Coliseum Video: Roddy Piper's Greatest Hits
by Scrooge McSuck
- Now this is what I'm talking about. After the abomination called Wrestling's Biggest, Smallest, Strangest, Strongest I had to sit through, this is like an amazing present left for me by Captain Lou Albano dressed as Santa Claus. I've loved this video since I first watched it long ago, and have always had it on my "To Do" list of reviews, and finally, I get a chance to scratch that one off the list.
- Mean Gene Okerlund is the host of this tape, and he's playing the role of "why the hell do I have to host this thing", and is disgusted over the fact Roddy Piper himself named this tape, in a vain attempt to make his tape sound more important than "Hulkamania" or "Andre The Giant", the other videos featured on solo acts.
Piper's Pit with Andre The Giant
Andre snubs all of Piper's questions, either with silence or rude, quick, responses. Piper: I understand, big body, little tiny brain. Piper tries to confirm that Studd has slammed him, but Andre denies it. Piper starts talking trash and says he can slam him, so Andre picks Piper up by the shirt and tosses him back down, then gives him a mouthful before walking off. Piper talks trash back, as soon as Andre leaves. "You don't throw rocks at a man who's got a machine gun."
Jimmy Snuka & Andre The Giant vs. Roddy Piper & David Schultz:
From the March 20th, 1984 event held at Madison Square Garden. Gorilla Monsoon and Pat Patterson are calling the action, and Monsoon makes reference to the previous Pit happening "last week", so hey, continuity. I like it! Andre locks up with Schultz, and gives a clean break. Clipped a little bit, to a point where Roddy Piper tags in... then tags right back out. What a jerk! Lockup, and Dr. D with a side headlock. Irish whip, and it's the butt-ramming spot that we've seen performed on poor Don Muraco on previous Coliseum Videos. Schultz with a "pearl harbor" attack, unloading on Andre with roundhouse rights. Piper tags in and hammers away, but Andre starts no-selling and wallops Piper with a big right. Piper tries his luck again, but with the same results. Andre with a headbutt, and back comes Schultz, who just clubbers him. Andre no-sells his offense now and whips Schultz to the corner. Andre (slowly) charges in with a shoulder block, but Dr. D gets the knee up on a second attempt. Dr. D drops an elbow, then makes a cover for a crummy one count. Andre boots Schultz trying to drop another elbow. Snuka accidentally distracts the referee, allowing Piper to bash Andre with a foreign object, knocking him silly. Andre even goes a pretty nice blade job to sell it. Piper and Schultz work over Andre pretty good, using nothing much more than punches and stomps. Andre's wearing a good mask now, and is eventually taken out of the ring by Madison Square Garden medics. The Match is called... but wait... Jimmy Snuka wants to go it alone! Restart the match!
Snuka and Piper "start". Piper with a headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Criss-cross sequence leads to Snuka connecting with a dropkick. Snuka with chops to both men, and the crowd is amped for this one, now. Snuka takes Piper down and pounds away on him to the delight of everyone, and that's not an exaggeration. Dr. D comes in and takes a beating, too. Snuka with headbutts to both men, and Piper gives us a Flop for good measure. Piper finally breaks the momentum with a thumb to the eyes, then a thumb to the throat. Slight clip job, with Piper connecting with a knee lift for a two count. Dr. D tags back in and clubs Snuka across the back of the neck for another two count. The crowd goes nuts, and suddenly Andre is back, with his head wrapped up in toilet paper. Andre attacks Piper and Dr. D and rams them together. Andre sends Piper packing, then puts Dr. D down with a boot. IRish whip, and he does it again, but this time Andre goes down with him. Schultz helped break Andre's fall, but points for not making it TOO obvious, I guess. Andre slingshots Snuka into the ropes, but Piper and Schultz are already heading up the aisle. Well, call it a Disqualification at the 12:00 mark (Clipped down), awarding the match to... Piper and Schultz. Yeah, because Andre was no longer "legal" at this point of the match. Lame finish, yeah. ** The first half was about *, and the second half ***, so split the difference. I'm just loving all of these old school tag matches I've been recapping on Coliseum Video.
