RIP Roddy Piper: Interview with The Hot Rod (FSM 84/85; Oct/Nov 2012)
FSM: You’ve said many times that your first match was against Larry Hennig for the AWA, but isn’t it true that you had matches in Manitoba before that?
Roddy Piper: My own recollection is that the very first match I ever had was with Larry Hennig, but I’ve been told there’s a discrepancy there. I may have wrestled a guy called Tony Condello, but I don’t think he had a territory of his own. At the time, I was an amateur wrestler, as well as playing with the pipe band in Winnipeg, but I wasn’t really in tune with professional wrestling at all. The guy running the show up there for the AWA, Al Tomko, was the man who gave me my first break, because a wrestler, maybe Buddy Wolfe, didn’t show up.
You know, I have some amazing memories from around that period. One time - it can’t have been long after my first match - we were wrestling way
out in the deep woods of Canada. After driving for a while, Al made the call to pull into this big old state park in the middle of nowhere, which is where we slept for the night; I remember sleeping on a park bench that evening.
So, Al Tomko is the man who gave me my first real taste of pro wrestling. He even allowed me to sleep in his gym, which was the same one guys like Billy Graham, Verne Gagne, Billy Robinson, and Geoff Portz would work out at. My rent was basically to paint the weights at the gym, but I’d paint the weight numbers on wrongly, on purpose, and then howl to myself at some of these guys wondering why they couldn’t lift the weights.
Let me be the first to say that I was never the toughest guy in the wrestling business at all – actually, I was a scared little boy. Once they figured that prank out, it was the late, great George Gordienko who disciplined me on the mat for a hour, breaking my right ankle, and busting me up. But after that, I went from being a kid with no family to a kid with a hundred different fathers in the wrestling business.
Did anybody actually teach you the mechanics of wrestling?
I didn’t go to a training camp or anything like that. Everything I learned was really in front of a live crowd, with certain people just guiding me along as it all happened. For example, I learned to do a dropkick the hard way; instead of practising on my own to get that great vertical leap, George Gordienko, who I’d have in a headlock, would throw me in the air in the direction of somebody and yell, “Dropkick him!” But it’s fair to say that even though I was never taught by traditional methods, both Gordienko and “Mad Dog” Vachon were the biggest of influences on me early
in my career.
Back in 1976 you pretty much wrestled Chavo Guerrero (Sr.) every night. How valuable an experience was that?
Oh, it was huge. Leo Garibaldi and Gene LeBell were the guys in charge of booking the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, and it was great to meet such men. The experience that run gave me was invaluable; they’d put Chavo and I in these matches that would always go to the time limit, whether that was 15, 30 or 60 minutes. When you have to work for that full hour, by the time 35-40 minutes rolls around, you’re fresh out of ideas and as tired as you can be (laughs). At that point you’ve really got to start thinking on your feet, which is when you really begin to learn your craft.
Because we were working every night, in a circuit of towns, we had to try and keep things interesting for the audience; a phrase you won’t hear in the business today is “working for next week”. I stayed for around three years in that territory, and it was just an unbelievable training ground. I didn’t just wrestle Chavo, either - I wrestled the rest of the Guerreros, too, including Gory. When I was sick, their mother would make me chicken soup so I got better and they could beat me up some more (laughs). Also, I was placed in a variety of scenarios, like being the special referee, which helped my learning immensely.
Eventually, they just placed a microphone in my hand and told me to say anything I wanted. I had a lot of pent up anger, and just played a natural heel. In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that young guys and women can’t get that kind of experience anymore in the wrestling business.
Just to follow up on that, then, do you empathise with today’s wrestlers in not having that freedom to express themselves, as you did?
It sure is a double-edged sword. In some cases, the guys need that help because they wouldn’t be able to achieve what they have without it. On the other hand, that lack of freedom definitely holds them where the establishment wants them held. The way things are now doesn’t really allow any of the guys to bust open new frontiers.
I do feel for them in some way... (pauses) I think the system now doesn’t cater to creativity. If you don’t allow a guy who knows what he’s doing to think outside the box, then you’re never gonna come up with anything new. Speaking for myself, there’s very little bullshit with my character; the reason I wear the kilt is because I played with a pipe band. It’s doubtful that if I was coming into today’s WWE that they’d even let me use the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper name. That’s just the way they work now, and it’s hard to say whether or not I’d be able to stomach that mentality.
