Bill Apter On The Heat Between Roddy Piper & Mr. T; Being ‘In Tune’ With A Feud
Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
Bill Apter is as in tune with the history of wrestling almost as much as Roddy Piper was in tune with how to tell a story via microphone and the canvas of the squared circle.
With tomorrow’s A&E Biography episode featuring the one and only “Hot Rod,” Apter was a guest on “Wrestling With History” podcast via VOC Nation and he spoke to Piper’s innate ability to build a feud with microphone in hand.
“He was smart enough on his own to kind of paint the build up. A lot of great guys (that were) tremendous (at) interviews were pretty much the same kind of interview whether they were three weeks out (from the match) or whether it was happening tonight. Roddy was smart enough to kind of build his intensity up (as we got closer) to the match. He was the only guy I worked with that did that consistently… Roddy would always ask ‘when will this air?’ and ‘so there’s going to be another TV (taping) before the match?… He’s the only performer that I can every remember consistently wanting to be aware in relation to when the match was going to take place in that market.”
It’s also widely known of Piper not taking too kindly to Mr. T during the television star’s tenure in the mid-80s WWF and Apter talked about that infamous tension between the two:
“Roddy was very protective of the business and a lot of people don’t know that…back then everybody was… Roddy Piper was so intense that way that when Mr T came in, and they were telling him that the business was (a work), Roddy wanted him to know that the business was a shoot as far as he was concerned. There was a lot of tension between he and Mr T, because T was coming in as an actor and (Piper) was a professional wrestler. There was a lot of heat between the two of them.”
Apter also believes that it was Piper who had a strong influence in WWE making that leap into Tinseltown.
“I think because of him making the successful (jump) from wrestling to movies, it inspired a lot of people like Vince McMahon to say ‘why aren’t we doing this?’”
Transcription credit should go to VOC Nation