Pro wrestling has lost another legend, arguably the greatest heel of all-time. WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper passed away in his sleep due to cardiac arrest at the age of 61 leaving behind a wife, four children, one grandchild and one hell of a legacy.
Piper was one of my all-time favorites and probably the first heel I ever cheered for as a kid watching WWF shows. My first exposure to Piper other than Apter magazines was when he entered the WWF in 1983. I don’t think you’ll find many better heel runs than the one Piper had as WWE’s top dog from 83-86. While Hulk Hogan gets a lot of credit for building the WWF during that era, he wouldn’t have been able to do it alone and Piper was the perfect dance, partner.
Piper was revolutionary and groundbreaking in so many ways. Let’s start with the misnomer that Jesse Venture was the first heel color commentator in pro wrestling. That was Roddy Piper. Piper was a color commentator for Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1981. I discovered this during my days in the tape trading circle and let me tell you, Piper was just awesome. I used to ..click here to read more
Daniel Bryan is making the rounds promoting his brand new autobiography. One recent appearance featured Bryan providing more detail to book topics in addition to offering insight into his fascinating WWE career.
Bryan was a recent guest on the Sam Roberts Podcast and as always, Bryan is forthcoming, honest, fun, and insightful when asked questions about the book and his career. I’d recommend checking out the entire 37 minute interview for yourself.
Some of the highlights of the interview are Bryan going into more detail about his failed SummerSlam match against Charlie Sheen, his experience on NXT, his injury and future plans, plans for his intercontinental title run (which he said he wanted for a long time), and plans for a family with Brie (Bryan sort of breaks a story indicating that Brie will probably not be re-signing when her contract is up in what will probably be a year or so), WrestleMania, and much more.
On a side note I am currently finishing up Bryan’s book and should have a review up sometime next week.
John Cena has been the social media whipping boy among pro wrestling fans for the last five years. The Cena-hate is finally starting to dissipate and for those remaining holdouts, it is time to give Cena the respect and appreciation he deserves.
This isn’t a drastic reaction coming off of his broken nose or his series of matches against Kevin Owens. This is a reaction to a John Cena that has continually worked hard the last few years to give his fans their money’s worth and make his critics look foolish. John Cena doesn’t suck and if you think he does, you aren’t watching with an open mind
Look, I will be upfront with you. I am not a big fan. His gimmick doesn’t do it for me, but there are a lot of wrestlers I have watched in over 30 years that I didn’t necessarily like but respected. This blog is about giving the devil his due and paying respect to a guy that deserves it arguably over anyone else on the current WWE full-time roster.
There are several facts that whether or not you like John Cena, you can’t dispute. He has been a top guy and draw consecutively longer than ..click here to read more
Somewhere between the latest gossip from the Hulk Hogan racism scandal, the buzz of Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar and the simmering debate over whether WWE have already mishandled Kevin Owens, there’s been one piece of news that hasn’t been discussed half as much as it possibly should.
That news? This year’s WWE Summerslam is all set to be a four-hour show.
Let’s just think about that shall we? Four hours of pro wrestling in celebration of what Vince McMahon et al still tout as their second biggest show of the year, despite all evidence pointing to January’s annual Royal Rumble as the event fans most look forward to.
Four hours. That’s 240 solid minutes of Michael Cole. 240 minutes interspersed with countless ads for a WWE Network many of us will already be using to watch the show. 240 minutes of matches that will probably be repeated on upcoming episodes of Raw and Smackdown.
Am I the only one among us who feels that a four-hour Summerslam is just too much? I mean look, I love wrestling as much as the next fan -I wouldn’t be taking the time to pen this article if I didn’t- but I can’t help but wonder who exactly ..click here to read more
If you came to know wrestling at any time over the past 50 years, you know of Bill Apter. If you don’t, don’t Google his name, read up on him on Wikipedia or ask someone else … buy this book. If you don’t understand the influence of the magazines, especially before the 1990’s, but also during that transitional decade, the significance of Bill Apter may be overlooked – but only if you have no clue about the industry.
Even the WWE has embraced Apter, using him as an eyewitness to history, placing him frequently on the Network, distinctly understanding his role over the past six decades.
For anyone wanting to understand the “Apter Mags” – who better than Bill Apter to explain it, detail it and tell tales about many decades of influence that they had on wrestling. Although as much as Apter reveals, there are still some lingering doubts about some of his revelations.
Me thinks he doth protest too much a few times.