To be fair to the guys who do allow WWE to change their names and start afresh, a lot of them are huge fans of this industry and have grown up watching that company work a certain way. I was never a big wrestling fan growing up, and had actually never seen a professional wrestling match until I was introduced to it. The reason I stepped foot inside that ring was because I needed the $25 it was going to give me (laughs). Now, of course, I love it, and anybody who answers a bell or learns to work a match has my respect.
Going back to your early career, you’ve rarely spoken about going to Japan in 1977. You wrestled the top names in New Japan at that time, like Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi. Can you tell us about the experience?
I got into a lot of trouble in Japan. I’d been in a lot of territories before Los Angeles, but that was where most people considered me to have made a bit of a name for myself. The Olympic Auditorium had bottomed out a bit before I went to Japan, which came about because I’d been selling a lot of tickets around the United States and Canada and at the Auditorium, and they wanted to take me over there.
In Japan, they wanted to make me like one of their young boys, learning and working very much in a dojo environment. From that experience, I adopted a few rules: buy a round-trip ticket before you leave home, use cash when you get there, and never surrender your passport. I stupidly gave them my passport when I first went there, and they wouldn’t let me out. I had to get kicked out of the country for life to get back home (laughs). I’ve honestly never been back there since.
We’ll have to ask you to elaborate on that one. How exactly did you get kicked out of the country?
Well, you can buy beer out of a vending machine over there, just in the same way you’d buy a Coke here. I bought a few and noticed a cab car sitting vacant on the street. I decided to get in for a drive, drink the rest of the beer - which I found out was a little ‘spicier’ than I thought it would be! - and ended up driving the cab directly into the front room of a restaurant. It’s nothing I’m especially proud of, but it happened for a reason, I guess. I also hit Ivan Koloff over the head with a fire extinguisher at the hotel (laughs).
Back on home soil, you developed an excellent relationship with Portland promoter Don Owen. With all you’ve said in mind, was he the guy who first gave you the chance to be the star of a territory?
As fantastic a relationship I had with him, I’d already been given the platform to shine many times before working for him. When I worked for Leo Garibaldi and and Gene LeBell in LA, I was on a Spanish TV network a lot, which is where the folks promoting at Madison Square Garden first heard of me.
Don Owen was really, really good to me, and was one of the few people in my life who really cared about me and would take the time to make sure I
was all right. For the first few years of my career, I didn’t even have a visa, so other promoters would just sneak me across the border, and I had to do more than just wrestle, like date the fire marshall’s daughter back in Dallas, Texas, so that Fritz Von Erich could squeeze more people into the building than the law allowed (laughs).
I’d already proven elsewhere that I could draw some money, so Don Owen paid me well and gave me the opportunity to get over in his territory. I have a lot of respect for the way he treated me, so much so that when the WWF started taking over the world and wanted me to go and work for them in Don's area, I wouldn’t do it. You gotta have some sort of honour in your heart, even in a business like this, so I took a chance with that one. There was a big chance I’d get fired, but that man was good to me and he deserved some niceness in return.
Did Vince McMahon fine you for skipping those shows?
He was pretty pissed, as you’d imagine. Not many people told him, “No”, but I was one of them because of my loyalty to Don Owen. Vince didn’t fine me or anything like that, mainly because it was his father that hired me originally.
Back in those days, the business was pretty different, as was the role of the promoter. By the time a wrestler had made it to the big dance, like the WWF, they usually had all their stuff together already. In my case, I had the kilt, the bagpipes, the experience, and the verbal skills, so all they needed to tell me was who I was working with that night, and we’d be all set to go. I didn’t like anybody telling me what to say or do, because in my view that wasn’t decided until I was out there. I have to read what’s going on with the crowd and the atmosphere of the building before I can decide how to react.
In that era, if you didn’t come in packaged with confidence, you wouldn’t last very long at all. So what I’m getting around to saying is, I just would’ve gone somewhere else if they tried to fine me for that.
You obviously had a very unique introduction to the wrestling business. Did you find yourself with a particular ambition early on?
