One of Rowdy Roddy Piper’s most famous catchphrases is: “Just when they think they’ve got all the answers, I change the questions.”
Well, here’s a new slant:¬† just when Roddy Piper thought he had all the answers, the WrestleNewz readers asked the questions.
We recently chatted with the Hot Rod, and asked the questions provided by you, the loyal WrestleNewz readers. We got a lot of submissions, so apologies if your question didn’t directly get asked, but you’ll probably see that Piper covered your topic anyway!
The Hot Rod said your questions were great, and that he enjoyed doing the interview.
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. Check back to WrestleNewz for Part 2, coming very soon.
A.Patel from London, England:¬† What is the latest on your son Colt getting into wrestling? Will we see him in WWE?
Roddy Piper: There’s always the question whether a wrestler has “it.” What “it” is — that’s never defined, because there’s not a better word for it.¬† Call it chemistry, call it charisma: there are different ways to describe it. But whatever “it” is, Colt has it. He’s a natural. Now comes the question of what Colt decides to do with it. I’m trying to mostly stay away from it. His name is Colt Toombs. He is undefeated as an MMA fighter as an amateur, and he always fights under his real name, Toombs. He’s making his own headway, on his own terms, with his own name. And I’m extremely proud of him. He is wrestling in a league called Portland Wrestling Uncut, and various groups.¬† He was supposed to wrestle Daivari in Santiago, Chile, but unfortunately the show got canceled because they couldn’t provide the proper security. He’s doing great, though. I don’t want to give away any of his future plans. But you won’t miss him! He’ll be coming at you, oh yeah.
Roberto, from Mexico:¬† What are your best memories of wrestling in Mexico? How was it different from other places?
Roddy Piper:¬† I love Mexico. Mexico City, and many places, were obviously rough areas. But I loved it. I’ll try to make this a story short. Gory Guerrero had me wrestle Chavo Guerrero inside of a bull ring in Juarez.¬† In the bullring, what they did was, for a peso, they would rent the fans a pillow to sit on. Nobody was happy I was there. All the Mexicans had jealousy about me being on the last match. Anyway, just before intermission it started pouring rain. Everybody goes into the shelter, and eventually comes back out when the rain stops when it was time for me to go on. Coming out into a bullring, through, there were certain things I didn’t know. One was that, when they close the door to the ring, it’s just a round circle.¬† If you don’t take note of the geography of your surroundings, you won’t find the door out of that circle. Also, when the rain hits those pillows, those pillows start to weigh about two-and-a-half pounds each.
I got in the ring with Chavo Guerrero and Hector Guerrero, and I had them to the point where they were bleeding — I took chairs to them. So the fans started chucking these pillows at me. And, man, it was like getting hit by two-and-a-half-pound dumbbells. It kind of boiled over into a full-scale riot. I’m pretty used to that, but I couldn’t find the door!¬† Chavo, in trying to be funny, said “let’s get him!”¬† Well, those people took him seriously. I must have been 15 minutes — well, I won’t exaggerate, because I don’t know how many minutes — but at least a few trying to find the door! And I was fighting for my life, because I had played La Cucaracha as the Mexican national anthem on my bagpipes. But they’re wonderful people, you know. It’s a great place. I love it.
Scott, from Easton PA: If you could have any wrestler, living or dead, as a guest¬† Piper‚Äôs Pit, who would it be?
Roddy Piper: Gorgeous George. I believe him to be the originator of the next step from the history of Ed “Strangler” Lewis and (Billy) Sandow into a new era. Gorgeous George was a great amateur wrestler who put on a robe and went into the hair salons in the towns and got his hair dyed and put up with bobby pins. To do that, back in those days, holy cow! In my mind, he’s the real originator of putting wrestling and show business and showmanship together.¬† I’ve often been asked that, if I could wrestle anybody who would it be, I always say I would want to wrestle Gorgeous George.
WrestleNewz:¬† And as a guest on Piper’s Pit, could Gorgeous George have verbally held his own against you?
Roddy Piper: No. Nobody can. But it would have been a blast!
Scott, from Easton, PA: Two part question:¬† 1. when you look at the current generation of wrestlers, who do you think shows the most star potential?¬† 2. Who would you like to get in the ring with?
Roddy Piper:¬† Of the current generation? Oh my goodness, they’re all fantastic. Randy Orton, CM Punk, Jericho — I don’t want to leave anybody out.¬† Cody Rhodes is great. So many guys nowadays are fantastic, so I can’t pick just one! But who would I want to have a match with? (Long pause) Brock Lesnar.
WrestleNewz: Why Lesnar?
Roddy Piper: It would be something like a variation of the dog-collar match I had with Valentine. And I can see it getting pretty rough. And I can see it drawing a lot of money!
Marshall Ward, Canada:¬† The year before your historic dog collar chain match with Greg Valentine at the first Starrcade, you were in bloody and violent feud with ‘Mad Dog’ Buzz Sawyer in Georgia. I remember seeing promos of you and Sawyer talking about an upcoming dog collar chain match, though I have never seen any footage or photos. What can you tell us about this dog collar chain match (or matches) against Sawyer, and how did they compare to your legendary match against Valentine?
Roddy Piper: I think the Buzz Sawyer match was actually after Valentine.¬† I may be wrong, though. In any case, I can answer the question. Buzz Sawyer was a really tough guy, and we both went for it pretty hard. He was a guy that had no problem ‘crossing the line,’ for lack of a better term, and I like that.¬† That’s where the magic is. Magic doesn’t happen through planning. Magic happens by being ready for it, and taking advantage of what ever happens. It takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude to cross the line, so to speak. With Buzz, he had not problem doing that. It really got intense inside the ring, the matches were really tough, it was great for business. But at that time, wrestling was just, just about to explode all over the world, and those kind of matches were some of the kind that were needed, and helped that explosion happen.
