about on this website is
the day one rowdy Scotsman entered the writers respective territory or
promotion. Something about
the character, charisma and interview style of Mr. Piper makes that a
very memorable time in professional wrestling.
It was no different when he entered the WWF around 1984.
One week on All Star Wrestling (it may have actually been
late 1983, or early 1984, I’m not really sure) Paul Orndorff was
wrestling one of his usual squash matches, when who should come out of
the dressing room, but a man they called “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
He watched the match and rooted for Orndorff. Later it was announced that Piper was the new manager of
“Mr. Wonderful.” That’s
right, Piper start out in the WWF, not as a wrestler, nor as the host of
his famed Piper’s Pit, but as a manager.
Soon after, Piper also appeared in the corner of “Dr. D”
David Schultz (that’s right, the same guy who will forever be
remembered for slugging a host of ABC’s 20/20).
When Piper was in the corner of his men, it was difficult to pay
attention to the action. He
really stole the show, and brought your attention away from what was
happening in the ring. I
remember he would walk around as a cocky, arrogant SOB when his guy was
winning, but as soon as the opponent would make an offensive move, he
would go nuts in loud tirades.
After just a few weeks as a manager, they gave Piper his own interview segment. “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers hosted a show called Rogers’ Corner for some time on WWF TV. Then they took the show off for another interview segment called Victory Magazine. “Victory” was the WWF’s magazine before it was called simply “WWF Magazine.” The host was some boring interviewer whom I can’t even remember the name of right now and the show was very short lived. The segment was prerecorded in a studio instead of being live in front of the crowd, so the segment was a real washout. Finally, it was thankfully replaced by Piper’s Pit, which returned to the live format and had an obviously colorful host in the “Rowdy One.” Piper continued managing along with his new segment duties. I think the first guest of Piper’s Pit was Tony Garea, who almost never did interviews. Well, this interview was a snap for him, because every time Piper asked a question he would snap the microphone away before Garea could get more than one word out. This went on for several weeks with other guests like Salvatore Bellomo, Jimmy Snuka (no, not the one with the coconut incident yet, I’m getting to that), and a few others.More...