Ken Resnick Talks Producing Piper’s Pit, Wrestlers Being Independent Contractors, More
On the latest edition of Wrestling with History on VOC Nation, Ken Resnick talked about the difference in production for wrestling shows over the last 30 years, Roddy Piper being able to produce Piper’s Pit mostly on his own, Vince McMahon being able to classify talent as independent contractors, and more. Here are some highlights:
On producing the Piper’s Pit segment:
A lot of it was just what Roddy would come up with. He was pretty much his own producer. If they were going to run an angle they would kind of lay it out, but Roddy would just wing it. I can only speak specifically to the Piper’s Pit that I was on, and I didn’t find out until just a few hours before. We were doing interviews and things and Vince came up to me and said ‘you’re going to be on Piper’s Pit tonight, you’re going to be his guest.’ First I thought he was ribbing me. He said ‘he’s going to bring you out, talk to you, and then Adrian Adonis is going to come out and then you just step back out of the way.’ When it came time for Piper’s Pit, I was right behind the curtain with Roddy and we hadn’t gone over anything. This was all gonna be Roddy.
On pro wrestlers being considered independent contractors:
The independent contractor status they’ve been able to continue because Vince has really, really, really good lawyers. The fact that they tell you that you can’t work for anyone else, and they tell you where you have to be, what time you have to be there, what you have to do… you can’t have any social media presence of your own, but oh yeah you’re still an independent contractor… It just defies all logic.
On Sgt. Slaughter leaving WWE because of licensing issues:
From a wrestling standpoint, I think Sarge could have certainly carried the ball; maybe not to the umpth degree of success that Hulk Hogan had. On the business standpoint, Vince would have never allowed the 3rd party licensing deals and that was huge for Sgt Slaughter. Not only getting him known across the country, but financially. I mean to this day, as successful as the GI Joe toy line, movie line, cartoon line is, Sarge is still the only actual living person to be featured. There was some GI Joe Hasbro toys that had a Sgt Slaughter doll come with it. Would Vince have allowed him to do the GI Joe? Probably if Vince had gotten a cut of it. Whether Sarge would have gone along with that, I don’t know.
His thoughts on Kerry Von Erich:
Kerry didn’t have the over the top type of mic skills that a Hogan did or a Flair did. A lot of the Von Erichs’ great success was – like Greg Gagne, who never came close to that success – was because Fritz ran the territory. A lot of it was how they were booked and how they were used, coupled with their talents in the ring.
You can listen to the entire podcast below. Let us know what you think in the comments below.