Kayfabe! Timeline: The History of the WWE - 1984 as told by Roddy Piper
Posted by Mike Campbell on 05.21.2014
"Hot Rod" takes us back to the year that Hulk-Mania was born, and that a coconut shattered.
Timeline: The History of the WWE 1984 As Told by Roddy Piper
You would think that this would be a real treat. Thereís hardly anyone alive more qualified to do this particular year, (Hogan and Vince arenít going near KC, and Snuka or Sheik would probably be a disaster) and itís Roddy freakiní Piper, one of the best talkers ever. But, this really fell short of expectations for me. The biggest reason is that Piper is clearly uncomfortable in this setting. You donít really hear about Piper doing many shoot interviews, and this shows why. Piper has that Cornette-like tendency to veer off on tangents, but not the Cornette-like ability to be hilarious with them. One of the topics that comes up is Brutus Beefcake, and Sean asks if he was treated like just one of the boys, or if everyone saw him as ďHoganís boy.Ē Piper answers by talking about how he became the Brutus the Barber at WM3, because hair is a pain in the ass to cut while itís sweaty, so Roddy didnít want to do it.
The other drawback is that Piper makes some claims that just seem so outrageous that itís impossible to believe. He doesnít go so far as to say that everything was a shoot, but he claims that all of his interviews and Piperís Pit segments were totally on the fly. He had no idea of what he was going to say to Frankie Williams, and nobody had any idea that he was going to beat him up. He only did it because Frankie tried to steal his thunder by standing up to him, and then did it again, when Piper was about to finish. The same thing with hitting Albano with the record in MSG. Despite that the angle led to The War to Settle the Score with Lauper and Albano in Hoganís corner, which led to the first WrestleMania. Piper just randomly decided to do it? I donít think so.
The big topic of discussion is the famous coconut angle with Snuka, and thatís another case where Piperís memory seems to be at fault. First he claims that it was totally on the fly, and then remembers that Strongbow suggested that he hit him with it. He also talks about all the events leading up to it, with the comments about the pineapples and the bananas, and Snuka climbing the tree like a monkey, and claims that he just said what came to mind. The coconut angle was a follow up to Snuka being on the Pit before, and Piper not letting him talk. Piper makes several cracks about the Fiji Islands, specifically climbing trees like monkeys for coconuts. The one thing he adds that does make sense though is that when he took the shot, he specifically went for Snukaís seashell headband to somewhat cushion the blow, which might explain how it shattered and didnít shatter Snukaís skull (assuming that it wasnít gimmicked, like heís always claimed).
Piper does eventually get more comfortable as the interview goes on, and it shows. But, the best stuff here, by a good margin, is Piper talking about his own angles, like the coconut. He talks about refusing to put over Hogan, because he knew they could draw serious money, and asked Vince what would draw money, him versus Hogan, or Hogan versus Orndorff (not a great comparison, since Hogan/Orndorff was a huge drawing card). He also says that they were afraid that Hogan couldnít get over as much as Snuka, so they sabotaged him by having him do the cage leap with Muraco, and then lose the match anyway.
The 411: I'm sure that getting Piper was seen as a coup for KC, Sean is clearly excited to be interviewing him. But, this just falls so short of what you'd expect from Roddy Piper.