Magazines drove the business, sold tickets, fleshed out storylines, shaped feuds and kept names in the public eye; talent was always jealous of who got coverage on the covers and who got written about inside; insight and discussion with ..click here to read more
Seth Rollins is opening the show this week, and he’s smiling. We go to clips from his match with John Cena on RAW, which resulted in Cena suffering a broken knows as a result of a high knee. Back to the arena, Rollins doesn’t care about the “You tapped out” chant. He single-handedly forced Cena to put the Authority back into power, and everyone said “So what?” He became the first man to cash in the MITB case at Wrestlemania, and heard the same thing. He stood toe-to-toe with Brock Lesnar at Battleground, did exactly what he said he would, and all he hears is those same two little words from everyone. A man can only take so much, and on RAW, he reached his breaking point. The unfortunate victim of his rage was Cena. Cena was sent to the ER with the aforementioned broken nose. He pummeled and unloaded on Cena until his nose was smashed sideways across his face. We go back to the footage again, only we see it in slow-motion, which is pretty rough. That’s followed up with black-and-white photos of Cena’s nose. It doesn’t look as bad as Rory MacDonald’s at UFC 189, but still ..click here to read more
Arguably, Hulk Hogan’s greatest WWE rival was “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. So naturally Piper would have a lot to say regarding Hogan’s recent fall from grace and TMZ Sports was lucky enough to get it all on video.
Piper has been fairly outspoken on Hogan’s mess ever since the first transcript of Hogan using racial slurs was released earlier in the week. Piper has never been a guy to mince words nor has he been afraid to embrace controversy. As a matter of a fact, Piper is currently involved in his own controversy with Stone Cold Steve Austin over a podcast. Needless to say, Piper has an opinion and isn’t afraid to give it.
Piper feels that we should all move on. Piper says we should get over it. Piper says that it was impossible to be racist in the pro wrestling business. Coming from a man who painted half of his body in black-face during a feud with an African American Wrestler, I wouldn’t expect much less.
Check out the video for yourself courtesy of TMZ Sports. A much more coherent performance than his appearance earlier in the week on the Rich Eisen Show.
Hulk Hogan isn’t making it easy. Transcripts released throughout the week featured the WWE icon using slurs and homophobic language. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point that even his biggest fans are struggling to root for their childhood hero.
I have never been one to demonize a public figure over language. Yet I am still looking for a path of clarity and forgiveness for the Hulkster. I can’t find it and that path becomes murkier and murkier daily. Thanks for the memories as a 13-year old kid cheering on the Hulk in 1984 at the Spectrum, but what there is no excuse for your behavior.
We all know the story by now. Hogan is caught on tape using F and N-words that I don’t care to reprint in this blog. Hogan also claims in a conversation meant to be private, that he is a racist…little albeit but he does make that claim. As much as I hate to see a guy lose a 30-plus year legacy, the language and point of view he owned on that tape are just strong to forgive.
What excuse can you logically make for the guy? I have seen several, some even coming out of his own ..click here to read more
I have some great news for you NFL fans. NFL training camps are starting to get underway. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings have already gotten started, as they’re playing against each other in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on August 9, 2015. Many other teams are starting to open up camps in preparation for the upcoming 2015-16 season. I’m very excited about the upcoming season, as I am sure my readers are as well.
The defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots have opened camp on July 23, 2015 for the rookies, and today, July 29, 2015, for the veterans. Well, unless you have been living under a rock, as you already know, the Patriots enter camp with a huge uncertainty at the QB position, thanks to a six month long saga called “Deflategate.” The Patriots were accused of tampering with footballs in the 2014-15 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots were fined $1,000,000 and lost 2 draft picks. QB Tom Brady was suspended 4 games for “being generally aware” that Equipment Manager James McNally and John Jamstremski were deflating the footballs and for not cooperating with Investigator Ted Wells. Yesterday, on July 28th, ..click here to read more
Fifteen years ago Monday, professional wrestling lost its story teller. Gordon Solie passed away, leaving behind a legacy that has been unmatched and a hole in the business of reporting professional wrestling. With all fairness to Jim Ross, no one can touch the subtle tones of Solie’s match calling and his interview skills from the desk at Championship Wrestling from Florida.
My friend and fellow Camel Clutch Blog writer Tom Clark said last month that when Dusty Rhodes died, he lost his second father. For me, as a sports writer and someone who was in awe growing up of sportscasters and play-by-play commentators, Solie was the teacher I never knew I had.
As a small child (I think six years old), my brother and I could not wait until noon on a Saturday when we could watch CWF with my dad. It was one of my first memories of watching “sports” as a family. Solie was at the announcers’ desk with Jerry Brisco and Barbara Clary and the wrestlers who came out – Dusty Rhodes, Bugsy McGraw, Terry Funk – they were larger than life heroes of mine.
Solie made me a fan instantly and I have loved the business ever since.