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16.4.14 2012
The W - Pro Wrestling - Roddy's New Book "In the Pit with Piper"
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NickBockwinkelFan
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Since: 10.4.02
From: New York City, NY

Since last post: 732 days
Last activity: 37 days
#1 Posted on
I just finished an advance review copy of Roddy Piper's new book "In the Pit with Piper" that I found yesterday at the Strand Bookstore here in NYC. It is an excellent read and other than Mick Foley's first book, it is the best book I've read on wrestling.

It focused primarily on his early days working the territories leading to Vince Jr.'s formation of the new WWF. He details his work in Canada, Los Angeles, Portland, Charlotte, Puerto Rico and finally New York.

Piper's vast professional experience had him working with all the great personalities that made up the territories in the 70's & 80's: Ric Flair, Lonnie Mayne, Jay York, Johnny Valentine, Jimmy Snuka, Rick Martel, the Brisco Brothers, Harley Race, Andre the Giant, Don Muraco, Adrian Adonis, Paul Orndorff, Kerry Von Erich, Art Barr, Bret Hart and of course Hulk Hogan. Piper's stories involve the wrestling, the traveling, the partying, the business aspects and many very personal observations about his friends and the people he worked with.

Promoters are also a big subject: the Good (Don Owens, Jim Crockett), the Bad (Jim Barnett) an the Undefineable (Vince Jr.). He is able to state quite clearly (with many brutal examples), the relationship between the promoter and the worker--look out for yourself or get steam-rolled.

His early experiences of being alone and having to survive on the street helped build a steely facade that protected him where ever he went. This ultimately helped him from being taken advantage of by Vince McMahon Jr., who just essentially wanted everyone to line up and job to Hogan.

The chapters dealing with the formation of the "new" WWF under Vince Jr. are very interesting. Piper talks about his role in the early-Eighties wrestling boom, and how Vince broke down the territorial lines. There is a gold mine of great stories here: Rock 'n Wrestling, Piper's legitimate heat with Mr.T, the evolution of Piper's Pit, John Stossel & 20/20, the Zahorian trial, John Carpenter, Wrestlemania 1-3, and his relationship with Hulk Hogan.

The time line of his book is quite detailed, extending until Wrestlemania 3. After that, he briefly covers his remaining time in the WWF and barely touches on WCW (only pausing to mention Russo & Fererra's inability to understand that wrestling's appeal is essentially wrestling).

Piper often makes mention of what he refers to as the "Sickness". It is an affliction that overcomes everyone that works in the business, and unfortunately sometimes has fatal results. This is a very personal chapter in the book where he tries very hard to describe the "Sickness". It is a combination of factors (physical injury, pain, brutal road schedule, separation from family, drug/alcohol abuse and the exploitation of one's self) that leads one down this self-destructive road for gains either monetary in nature or simply to satisfy some deeply seeded need for adulation, love or respect. He feels all wrestlers are subject to the "Sickness" in varying degrees that drive them to participate in pro wrestling, and some are victims of it (the Von Erichs, Art Barr, Pillman, etc). This is an extremely personal viewpoint, and one of the things that makes this book so compelling at times.

Piper's book is excellent and it focused on the years that shaped him as a performer and as a person. His family is important to him and he considers the people who he came up with, paid dues with him and helped and taught him to be family also. In Bret Hart's introduction, he talks about Roddy being a veteran in the locker room who would always tell him the truth and offer good, heartfelt advice. When you read Piper's book you will find someone who lives his life his way and offers a unique perspective on the wrestling business.



(edited by NickBockwinkelFan on 16.10.02 1558)


"Well, you can't involve friendship with business. It has to be one or the other. It's either business or friendship, or hit the bricks!"
--Life Lessons from "The Tao of Bobby the Brain Heenan" Uncensored 2000 preview


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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#2 Posted on
But does Roddy answer the burning question that has survived over 16 years: Why the hell was Ric Flair wearing such a hideous suit in the movie Bodyslam?



I want you to know, I agree with everything I've just said.
evilwaldo
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Since: 7.2.02
From: New York, NY

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I never knew he had a book coming out. Thank you for the review as I was a huge Piper fan growing up. Reading his book just went to the top of my to-do list.





These commercials are superfine because they pay for the production costs of putting CHRIS MOTHERFUCKING BENOIT on my GODDAMN TV SCREEN! I will GO GREYHOUND! I am thinking OUTSIDE THE BUN! Dean Rasmussen 8/1/2002 Smackdown Workrate Report
NickBockwinkelFan
Frankfurter








Since: 10.4.02
From: New York City, NY

Since last post: 732 days
Last activity: 37 days
#4 Posted on
redsoxnation:
But does Roddy answer the burning question that has survived over 16 years: Why the hell was Ric Flair wearing such a hideous suit in the movie Bodyslam?

Actually, he mentioned that when he arrived in the Charlotte territory, that Flair took him to his favorite men's store "Franco's" in Richmond, VA to get him some new suits. So maybe they're to blame.



"Well, you can't involve friendship with business. It has to be one or the other. It's either business or friendship, or hit the bricks!"
--Life Lessons from "The Tao of Bobby the Brain Heenan" Uncensored 2000 preview


redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 289 days
Last activity: 289 days
#5 Posted on

    Originally posted by NickBockwinkelFan
    redsoxnation:
    But does Roddy answer the burning question that has survived over 16 years: Why the hell was Ric Flair wearing such a hideous suit in the movie Bodyslam?

    Actually, he mentioned that when he arrived in the Charlotte territory, that Flair took him to his favorite men's store "Franco's" in Richmond, VA to get him some new suits. So maybe they're to blame.




I doubt it was Flair's tailor. But, look back at the film and see the Herb Tarlek WKRP suit Ric 'Limousine Riding, Styling and Profiling' Flair is wearing and ponder whether it was a conspiracy by Vince to make Flair and the NWA look bad.



I want you to know, I agree with everything I've just said.
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