In order to keep in the Christmas spirit, we’re gonna stray off the usual JOTW path and honor the most notorius of Christmas icons…Ebeneezer…excuse me, Ebineezer Piper.
What’s that you say, you’ve never heard of him? Well, than you must be one of the lucky ones who wasn’t tuned into the WWF’s TNT Show in the winter of 1985, as Roddy Piper unleashed his version of “A Christmas Carol” for the world to see.
Dickens it ain’t, but whoever is ultimately responsible for bringing this wannabe Scrooge to life is definitely a “dick.” Sure, it has Christmas overtones to it, but in retrospect the “celebrity” ghosts of Christmas that visit “Ebineezer” (apparently the folks at Titan couldn’t be bothered to run spell check).
The story begins with Ebineezer sound asleep in the TNT studios…err, that is his bed. From out of nowhere, he is rudely awakened by the ghost of….George “the Animal” Steele’s physician?!? Yep, it was the exact same dude from that idiotic skit, but this time around he is supposed to be Ebineezer’s old partner, Jacob Marley, wrapped up in chains (on loan from the JYD, of course).
In an attempt to A) Show Piper the error of his evil ways, and B) Bore the living hell out of the viewing audience, he will be sending three ghosts to visit Piper, hopefully to show him the true meaning of Christmas. Piper and Marley exchange insults briefly, before Piper turns back around and goes back to sleep. He is soon awakened by…
The ghost of Edgar Winter?!? This pasty white ghost of the past shows up, and rehashes the misdeeds of Piper’s youth, including dream footage of a young Roderick pummeling his class mates. Piper’s response? “Why should I feel bad? I had to eat too!” Edgar, conceeding that he couldn’t argue logic like that, departs.
The next ghost he encounters, well, he looks an awful lot like our Lord and Savior himself, Jesus Christ. This bearded fellow scolds Ebineezer on his wrongdoings of the present, like ripping Piper a new one for stealing all the Scotch tape from the Cratchit family so they couldn’t wrap any Christmas gifts. If only the almighty would’ve returned the tape stealing favor and stolen the tape of this TNT episode before it aired, the world would reall be a better place. He warns Piper to repent and if doesn’t, the scariest ghost of them all will be coming to see visit him. Piper simply curses at him and turns over.
Maybe it’s just me, but cussing out the Lord Almighty doesn’t seem very Christmassy.
Praise be to Ole, it’s the ghost of the Black Scorpion. And he’s got a message about the future for him. He tells Piper if he keeps it up, the final result will be doom. In order to further scare Piper, he shows him his very own tombstone. Ebineezer, showing not one ounce of goodwill towards man, quickly grabs his money, throwing coins at the Scorpion as he exits Piper’s window.
In total shock that all three ghosts could not turn Ebineezer into a caring, sharing person, Marley shows back up. And in true anti-Dickens holiday spirit, gets his ass kicked by Piper and thrown out the window. So much for holiday cheer.
Thus concludes this horrid JOTW tale. I really don’t know who the bigger “jobber” out of all this was. Is it the WWF and USA Network, who created and aired this stinking waste of eight minutes of precious life? Maybe it’s the people, like me, who were dumb enough to watch it? Or perhaps it was Roddy Piper himself, who s#itcanned years of great work as the industry’s premier heel?
More than just a crappy rehash of Scrooge, this basically signialed the beginning of the end of the heel Piper that help revolutionize the industry in the 80’s. In a matter of months, he would disappear to film “Body Slam,” and soon reamerge as a face. And sure enough, in real life he seemed to follow the advice of the respective ghosts of Edgar Winter and the Black Scorpion, by going for the easy money of WCW, and also getting involved in a lot of silly angles that put his career closer to an early grave than it should have.
Some people say all they want for Christmas is their two front teeth. I don’t need that. All I want is for Piper to kick cancer’s ass, beating it Frankie Williams/Haiti Kid style.