Monday, April 20, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 246

The second part of the Piper interview aired on this week's AOW
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 246
Run Time: 1:05:03
Guest: Roddy Piper, part two (11:00)

Summary: It’s time for part two of Colt Cabana’s interview with the Hot Rod. This episode is from the same recording session, so it’s literally a second half as opposed to a followup (as was the case with Cabana’s last two-parter). They discuss Piper’s reputation as a rebel, the importance of his feud with Cyndi Lauper and how both led to real world conflict. Piper shared his affection for Adrian Adonis and explained how his family came to settle in Portland before talking about Piper’s attempts to find work in Hollywood. The last big chunk of the interview focuses on Piper’s WrestleMania VI match with Bad News Brown before he gets a chance to plug some current and upcoming projects.

Quote of the week: “People ask, ‘How much did wrestling prepare you for the movies?’ They couldn’t be more opposite. Wresting is explosion, movies are implosion. And you get on that 40-foot screen and go ‘Waah!’ and it’s like, ‘Woah!’ And so, I almost had to take a crash course in small — all I’d been taught was big.”

Why you should listen: If you heard part one, you more or less owe it to yourself to finish the experience. Anything nice I wrote about Piper last week is true again here, and some of his stories remain fascinating entries into the world slightly behind the scenes of so many iconic wrestling moments. When Piper gets into telling a classic story about 1980s WWF, it’s hard to imagine anyone being more interesting or amusing.

Why you should skip it: After hearing the extent of the WrestleMania VI blackface situation discussion, I think I’d have rather Cabana asked about the WrestleMania XII backlot brawl with Goldust. In short, I didn’t find Piper’s explanations satisfying and Cabana’s causal acceptance of Piper’s characterization of Bad News Brown doesn’t speak well of what I’d assumed was some sort of lock room code of honor. Beyond that, the rock ‘n’ wrestling stuff is practically part of American history by now and Piper doesn’t add much in terms of original insight.

Final thoughts: Did this interview need to be two parts? Probably. I might be able to cull both down to one more condensed episode, but maybe other folks will be quite interested in hearing stories from They Live and otherwise fleshing out Piper’s IMDb bona fides. Again, I don’t know anything about Piper’s podcast, so take my input with that in mind. The Bad News Brown stuff is unsettling at best, but should we expect anything less from someone as intentionally controversial as Piper? Sometimes you have to listen to stuff like this just to hear it in full context and decide for yourself.