Jamie Lithgow, Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
In ‘This Week in Wrestling’ Jamie shares what Raw taught him this week, Craig talks about the passing of Roddy Piper while Brian shares with us the best wrestling related images he’s come across this week. All that and much much more in the latest edition of This Week in Wrestling…
“Hold On A Minute Playa…”
- Having announced just one match, apparently it was necessary to add an extra hour to Summerslam
- Booking a ‘first time ever’ match doesn’t really count if it feels like we’ve already seen it a million times before
- Stephanie McMahon; “I’m saying NO for the first time ever” – you said it Steph…
- Headless fish on a pole match, anyone?
- So, according to John Cena, the US Title isn’t really a symbol of excellence after all?
- The beauty of The WWE Network is that WWE can book a match for Summerslam which headlined this week’s Raw – and featured a clean finish – because the show is already sold to most who will watch it anyway
- Layla has retired… I assumed she already was…
- At least Cena’s nose can sell an injury…
Remembering Rowdy Roddy Piper
When the WWE became a global phenomenon during the 80s Hulk Hogan may have literally been the face of that expansion, but Piper was Hogan’s foil with the two icons featuring in the main event of the inaugural WrestleMania in 1985. The feud would also include Cyndi Lauper in a move that would help the WWE move from its traditional fanbase to a much larger one.
Playing on his Scottish heritage, Toombs would come to the ring to the sound of bagpipes and billed as “Roddy the Piper” with fans hearing Roddy Piper and the name stuck during the rest of his length wrestling career.
Initially starting out as a jobber in the American Wrestling Association between 1973 and 75, Piper soon showed his worth and soon moved on to the NWA during which time he would face Bob Backlund for the WWWF title.
Stints in Georgia Championship Wrestling and Mid Atlantic where he would beat Jack Brisco for the Mid-Atlantic title and Ric Flair for the US title during his spell there. A spell in Jim Crockett Promotions would see him battle Greg Valentine in a feud that culminated in a dog collar match at the first Starccade during which Piper suffered injuries that would result in him losing 50% of his hearing for the rest of his life.
In 1984 Piper signed for the WWF – debuting initially as a manager due to the injuries suffered in his Starccade match. He would manager Dave Schultz and Paul Orndorff and soon had his own segment “Piper’s Pit” where a number of legendary encounters would take place including smashing a coconut over Jimmy Snuka’s head and a few years later where Andre the Giant tore a crucifix from Hogan’s neck, sparking their feud that led to the WrestleMania 3 main event.
As well as featuring in the tag match main event at the first Wrestlemania, Piper also battled Mr. T in a boxing match at the second event but disappeared soon after that to focus on a film career.
Upon returning, his “Piper’s Pit” segment had been replaced by “The Flower Shop” hosted by Adrian Adonis and the two would feud which led to their Wrestlemania 3 hair vs hair match where Piper was victorious with the post-match haircut helping turn Brutus Beefcake face.
During the remainder of the 80s Piper appeared on Prime Time Wrestling, replacing Bobby Heenan, and this would result in Piper battling many of Heenan’s charges including Ravishing Rick Rude, who Piper cost the IC title at SummerSlam 1989.
In 1992 Piper won his first WWE title at the Royal Rumble when he defeated The Mountie for the Intercontinental title. He held the belt until WrestleMania VIII when he dropped it to Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. He soon disappeared from the company again – bar a SummerSlam 1992 cameo playing the bagpipes – until 1994.
He returned as a referee for Bret Hart’s WrestleMania X main event against Yokozuna and would also battle Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler at that year’s King of the Ring event and hosted a regular segment on the WWE’s ‘All-American Wrestling’ show.
Piper would again leave the WWE but returned in 1995 again in a refereeing capacity for the submission match between Bret Hart and Bob Backlund. Piper would be made interim WWE President and soon feud with Goldust which led to their memorable backlot brawl match at WrestleMania XII. When Gorilla Monsoon returned as President, Piper left the WWE and soon found home in WCW.
Piper would restart his feud with Hogan upon debuting with WCW and the two would headline several main events – although the matches never reached the heights of their clashes the previous decade. Piper would also win the US title and for a while acted as Commissioner until his contract expired soon before WWF bought WCW.
After WCW closed down, Piper would make sporadic appearances on WWE TV and in 2005 was inducted in the company’s Hall of Fame by his long time rival Ric Flair.
Piper’s legacy can’t be overstated. He was crucial to the success of the first WrestleMania – which helped launch the WWE to the force that it is today and was one of the greatest talkers, if not the greatest in wrestling history.
During his WCW feud with Hulk Hogan, Piper would ask Hogan if he thought the fans would have loved Hogan as much had it not been for them hating Piper so much and there’s a lot to be said for that being the case.
Piper was survived by his wife, four children and four grandchildren.
Everyone at Ring the Damn Bell sends their condolences to Roderick Toombs’ family and friends at this time.
Sometimes toys are all you need to get a point across…
If the Four Horsemen had a comic book….
Once upon a time, way before there was Fandango…..there was this guy…..
A match made in Heaven…
I know Kofi Kingston gets all the praise for this segment when he does this hysterical skip down to the ring…but please give kudos to Big E. He was just as hilarious…if not more than Kofi here…
Not much of a fan of Arena Football…but you gotta love this touchdown celebration. The Rock would be proud…
Here’s a local commercial with Sgt. Slaughter schilling for a restaurant in Connecticut. Don’t bother trying to go there, it closed down a few years ago.
Only in Japan will you find a blow up doll that wrestles….
This Past Week on the Blog
On Monday we had part 44 of ‘Wrestling with Sin’, Tuesday saw us discuss The Allied Powers as a Missed Wrestling Opportunity, tag teams were again the point of discussion on Wednesday with ‘Icons of Wrestling’ featuring The Conquistadors, Thursday’s Top Five saw the team list the worst WWE gimmicks of the 90s and we rounded off the week with proposed champions that never were.
Next Week on the Blog
Tomorrow our Sunday Sermon looks at Hulk Hogan’s legacy, we have more ‘Wrestling with Sin’, the Worst WCW gimmicks of the 90s and more.
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ columns can be read here.