Without a doubt, one of the biggest icons in this business and one of the biggest originators in the business. Before Jake Roberts' Snake Pit, Carlito's Cabana, Jericho's Highlight Reel, The Brother Love Show...the original was Piper's Pit. Before wrestlers did movies...he starred in "They Live". I could go into more but I think you get the point. Roddy Piper was an innovator in this business and one of the men who just knew how to hold the crowd into the palm of his hand. With new comments from Piper along with some old clips (ala Wrestlers Of 80's DVD) along with comments from such performers as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jim Ross, Cowboy Bob & Randy Orton amongst others. Bottom line, "The Boss Is Back"...on DVD. And I just also happened to get the special 4 disc set from Circuit City with extra Piper's Pits as well.
The documentry stars out with Roddy growing up in different cities all over the world & leaving home at the age of 13 and breaking into wrestling with his first match with Larry Hennig (Mr. Perfect's dad) that set a record that Roddy still brags about to this day. His travel from different wrestling territories including a territory in Mexico that saw a fued he had with Chavo Guerrero Sr. (Chavo Classic) that resulted in his first major wrestling fued is shown. Roddy Piper's first big break in Portland Wrestling is covered. Piper & others talk about his time in NWA Mid-Alantic wrestling that started his relationship with Ric Flair and the brutial Starrcade '83 Dog Collar match against Greg Valentine which resulted in 50% of his hearing damaged. Piper's venture into the WWF and the story behind him being a manager for a while is talked about next along complete with stories of his relationship with Cowboy Bob Orton, Mr. T, WrestleMania, and his greatest contribution to professional wrestling...Piper's Pit.. The story behind his retirement match at WrestleMania III and his acting role in "They Live" are talked about before his return to WWF two years later. The main fued talked about here was his fued with Bad News Brown and the discussion turned into Roddy Piper painting himself half black...which was never really answered. His run as a color commentator & the Intercontinental title run and his WrestleMania VIII match with Bret Hart are discussed before Piper's family talks about him being a family man. Piper's return at WrestleMania X, his fued against Jerry Lawler that resulted in a bad match to the point where Lawler or Piper didn't want to discuss it, and what O.J. Simpson had to do with the Roddy Piper vs. Goldust fued. His 3 year run in WCW was reduced to just the "icon vs. icon" fued between himself & Hogan in the Starrcade '96 match. His return to WWE (for the 3rd time now) in 2003 was discussed & how he really felt about his run & how Piper's Pit was being treated. The controversal HBO interview with Piper that resulted in his release is heavily talked. Piper's induction into the Hall Of Fame and talk his guest appearences in WWE with Piper's Pit close out this documentry. The only negative I can say about this part was that they tried to mix reality with "kayfaye" so it hurts it like it did with previous DVD's like Rey Mysterio's years ago.
DVD extras include interview outtakes from Piper talking about such things as him sharing on-camera moments with his son Colt, his feelings about the "coconut" angle with Rikishi, more talk about Mr. T, how a rib involving two other wrestlers resulted in Harley Race almost shooting one of them, and how WM21 showed he was a man of his word. Other interview outtakes include Bruce Prichard (Brother Love) talking about his first meeting with Roddy Piper and both Mick Foley & Randy Orton talked about Piper giving back to the business.
Dog Collar Match vs. Greg Valentine - This was one of the most violent matches for it's time to the point where Piper perminately lost a percentage of hearing in his ear from it bleeding throughout the match. The violence here shows why you rarely see this type of match to this day.
NWA Starrcade '83
("Starrcade: The Essential Collection" & "Greatest Wrestling Stars Of The 80's")
vs. WWE Champion Hulk Hogan - This was the match to set up the WrestleMania main event as it was just a non-stop brawl with people getting into it left & right. I honestly love this match because I'm such a fan of Roddy Piper & the heat he could draw from a crowd. It wasn't Hogan doing his usual stuff so it was interesting to see.
The War To Settle The Score '85
("Hulk Hogan: The Ultimate Anthology" & "Greatest Wrestling Stars Of The 80's")
w/Paul Orndorff vs. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T - The night & match that put sports entertainment on the map. Everyone does a great job making Mr. T look better than he actually was and just knew how to mix brawling & wrestling to make a good match to watch.
("Hulk Hogan: The Ultimate Anthology")
vs. Paul Orndorff - Piper always seemed to have a grand entrance around this time but that's all that was grand here as Jesse Ventura described this match perfectly, "This is just a street fight with ropes around it." You could count the number of wrestling moves on one hand as from start to finish. This got so out of control that it went from in the ring to ringside to under the announce booth all the way to the backstage area with everyone getting out the way.
"Saturday Night's Main Event" Oct. '85
("Best Of Saturday Night's Main Event")
Boxing Match vs. Mr. T - On this DVD set, Roddy called this match the worst one of his life and it certainly came off like that because there wasn't anything entertaining about this & T looked like he was out of shape. The only noteworthy thing here was how the crowd turned in T & started chanting for Piper.
vs. Iron Sheik - This was a pretty short & sweet squash for Piper.
"Saturday Night's Main Event" Oct. '86
vs. Bob Orton - Piper going one on one against his one time best friend & former bodyguard. This is another match that was pretty short & was good for what it was.