Piper's Pit with Frankie Williams
Probably the second most "memorable" Pit, not because it was that great, but because it's been replayed and talked about on WWE television ever since for the last 25 years. Piper denounces Williams as a loser and declares himself unbeatable. Williams, cutting some of the worst mic' skills in the history of man, stands up for himself. Piper beats the shit out of him for it and throws him off the set. Okay, so maybe it was pretty awesome.
- Roddy Piper invades the set of the A-Team, harrassing Mr. T in what would be part of the build up to the first Wrestlemania. Roddy Piper identifies Mr. T based on his name being on his chair, probably so he doesn't get lost. Piper wants to know what's like for Mr. T to act like someone like himself (Piper). Mr. T calls Piper's opponents wimps. Piper makes fun of Cyndi Lauper in response, which Mr. T doesn't take kindly to. He makes fun of Mr. T's hair and accuses them of being bad role models to america's children, causing T to snap, but security holds him back. Piper was one hell of an asshole.
WWF Heavyweight Championship Match:
This is the War To Settle The Score, broadcasted live, from Madison Square Garden, on MTV, February 18th, 1985. Gorilla Monsoon and Gene Okerlund are calling the action. Bob Costas does the introductions for the match. No shit!? Piper comes to the ring wearing a Hulkamania t-shirt and a guitar. Neither makes it to the beginnning of the match in it's complete form. They slug it out to start, with Hogan coming out on top with an eye rake. Piper tackles Hogan and mounts him for some clubbering, but Hogan won't have any of that, not this year! Whip to the corner, and Hogan follows in with a clothesline. Hogan with a pair of slams, followed by an elbow drop. Whip is reversed, and this time Piper follows in with a clothesline, then covers for a quick two count. Piper puts the boots to Hogan and covers for another two count. Irish whip, and Piper slaps on a sleeper hold. So when did Hogan go from almost a serious wrestler to a complete self-parody? Hogan powers out and rams Piper to the buckle, but he's still out of it, too. Piper is up first and rakes the eyes, then chokes Hogan across the top rope. Orton gets his shots in, but Hogan rams his injured arm into the turnbuckle and hammers away on Piper. They exchange rakes of the eye. Whip to the ropes, and Hogan with a charging clothesline. Paul Orndorff has made his way to ringside, for whatever reason. Hogan with an atomic drop, but a second leads to a referee bump. MAYHEM! Orndorff heads to the top rope and comes across the chest of Hogan with a knee drop. They put the boots to Hogan, and suddenly Cyndi Lauper hops on the apron. Piper and Orndorff go after her, but Mr. T jumps the rail to intervene. Orndorff manages to slap Lauper's hat off, making him my favorite wrestler of the 80's at this point. Piper attacks Mr. T from behind, and now they put the hurt on him. Hogan's HULKING UP in the corner, and it's time for someone to pay. Mr. T is up, too, and suddenly Orndorff and Piper take a hike. Orton is back, but a gaggle of security gets in everyones way, and I guess we're throwing the match out at the 7:00 mark. ** Not much in terms of technical wrestling, but it wasn't bad, and it did lead to the first Wrestlemania's main event, so that's worth points.
Hulk Hogan © vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (w/ Bob Orton Jr.):
Piper's Pit with His Favorite Wrestler... Himself
Thanks to the magic of video technology, Roddy Piper interviews himself in one of the most whacked out promos/exchanges you will ever see. Roddy #2 exposes himself from the start, "Sorry grandma." Roddy #1 asks Roddy #2 about wether he knew as a youngster he'd be so successful. Roddy #2 says Roddy #1 doesn't know his success because he's Roddy Piper, and Roddy #1 isn't, and if he wasn't as successful, he'd at least be the queen of England. Zuh!? Fan mail from Hulk Hogan's momma. "Asking for money again?" Roddy #1 reads it and points out all the horrible grammar and spelling problems. Roddy #2 calls her a bag lady then takes a shot at Hogan's receding hairline. HOLY CRAP I thought that was off limits. Roddy #2 says the best way to get your wife pregnant is to send them to his house and he'll take care of it for you. Ten minutes well spent!
-Mean Gene Okerlund is on special assignment, watching the training of Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff for their WrestleMania match. The highlight is Piper shaking, rocking back and forth, and muttering nonsense, like a crack head that needs his fix. Okerlund continues to annoy them throughout the whole segment until they throw him out of the gym. Then they beat up some random dude for whatever reason.