I had no initial idea of working on television, because I didn’t really give it much thought. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way to the business, but I was thrown in there and could only think of the money, because I needed it so badly. When you enter the wrestling industry with that business perspective, it gives you a better path to follow in order to become accomplished. The reason they’ll call you a star is so they can pay you less money, you know? They can get away with paying less money because, hey, they put you on TV and made you look like a big deal. Well, in turn, big deal to that! That’s the wrong idea of why to get into the business, and that’s something I don’t often get to talk about to young guys.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, I don’t talk a lot unless my job requires it. When I do get to talk to some of the younger guys breaking in, however, I always ask them why they want to be professional wrestlers. From their answer, I can often tell what degree of success, if any, they will have. Not being disrespectful to anyone at all, but it’s hard to listen to the same stories of wanting to be involved since they were little kids. In my book, that’s the wrong kind of reasoning for getting involved in a business such as this. I got into it heavily because I wanted a job, and a family of my own. If I could make $25 cash in a matter of minutes, that’s all the motivation I needed. Wrestling was the best shot I had at doing that at the time, so I went about it and studied as much as I could.
You know, when I was working in the Carolinas, I crashed so many cars that nobody would ride with me anymore. Driving to the next town to work, I’d load up with a case of beer and some great music, and when I got an idea, I’d drive using my knee and jot down all sorts of stuff in this yellow notepad I carried about with me. The next day when I read over the list, most of them would be complete nonsense, but there’d always be that one which stood out and could be used. Doing that almost every night, I built up quite the bank of ideas (laughs).
It seems you had a fresh perception on the wrestling business when breaking in, having not been a fan. Do you think sometimes those who are fans can pick up bad habits because of that?
One hundred percent. Of course, they also pick up good habits, too! I always say to young guys, when you come out for your matches, never look at the crowd. I came from an amateur wrestling background, which is very real, and if you win you get more money than the other guy. The crowd are watching you, so don’t watch them. They want to see you lock eyes with that guy in the ring, so that’s what you do.
Obviously, as I got more comfortable being out there, I played to the crowd, but when I stepped foot inside the ring, I looked at my opponent. When you watch MMA, those guys are scared to death, and for good reason; you don’t see them floating eyes over the crowd, because they can’t afford to lose focus. They keep their heads down and conserve energy, because they’re getting ready to fight.
You were always famous in wrestling for your promo ability. One interview that stands out is the one where you broke the beer bottle over your head in Vancouver. Can you tell us more about that?
I think in wrestling we did more promos than any performer in any other kind of entertainment. In Charlotte, I had to do 90 two-and-a-half-minute interviews, covering many different towns, before I would go out and wrestle later that night.
With the beer bottle spot, I actually did that twice, but the one you're referring to was with Rick Martel to hype up a feud with The Sheepherders. Here was the problem I was facing: due to the fallout from the Gorgeous George era, wrestling had been a little more exposed than before, with wrestlers taking dives being heavily publicised. In short, it became more of a business than a profession. That black cloud was hanging over wrestling when I broke in, and I was taught by men who had been cheated out of their rightful main events during that era. Being as real as possible is what draws money in the wrestling business, even if most people do realise the worked nature of it.
Now, when I was working up in the Canadian Maritimes, I had been told stories about a guy named The Beast who had broken a beer bottle over his head. Rick Martel and myself would talk lovingly about that, even to different people before we had met. During that time, the show where we were scheduled to wrestle The Sheepherders was upgraded to a bigger building; it felt like a little WrestleMania, for lack of a better term, for the Vancouver area. In terms of that promo, I can tell you how tough I am, but it’s much more effective to show you.
If you want people to really buy into your point, there are times where you don’t need to say a word. It was 48 hours before the match, and I wanted to make a mark on the map for my career, doing something special that would leave the building rocking come bell-time. That promo raised the bar for a number of people, and because of it they ended up turning away a large group of fans from the gate two days later. The famous singer Ella Fitzgerald once told me, ‘Son, give them a good beginning, a great ending and they’ll forgive a lot in between!’
If you watch that promo back, I had to hit myself so hard with the bottle that I couldn’t get the words that followed to come out properly (laughs). It didn’t matter, though, because the act itself had so many people thinking I was tough. They might not know about anybody else, but they sure didn’t want to mess with that guy. That was the exact purpose of the entire thing.
During your stay in Mid-Atlantic, you worked with Ric Flair, Jack Brisco and many other legendary names. That must stand out as one of the finest periods of your career.
Definitely. From working at the Olympic Auditorium, to wrestling down in Atlanta on television, that whole era was just magical for me. I was so honed by the time I ended up working in Charlotte, and the talent was so great, that it’s hard to beat that time. When I got to working in New York, things became real serious very quickly, and the rules changed...