WrestleNewz: You were just in Toronto filming something with Bret Hart. Tell us what that‚Äôs about.
Roddy Piper: Well, ha. Bret just sort of asked me to come and give him a hand. Bret was in the ring, lying down, so I redeemed myself: I ran over and pinned him! (laughs). And then I ran out saying there won’t be a rematch, so now we’re even! It’s a TV pilot, and I don’t want to give away the plot and stuff, but it’s a very cool pilot done by Robert Boudoir (SP). The reason I went and did it is that Bret is a very close brother of mine, and it would be a blast to have a series in Toronto working together. So I flew down there, and after that we went to the Comedy Bar in Toronto and did improv, and I laughed hard!¬† It was a great time all around. But yeah — working with Bret on a series in Canada would be a lot of fun.
Tiago from Portugal: Fans of “cult movies” will never forget your work in “Hell Comes to Frogtown” and John Carpenter’s “They Live”. Did you ever imagine these movies would stand the test of time and that your image as one “bad ass dude” would forever be cherished and remembered?¬† Was Vince McMahon a fan of these movies?
Roddy Piper: I never envisioned myself being a film star at all. Most people know that pro wrestling is a little bit of an accident for me. I never really had any real aspirations of being in front of a camera. The fact that I’ve been labeled a cult film star, I’m very honored.¬† I think the movie They Live is actually coming true. When I did it, the underlying tone was about Reaganomics. It was written from a book called Eight O’Clock High (note: technically, it was a 1963 short story by Ray Nelson called Eight O’Clock in the Morning).¬† A guy named David Icke — a very controversial writer — talks about They Live (video below). He speaks about how it’s coming true, and how the world is becoming like They Live.¬† I think that They Live feeds right into those ideas. And for those who are not interested in that stuff, it has also got the longest fight scene, which was in the Guinness Book of World Records. So it kind of appeases all audiences!
Ronald Riffle, Toledo Ohio: With all the ups and downs you‚Äôve experienced, your life would make for a great movie. Do you think it would happen? If so, who would play you?
Roddy Piper: Oh yeah, I’ve already had people write scripts about my life. I don’t know if it’ll happen while I’m alive, which means it could happen tomorrow! (laughs).¬† It’s a difficult question, you know, because it brings out the egotistical side and vanity, and I don’t really live there much.¬† But because of the way I came into the wrestling business, I can see it.¬† Look at it like this: during the Gorgeous George era, it was huge, and then the bottom fell out of it.¬† All the guys that were looking to become the main-eventers, in their eyes they got cheated out of that. They were past the age of being able to go and get a job and settle down, and they became part of many territories around the world. Then 10 years after that, when they were maybe 40 or 45, that’s when I came in — very young. And they hated me! I understood that they felt cheated, but what those great men did was, they kept hanging in there, and every night they would go out and make people believe in professional wrestling, after this huge tsunami had discredited it. And those tough, tough guys who had families but made very little money, they hung in and taught me. For the first four years, I got beat up every night at eight o’clock. Unmercifully beaten up.¬† But then there was an acceptance.
The bottom line is: there was nobody I know of that kind of came into the business that way. And once I was accepted, well, I think I got beaten up even more as they tried to teach me. There are not many people I can think of that have been educated like that by those men. So a good movie would not be so much a story about my life’s ups and downs, but more of a story of what I’ve seen through the business that caused those ups and downs.
WrestleNewz: So let’s Suppose such a movie did get made. Who’d play you?
Roddy Piper: Mark Wahlberg. He’s already been approached. I’m telling you, they have a script already. You know, my head’s just not there right now. But there are definitely two scripts that I know of. One is by Sal (Iacono), the head writer for the Jimmy Kimmel show.¬† And there’s another one that I know of, and Mark Wahlberg is the man they were talking about for that. And I think that he’d be a good pick.
Ben Combs: Plenty of your peers have called you one of the legitimately toughest wrestlers ever. Who are the five toughest men in the wrestling business nowadays?
Roddy Piper: Oh my goodness. I guess you’ve got to define “tough.” I mean, from a physical standpoint, it’s hard to beat Brock Lesnar. There are some other names like Brad Rheingans, from that physical sense of toughness. But I think you can now only define toughness in terms of longevity, I think — in terms of hang time. I think that when you say tough, you have to look at CM Punk for instance, and the kind of odds he’s had to overcome. Or take a look at Rey Mysterio — that gentleman, and what he had to overcome to get where he’s at, can you imagine how much work he had to put into that, and how tough that was? I know Chris Jericho is a go-getter. Again, I don’t want to miss anybody, but I think that anybody who has made it to the WWE and is full-time on the roster in an upgraded position — he has accomplished some kind of mental and physical toughness.
It’s called F.I.M.P.: financially, intellectually, morally and physically. You judge yourself from one to 10, and it tells you where you’re at in life. It’s a wrestler’s way to figure it out.¬† I think they’re all really tough. I guess I was just born with a bit of an edge.¬† I don’t know how to describe it. It’s a double-edge sword, though, because I’m a dad too.¬† I’ll tell you what tough is.¬† Tough is stopping and helping a little kid on the street. Tough is pausing and giving someone a little bit of your time when you’re rushed. Tough is taking the time to make sure your family is taken care of. Those are tough guys that can do all that.
WrestleNewz: Did it take you a long time to learn that?
Roddy Piper: Yeah, it took me until my first child was born.¬† If it hadn’t been for my wife and children, things might have been a lot different for Rod.
Stay tuned to WrestleNewz.com for Part 2 of the interview, coming very soon!