- From TNT, Roddy Piper and Bob Orton Jr. go to visit some doctor about Orton's long-injured arm. The Doctor's verdict: Orton's arm is healed, and he's faking it, especially when he reacts to a reflex test before the doctor makes contact with the arm. Piper, ever so classy, starts quacking at the doctor to the point that everything he says is drowned out, and that's how we end things. Hilarious.
Piper's Pit with "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka
Yep, that one. We all know the story, and I'm sure I've commented on it on another Coliseum Video review. Piper makes increasingly more racial stereotype jokes, including offering Snuka a crate filled with fruits such as pineapples and coconuts, then apologies for not having a tree for him to climb like "his people" do. Snuka breaks his silence and gets a coconut over his head for it, followed by a Grade-A ass-whooping. Afterwards, at the TNT studios, Vince is disgusted by this, so Piper smacks Lord Alfred for the hell of it. Awesome.
"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper:
Interesting choice, considering everything else is from the usual sites of major cards. Pulled from a card held in St. Louis, taped on May 25th, 1984. I'm not sure if it's the Kiel Auditorium, or not. Piper ambushes Snuka with his kilt and hammers away. Snuka finally gets his shots in, forcing Piper to take a hike. Back inside, and Snuka goes to work on Piper with chops, followed by choking in the corner. Piper breaks it with a well-placed knee to the midsection. Piper scoops up Snuka and connects with an inverted atomic drop, then does his mock pose of Snuka to further piss off the crowd. Piper with a high impact knee lift, but a cover barely gets a one count. Snuka blocks a right and hammers on Piper with his own assortment of offense. The action spills outside the ring, where Piper smacks Snuka across the back with a steel chair. No Disqualification match, I guess. Back in the ring, and Piper with a headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Criss-cross sequence leads to Snuka knocking Piper out of the ring with a chop, then ramming him into the timekeeper's table. Snuka has a chair, and this time he bashes Piper with it. Back in the ring, and Snuka with a headbutt, but Piper throws Thesz in the way of a follow up. Snuka with a back breaker, then he heads to the top rope, and comes off with high cross body. Snuka to the top again, and Piper rips the belt off of Thesz and starts whipping Snuka with it. Piper starts choking Snuka with t, and now Thesz gets involved physically. Snuka has the belt and starts whipping Piper with it. Finally, a Count-Out is made at the 7:00 mark. *1/2 Decent brawl, but nothing to write home about. The crowd was way into it, which is always a good thing, but 5-minutes of punch-kick offense and then goofy shenanigans doesn't light my world on fire every time I see it.
[Special Referee: Lou Thesz (Press)]
- Roddy Piper reads a letter, allegedly written to him by Jimmy Snuka's son, pleading for Piper to stop beating up his daddy and such, and Piper's response is to crumple it up and spit on it. Take that, Domino! You son of a bitch!
Piper's Pit with "The Tonga Kid"
He's here to defend the honor of his family, and in the name of Jimmy Snuka. In actuality, this Pit features SAMU, not Tonga Kid (futurely known as Tama of the Islanders), so I wonder what the hell this was about. This is the only bad Pit segment featured, and it leads us into...
The Tonga Kid (w/ Jimmy Snuka) vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper:
From the Philadelphia Spectrum, held on December 1st, 1984. This really is the Tonga Kid, by the way, and what a shame to see the co-stars of Bodyslam to be fighting each other like this. Quick Rick and Tonga Tom need to go out for a cup of coffee, or something. Looks like Joey Marella is the referee here, and this is one of the earliest appearances I can think of for him. Tonga attacks with clubbering offense and puts him down with a big chop. Piper tries running, but Tonga pulls him back in over the top rope by the hair and connects with a pair of headbutts. Piper with another escape attempt, but Tonga Kid brings him back, again, and pounds him across the chest. Piper with a thumb to the eyes to slow things down, then puts him down with a slap to the chest. Piper scoops up Tonga Kid and connects with a back breaker, then covers arrogantly for a two count. Tonga gets mad and does some Michael Jackson inspired dancing, and gets taken down with a back drop for his troubles. Piper follows with the classic hold of choking, then brings Tonga Kid to the corner for a second helping. Piper slaps on a front facelock, and we clip to later in the resthold. Tonga counters with a suplex, and Piper gives a dramatic over-sell. Tonga no-sells being rammed to the buckle and gets jiggy with it one more time. Piper tries taking a walk, but no dice. Tonga hammers away, sending Piper through the ropes. Piper pulls him out and rams the Kid into the post, then slams a chair quite weakly across his back. Piper runs away from Snuka, then jumps him from behind. Piper tosses Tonga Kid back in the ring, and in comes Snuka, whos's sporting a "I Want Piper" shirt. They brawl in clear view of the referee, and then Orton runs in, and the bell finally rings at a clipped down 6:00. Snuka and the Tonga Kid manage to take control of the situation and clear the ring. ** Decent little match, and again, nothing spectacular, and nothing with anything close to resembling a clean finish. This all leads us into the final match on the tape...
