Monday, December 21, 2015

Roddy Piper's WCW Nitro Open Challenge

Roddy Piper's run in WCW left a lot to be desired. Let's face it; the world was changing, so Piper was no longer able to paint half his body black and for it to be totally acceptable. He was also getting a little older and had a family, so he wasn't going to be busting random bottles over his head and bleeding profusely for the sake of a promo.

Classic Roddy Piper was on another level. WCW Piper was basically a different person. They gave him a little too much creative freedom, which usually just harmlessly resulted in him cutting a promo that went about ten minutes too long. But in advance of the WCW Uncensored PPV in 1997, it was a hilarious disaster that was absolutely painful to watch.

Roddy Piper was tasked with putting a team together to face the nWo (and weirdly, also a team from WCW). He decided to have an open challenge to find the toughest guys in the back to join his team. They would fight Piper, and the crowd would decide if they were tough enough to join his squad. It did not go well.

Now usually with these open challenges, they may bring out a few jobbers, and then some legit guys that fans know to actually join the team. Piper convinced the WCW to do something differently, and honestly, there's not much more I can say, so let's just go through our challengers.

1. Meathead 1
First, we have Meathead 1. He at least looks athletic, but he's wearing jeans and a belt, so he didn't exactly do his best to prepare for this challenge. He does have a pretty long ponytail, so that is something. The most fascinating thing this guy does in his 30 seconds in the ring is tap out to a kimura by Piper, so clearly Piper knew a little about shooting, because that move was never used as a pro wrestling submission. Still, Piper asks the fans to give him thumbs up or thumbs down, and the entire crowd gives the thumbs down.

2. Meathead 2
The most positive thing I can say about this guy is that he at least wore jean shorts and no belt. He also wore army boots, but hey, you can't win 'em all when it comes to fashion choices. This guy slapped Piper and then threw some knees, so he at least got some offense, but then Piper put him in the sleeper, and he went night night. He also receives a unanimous thumbs down.

3. Meathead 3
Does this guy look familiar? That's because he is what would happen if Meathead 1 and Meathead 2 had a baby. He got Meathead 2's torso, but he got Meathead 1's pants. This guy never even made it into the ring, because this happened...
...which brings us to our next contestant.

4. Craig Mally
Craig Mally is my favorite guy involved in this. Partially because he knocked out Meathead 3 with a hilarious haymaker, but mostly because he wears comically large boxing gloves, and he gives Roddy Piper comically small boxing gloves. I mean, look at that image above. Mally is wearing boat oars at the end of his hand, and he gave Piper a pair of mittens. They "box" for a few minutes, but it's just wild haymakers and hammer fists as both guys fall all over the ring. Piper is impressed, so he asks the crowd if they are impressed, and they emphatically boo while giving the thumbs down. Piper thinks that an extra minute of this mess will change their mind. It does not, but Piper puts him on the team anyway, because he thought people would give a shit about an oversized glove cheap shot artist who they have never seen before.

5. Layton Morrison
This was probably my least favorite guy. He's a kickboxer, and a guy who likes to pick Piper up awkwardly. The highlight of the match is when Morrison picks Piper up and nearly depantses him, and Piper decides to call it a day and just announce him as part of the team while the crowd erupts in boos.

6. John Tenta
Hey, it's a real life pro wrestler. I would say that John Tenta is a guy who belongs in something like this. The only problem is that he's more of a guy you bring out as the first legit guy as part of your team, since he's big, and that's always impressive. But he's not a final guy for fans to get excited about, so he's kinda swingin' above his weight here. Still, the crowd was so sick of the endless parade of jobbers that they shot up to their feet to cheer on Earthquake, aka The Shark, aka John Tenta (aka Golga, but he saved that for the future). John Tenta wrestles Piper for a minute, until the other two team members come in the ring to attack him, and the crowd continues to give the thumbs down as Craig Mally swings wildly and Layton Morrison trips over his own feet.

Eventually, the segment ends, as the crew is set to take on the nWo in two weeks at Uncensored.

They were replaced by the Four Horsemen one week later.


  1. Pretty sure meathead number 2 was Luther Reigns. And I was clearly the only person pumped for Piper and his group of shooters.

    1. I agree; you were definitely the only one pumped for Piper and team of jobbers.

  2. Haha. Just watched this nitro and had to google this segment because it was so terrible.

    And that was definitely Luther.

    1. I am proud to be the world's foremost expert on the Roddy Piper Open Challenge. And even then, I still don't care enough to refer to Luther Reigns as anything but Jobber 2.

  3. I don't know Hott Joe, as Lukewarm Jonah I'm pretty sure I can challenge for world's foremost expert on anything stupid WCW did.

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