PARKS'S TAKE PARKS'S TAKE: An Evening of Reflection with ... Roddy Piper, plus Thoughts on Raw's ending, New Japan, Mickie, Impact, more!
Nov 26, 2014 - 12:00:15 PM
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By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist
I was flipping through the channels the other day when on my local Fox Sports affiliate, I came across a show called “Halls of Fame.” It was a one-on-one interview for a half-hour, and this particular episode featured “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. The format was no-frills, with just the interviewer (who was never identified by name) and Piper sitting across from each other.
No still photos; no highlight videos from his career; just an old-time wrestler spinning his yarns. And even though he’s written a book, and had a DVD produced about his life and career, it was still fun to sit under the learning tree of a legend.
It’s difficult to do justice to Piper’s long and storied career in just a half-hour (or about 24 minutes minus commercials). The conversation began with Piper leaving home at the age of 13 and admitting he’s never really been able to read. He discussed breaking into the wrestling business and told a few stories from that time.
Something we didn’t get in his WWE-produced DVD was Piper talking about the psychology of wrestling. He only scratched the surface of it here, but it was still interesting to listen, as psychology was one of Piper’s strong suits when he was on top of WWF/E.
Piper was asked by the interviewer (who didn’t seem to have a ton of product knowledge) if wrestling is better off today than it was in Piper’s heyday. This was the most interesting response, and watching Piper’s body language, it seemed almost painful for him to admit that it is.
He brought up his proposed WrestleMania match against Hulk Hogan and tip-toed around the issue of WWE not being interested and basically him and his kind being dinosaurs. It’s not like Piper hasn’t been used by WWE in the recent past, but he seemed to crave a little more. Then again, as aging wrestlers have shown time and time again, it’s hard to step out of that spotlight.
Other Thoughts: I can’t imagine a worse way to end Raw than what WWE did on Monday with the return of the Anonymous General Manager. Even if only for one night, it hit all the wrong notes and destroyed a lot of goodwill WWE had built up based on the finish of Survivor Series the night before…Hopefully, Daniel Bryan’s return to Raw will signal a return to in-ring action sooner rather than later. In this coming week’s edition of the Torch Newsletter, I take a look at Bryan and others currently residing on WWE’s injury list to see where they may fit in when they return to active competition...
Unfortunately for me, I don’t get AXS TV, the station that will be airing New Japan Pro Wrestling in America. It’s a huge step for the company in terms of getting notoriety in this country. With their upcoming PPV and now this show, to debut in 2015, it will be interesting to see what the long-term strategy is for New Japan in continuing to break into the English-language market... Having Steve Austin host his podcast live with Vince McMahon as a guest on the WWE Network was a great call for something different to draw fans in. The same thing goes for the story on The Usos that ran after Raw last night. Where has this kind of content been for the last few months?...
Mickie James recently spoke of her desire to return to WWE in an interview with Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening. There is plenty of female talent in NXT that could be called up to debut. Mickie’s most successful character in WWE was as the crazed stalker fan of Trish Stratus, and we have enough Divas portraying “crazy” now in WWE... Last week’s episode of Impact was the end as far as first-run offerings from TNA on Spike TV. It didn’t have any sense of finality to it necessarily, and it’ll be interesting to see if anything in these last few months will have mattered by the time Impact debuts on Destination America next year. Will they start all over again or pick up where they left off on Spike?
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