Show: interactive Wrestling Radio courtesy of www.wrestlingepicenter.com
Guest: “Voice of WCW” David Penzer
Your Host: James Walsh
David Penzer toured North America with Roddy Piper on Billy Ray Cyrus’ tour buss for 60 days during Roddy’s monster book tour in the early 2000’s. Penzer, who put the tour together and was in charge of booking appearances and interviews, opens up about his time working for the “Hot Rod” in an exclusive interview with the Wrestling Epicenter.
We also pay tribute to Dusty Rhodes, Curt Hennig, and more. Plus, talk about the night Kurt Angle beat Penzer up on TNA Impact which Penzer describes as the hardest he’s ever been hit in his life.
We run the gambit of topics but all in all, it is designed as a tribute to the late great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. RIP, Mr. Piper. You’re already sorely missed.
To listen in MP3 format or check out the YouTube video which contains well more content than just the below transcript, check out www.wrestlingepicenter.com. It is free!
On what he’s doing now:
Penzer says he’s a real estate agent. “Let me tell you, if you think the wrestling business is cut throat… It is nothing compared to the real estate industry.” He jokes that being the “Voice of WCW” or one of the voices of TNA is a more exciting title than real-estate agent.
On Roddy Piper’s passing:
Penzer says he was at the Legends of Wrestling event at the Miami Marlins/Arizona Diamondbacks game in Miami with Kevin Nash, Bushwhacker Luke, Brian Knobbs, and other legends when they found out. He says he saw Kevin Nash go white and his chin hit his chest and that Brian Knobbs was crying. He knew something was up and asked. He says everyone there took it very hard but none harder than Luke.
On working for Roddy Piper:
James calls Piper a colleague but Penzer says he was a colleague in WCW but on the book tour, Piper was his boss. He says Roddy expected a lot from his employees and he feels he did what was expected. He said Roddy wanted to blanket the United States and Canada in his book promotion. So, they got Billy Ray Cyrus’ tour bus and hit the road. Roddy kept stressing he wanted to do a lot of interviews in every location. Penzer took it serious and ended up getting him 16 interviews on one of the early stops. Roddy appreciated it, but made sure he knew to limit it to 10 interviews max from then on. Penzer said he knew he had done well at that point.
On a fun story from the road with Roddy:
During the book tour in Columbus, Penzer got called to see if Roddy would appear at a bar in the morning before the college football rivalry game between Ohio and Michigan. They accepted and turned up and had thousands of people in a bar, at 8 in the morning, drunk and screaming and Roddy cut a promo cheering on Ohio. Another good memory was when Roddy did his book signing in Time Square, NY. He says he was flagged by bagpipes as he headed to the signing and knows, given Roddy’s massive history in New York City, that it meant a lot to him to get that kind of reception there.
On Roddy Piper the man:
Penzer says he grew up a Roddy fan and admired him even when he was working for the WWE while Penzer was employed at WCW. He says the thing people don’t realize about Roddy is he was what you saw. He was every bit the guy who put his hand on your shoulder when he spoke to you and treated you well. He says even after they parted ways business wise, every time he saw him Roddy would hug him and ask about his wife and kids.
On other wrestling deaths:
Penzer says losing Dusty Rhdoes was a big punch to the gut as well. He is a Florida guy and nobody, not Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, was bigger in Florida than Dusty Rhodes. He says losing Roddy so soon after really set home that we are losing some of our heroes.
Penzer also notes that Curt Hennig was amongst the hardest pills to swallow because he was in town to do a show that Penzer himself and Jimmy hart were putting on.
On the XWF:
“We got a lot of guys their jobs back with WWE”, Penzer joked. He says he was excited to join the XWF after WCW closed. He admits it was a much smaller company but it was affording him different opportunities such as being one of the writers of the episodic TV show. The promotion even paid for his move to Tampa. He says losing a lot of the guys back to the WWE didn’t help citing that they had Hulk Hogan wrestle Curt Hennig and both went back to the WWE as did Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Roddy Piper who he cites as probably being their biggest static name. He says he is glad, though it was short lived, that the company lives on via DVD’s and YouTube.
On Hulk Hogan:
“He’s going to have a hard time coming back from this”, Penzer says. He feels his image has been damaged by the hidden tapes and he’ll ahve to work hard to get his name back to what it was prior to the scandal. He feels the whole thing is sad.
On working for TNA:
He started work in TNA in 2005 when Shane Douglas had some personal issues to tend to. Jeremy Borash, who he says he was told is a salary employee to TNA and would resume duties as ring announcer once things worked themselves out, was going backstage to do the backstage interviews that Shane Douglas had taken up doing leaving the ring announcing job open. Jeff Jarrett asked if he’d do it and he enjoyed it greatly. He says it was a whole different vibe than WCW and cathartic in a way as the way WCW ended had a lot of people bitter and there was a whole lot of anger leading in to its closing.
On his beating from Kurt Angle:
“Oh man, that was rough. Kurt felt bad about it.” Penzer states that Angle was, in character, running around demanding his belt back and it came time for Angle to pop Penzer. The forearm he got hti with was the hardest Penzer has ever been hit in his life. He says his face swelled p. It was painful. He says the funny thing was, on TV, the Ankle Lock looked brutal but that didn’t hurt. It was the initial forearm that knocked him for six.
On leaving TNA:
Penzer says Terry Taylor called him into his office and asked about Internet rumors that said Penzer wanted to leave wrestling. Penzer says they weren’t true because it was a good gig, paid well, and he loved doing it. Every time Terry Taylor would call him on the phone, he’d say, “Hi David, this is Terry Taylor. I’m not calling to fire you”. Well, a week after that meeting, Terry called and said, “Hi David, this is Terry Taylor.” Penzer noted that he didn’t say that he wasn’t calling to fire him. Terry said “Sorry, man” and that was that. He notes that Jeremy Borash’s backstage position as interviewer had changed because Jason Hervey was asking questions backstage and having the guys answer them. He notes that he was told that once the situation changed, he’d be replaced. He says it was fun and knew every week could be his last there. He says it lasted 5 years, though!
On WrestleMania 31 and the Sting/Triple H match:
“Maybe it can be the final nail in the coffin and we can move on”, Penzer says. He explains that the WWE won the war and he viewed that match as perhaps the end of the hard feelings. He admits that it didn’t make a lot of logical sense, Sting was the enemy of the nWo and yet they were there to help him. But, “it was a great visual”. He explains that his son is a huge fan of wrestling and that is why he watched it. In the end, “it was a great visual” is his best compliment for seeing the guys of WCW including Hogan, Hall, and Nash to help Sting against the guys of the WWE including DX and Shawn Michaels.
On social media:
David Penzer is on Twitter and Facebook. He says he’s new to it and actually is finding he might need to unfollow some people. He cites an actress who he is a fan of tweeting during the Republican Debate the other night and being brutal. He says he tweeted back asking why she watched or expressed an opinion if she’s not open minded to what any of them have to say. James cites a guitarist he likes who often goes off on half-informed political rants and says sometimes, especially with social media, you have to appreciate what they do that you like and not care so much about their politics or it can make you crazy.