You recently had a lengthy trip to Scotland, including appearing on a show promoted by SWE (Hell For Lycra IX). Did you enjoy your time there?
Roddy Piper: All in all, I was in Scotland for around 10 days, and did quite a few appearances. In one place, they named haggis after me! There was also a young man who talked to the promoter of one of the shows, and said that his dad was sick, and that he couldn't leave his house to come to the event. He asked if I could come to his home instead, which I did, and he ended up giving me his kilt. At first I thought, “I can’t accept this”, but he truly wanted me to have it. It was a very humbling experience.
People treated me so kindly in every town. I got to visit Edinburgh Castle, which was special to me. Quite honestly, I don’t know what more I could have asked for during that trip.
Despite being from Canada, the people in Scotland really treat you as one of their own.
Definitely. I think that people realise how much I love Scotland, despite being Canadian. I placed fifth in the world at playing bagpipes when I was 14, and I’ve always been genuine - I’ve never tried to put on a fake accent or anything. I think people can see that the affection I hold in my heart for Scotland is genuine.
Scottish people have accepted me, and it’s almost like they have taken in the orphan child. It’s remarkable, because normally folks would be really hard on a Canadian who has been announced as hailing from Glasgow for his entire career. It’s very humbling, but at the same time extremely wonderful.
Let’s jump back to where we left off. How exactly did you make that leap from working for Jim Crockett Promotions to working for Vince McMahon and the WWF?
While I was still working for Crockett, I was put on TBS as a colour commentator - I was the first guy to be an active wrestler and also do announcing at the same time. The houses were doubling when we did that, and it’s fair to say that the Crocketts were the first people who were going to take over the wrestling world.
I was quite an aggressive guy around that time, and had just had my first child, so I was quite protective of my earnings, and so on. The company actually fired me, and then blackballed me from the area, so the only places I could work were smaller territories like Puerto Rico. They realised they had leverage with the boys because of how well business was doing.
Eventually, the pressure of that situation eased off, and I was able to come back to work in Charlotte. One day, while we were doing those long, gruelling hours of taped interviews, Jimmy Crockett called me into his office and told me that Vince McMahon Sr. had been in touch. He wanted to bring me into the WWF, and Jimmy told me I should go because he didn’t have much for me. I always thought that was so honourable of him, because most promoters would have just kept quiet, and then used you and used you and used you, and then passed you on when you had nothing left.
You first wrestled Hulk Hogan for the WWF in the Boston Garden on October 6, 1984, winning by count-out and starting a long-standing rivalry. Put it as directly as you can for us; how and why did you make the decision to never to lose to Hogan?
I had been wrestling for a long time by that point, in a number of different territories, building my brand and my name. So I come to New York, and they’ve since decided that they’re the ones to take over the planet. So suddenly, everything you do is going to be seen worldwide; if I lost in the Portland territory, only fans in that area would see it. However, if I lost in the WWF at the wrong time, the entire world would see it.
New York was traditionally a babyface territory; they brought in heels in the short-term to get themselves over, then lose to the hero. They were always very narrow-minded in New York, and they’d decided to go with Hogan as their guy, and that was it. They really didn’t expect me to come in and get Piper’s Pit over the way I did. Eventually, I was at hot as Hogan in the fans’ eyes.
At The War To Settle The Score, on MTV, they wanted me to go in and lay my shoulders down for Hogan, who was the WWF champion. But keeping in mind that it wasn’t a championship match, I didn’t see where we could go from there. They said, “We want to come back with a tag match [at WrestleMania]”, but if that was the plan, why did they want to beat me one-on-one? If anything, I should've beaten Hogan for the title, then we could've done the tag match, and then I'd have dropped the title back to him.
So, basically, I said no (laughs). It wasn’t a good business decision to have me beat right out of the gate. If Hogan had already beaten me, who would care about a re-match? From my point of view, I had a family to look after, and wanted to do what was right for making the most money. I told Vince that as much as I wanted the WWF, I didn’t need them, as I could go any place in the world if things were gonna be like this. So eventually, the match ended in a disqualification, and we rolled onto WrestleMania, when they brought in Mr T. I’m old-school, and believed that because he was an outsider coming in, and wasn’t staying, that we shouldn’t give him the world on a plate. He wanted to come in, bounce both Paul Orndorff and myself around, and then go back to filming The A-Team, laughing about the wrestling phonies. I wasn’t gonna let that happen.