Jimmy Snuka & The Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper & Bob Orton Jr.:
Pulled from the event held at Madison Square Garden, on December 28th, 1984. Snuka and Tonga quickly chase their opponents out of the ring. It's a brawl to start. The heels get whipped into each other, and we get a double headbutt spot for good measure. Tonga Kid slaps a wristlock on Piper and cranks it. Irish whip, and Tonga comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Tonga with an arm drag, then slaps on an armbar. Piper and Snuka give each other the death ray, then Orton comes in and gets taken down with arm drags. Whip to the corner, and Tonga with a powerslam for a two count. Snuka tags in and goes to work on the left arm with a wristlock. Orton with a series of rights, but Snuka's no-selling them, and drops Orton with a headbutt. Piper gets the reluctant tag in, and exchanges blows with Snuka, and of course ends up on the losing end of it. Orton comes in and takes his medicine. Snuka with a slam on Piper, followed by a chop across the forehead. Piper begs for mercy, but I don't think he's going to get any of that. Orton tags in and drives a pair of elbows to the back of the neck. Orton wtih a scoop slam, but a top rope splash meets the knees. Tonga gets the "hot" tag and hammers away on Piper, then drops him with a reverse crescent kick. Piper tackles Tonga into his corner and unloads with rights, then chokes him with the tag rope. Irish whip, and a double elbow by Orton and Piper. Orton with a pair of elbow drops. Piper comes in and takes Tonga down with a hammerlock. Orton and Piper make several tags, trading spots to continue working the arm. Tonga tries to fight his way to the corner, but Orton knocks Snuka off the apron, and Piper cleans Tonga's clock, but only gets a two count on a pin attempt. Piper with a chinlock, driving his knee into the neck for added leverage. This rest-hold drags on for a little too long for my taste. Orton comes in off the top rope for a forearm to the face, then starts talking trash to Snuka. Irish whip, and Tonga with a surprise sunset flip for a two count. Orton quickly pounces, pounding away with rights, then slamming the head of Tonga Kid into the canvas for a two count. Piper comes in and gets caught with a kick to the chest. Tonga goes to the wrong corner to make a tag and gets clobbered by Orton for his troubles. Tonga fights back, and Snuka finally gets the hot tag, working over both men. Double noggin' knocker! Snuka hammers away on Orton, whips him to the corner, and drops a headbutt for a two count. Tonga and Piper go at it in the corner. Snuka runs into a knee from Orton. Orton sets Snuka up on the top turnbuckle, but Snuka shoves him off, and a top rope cross body press only gets a two count. Piper and Orton toss Snuka over the top rope, and here comes the Tonga Kid to take a 2-on-1 beating. Orton heads to the top rope, but Snuka shoves him off on top of Piper. Tonga and Snuka go psycho outside the ring and come back in for a good old fashion ass kicking. Everyone slugs it out and the referree gets knocked around, drawing a Disqualification at 14:57. Piper and Orton have heel miscommunication, and the tape abruptly ends, without a decision even being announced. LAME! **1/4 Another fine match. Would've been higher, but another shitty finish, and that extra long chinlock spot really killed my excitement for this one.
Final Thoughts: If you didn't notice, when it came to Piper's matches, almost all of them had screwjob or inconclusive finishes, and it does get tiresome after so many times. However, besides the handful of decent/quality matches, are a nice assortment of Piper's Pits and various other non-wrestling segments, making this one of the most entertaining videos the WWF would release through Coliseum Video. If anything, try and find the Pit with himself and the TNT segment at the doctor's office if nothing else. Both are worth the 15-minutes of entertainment they bring. Strongest Recommendation.
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