Wrestling Show (within the show) business

Craig Wilson

(Image courtesy of newwrestlecrap.proboards.com)

Piper and Snuka square off on ‘Piper’s Pit’ (Image courtesy of newwrestlecrap.proboards.com)

Interview segments have always been a part of wrestling. Those more familiar with the recent era will have seen Chris Jericho’s ‘Highlight Reel’ and ‘Miz TV’. The latter is predictably rubbish but the former is passable at times. That said, they are nothing compared to what these segments used to be like.

Nowadays these interviews are used primarily to add a dimension to a match or feud that doesn’t have any dimension of note. That’s not always been the case. These shows, back in the day, used to be pivotal to the development of feuds.

Those of an older vintage will remember Rick ‘The Model’ Martel spraying ‘arrogance’ in Jake Roberts’ eyes on the Brother Love Show, Ric Flair jumping Hogan during an interview on The Funeral Parlour and Shawn Michaels superkicking Marty Jannetty, and splitting up The Rockers, on The Barber Shop.

Each of these moments led to reasonably pay-offs or big matches. Martel and Roberts met in a blindfold match at Wrestlemania 7, The Undertaker and Hogan traded title wins before it the Heavyweight Title was declared vacant and Flair won it at the 1992 Royal Rumble and the former Rockers feuded over the Intercontinental Title for much of the early part of 1993.

But all of those pale in comparison to feuds and storylines that began on ‘The Piper’s Pit’. For those unfamiliar, this was hosted by Rowdy Roddy Piper and was a prominent part of WWF programming, and in storylines, from 1984 to 1987 and sporadically since.

And what a wealth of angles and feuds began on that show. There was the always casted ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton and Piper kidnapping The Haiti Kid and shaving his head in the style of Mr. T due to his allegiance with the man Piper was feuding with. The Pit was also where the late Adrian Adonis abandoned his leather and bad-boy biker persona for the more flamboyant, borderline homosexual gimmick that many remember best.

However, by far the most memorable were Piper smashing a coconut over the head of ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka after an insulting interview and Andre the Giant turning on Hulk Hogan, in a segment that led to their epic encounter at Wrestlemania 3. Hell, it was even on one of these segments that Piper announced one of his many retirements from the squared circle.

The words “often imitated never duplicated” are never more apt than when describing the mic work of Piper and his ‘Piper’s Pit’ segment. The heat he drew and how over he was as a heel contributed greatly to its success. Sure, some of the more recent Piper’s Pits have been borderline woeful but even that can’t take anything away from their importance during the height of the show.

Whether it’s the heel Piper confusing everyone by comforting Hogan after Andre ripped off his t-shirt and necklace or the insulting nature of his interview with Snuka. These, and others, are moments that will live with wrestling fans forever. Let’s be grateful then that we have Miz TV now then, huh?

One thought on “Wrestling Show (within the show) business

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling | Ring the Damn Bell

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