If I had went in there, clowned around, and laid down for Mr T, that would have set a precedent that was disrespectful to the people who taught me, and hurtful to the generation after me. I remember telling Vince (Jr.) that we best keep things amateur with T, and then, when the time was right, I’d let him tag Hogan, and things could blow up from there.
The next year, they then wanted me to box T, which I wasn’t happy about. They taped my fists before putting the gloves on, because they thought I might go crazy, and take the guy out. I wanted to, but I needed him to do something to me, so I had the excuse to take him out with my elbows. But when I threw a stool at him as hard as I could, and took a big chunk out of his leg, he did nothing about it.
Getting back to your question, I was stuck in the middle for a while there after filming They Live, but I was happy to return to wrestling when I did. After the whole deal with Hogan and Mr T, my reputation was laid out for me, so they assumed that I wouldn't lose to anyone. It was more than that, of course, but I wasn’t asked again until Bret Hart came along. He believes in the same old-school rules that I do; that our business is very real, and far from the phony dog-and-pony show it can be portrayed as. I’m proud of the business I did with Bret, and was more than happy to let him pin me. I’m very meticulous about who pins me, but I’m not greedy; if someone is worth it, I’ll pass the torch. Bret was most definitely worth it.
You’ve just mentioned They Live, which was a break-out moment for you in Hollywood. How did people in both industries react to the opportunity you had?
Oh, they hated me, on both sides! The general consensus in Hollywood was that I was just another jock thinking he could act, while the WWF felt I had abandoned them at a crucial time. In fact, when I went to do They Live, Vince made sure to get a message to me saying that only he and Hogan were true-blue WWF guys. I’d always gotten along great with Vince, but that started a lot of problems between he and I. After that, Vince and Hogan locked themselves in a hotel room for a week, and wrote No Holds Barred.
After returning to wrestling, you pretty much played a babyface for the remainder of your career. Was that a conscious decision?
No, not at all. The only reason I turned was because the entire building chanted my name during the (WrestleMania II) boxing match with T. That was completely unplanned, and must be one of the only cases where a mean, cruel heel is turned babyface by the fans mid-match (laughs).
The words babyface and heel, by the way, are incorrect terms; the proper names are “clean” and “rough”, but that’s an entire lesson in wrestling we won’t get into. (laughs)
In the early days of the national expansion, the WWF’s schedule was infamous for its toll on the wrestlers. At what period was it at its worst?
I would say after WrestleMania I. We were running three towns per night, with three different crews, and I once went 90 days in a row without a single day off. Honestly, I didn’t even know where I was half the time. That’s when guys started dying, man.
I was the main event on one series of towns, Hogan was the main event on another, and someone else was on top on the third. But, I’d be on the first loop one night, and then they’d move me to the second for three days, before getting me to go onto the third. I was criss-crossing the country; it was like, “Where the hell am I?” We had a lot of strong guys that could take care of themselves, but who were angry, spent, and blowing up each and every night in the dressing room. It was almost a Twilight Zone kind of thing, and it got ugly. It got very ugly.
Aside from They Live, you’ve done many projects outside of the sport. One movie that has a cult following is Bodyslam, with Dirk Benedict. What do you remember about that?
(laughs) The studio didn’t really know how to shoot wrestling, and they had obviously never done it before. When they were filming the wrestling scenes, the crowd, who were just extras, weren’t buying it because we were stopping and starting for the right camera shots. In fact, it became a clown show, and that’s one thing I’m not. So I thought, “OK - to hell with them. Watch this.” Boom! I started a fight with one of the other wrestlers, and everybody else backed away. People had become smart-asses on that set, even the actors. I tried to be a gentleman, but it all got too much for me.
You also starred in a TV pilot with Jesse Ventura, called Tag Team.
I remember that vividly, and it was a true Hollywood horror story! We worked with Disney on that one, and it was picked up for 12 episodes. The house that was used for the exterior shots was in Venice Beach, California, and I actually lived there while filming. I remember getting a call from Jesse just before the proper filming was due to start, and he told me that the entire project was now “on hold”. Apparently, the show was part of a three-show deal between Disney and another network, and something happened with one of the other ones. So the entire thing was scrapped, and only the pilot got made.
In the early '90s you embarked on an extensive publicity tour in the UK to promote the I’m Your Man pop single. How did that come about?
