Posts Tagged ‘Roddy Piper’

Wrestling Inc.’s Andy Malnoske caught up with WWE Hall of Famer Greg Valentine over WrestleMania Weekend at WrestleCon in Manhattan to talk about his career highlight and favorite WrestleMania moment. Valentine made multiple appearances at WWE’s biggest event of the year, but for him, WrestleMania XX was at the top when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

WrestleMania I, WrestleMania II, or III—they were all good,” Valentine said. “To top it all off would be WrestleMania XX at Madison Square Garden when they put me in the Hall of Fame. That was a big accomplishment and a good accolade for myself. The was the biggest shining moment.”

Valentine’s career began in 1970 where he won numerous titles along the way, including the WWE Intercontinental Championship and WWE Tag Team Championship (with Brutus Beefcake). Expanding things a bit, Valentine was then asked what stood at the top of the mountain in regards to his career achievements.

“I tell ya what, the fans picked this one,” Valentine began. “The Dog Collar Match from Starrcade 1983 against Roddy Piper, the late-great Roddy Piper. The Dog Collar Match, the most intense match of all-time. Gotta put a big mark for that.”

The WWE Hall of Fame statue reveal at WrestleMania 35 Axxess in Brooklyn today was for WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

Piper’s entire family was in attendance for the reveal ceremony, according to PWInsider. WWE Hall of Famers Sting, Ric Flair, Brutus Beefcake, Jimmy Hart and Ricky Steamboat were also present, among others.

WWE has now revealed bronze statues at Axxess events over the years for Flair, Piper, Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes and the Ultimate Warrior.

Ric Flair and Charlotte Flair were the latest guests of the Photo Shoot series on the WWE Network. Both Ric and Charlotte are featured on the “Wooo” edition of WWE 2K19, and gave the viewers an inside look of the photo shoot that is placed on the video game cover.

During the series of images that came on the screen, Flair had the chance to go down memory lane, calling Dusty Rhodes the most creative mind in the pro wrestling business, and Roddy Piper the greatest bad guy in the business. He stated that his angle with Randy Savage over Elizabeth was fun, but was tough because Savage and Elizabeth were “fighting at the time.”

Regarding his WrestleMania 18 match against the Undertaker, he stated that he was 55 at the time (he was actually 53), but it was one of the “greatest nights of [his] career.”

“[Undertaker] single-handedly helped restore my self-confidence, which was totally gone,” said Flair. “At that point in time, I was 55 years old, and just didn’t see myself back in the ring. Mark really got me up and running.”

Flair also saw a picture of him and Ricky Steamboat, and called him the greatest babyface in the history of pro wrestling.

“There will be arguments about this, [but] not many that can stand. [Steamboat is] the greatest babyface of all time,” said Flair. “I don’t think anyone had better matches in the history of the business than Steamboat and I had. [His] physique, second to none. Legitimately tough, and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in your life.”

Flair has also stated in numerous other interviews that Steamboat was his all-time best rivalry, and he enjoyed working in the ring with him the most.

The peak of their long rivalry was in 1989. At the Chi-Town Rumble on February 20, 1989, Steamboat was able to defeat Flair in front of 8,000 fans, commencing his first and only reign as NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Steamboat retained the title for two-and-a-half months before losing it back to Flair at WrestleWar in Nashville, TN, on May 7.

Charlotte spoke with Yahoo! Sports on the ESPN “Body Issue” photo shoot and Ronda Rousey. Here are some of the highlights:

Being the first WWE Superstar to be in ESPN’s “Body Issue”:

“I’ve always been a huge fan of the issue and growing up as an athlete, it was very encouraging to see that strong was being shown as sexy. So, the athletes very much inspired me and I guess almost helped me full comfortable in my own skin. I’m an athlete, I am sexy. It was obviously a bucket list but a WWE superstar had never been in the issue, so when I found out that they were going to have me in the 10th anniversary issue, I was like is this real? I kept annoying our talent relations department like, ‘I really am picked, they aren’t going to change it? For sure?’ Up until the shoot, I kept checking in. I was just so excited and the fact that the women have worked so hard for WWE for so many years to be more than just eye candy, more than just the women are divas. Just to show the world that we are athletes and have so much to offer.

The Body Issue reaches a whole different demographic in that they can see wow, women’s wrestling has come this far and she’s an athlete. I hope this opens doors for more women to be represented in years to come in the issue to a whole new demographic. I was very honored and very excited and it also made me feel proud to be an athlete because I know when I first started, I had such a hard time. How do you do your makeup? How do you look like a star? How do you dress like a diva? And here I am almost six years later and I am so proud I grew up playing sports and that I have an athletic body and I just hope it sends that message all over.”

