Tuesday, 4 August 2015

You'll Always Be My Number 1 Hot Rod By Steve Lazenby

Piper vs Bad News Brown At Wrestle Mania VI
People who know about my love of wrestling know that I was a massive fan of one wrestler and that never changed throughout my years as a watching.

Sure icons came and great ones went and everyone got an attitude but in my eyes one man still remained at the top of the wrestling tree.

My first experience of wrestling was what we would come to know as World Of Sport. 

Saturday Afternoons watching the likes of Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy while most were drawn to the top 2 guys, I was in awe of the rough brawling style of Rollerball Rocco this would be a theme that stayed with me.

The WWF wasn't as available in the 80's as it is now and occasionally world of sport would show some matches usually featuring  the honkytonk man, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man or Andre The Giant.

My first full PPV I saw was the 1990 Royal Rumble I was enjoying  the main event then entrant number 6 came out and I instantly forgot about the prospect of seeing the big men go at it. 

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts was getting a beating from the 'Million Dollar Man' Ted Dibease and the 'Macho Man' Randy Savage all hope looked lost for Roberts as his foes tied him up in the ropes the countdown began not knowing who many of the superstars at the time where imagine my surprise when a screaming lunatic in blue trunks came tearing down the walk way throwing punches to anyone who stepped in his way mainly Savage and Dibase.

As the match went on through the carnage of my first rumble match I watched this mad man more and more untill He was eliminated by Bad News Brown my disappointment didn't last long as both Hot Rod and Bad News  battled each other backstage. I enjoyed the rest of the rumble and the first confrontation between hogan and the Warrior felt special.

I did what any 15 year old would do after seeing something he liked I nagged and nagged and nagged untill my parents caved in and installed Sky TV.

Every sunday I watched WWF challenge and superstars and Saturday night main events. during the next 3 months I noticed feuds where been built between certain wrestlers the main focus been the Hulkster and the Ultimate Warrior but I wanted to see Piper and Bad News go at it, I was also drawn towards Brown as he too was a take no nonsense brawler.

Wrestle Mania VI came and I snuck downstairs turned the TV on and started to watch the event live the event will ever remain my favourite mania ever mainly for nostalgic reasons but it's an event I still watch regularly the wrestlers came down to the ring in electric carts it felt special. The video showed a brief history of the lead up to the Piper vs Brown match the screen cut to mean Gene and Piper with Roddy stood on one side facing Okerland he then said "some call me Hot Rod but some call me the Hot Scot" with that he span 180 degrees to reveal himself half painted black once again this lunatic captured my attention. 

With both men in the ring Jesse Ventura said "you're not gonna see too many hammerlocks you're not gonna see headlocks you're gonna see punching and kicking" I was shouting at the referee to get out the way and let them fight as we all know they can hear us through the TV set right?

The match ended in a double count out as both superstars just beat the living daylights out of each other. At Summer Slam I was disappointed  that neither Hot Rod or the Hot Scot where on the card until I watched it and he was on commentary instead of 10 minutes I got 3 hours and his colour commentary still has me laughing today.

Over the years like most UK fans in the 90's I collected Silver Vision video cassettes if it came down to a choice I would look to see which one had Hot Rod on.

I never got to meet Roddy and now I never will but I did get to see him wrestle on various UK tours .

He continuously pushed boundaries and made history the now infamous coconut segment will remain one of the most talked about in wwf/e history. 

He turned a potential train wreck segment into gold when he pulled Zach Gowan's prosthetic leg off during a Smackdown segment with Mr America (a recently canned Hulk Hogan in a generic American mask).

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and I'm all out of bubblegum"

Rest in peace Hot Rod 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper you will always be my number 1.

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