"Saturday Night's Main Event" Nov. '86
("Legends Of Wrestling: Roddy Piper & Terry Funk")
Hair Match vs. Adrian Adonis - This was Roddy's "retirement" match that was very entertaining (with Jimmy Hart only adding to the match) and featured so many memorable moments such as Roddy's memorable walk to the ring, Adrian losing his hair, and the birth of Brutus "THE BARBER" Beefcake.
("Legends Of Wrestling: Roddy Piper & Terry Funk")
Steel Cage Match vs. Rick Rude - This was one of those cage matches where you can win by either pinfall/submisson or leaving the cage. This wasn't a bloody massacre but was definately a good match that had the cage used as a weapon various time & also had some moves be more impactful like Rick Rude doing a flying forearm drop off the top at one point & also had some comedic moments like Piper "making an ass" out of Rick Rude.
"MSG" Dec. '89
("Legends Of Wrestling: Roddy Piper & Terry Funk")
vs. Bad News Brown - Jesse Ventura described this match perfectly, "a street brawl." That's all they did here was just brawl against each other to the point where the referee tried to keep control but it just wasn't possible. However, this match was more memorable than anything else for Roddy Piper painting his body half black.
vs. Intercontinental Champion The Mountie - This was a unique situation as Roddy Piper replaced Bret Hart who earlier in the week lost the title to The Mountie and with the winner of the Royal Rumble becoming the WWE Champion, Roddy is the first man to have the opportunity to win both singles titles in one night. This was typical Piper in that it started out with a bang and didn't stop with a few comedic moments from Jimmy Hart along with The Mountie eventually getting a taste of his own medicine before Roddy wins his first championship in WWE history.
Royal Rumble '91
Intercontinental Championship Match vs. Bret Hart - This was the most unique match you've seen from Roddy Piper in his entire WWE career as he took a different approach with Bret than he did with anyone else and actually wrestled instead of brawled. Piper told a great story about between conflicted by either breaking the rules or playing it straight while Bret did what he could to regain his title back. This was without a doubt Roddy's best WRESTLING match in his WWE career (maybe even outside of that) with Bret even heavily bleeding at one point.
Hollywood Backlot Brawl Match vs. Goldust - This match was exactly what the name suggested, it was a brawl. They started out in a backlot complete with baseball bats & firehoses & a gold cadillac & a white Bronco (with arial footage that I swore I've seen before...LOL!) and ended in the arena complete with taped fist and Goldust crossing the line resulting in Roddy going "Rowdy" & inflicting pain on Goldust in a way that made every man in the building hurt.
vs. Hollywood Hogan - This was different than their past WWF matches in that they did a great job of actually wrestling here instead of just wild fighting & brawling. This was one of both men's best matches in their WCW career...and the last good quality Starrcade main event that lived up to the hype it had.
WCW Starrcade '96
("Starrcade: The Essential Collection")
Other matches include a singles & tag match against Buddy Rose from Portland Wrestling & a Mid-Atlantic Championship match against Jack Brisco. The last disc is completely full of Piper's Pit. This was really the biggest negative about the DVD because it ends the DVD set on a bad note because eventhough the Pit's start off great & were classics in comedy & drama...all the ones from his return in '03 & afterwards (8 total) were just horrible to the point to where Piper said that he thought they were tryin' to bury & kill it on purpose during the documentry. It wasn't the same type of Piper's Pit that they were back in the 80's as they all end with Piper getting either beat down or putting over a wrestler/storyline that didn't last long or that fans to this day want to forget. Anyways, these Pit segments include such moments as the Haiti Kid recieving a haircut, the infamous Frank Williams episode, the coconut episode with Jimmy Snuka, Andre The Giant challenging Hogan to the WM3 match, the Mr. T confrontation at MSG, his WM5 return with Brother Love & Morton Downey Jr. (this segment is clipped), and his goodbye speech before WM3. Other Pit's include such guest as Jimmy Hart, King Harley Race & Bobby Heenan, Vince McMahon & Rikishi, Mr. America (starting the Zack Gowen angle), Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri, Stone Cold & Carlito from WM21, Shawn Michaels, The Great Khali, and the RAW Homecoming episode with Randy & Bob Orton along with Mick Foley close out the Piper's Pit disc. If they just had to include some Pit episodes from his last two runs in WWE then I would have included WrestleMania 21, the McMahon episode but eliminate the Rikishi garbage afterwards, and the episode from early 2006 with J.B.L. & the Boogeyman since that was the funniest & most entertaining one since his 2003 return. And also, it wouldn't have been bad if they included the segments from the Flower Shop/Piper's Pit fued as well.
The Circuit City bonus disc isn't much as it only last 10 mins. with 6 extra Piper's Pits featuring Kamala & Kimchee & Wizard, Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer & Jesse Ventura, Mr. Fuji, Boxing Bob Orton & Hulk Hogan, and the debut of Adorable Adrian Adonis.
Overall, the documentry didn't really go into the heavy details of Roddy Piper's career as other DVD's on other wrestlers did (Bret, ECW, Dusty) as they mostly just covered his most memorable moments. The overall match selection was great but they needed a Ric Flair match. And for Roddy Piper to be praised for being such a talker...they don't have any of Piper's promos outside of Piper's Pit. I mean, none of his mic work from the NWA is worthy of a DVD extra? And the extras at the end really knocked it down and seemed like they were just trying to full up space instead of doing his legacy justice like they did with Jake Roberts' DVD. For that alone, I wouldn't call this a five star classic such as I did with DVD sets like Bret Hart & Hulk Hogan but overall, I recommend for any professional wrestling fan but don't get it with high hopes.