Apter and Resnick on Working with Rowdy Roddy Piper
On the April 19, 2021 edition of Wrestling with History on VOC Nation, Bill Apter and Ken Resnick talked about mischaracterized heat between Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon’s vocabulary, and the career of Roddy Piper. Here are some highlights:
Apter on the truth behind rumors of heat between Schiavone and Heenan: “I think the main crux of (it) was that Tony wanted to get out of the business at that point. Things just weren’t palatable to him anymore in WCW. The people that were running it and (him) just didn’t see (eye to eye). He was fed up with everything (at that point). It wasn’t just Bobby Heenan. I think Tony at that point wanted to be (done) and wanted out. He was driven out of that business with politics and contractual things… now he’s back and stronger than ever.”
Apter on Gorilla Monsoon’s vocabulary being important to him: “I didn’t know that he was going to be as good as he was in that role. When I was growing up, he was a scary bad guy. To shave that beard and come out as a broadcaster - he really shined in that role… He always wanted to show people his intelligence and how schooled he was. His intelligence bouncing off of Bobby Heenan’s sarcasm worked so well together.”
Resnick on Piper being very in tune to the build of a feud while doing his promos: “He was smart enough on his own to kind of paint the build up. A lot of great guys (that were) tremendous (at) interviews were pretty much the same kind of interview whether they were three weeks out (from the match) or whether it was happening tonight. Roddy was smart enough to kind of build his intensity up (as we got closer) to the match. He was the only guy I worked with that did that consistently… Roddy would always ask ‘when will this air?’ and ‘so there’s going to be another TV (taping) before the match?... He’s the only performer that I can every remember consistently wanting to be aware in relation to when the match was going to take place in that market.”
Apter on Piper and Mr T having heat: “Roddy was very protective of the business and a lot of people don’t know that…back then everybody was… Roddy Piper was so intense that way that when Mr T came in, and they were telling him that the business was (a work), Roddy wanted him to know that the business was a shoot as far as he was concerned. There was a lot of tension between he and Mr T, because T was coming in as an actor and (Piper) was a professional wrestler. There was a lot of heat between the two of them.”
Apter on Piper being an influence on WWE getting into the movie business: “I think because of him making the successful (jump) from wrestling to movies, it inspired a lot of people like Vince McMahon to say ‘why aren’t we doing this?’
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