ABC television, 2013
When I first heard that wrestling personalities would be featured on Celebrity Wife Swap, I was shocked that Hulk Hogan would even be on speaking terms with Bubba The Love Sponge again, let alone agree to appear on national TV together. Later, I learned that the show was rated TV-PG, putting that lot out of the question.
So who could it be? Brock Lesnar and Marc Mero? Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle?
|As it turns out, the partners to be swapped would be those of Roddy Piper and Ric Flair. The idea reminded me of a proposed reality show on the WWE Network called, “Legends’ House,” in which a group of retired WWE superstars would live together in a house while hilarity ensues (“Big American Two-by-Four Hacksaw! Your dog, he is humbling the couch!”).|
|In this case, though, it would be Ric Flair hosting Roddy Piper’s first and only wife, Kitty, for a week (with Naitch no doubt relieved that it wouldn’t be Ron Garvin in drag again)…|
|…while the Hot Rod and his family would spend the week with Ric Flair’s girlfriend and prospective fifth wife, Wendy.|
|If this were a makeover show, they could easily turn Wendy into a convincing Dixie Carter. Or vice versa.
|Oh, and did I mention that Wendy used to be Flair’s French maid, Fifi?|
|Sadly, Piper’s wife Kitty was not Stacy “Miss Kitty” Carter. No, I take that back. That’s not sad at all.
|We learned that Ric Flair loves to go out and spend money every night, which was hardly news if you’ve been watching wrestling for long, or if you’ve ever had Nature Boy default on a loan.|
|Rowdy Roddy Piper and Rowdy Kitty Piper, on the other hand, are very down to earth and frugal. In fact, compared to Ric, Hot Rod is the very picture of sanity (and this is a man who once painted half his body black for a worldwide audience for reasons still not fully explained).|
|“We are a contrast of styles,” said Piper. “That’s why we made such good opponents. As a tag team, we suck.”
|Naitch lives with Fifi and her four kids, while the Pipers live with their children, one of whom trains with Roddy for pro wrestling and MMA. Here’s Hot Rod teaching his son Colt what to do when his opponent refuses to put on sunglasses.|
|(Roddy’s other famous training techniques are rendered obsolete when he actually is the kid’s dad.)|
|In Ric and Wendy’s household (which I would have liked to imagine was the old Flair For the Gold set), a full-time staff keeps the house clean, tends the gardens, raises the kids, etc.
|As for the Pipers, Kitty does all the chores herself. That seems very unfair of Roddy, but would you want to be bogged down with menial labor when you could be serenading yourself with the strains of this cool electric bagpipe? I rest my case.|
|Still, that leaves Kitty in charge of laundry, dishes, cooking, and feeding the pets. (Not “cooking and feeding the pets;” thankfully nobody was cooking the pets, if you couldn’t already tell from my punctuation. Thanks, Oxford comma!|
Oh, not you, Oxford Kama. But I do look forward to your return to WWE with Team Rhodes Scholars.)
|Before moving day, neither family knew who the new wife would be. Needless to say, when the ladies moved into their new temporary homes, there was considerable culture shock. Kitty couldn’t adjust to the Nature Boy lifestyle of going out on the town and buying everyone drinks, while Wendy was clearly not used to doing housework. I would point out the irony here about Fifi the maid being a terrible maid in real life, but she herself said that exact thing on the show, so I’m left with no joke for this panel.|
|When it came time for dinner at the Pipers, Fifi’s meat loaf was nothing to write home about. In fact, Piper said that she “couldn’t cook her way out of Alcatraz.” Jeez, Roddy. Just because you managed to get off Alcatraz Island to fight Hollywood Hogan doesn’t mean that it’s going be a walk in the park for everyone else.|
|Fun fact: the Piper household is also home to this valued member of Stephanie McMahon’s creative team.|
|Back in Charlotte, Kitty was clearly uncomfortable with Slick Ric insisting on buying her expensive jewelry. Can you blame her? This footage will someday be entered in as evidence at Naitch’s bankruptcy hearing.|
|Halfway through the week, it was time for the new wives to change the house rules. In the Flair household, Mrs. Piper made Ric stay in the house and spend time with the kids. Anybody familiar with Naitch already knows how hard this would be. Flair knows so little about kids that he believes Disney World’s Space Mountain ride is only available to park guests 18 years of age or older, and I rode it when I was twelve!|
|Still, Flair’s new temporary wife made him become part of the family unit. Somewhere in TV land, Ricky Steamboat was laughing. The audience got some insight into how reckless Flair’s financing is, and all it took was some pen-and-paper arithmetic by Wendy’s pre-teen son. You’d need a six-figure salary just to pay for Ric’s dinners. Go on, do the math yourself. I’m not joking.|
|Another rule change for Ric? He would have to go grocery shopping, and without the perks of being a celebrity. That meant that Naitch would have to go incognito. Fortunately, Kitty had the foresight to have packed a fake mustache. Either that, or a producer provided one, but come on, this is reality television! Flair ended up looking like Sgt. Slaughter coaching high school football, and he wanted nothing of it.|
|Flair was none too pleased to be slumming like some common 14- or 15-time world champion. Presumably, he normally has someone else buy his groceries, perhaps one of the many impostor Black Scorpions he had at his disposal back in 1990. I bet he wished he had held on to that mask, too.|
|Back at the Piper house, Wendy had had enough of bearing all the responsibility for household chores when there were plenty of people already living there who were perfectly capable of doing it themselves. You can see where this is going, right?|
|Well, no. Instead of doing the practical (and cost-effective) thing, Wendy hired cleaning ladies to take care of the house. Just so I know you get this straight: instead of using the people already there for zero additional cost, she brought in a band of over-priced hired hands to fix up the place. Hey, are you sure that she just looks like Dixie Carter?|
|Wendy also took the Piper clan shopping, where they bought $8800 (or Flair’s monthly dinner budget) worth of clothes they didn’t need. “Keep the receipts, kids!” no doubt said Piper once the cameras stopped rolling.|
|In a serious moment on the show, Kitty invited Ric’s ex-wife Beth over to discuss his stylin’ and profilin’ lifestyle (The Pipers are long-time friends of Ric and Beth). As it turns out, Ric was much more willing to spend time with his family before he was retired.|
|Kitty later confronted Ric, and in their heart-to-heart talk, she said she believed that Ric was spending so frivolously to try to hold on to that rush of excitement from his glory days in the ring. Ric welled up with tears, as if in agreement, showing a very human side to the Nature Boy. Then he punched open his old forehead scars and called the cops on Kitty for domestic assault.|
|Nah, maybe I embellished just slightly right there. Anyway, when the week was up, the two sets of spouses reunited and discussed how they were going to change their lifestyles from then on. They went back to their respective homes, and it was a wrap. What, were you expecting some shocking twist ending where Flair and Piper kiss or something?|
|Because they totally did.|
If this ABC reality show is any indication of the kind of wacky shenanigans that WWE legends could get themselves into on a WWE-produced program, I can only hope that Vince and company will hurry up and launch the WWE Network already. I don’t want the premiere of “Legends’ House” to feature Hall of Famers Dominick Mysterio and Dewey Foley bickering over the thermostat.