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Death of the Territories

Death of the Territories

Expansion, Betrayal and the War that Changed Pro Wrestling Forever
edition:Paperback
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Full Circle

Full Circle

The Remarkable True Story of Two All-American Wrestling Teammates Pitted Against Each Other in the War on Drugs and Then Reunited as Coaches
edition:Hardcover
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Mad Dog

Mad Dog

The Maurice Vachon Story
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : wrestling
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Sisterhood of the Squared Circle

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle

The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : wrestling
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Rowdy
Excerpt

WCW had absorbed the old Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and turned Jim Crockett’s Starrcade into its own premier annual event. It took place in December, far from McMahon’s early spring WrestleMania. In the 1996 edition, Roddy Piper settled the old score once and for all. He caught “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan in a sleeper and won Starrcade’s main event. During the bout, Hogan had put him in an abdominal stretch, which made Roddy’s large hip-surgery scar fully visible to the cameras. Roddy had asked him to do that, and also to hike up his trunks to show it off clearly. At another moment, Roddy hopped around on that leg to further make an important point. Not McMahon nor any other promoter could ever cast doubt on Roddy’s ability to wrestle on that titanium hip.

Before Roddy put the sleeper on Hogan, an imposing new member of the NWO had tried to interfere in the match, attacking Roddy and lifting him several feet off the mat for his signature chokeslam. The Giant was the biggest wrestler to hit the big time since Andre (in fact, Roddy escaped his grasp by dipping into his old giant-fighting toolkit, biting him on the nose to make him let go). Behind the scenes, the seven-foot rookie and the much smaller veteran had made fast friends.

“There’s a story Big Show tells in front of God and everyone,” said Roddy (The Giant would change his name to Big Show when later wrestling in the WWE). Big Show told us the story himself.

“I was green as grass. I was driving in on a Sunday night into Wisconsin and I got in really late.” Tired from the road, he went to the hotel’s front desk. The lady working the night shift said, “You’re so big, I’m going to give you a suite.” Grateful, he went up to the room. It was large and full of amenities. He went to the bathroom and splashed his face with cold water. “I was drying my face and I look and there’s a leather jacket hanging on one of the chairs.” Figuring a previous occupant had left the jacket, he dismissed it and went to the bedroom. As he opened the French doors he heard somebody snoring, “like the entire room was being sawed in half.” On the nightstand was a bottle of NyQuil, and face-down on the bed, butt naked, was Roddy Piper.

Oh my God, he thought, that’s Roddy Piper. This is awkward. They’d never met, but he’d grown up watching Roddy on television.

“So I quietly shut the doors, took my bags, meandered back downstairs. I said, ‘I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s somebody in that room.’” She apologized and gave him another.

The next day he went to the WCW Nitro set and saw Roddy backstage.

“I think nobody understands what an incredibly nice guy he was all the time,” said Show. “I mean so very humble, so very polite, and just set an example of what a superstar should be . . . the kindest, nicest person you could ever be around.”

“Hi, I’m Roddy Piper,” he said to the towering kid.

“I met you last night,” said The Giant.

“You did?! When?” said Roddy, slapping his head in embarrassment for forgetting.

The Giant told him the whole story and Roddy smiled at him. “Ah, brother, you could have had me last night!”

“I remember thinking to myself as a young kid, about twentyfour years old, I go, ‘Oh . . . whaaat?’” As The Giant settled into the business and got to know the habits of his fellow wrestlers, he realized what Roddy had meant. “I could have ribbed him to death. I could have stolen his jacket. I could have written all over him with a Sharpie.”

Every time they saw each other for the next twenty years, Roddy would wag his finger at him and smile, “Brother, you could have had me!”

“As I got older in the business, there’s no way in hell I would have ever ribbed Roddy Piper anyway,” he said, because the payback “would have probably put me in therapy! You don’t mess with the old-timers like that.”

A middle-aged wrestler, now, the kind of star who used to beat him up many years ago, Roddy was instead winning fans among the new generation, even as he was losing the very first of the generation that raised him.

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Accepted

Accepted

How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
tagged : wrestling
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