Canadian Bulldog's True Wrestling Stories: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
By Canadian Bulldog Dec 5, 2006 - 1:44 PM
Canadian Bulldog's "Guess The True Wrestling Story Contest": Conclusion
By Canadian Bulldog
…and we have a winner!!!
Congratulations to ClubWWI Member Alan Traimen of Columbus, Ohio, who was the first person to correctly guess the subject of this week's "True Wrestling Story". He wins a copy of World Wrestling Insanity: The Decline and Fall of a Family Empire, described by the New York Times as "the only book written by an IWC writer who isn't a total dick". Congratulations, Alan!
Before we get to who Alan guessed (well, you could just scroll down a little further, but don't do that), let me mention the clues one last time, which were all broadcast on my "Complete and Utter Bulldog" audio show on ClubWWI.com
. The person featured in this week's TWS:
Has never been the subject of a past True Wrestling Story.
Has never held the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
Has been a commentator.
Has feuded with Jerry "The King" Lawler
Has been seen on WWE programming within the last year.
Has had major surgery in the last five years.
Now, I have to be honest: when I started planning this contest months ago, this person hadn't been all that visible recently. But since then, he's appeared on pay-per-view, won the tag team titles, had a three-disc DVD of himself released and most recently, has dealt with some very troubling news (which, don't worry, I'm not going to make fun of).
If you haven't guessed yet who I'm thinking of, then you really do need to read…
… wait for it …
The True Wrestling Story of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
(JG Note: We know that ol' Hot Rod will take Canadian Bulldog's lampooning all in good fun....er, uh, hopefully. Everyone here at World Wrestling Insanity wishes Roddy the best in his fight against Lymphoma. In fact, our very own Mike Rickard is currently compiling a scrap book to be sent to Piper himself. You can get all the info on how to contribute by clicking the following link: Repay The Piper)
According to the back of the package that once housed this rubberized LJN Toys action figure, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was born in Glasgow, Scotland. However, Piper claims that, while he's of Scottish heritage, he was actually born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Now, see, if I were Piper, I would have stuck with Glasgow. Don't get me wrong - I'm a proud Canadian and all that, but Winnipeg isn't exactly known for its A-List of celebrities being born there. If you exclude Chris Jericho (because he wasn't born there), the list kind of bottoms out after game-show host Monty Hall, cancer activist Terry Fox, NHL star Mike Ridley and two members from the band Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
(No offense to my Winnipegean readers, of course.)
Piper left his family at an early age and soon became involved in playing the bagpipes. Then he moved on to wrestling. Then he went to the AWA. Then San Francisco. Then Portland's Pacific Northwest group. Then Ring of Honor. Then the NWA Mid-Atlantic territory.
(Sorry for the compressed information, but I bet someone that I could cram about twenty-five years of history into one paragraph. You should have seen my high school book report on The Cold War.)
After a decade or so of mostly meaningless NWA matches against guys like Playboy Buddy Rose, Rick Martel, Rick Steamboat, Ric Flair, Greg Valentine and C.M. Punk, Piper made his way to the big time.
When he first arrived in the World Wrestling Federation in 1983, company officials (I blame that bastard Jack Tunney) told Piper his talents would be better suited to hosting a talk show. Imagine that kind of mentality being around in the business today -- they'd never stand for it!
Backed by his bodyguard Cowboy Bob Orton, he started a talk show known as "Piper's Pit", named after that chick on "Charmed". Among Piper's guests in the early days were jobber Frankie Williams, Andre The Giant (pictured above, w/ horribly misshapen crotch) and C.M. Punk.
Yet his most famous Piper's Pit was yet to come. He was kind enough to wait for it until we started a new chapter…
The date was September 12th, notable because that's also my birthday. (Actually, I have no earthly idea if that was the actual date of this incident -- I just wanted to start lobbying early for gifts from you guys…)
Piper had, as his guest on the Pit, legendary superstar Superfly Jimmy Snuka. The two were such fierce rivals that they had to be separated by a piece of shrink-wrapped plastic that was glued to a sheet of cardboard.
Piper tried to make fun of Snuka's heritage, and then walloped him with a coconut, knocking the Polynesian superstar unconscious. Yet whenever a coconut used to fall on the head of Gilligan, the first mate no-sold it. Go figure!
Yet, hitting someone with a piece of tropical fruit didn't turn out to be Piper's greatest accomplishment. No, it was probably this match…
In the main event of the first-ever WrestleMania, Piper teamed with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff (who was doing a pretty good Iron Sheik impression and floating above Piper's shoulders) against the duo of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (who grew in his hair and lost muscle mass to look more like Junkyard Dog and surprisingly, was able to balance himself on one foot atop Hogan's head).
Much like "The Marine", the match was box-office magic. While Orndorff took the fall for his team, Piper remained strong against Hogan in a series of rematches around the country.
He then focused his attention to other top babyfaces in the company, such as the aforementioned Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Junkyard Dog (who, for the occasion, dressed like Mr. T) and C.M. Punk before taking a brief hiatus.
And following that hiatus, Piper opened up a new chapter of his life. Much like we're opening a new chapter of our story.