My manager’s name was Freya Miller, and she managed a famous singer in the UK called Shakin’ Stevens. The company that produced it were big, and worked on some of The Beatles stuff back in the '60s. It was just something I tried, and it was a wonderful experience. The record didn’t break the Top 40, but did come in at number 41 or something, which is funny as I actually liked the B-side better! (laughs) I just really wish that I’d had an easier upbringing, because I was so rough going into that whole venture. I was never given the option to pick the tune I was gonna sing, but I’m still proud of it. It was just another part of my crazy life (laughs).
Getting back to wrestling, you worked as a commentator for the WWF in 1990. Was that an enjoyable experience?
Commentary was actually something I didn’t want to do at all. It all happened because of an argument Vince had with Jesse Ventura, which led to Jesse leaving the company. I recall - and I was standing right there! - Jesse shouting at Vince, “You don’t scare me, I’ve been under fire!”
There was a real fear when Jesse left that the commentary would suffer, so they needed somebody who was over strong to come in and take the reins for a while. I said no, but I ended up holding a double contract in my hands, as both a wrestler and a commentator. From there, Randy Savage eventually started doing announcing, and Vince was worried that he had all this talent behind the desk instead of out on the road, so he asked me to step back into the ring again.
One thing I’d like to mention is just how grateful I am to have had the chance to work alongside Gorilla Monsoon. When you’re working colour commentary on the live pay-per-views, there’s so much that can go wrong, so it’s vital to have somebody incredibly solid next to you. Nowadays it’s obviously different, as the communication is better between the crew backstage and the announcers out front, but it was really tough back then. It did cement the proof of my mic skills, I suppose, but it was just another one of those unplanned things.
Jumping forward quite a few years, you worked for WCW, beginning in the mid-’90s. In hindsight, what do you think of that experience?
Truthfully, that was a very ugly period, and also a very unkind one. So many guys let their ego get in the way of business down there, and they thought more about hurting the WWF than helping themselves, which was really dumb-ass. I didn’t even really want to go there, but business is business. It was a very unpleasant time.
During your time with WCW, you put together a tape called Tame ‘Em And Train ‘Em, which featured ideas on how the company could help itself. Can you elaborate on that?
Things were starting to go sideways in WCW, and I hadn’t had a call from anybody in a while. I don’t watch wrestling when I’m not involved, and I have my reasons for that, but if I need to know something, I’ve been around so long that I can watch the TV show and tell right away what’s going on in the company. So I saw what was happening, and immediately went downstairs with my little girl, and shot the ghost tape. It wasn’t something that I intended to be aired anywhere; it was more a reminder to them that while things were going downhill, I was right here. They needed to let me in the clique, because I could’ve helped them. That was the first thing.
The second thing was that I had torn my biceps in WCW, and ended up ripping it further because of how hard they pushed me while I was injured. They were trying to squeeze me out. The tape was a weird piece of work - there was a place in it where I made myself out to be a scary monster, but then showed my little girl in my arms, with no fear in her whatsoever - but it showed what could be done if they’d let me in. There were many layers to it, but it was meant to show that WCW needed to open up its eyes to what they had in me, but also to let them know that they couldn’t dump me, because they'd torn my biceps.
Was I trying to save the territory? To an extent, yes, but I was also covering my ass.
You pop-up on WWE TV every now and then, mainly doing the Piper’s Pit interview segments, but would you like something more to get your teeth into?
Yeah. In fact, I talked to them about bringing me in to interact with Drew McIntyre, who is someone I like a lot, but they just kept stalling. You know, I really don’t want to go back there and have somebody else write something for me - it’s too boring! I wish they’d just let me go; give me an idea of what they want, and I’ll just go out there and do it. I can still pull in ratings, because I was told that the last Pit segment we did bumped the viewership up on Raw by 500,000 people.
But you know, there’s this thing... (pauses) It’s kinda like, if you’ve had this much practice, you’re going to make everybody else look bad. I wish they wouldn’t look at it that way, though, because my intentions are only to make them look good. Cena and Jericho, for example, are both great, but the company needs to trust us enough with the business, just like I was trusted before. And you know, if they don’t like the segment, the way it’s said is, “Oh, Piper sucked”.
But in reality, it doesn’t mean that Piper sucked, it means that what you wrote sucked (laughs); the segment just happens to be named after me.
So, I was saying, I had this idea of managing Drew McIntyre. I could have him as a main eventer in a month. I had the whole nine yards laid out for them, and they didn’t do it.
Why? I don’t know. That’s their business, I guess.