If she was nervous during the photo shoot:

“Well, doing a moonsault naked is totally different. But no, I completely committed to the project and told them I wanted to do it without makeup. I actually had a black eye from Asuka from WrestleMania that I do not regret. I wanted it to be shown because we shot the week after WrestleMania. I was kind of excited about it. I get to show off my battle wound. I think just the message that being who you are in any shape, any size, no makeup, completely raw, is just so important and that’s what I just kept thinking about. It was almost like a weight lifted off my shoulders. This is who I am. I’m so proud of my body. I’m so proud to be an athlete. I wouldn’t change anything.”

Ronda Rousey’s run in WWE:

“I’m blown away. How fast she has picked everything up, especially with her match against Nia Jax at Money in the Bank. I know my dad texted her and said the same thing, just Roddy Pipper would be so proud of her. She gets better every time she’s out there and it doesn’t look like she’s going to slow down at any point. I know she will become the Raw women’s champion at some point and it’s an honor to have her part of our division. She’s blown my mind with how fast she’s picked this up.”

Charlotte also discussed the Special Olympics and watching Raw with Ric Flair. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Despite stating on a recent interview that there is no WWE deal yet and she will not be in the United States due to filming in Colombia, former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey appeared at the close of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Rousey stared at the women’s Royal Rumble winner, Asuka, as well as the current titleholders, Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss.

Noticeably, Rousey was donning a t-shirt inspired by her wrestling hero, the late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, as well as his jacket. Following the Royal Rumble, WWE would shoot footage of Rousey doing a photo shoot and returning the jacket to Piper’s son, Colt Toombs.

Piper’s daughter, Ariel Teal Toombs, was interviewed by TMZ and shared her feelings of Rousey wearing her dad’s jacket.

“Honestly, I feel honored,” said Toombs. “It’s so empowering to see a woman like Ronda, like, coming into wrestling right now. And then, on top of it, her wearing his jacket, that symbolism is very sweet. She’s just so great about carrying the torch and showing her Piper pride.”

Toombs was then asked if Rousey could carry the Piper legacy to the new generation of wrestling fans.

“The beauty of Ronda is that she’s bringing in her own fanbase,” Toombs responded. “So she has a whole lot of fans that maybe weren’t even Piper fans that she’ll be bringing her own element to. There’ll never be another ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. There just won’t. We can all pay tribute to him and do our best, but I think that Ronda is gonna do a great job taking the talent and the fighting charisma she has, and becoming her own new thing. And I think this is just her paying tribute because dad was so much a part of her life.”

Goldust’s first WrestleMania match of his career took place at WrestleMania 12 when he faced Roddy Piper in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl. But many don’t know he was originally supposed to face Razor Ramon in a Street Fight.

Goldust had defeated Razor at Royal Rumble in 1996 to win the Intercontinental Championship. The feud was supposed to culminate in a rematch for the title at WrestleMania 12.

Former WWE producer Bruce Prichard revealed on his Something To Wrestle podcast that Razor refused to work with Goldust, so Vince McMahon nixed the match completely.

“Razor Ramon didn’t want to work with Goldust so Vince [McMahon] said to just cut that match off,” Prichard said. “He didn’t want Razor to ruin WrestleMania. If Razor wasn’t into it he felt that he wasn’t going to give it his all, and them going out and invest all this money into a Street Fight then why do that if he isn’t going to build up the right way?”

The backstage plans were for Piper to originally work an angle with Gorilla Monsoon, but Prichard came up with a different idea. Prichard said Piper was gracious enough to step in and work with Goldust in a non-title match. Despite the last-minute change, he said they put on a great match.

“Roddy Piper would always credit me for bringing him back and coming up with this idea. It was an idea born out of necessity and not having anything else with him and with Goldust,” Prichard said. “The whole original idea of bringing Roddy Piper back at all was to do something different with Gorilla Monsoon and to have a WrestleMania moment for Roddy Piper. A lot of things lined up; the stars and the moon lined up and we were all elate, especially because whenever you think about letting Roddy or leaving Roddy to his own device things can sometimes get a little hokey and not exactly what you wanted. I thought everybody in that match was phenomenal.”

Episode 30 of The Triple Threat Podcast featuring “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling is NOW available. In the following excerpt Shane, Chad and John discuss the upcoming and groundbreaking Women’s Royal Rumble match as well as Shane sharing recollections of his lone Royal Rumble appearance in 1991, the psychology behind a battle royal and what factors come in to play with that many superstars in the ring at once. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.