Don't know about you, but I am LOVING the segues this week…
Whenever Piper returned from his drug-induced hiatus (come on people - prove me wrong!), he found out that his talk show had been replaced by a show featuring pastel colors, a 300-plus pound cross-dresser, pink cowboy hats and tons of flowers. We can only conclude from this that Vince McMahon is a homosexual.
Piper took exception to "Adorable" Adrian Adonis (real name: "Adorable" Wayne Adonis) taking his spot, and began a lengthy feud that would only end when one man died. True, Adonis died years later after their feud had, technically, finished, but again -- prove me wrong, people!!!
(As a sidenote, I know I've ragged on LJN before for creating action figures that look little like their real-life counterparts, but just LOOK at that Adonis one! Not only have they completely missed their mark on his likeness, but what kind of wrestling moves could he have possibly executed in that pose? A slap? A Stone Cold Stunner in which you don't have to sit down? I mean, at least with Piper's figure, he can throw a decent punch. Just look at him there, measuring his opponent, ready to land a nice haymaker.)
After defeating Adonis in front of 75,00095,000, 140,000, 976 billion people at WrestleMania III (source: Statistics Canada), Piper retired from the ring, never to be seen again.
… OR WAS HE???
… he was.
(Okay, that was a shitty segue. I'll grant you that much.)
After his retirement, Hollywood came calling (which is probably why you haven't seen a Canadian Bulldog movie produced yet – I'm not retired) and offered Piper a lead role in the film "They Live".
This led to a series of shitty movies, most of them co-starring Billy Blanks for some reason. They included "Hell Comes To Frogtown", "Buy And Sell", "Body Slam", "Clothesline", "Rear Naked Choke", "Shining Wizard" and "C.M. Punk".
After filming more B-movies than Stuart Stone (Hey, Stu, you know we here at TWS love ya; here, I'll even plug your new DVD "Blowin' Up" for you), Piper returned back to the wrestling business.
WHAT?! This is Piper from WrestleMania VI. Honest. I was in the audience. Don't make me out to be Michael Richards or anything just because I'm recreating history with action figures!
(And yes, it does kind of look like he has a swarm of bees attacking his arm. Hey, YOU try making ten interesting pictures featuring wrestling toys, and then you can criticize, okay?)
Starting in 1989, Piper would return to the World Wrestling Federation on a semi-regular basis. Kind of like Mae Young, but slightly more senile.
He battled Bad News Brown, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, C.M. Punk and Ric Flair. He managed Virgil for a short spell (great career move there, Pipes). He even defeated current Radio Free Insanity guest Jacques Rougeau (Nice timing, JG!) to win the Intercontinental title.
He also announced on the show WWF Superstars of Wrestling, replacing Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and claims in his autobiography that he was so good at doing so, he made Vince McMahon throw up once.
And no, I'm not making that part up. But speaking of puke…
In 1999, Eric Bischoff hired Piper to recreate his feud with Hulk Hogan in World Championship Wrestling (Note: above scene is a dramatic re-enactment only and, no, Piper and Bischoff weren't really holding hands at the time).
This led to a cage match between Hogan and Piper dubbed "Age In The Cage", alluding to the fact that there hadn't been that many artificial hips, swollen knees and broken-down bodies in one room since Canadian Bulldog's prom night (don't ask…)
Over in the World Wrestling Federation, the announcers joked about the pay-per-view offering and particularly the ages of the two competitors. So of course, when they had both of them back in the fold four years later, they scrambled to organize a rematch.
Although Piper's WCW run was characterized by his feud with Hogan, he also made time to help out younger stars, such as Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, C.M. Punk and Randy Savage.
By the year 2000, WCW terminated Piper's contract, and many assumed that, at his age (62), he was finished with professional wrestling…
… OR WAS HE?
… he wasn't. (Oops, I already did that segue before, didn't I?)
Piper found work in various smaller wrestling promotions, such as the XWF ("No Primadonnas Allowed!"), TNA ("Some Primadonnas Allowed!") and UPW ("Very Few Primadonnas Allowed, Though One Or Two May Slip By").
He also released an autobiography that claimed, among other things, he would wear a black shirt and kilt until wrestling -- and that despicable World Wrestling Federation, where promoters tried to kill its wrestlers -- cleaned up its act.
Guess where he surfaced next?
Piper returned to a WWE ring again in 2003, interfering in the Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon co-main event at WrestleMania XIX. Apparently, he also hit the "free all-you-can-eat donut buffet" backstage at Mania before coming out. Either that or someone knocked him up.
Piper's WWE run that year was short-lived. His new "Piper's Pit" segments were a shell of what they'd used to be, even with the addition of future MMA superstar Sean O' Haire, who himself is starting to get into "Piper shape".
But I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know…
Piper was released by WWE after appearing on an HBO program and admitting dark secrets about the wrestling business (such as "It's fake"). McMahon was so incensed that the WWE website, in announcing the termination, openly said Piper needed to get help for himself.
So it made perfect sense that, less than two years later, Piper made his grand return to the company, being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and appearing in a special "Piper's Pit" at WrestleMania 21.
He's been on good terms with WWE since then, even winning the World Tag Team Titles at last month's "Cyber Sunday" PPV with good friend C.M. Punk. And late last month, it was announced that Piper was beginning his toughest fight to date.
Will Piper lose his battle with cancer? Hell, he wouldn't even job to Hogan. What makes you think cancer has a chance?