In the Pit with Piper: Roddy Gets Rowdy
By Rowdy Roddy Piper with Robert Picarello
Reviewed by Badseed
Hulk Hogan may not have been as great if not for the anti-Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper. The Rowdy Scott is probably the greatest wrestler to have never won the World Title. The fanatical host of Piperís Pit was probably one of the best speakers in the game and this perfectly translated into a great book. You are a guest in Piperís Pit, but this time you are the one hearing his story. You cannot help but feel like Piper is talking to you himself with that hyperactive wild ranting style that has made him nothing short of legendary!
In the Pit is the tale of young thin kid who was never taken seriously but got by because he could irritate the fans like no one else ever could. From playing his bagpipes to utterly insulting the hometown hero, Piper knew how to get under the skin of the fans and grow into probably one of Hulk Hoganís most well-known enemies.
In the Pit with Piper is a nice, quick read with some great moments from Piperís long, storied career. Readers are treated to tales about how Piper once promised for weeks to learn and play the Mexican National Anthem for Chavo Guerrero on his bagpipers, but instead playing La Cucaracha. We read about the famous bloody battle with Greg Valentine in a Dog-Collar Match. Of course, we also hear about the infamous scene when Piper cracked Jimmy Snuka over the head with a coconut and changed Snuka for the worse. We also get some very interesting tales as to why he was almost never pinned cleanly toward the highlight of his career, why he chose to lose cleanly to Bret Hart and why he never allowed himself to look bad against Hogan. Not until I read this book, did I realize that I could not remember him being pinned much at all. You will also discover why Piper hated Mr. T and how he endured two years of battling him at Wrestlemania I and II.
However, Piper, like Hulk Hogan in his autobiography Hollywood Hulk Hogan, also suffers from egomania. Piper proudly takes credit for the WWEís Pay Per View success, Hulk-A-Mania and changing the way wrestlers delivered their promos. Piper also has a tendency to go on tangents when describing his over-the-top loony ways during the steroid trial against Vince McMahon and in a chapter where he discusses what he calls the sickness that a lot of wrestlers suffer. Piperís pride in himself often overshadowed his true skills as a color commentator and his description of the B-Show play-by-play seemed like an even bigger soap opera than the wrestling we see every week. Who knew that blip in wrestling history deserved so much attention? I would have rather learned about how he felt turning face in the WWF for the first time and what it was like to have to team with Hogan when he saved Piper from an attack by Adrian Adonis on Saturday Nightís Main Event. Or what was going through his mind when he made decision paint himself half white and half black when he faced off against Bad News Brown.
Regardless of these few indiscretions, In the Pit with Piper: Roddy Gets Rowdy is a great read and combined with Hoganís autobiography tells the tale of two wrestlers with two different views traveling two different trails and reaching the same lofty status of Icon.
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