I’m quite late — two months!?! — in getting up another post about the late Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and the mark he left on the fans in Boston during his WWF heyday in the 1980s.
The first time I ever saw Heenan live was at the old Boston Garden, when he appeared as a manager at a house show in March 1987, just a few weeks before WrestleMania III.
Heenan managed Hercules and Paul Orndorff, who teamed up with Adorable Adrian Adonis to face Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper and Billy Jack Haynes in an elimination match. It remains one of my favorite personal matches I ever saw live, largely because it was allegedly Piper’s Continue reading
Man, it still feels so weird to think Rowdy Roddy Piper is dead. So many of the great times I had with WWF pro wrestling growing up centered on angles and matches with Piper. He was so entertaining at his peak.
Piper has some interesting history in the old Boston Garden. For those who don’t know, the Garden was an arena built in 1928 that was torn down 60 years later to make way for the stadium now known as the TD Garden. By the time I was going to WWF shows at the old Garden in the 1980s, it was run-down place with old, rickety seats that were way too small and the occasional rat scampering along the walls upstairs. It also had an overhanging balcony that gave you a great view for hockey, basketball, or wrestling — thus the name of my blog.
I first saw Piper live sitting in that balcony, taking on Bruno Sammartino in their first match in Boston following a famous Piper’s Pit at Madison Square Garden during which Piper called Sammartino a “wop.” Piper’s feud with Bruno is well remembered in Boston, and in their initial quick meeting, Piper was DQ’d.
After a tag team rematch in January 1986 that included “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and Cowboy Bob Orton, Piper and Sammartino clashed in a steel cage match that is still talked about today here in Boston. Piper was at his bad-guy best in this bout, even taping posters of the Chicago Bears onto the cage to razz Boston fans who had seen the Patriots go down to the Bears in that year’s Super Bowl.
Sammartino beat a bloody Piper in the match, which drew on of the largest crowds I can ever recall at the old Garden: 16,180. It was the same night that Continue reading
It was 28 years ago today – on November 3, 1984 –that Hulk Hogan fought Rowdy Roddy Piper at the monthly Saturday night house show at the old Boston Garden.
Not surprisingly, the match drew a healthy 15,635 fans to the Garden, according to the Boston Globe sports section, which used to run the results and attendance on Sunday morning. I took notes on the results back when I was in my teens, and still have them today in a notebook.
This was a rematch from the prior month, when Piper Continue reading
Anyone who follows the WWE scene today knows that part of World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus’ gig is that he in an extremely pale Irishman — thus the nickname “Great White.”
Sheamus may be the whitest star in the WWE in the last 25 years, before which another pasty pro wrestler graced WWF rings: the Mighty Hercules.
Hercules, also known as Hercules Hernandez, was another guy who clearly never Continue reading
With all the Internet chatter about the WWE’s Chris Jericho and Hurricane Helms being arrested for public drunkeness, I couldn’t help but think the police who responded were lucky they didn’t instead have to arrest Ken Patera and Mr. Saito.
Back in 1984, Patera and Saito were apparently upset that a McDonald’s in Wisconsin was closed for the night and wouldn’t serve them food. Patera hurled a boulder through the restaurant’s window and the pair went back to the hotel. Police soon came looking for them, and a brawl broke out. As Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer wrote recently Continue reading