PLEASE CREDIT The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling FOR THIS TRANSCRIPTION

The huge announcement of the first Women’s Royal Rumble:

“I’ve said it before that I am not and haven’t been throughout my career a huge supporter of women’s wrestling and I haven’t paid that much attention to it. But I will say this that with as over as the (Total) Divas show has gotten it seems to be the more buzz-worthy part of WWE these days. I think it is completely in line and long overdue. Why not let the women have the same crack at it that the men had? If you are a WWE fan (which I am not) and if you are a fan of that than I don’t see why you wouldn’t demand to see who will come out on top of this match.”

“I think it is completely appropriate and long overdue but sadly I think it has more to do with identity politics and that women are out there making a lot of noise right now and getting a lot of traction so let’s go in that direction. Be that as it may and if that is the reason or if it is not the reason I think it is long overdue. They’ve been the more spoken about part of the WWE now for several years so why not give them equal footing.”

“If you look at the WWE from the last several years it is the ladies division that has gotten a lot more press and far more traction and far more buzz than the men’s division. We’ve seen the men’s division side of it decline to an incredibly low level and seems like every year it is declining and that the women’s shows still have some punch behind them. I hear far more buzz about the women wrestlers than I do the men wrestlers in the WWE which leads me to believe that it has more buzz behind it. If that is not true go attack me on social media about it. It seems that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and it seems to me that is where the WWE has placed their assets and it is far more behind the women’s division than the men’s division.”

His appearance in the 1991 Royal Rumble:

(Laughing) “The orange tights were right after the Dynamic Dudes run and most of my gear was those bright pinks and oranges and yellows and greens so I continued to wear them there. But I do remember that Royal Rumble very well. The building was extraordinarily hot that night and I knew that I would have to go out and put in a substantial amount of time. Battle Royals are difficult to begin with but when you have a Battle Royal that is a very specific position of when you are going in and have a very specific idea of when you are going out, not everyone else in that ring is thinking what you are thinking. They are thinking of their long portion of that match and could give a sh*t less about yours so not only are you going out there and trying to shine (as we say in the business) and get yourself over but you are also trying to keep yourself from getting thrown out by one of these 900 pound monsters that were in the ring back then for the WWE.”

Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper putting him over on commentary:

“I wasn’t privy to what Gorilla (Monsoon) and Roddy (Piper) were saying about me obviously but to hear that they were putting me over and speaking kindly of me is pretty cool and I’ve never listened to the commentary and believe it or not I’ve never watched the match back. But it completely fits Gorilla who was a guy that I got a long very well with and Roddy Piper was a guy that I got a long very well with so it doesn’t surprise me that they said that. They also were probably privy to information that I wasn’t privy to at that point and that I was somebody that they were preparing to build.”

The psychology behind competing in a Royal Rumble match:

“Like I said you know your cue going in and you know your cue going out. Going out (to the ring) is the easy part because you are on deck and they’ll tell you that you are in five more spots, three more spots and one more spot and then say when you are ready to go and you’ve got to keep as a baby face especially some level of fire and that you are excited to be in this match. Going into that match as clearly one of the unknown guys when you are in the ring with the likes of The Road Warriors, The Nasty Boys and so many other of the WWF stars of that time you’ve got to go out there and make an impact. You can’t just go out there and float around and hide in a corner someplace. Secondly, you know you are going out in a very specific position as well. That is a lot more difficult because there is not someone standing there in the ring saying Shane you are next. You’ve got to be paying attention to what everyone is else is doing and knowing specifically who you follow and luckily for us back then and opposite of the way it is done today is that we were given the leeway and weren’t told what to do in the ring.”

“Everyone that was in the ring at that time were very much professionals and working on the same page. Even though they didn’t know specifically what time I was supposed to go out or what number, if someone did come over and grab me like Earthquake who could very easily throw me out anytime he wanted to all I had to say is not yet big man and we’d work it into something else. Everyone in the ring like I said was very professional and very supportive of helping me get through that. Everyone in the building was very well aware of how hot it was in the building because it was stifling hot and humid and to go that long in the ring took some doing because you aren’t just out there whistling Dixie you had to really focus on all those things. Just so many aspects you have to keep in your mind beyond what number you are going in because that is the easy part and now you have to pay attention to who you are following, how much time has gone, do you have to get out of there immediately after the guy in front of you is gone and do you have time to fill because the match has to fill out more time on the pay per view.”

“There are a lot of factors at work and luckily I had a ring filled with uber professionals that were all working towards the same common goal (thank God) but I also remember a lot of humor being in that match as well.”