Roddy Piper is flying under the radar in the podcast world as the wrestling icon continues to deliver some fascinating interviews with wrestling personalities. The latest with Vince Russo is a classic as the interview takes a very strange turn at the end of the first part.
Piper has actually been doing podcasts long before PodcastOne.com picked up his broadcast. He was a bit of an innovator here, as he was with Piper’s Pit. Piper’s podcasts can be hit or miss as sometimes Piper goes off on some wild tangents, yet with that said there are some real gems including a recent interview with his former bodyguard Bob Orton, Jr. Piper’s newest broadcast with Vince Russo is fascinating simply for the fact that the interview turns into an awkward confrontation at the end of part 1.
[adinserter block=”1″]Seeing Vince Russo booked on Piper’s broadcast was an immediate attention grabber. Piper has been outspoken on Russo and has often criticized the former WWE, WCW, and TNA booker in media interviews. Russo is doing the rounds to promote his website Pyroandballyhoo.com so a stop on Piper’s podcast made sense. Russo has also done Jim Ross’ podcast and while Ross has been critical of Russo in the past, it was a very respectful interview. While Piper was respectful, he had some issues with Russo and he certainly wasn’t shying away from them.
The first was Piper questioning Russo on the decision to send Owen Hart down from the rafters in the harness which ultimately led to Hart’s tragic passing. Piper called Russo out for making him do it and said that Russo should have known better. Russo said that Owen didn’t have a problem with it and that Owen had a problem with one angle, he spoke up, and the angle was changed. Piper wasn’t buying it and explained why Owen likely remained silent, yet had hesitations. It’s an interesting exchange here and while Piper is probably my all-time favorite heel, I think his argument was a little tough here as how is Russo to know what Owen is thinking? Regardless, I think both sides had good points which regardless of the debate, we still lost a great man.
The second and most fascinating debate took place at the end of the interview. Piper told Russo that he was going to tell him why he always had a problem with Russo. Piper said that on Russo’s first night in WCW as head booker, Russo never approached him or introduced himself. Piper said that as a legend, Russo should have went out of his way to at least say hello. Piper also pointed out that Russo’s partner Ed Ferrara did say hello and felt that Russo disrespected him and the other legends he blew off.
Russo’s defense was ignorance. Russo said that while he can’t tell Piper what he was thinking at the time, he said that as an outsider he wasn’t aware of wrestling traditions like saying hello, shaking hands, etc. Russo said that he was only the head writer and not the boss. He also said that he and Ed were so excited to work with Piper, that Ed just got there first.
Here is where things got interesting. Piper said that Russo’s ignorance is not an excuse. Piper practically laughed when Russo said he was just the head writer, not the boss. Piper also went on to tell Russo that back in the territorial days it was common for a promoter or new boss to ignore the talent in some kind of a power issue and send his head writer to address the boys, ala Ed Ferrara. Piper also said that Russo should have known to say hello or introduce himself whether it was a wrestling tradition or not. Piper said that if he walked into a locker room back in his day and saw Lou Thesz, he’d make it a point to say hello. He said that he says hello to everyone on independent shows even now.
Russo then tried a different excuse. Russo said that he may have been intimidated by Piper. Russo said that he watched Piper in the 1980s and Piper was such a big star to him, that he may have been intimidated. He said that by him not saying hello, it was actually out of respect and a little intimidation and he apologized numerous times for the snafu.
[adinserter block=”2″]The exchange was fascinating and revealed a lot about Russo’s ego at the time and why there was probably so much dissention when he became head booker in WCW. I don’t buy either of his excuses. Russo had worked in the wrestling business for years by the point he got to WCW and I highly doubt he was intimidated of Piper. If that was truly the case, he shouldn’t be running a wrestling company. The ignorance excuse also doesn’t hold water because Russo had been in plenty of WWE dressing rooms for many years before WCW and I am sure that on his way up he shook everyone’s hand. It’s probably the first rule anyone teaches someone new to a pro wrestling locker room. I don’t buy it.
The entire two-part interview is fascinating and Piper also calls him out in part 2 for booking “crash TV.” It’s a little awkward at times but this may be one of the most entertaining podcast interviews of the year thus far. I’d highly recommend it.