Hogan. Andre. Savage. Ventura. Piper.
All five of these guys served as the cornerstones of WWF wrestling in the 1980s. Because these guys played such well-known characters during one of pro wrestling’s boom periods, they all ended up transcending their roles to outside the ring.
And now three of them are gone, with Rowdy Roddy Piper’s death on July 30 putting him beside Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Andre the Giant as stars who died way too young.
It’s really starting to suck being an old-school fan raised on Saturday morning WWF wrestling. Savage’s death blew us away in 2011, Hulk Hogan just last week got exposed for his terrible racist comments, and Piper now dies out of nowhere of a heart attack at age 61.
I grew up with Piper during middle and high school – and I know a lot of you who read this blog did, too. I can’t believe Piper – who at his peak was one of the most gifted performers on Continue reading
One of the greatest Piper’s Pits ever didn’t have a major star as a guest, or even an important angle.
Instead, Rowdy Roddy Piper interviewed jobber Frankie Williams, a decidedly average looking guy with bags under his eyes who was billed from Columbus, OH. Anyone who watched WWF Championship Wrestling on Saturday mornings in the 1980s no doubt saw Williams lose in squash after squash.
Piper explained that he invited Williams to the Pit out of sympathy because the guy never won a match. In typical Piper humor, Continue reading
There’s been an awful lot of talk about how some longtime pro wrestling stars, such as the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry “The King” Lawler, have swooped into angles on WWE Monday Night Raw and delivered promos better than anyone else on the current roster.
Let’s face it: The on-the-job training for interviews was a lot better in yesteryear. In the 1980s, the WWF had a lot of wrestlers and managers who could talk well on the microphone. People like Roddy Piper, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Hulk Hogan, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts understood how to push matches and angles.
However, more than a few promos in that decade were stinkers, which made me ponder the worst ones I had heard during the ‘80s. One of my qualifications here is that it had to be an interview that anyone could have seen (so house show promos really can’t count). And a bad segment doesn’t mean you gave a bad promo, as plenty of gifted talkers have been saddled with lousy circumstances (think about some of those corny Saturday Night’s Main Event skits).
Instead, my choices are reserved for those who truly butchered the art of the pro wrestling promo. With that, below are my five lamest promos from the ‘80s: Continue reading
Ric Flair’s initial run in the WWF/WWE started in 1991, which thankfully spared us from having to see him fight some pro wrestlers from the 1980s who just weren’t up to the task.
For example, can you imagine Captain Lou Albano wrestling his annual Boston Garden “special attraction” match against the “Nature Boy”? Flair would have sold for Albano (maybe Naitch even would have allowed Captain Lou to bodyslam him off the top rope), and the race would have been on to see who could bleed first.
I have more thoughts about the crazy foes Flair missed out on in the 1980s–such as the Red Rooster and Pete “Duke of Dorchester” Doherty–in my article at Camel Clutch Blog, “Eight comical opponents Ric Flair never fought in the 80s’ WWF.”