’80s Wrestling Zone: Golden Era Talk Show Segments

Who else misses the old WWF talk show segments from the 80’s? I really miss these and thought they were such a great way to advance characters and storylines. Sure, they have tried it in recent years with Alexa Bliss, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, and others—but it’s not the same. Back then, you had the set of the show set up in a certain section of the building. It wasn’t in the ring, which made it right away feel different, special, and unique. The obvious one that comes to mind is Piper’s Pit. Let’s think about all the cool storylines that came from that one.

The obvious first one is when Andre The Giant turned on Hulk Hogan. Who can ever forget that. It’s questionably the biggest storyline in the history of wrestling. Roddy Piper did such an amazing job helping Hogan and Andre tell their story. The “you’re bleeding” line to Hogan that Piper said help sell those 93,000 tickets. How about when Roddy Piper smashed the coconut over Jimmy Snuka’s head?! Talk about an iconic moment in the history of professional wrestling. There are just so many moments we could talk about and it would take over this and many other columns.

The Flower Shop was an interview segment featuring host “Adorable” Adrian Adonis, which aired on the World Wrestling Federation’s syndicated program during the spring and summer of 1986. The program was a replacement of Piper’s Pit, when Piper took a several-months hiatus from the WWF. My personal favorite storyline ever came from this segment. Paul Orndorff’s slow-building heel turn against his friend Hulk Hogan, with Adonis relentlessly needling Orndorff about living in Hogan’s shadow

Another great 80’s talk show segment was The Snake Pit with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. The Snake Pit was patterned after Piper’s Pit, wherein Roberts would conduct interviews with wrestlers or managers to help push wrestlers and get feuds over with the crowd. The segment was eventually moved to WWF Superstars of Wrestling as a replacement of “Piper’s Pit,” after another proposed replacement show – Missy’s Manor hosted by Missy Hyatt  – was scrapped.

Who can forget The Barber Shop? It was an interview segment featuring host Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake, which aired on the World Wrestling Federation’s syndicated WWF Wrestling Challenge from 1991-1992. The set was decorated like a barber shop, complete with chair, barber pole and plate glass window. The biggest storyline that came from here is when Shawn Michaels turned on Marty Jannetty! Talk about an iconic memory!

Before the birth of the WWF talk show segments, Vince McMahon Jr. would usually do the generic interviews himself in front of an empty ring and ask the wrestlers about an opponent or event. When Vince took over the family business, a part of his new programming included talk show style segments complete with a set. It was a weekly part of the show and something you would look forward to watching every week.

The Brother Love Show is another that was such a MAJOR part of 80’s WWF. It was hosted by the very popular podcast host Bruce Prichard. Prichard was dressed in a white suit and tie with a red shirt, with fingers full of gold jewelry — would berate face wrestlers (especially Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior) and openly support such heels as Ted DiBiase and Bobby Heenan. In fact, DiBiase was Brother Love’s main “benefactor.” More than once, a wrestling feud was set up because of what occurred on “The Brother Love Show including Hulk Hogan’s feuds with Big Boss Man and Earthquake. Jake Roberts and Rick Martel’s classic angle was also shot on this show.

The Body Shop with Jesse “The Body” Ventura, The Funeral Parlor with Paul Bearer, The King’s Court, and The Heartbreak Hotel are other talk shows that took place during the golden era of wrestling.

What unbelievable memories that will last a lifetime came from all these talk shows we just spoke about. They were such a staple of our wrestling childhood. I wish they could bring it back and present it the way they did in the 80’s. How cool would that be? If not, we will always have these memories.

80’S WRESTLING CON: 80’s Wrestling Con takes place on Saturday, April 27th in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America. Appearing live will be Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Bruce Prichard, Wendi Richter, Ken Patera, Nasty Boys, Greg Valentine, Powers of Pain, Rocky Johnson, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Slick, Lanny Poffo, Koko B. Ware, The Wild Samoans, Young Stallions, Bushwhacker Luke, and Tony Atlas. Also appearing as vendor guests will be the Original 80’s GLOW Girls (Hollywood, Lightning, and Royal Hawaiian), Barry Windham, Ronnie Garvin, Gary Michael Cappetta, and Barry Horowitz. Tons of different attractions will be taking place as well. For tickets, vendor info, and attractions- please visit http://80sWrestlingCon.com

80’S WRESTLING RADIO: 80’s Wrestling Radio is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify! Please be sure to subscribe and listen to it weekly. We are live every Monday Night at 11PM EST on http://BlogTalkRadio.com/80sWrestlingRadio

FEEDBACK: Let us know what you thought of this week’s column. What was your favorite talk show segment? We would love to hear from you! Email us at: [email protected]

Thanks guys and see you next week right here in the ’80s Wrestling ZONE!

Tommy Fierro