WWE Getting Rowdy – The Unreleased Matches of Roddy Piper
Roddy Piper was one of the true legends of pro-wrestling; a man who succeeded due to his charisma and character. He was a basic brawler at best, and not big. But he had a motormouth, seemed genuinely unpredictable and was funny-af. He was a product of another era. And then would go on to be influential on some of the wrestlers of the last decade – the mouthy ones, the charismatic ones, the hard-case, heart-of-gold, lovable rogues…
Oddly, the WWE managed to get MMA fighter Ronda Rousey over by pitching her as a next-generation Rowdy One. She would appear to be the very opposite of the Hot Rod: someone with actual, trained fighting skills. And no real natural talent on the microphone.
Still, pro-wrestling loves a good bizarro world set-up.
So, I think the real reason we have this collection of unreleased matches from the Roddy Piper vault is not just because of WWE’s ownership of almost everything to do with pro-wrestling and more to do with an extra attempt to sell Rousey in her Hot Rot persona. She’s here talking up Roddy and his influence and it feels as authentic as a Five Knuckle Shuffle.
Fortunately there are the Piper matches. And some of his best “talk show” moments and promos.
So let’s just enjoy that and ignore the disingenuous segue between Piper and Rousey’s careers and “connection”.
The first disc features early work from Piper – matches with the Junkyard Dog and SJ Jones, Superfly Snuka and Paul Orndoff.
There are some good matches here and some great Piper’s Pit moments from Roddy’s electric heel days.
Let’s not forget he was a decent face too – still rogue – but lovable and the crowd got right behind him in those early 90s/late 80s upper mid-card Wrestlemania moments.
And if Roddy wasn’t any sort of great in-ring technician he was a great storyteller, so when paired with a top match worker like Ravishing Rick Rude or Mr Perfect he could help get a great in-ring story told. His instincts and their skills combining for a super-match.
Disc two has the unenviable job of trying to up-sell his post-WWE run for WCW where there was some fun nostalgia-stuff (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage) but the matches were never up to much really.
In his last run he was really a microphone-guy and he had a decent run helping to put other talent over, a one-liner here, a mad non-sequitur there. Usually the big punctuation-point being a slap across the chops.
Good, good times.
As is a lot of this DVD if you were a fan.
No doubt irrelevant if you never were – with the 2006 Born to Controversy set being the better introduction of course.