Roddy Piper Discusses Painting Himself Half Black At WrestleMania VI
On painting himself half-Black for WrestleMania VI: "First of all, you know, I was born in Saskatoon. There are no Black people that I know of that are dumb enough to go to a place that cold. [Laughs.] So, there's no racism in me at all.
"At the time, I was walking down the hall of some arena. Maybe the Hoosier Dome -- some place. I'm not sure. Vince McMahon says, 'Hot Rod, I need to speak with you.' I walked into a room and you could have cut the air with a knife. It was Bad News Brown, Pat Patterson and Vince McMahon. I said, 'What's going on?' He says, 'I want you to wrestle Bad News Brown at [WrestleMania VI].
"I'm looking at Bad News, who was a really good judo player and just a so-so professional wrestler. And here's what's going through my mind. I'm looking at him and I'm going, 'I'm going to have 45 interviews about this guy.' And I'm thinking Nelson Mandela at that time had said something that really stuck with me.
"Nelson Mandela was put in jail for 20-some years for political crimes. Every morning, he was the first man when the guard came to extend his hand to the guard. What a hell of a man. At the same time, Cindy Lauper had 'True Colors' out. In my mind, what I was trying to do -- there is no difference. I needed material on Bad News Brown. I did something where I sang 'True Colors' and I did a thing about Nelson Mandela. But, they don't seem to remember that. [Laughs.] The thing I didn't do so well was when I came down, I pretended to be Michael Jackson. I don't quite dance like Michael does, I guess. [Laughs.]
"So, [I got] just about the same reaction from you as I came out. Nothing. So, I had the match. I came back and the stuff they had painted me with, Vince had made special. So, when I broke a sweat, it wouldn't come off. There was a special clear solution to take this special black off. When I got there, the lady started rubbing my cheeks and in about five minutes, I started bleeding. Andre The Giant had taken that solution, poured it out and put water in it.
"Now, I'm in Toronto, half-Black. I decided that's there nothing much to do other than to go out drinking. So, I go and I'm drinking and I'm half-Black in the bar. Next morning -- and don't judge me -- I wake up and the door of my hotel room is blown completely off and there's a cowboy hat in the middle of my room. I don't know who's. [Laughs.] I wake up and I'm half Black. I got to go from Toronto to Portland, Oregon. I got a four foot Mickey Mouse with me that I bought for my daughter.
"So, because I didn't know -- I put the hat on, and I've got a four foot Mickey Mouse, a Halliburton and a hang over. And I'm half Black. ... I'm completely half black other than the scar under my eye. So, I'm going through Chicago and I'm going through customs. When you're half black and half white, they just go, 'Go right ahead.' They part like the Nile. In Chicago, I had to change planes and the flight attendant -- that I later called waitress, which really gets over -- wanted me to check Mickey because it was too big. So, I bought Mickey a first class seat and me and Mickey drank all the way to Portland, Oregon.
"The way I got it off was that I had to sit in the sauna. Took me about a month of rubbing this stuff off. But, what am I going to do? Go beat up Andre? [Laughs.] But the reason I painted myself half Black was more the meshing. I did the Nelson Mandela, I did the 'True Colors'. Bad News Brown didn't take it that way. So, I'm glad you asked me."
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