WWE Bring it Back!: Talk Shows

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December 08, 2011

PHOTOS OF "PIPER'S PIT," "THE CUTTING EDGE" AND MORE

In the outrageous world of WWE, talking the talk is occasionally more important than walking the walk. The shining example of this has always been WWE talk shows. Now is the time for the squared circle to bring back these intricate wars of words.

 Roddy Piper hits Jimmy Snuka with a coconut, whipping him mercilessly with a belt
In 1984, when Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper convinced Mr. McMahon to give him a few minutes a week with two chairs and a microphone in order to carry out the strange experiment that was “Piper’s Pit,” the head of WWE couldn’t possibly have understood the firestorm that he was unleashing.

A unique mixture of controversy and mayhem instantly rose to prominence, thanks to Piper’s explosive confrontations with numerous Superstars – including Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Snuka, Andre the Giant and Paul Orndorff.

The show grew so notorious that no Superstar even wanted to be the guest, since it was almost guaranteed that they would end up on the short end of the stick. Just imagine the fireworks that would take flight in a similar format today – with a fuse being lit by wordsmiths like WWE Champion CM Punk, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes or United States Champion Dolph Ziggler. 

 Raw, June 9, 2008

Three of WWE’s most charismatic Superstars in the last 20 years owe a great deal of their success to the moment they picked up Piper’s mantel and ran with it. Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel,” The Rated R Superstar’s “Cutting Edge” and Christian’s “Peep Show” all set the WWE Universe ablaze, taking “Hot Rod’s” concept to new – and often dangerous – heights. Other dynamic descendants included the controversial “Brother Love Show,” Paul Bearer’s “Funeral Parlor,” Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ “Snake Pit and Brutus Beefcake’s “The Barber Shop.”

While a couple of these shows still make an appearance on Raw and SmackDown now and then, a more permanent successor has yet to stake his claim.

WWE talk shows were a completely different animal from the way today’s Superstar express their issues in an empty ring. Its hosts weren’t simply given a mic, but a distant home field advantage. Their intricately designed sets captured the full spirit of their intense personalities, giving them carte blanche to push their own agenda, promote their allies and verbally denigrate their adversaries.

They assured that there would always be an instigator present to push already volatile situations over the edge, operating at a level that is often not possible in the neutral meeting place used by today’s ring warriors. 

 Wrestling Challenge, Jan. 12, 1992

Just wait until the WWE Universe sets its sights on Zack Ryder’s “Broski Bash,” “The Celtic Lowdown” with Sheamus or even the reinstitution of WWE.com’s “Santino’s Casa.” However, if there’s one show from the past that must make a return, it’s “Tuesday Night Titans,” once again hosted by Mr. McMahon. Imagine the bedlam that would ensure if today’s Mr. McMahon – hardened by years of battling WCW, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and even his own children – once again decided to sit behind the T.N.T. desk.

Regardless of which show it is, one thing is for certain. WWE needs to reinstitute the outrageous talk shows of the past!

PHOTOS OF "PIPER'S PIT," "THE CUTTING EDGE" AND MORE

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