Book Review "In The Pit With Piper" By Roddy Piper and Robert Picarello | Smark Out Moment

Book Review "In The Pit With Piper" By Roddy Piper and Robert Picarello

Posted by Ross K Foad Sunday, February 19, 2017
Book Review In The Pit With Roddy Piper
Released in 2002, In The Pit With Piper by Roddy Piper, in his own words, is the story of one of the greatest wrestlers ever. The bagpipe-playing legend gets down and dirty about the world of professional wrestling-and his own career.

Our tale starts with a fifteen year old Roderick Toombs leaving home to pursue his wrestling dreams. For whatever reason, Roddy has omitted much of his formative years about his parents, school years, and general upbringing. A shame given that these are key parts of any autobiography and often make up a large part of a wrestler's backstory.

However, on the upside, it does mean that we get the wrestling part of the story far sooner, which is a good thing for someone as colorful as Roddy who we all know has seen and done so much. What follows is a largely linear telling of his early territory and travel days, his Scottish gimmick formation, and learning of the ribs and tricks from the old guard (including one very amusing tale of a wrestler faking a rabies attack to avoid paying for a steak dinner!)

Sadly, the chronological order does not hold up for long, and we soon find ourselves jumping between vague story to vague story with no explanation over the timeline or territory it occurred in. Annoyingly, this vagueness becomes a recurring theme in the latter part with literally years skipped out without expansion or explanation. A key emphasis is on the years leading up to WrestleMania 3, but everything after is blitzed through at such a speed that you do not get a true picture of what was going on or how he felt.

Roddy Piper WWF WWE Roderick ToombsSuch examples include leaving WWE after his treatment at the hands of Vince McMahon, only to then be back two years later doing voiceover work — and all within the space of one page! The same can be said of his time in WCW, an organization that he casually mentions joining without any sort of backstory about how or much about what happened there either.

His movies career does get a look in too, which I found very interesting, and I would have loved to have heard about more his films, but then this sadly may have detracted from his already watered down wrestling history.

Roddy is a good writer in the sense that he is very funny, and his distinctive voice can certainly be heard, but the book could have benefited from being longer. Someone as storied as Roddy Piper could have easily squeezed in another 30-50 pages to allow more time spent on the 90's onward. As is stands, the book reads a little like Roddy talking in a pub, and he is just giving you the CliffsNotes version of certain events before drunkenly slurring into another topic altogether.

They Live Roddy Piper Films WWF WWE

A more comprehensive look at the life and of times of Roddy Piper can be found in the biography published after his death, but without the obvious benefit of hearing it in his own words. But all in all, once you have accepted that not every event you want to hear about it gets the Spanish inquisition, what we have here is still a largely enjoyable read that fans of the Hot Rod are certainly not going to want to miss out on.

HIGH SPOTS

+ High emphasis on his early WWF career and independent days.
+ Very funny.
+ Very frank. Expect to hear if he did not like someone and why.

LOW BLOWS

- Vague at times.
- Timeline skips large periods of his career.
- Scant detail on childhood. A strange omission in an autobiography.

CRITIQUE RATING SCALE: 2-COUNT (Near Fall)
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ROSS K. FOAD

Ross K Foad is a writer, actor, YouTuber and founder of the Sherlock Holmes website No Place Like Holmes. He has been a published writer since age 13 with a comic strip in a regional newspaper and a wrestling fan since the Rock 'n' Wrestling era. You can follow him on Twitter

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