Inside the Legends’ House – Episodes #8 & Finale

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Scott: Place to be Nation! A sad day of sorts, as we have reached the end of the line. Yes this is the final installment of Place to Be Nation’s Legends House journey. We will go out of season one with a bang for you, as my partner and I will give you not just one, but both episodes eight and nine right here in one article! Now after seven episodes of fun and frivolity, it seems we’re finally going to get some long needed drama. Sure we’ve had the occasional Jim Duggan/Tony Atlas scrapes but otherwise the drama has been minimal. However, rumor is these last two episodes sure make up for it. Of course, we can’t begin without bringing in my buddy along for the ride with me, Mr. Dan McGinn!

Dan: Scotty, it’s the end of the road. As Puffy once taught us, “the sun don’t shine forever, but as long as it’s here we might as well shine together.” This show has been our sun that allowed us to briefly live the lives of legends and I’m over the moon to deliver a double dose of reality TV domination. I’m even mixing metaphors I’m so excited. To recap, Roddy Piper still lives the life of a heel, Tony is the king of Larping, Jimmy Hart is pissing off everyone, Gene and Pat are drunk, Howard is still fat, Ashley and I are just friends, Hillbilly is Hillbilly and Duggan has a man crush on Piper. That being said, let’s pull a Kevin Kelly and finish this baby strong!

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Scott: Indeed my friend. We recap last episode when Duggan’s blindness cost his team and the Heartbreak Kid took the guys fishing. We begin episode 8 with everybody exciting Duggan that Piper is returning from his trip to Atlanta. Duggan is like a little kid waiting for his parent to come home from a business trip. Howard calls Piper “the leader” of the house. That’s definitely true. Everybody is happy to see him, and Pat tells Piper that Duggan wanted to sleep in his bed. Jimmy says everybody is happy in the house. Well Jimmy, maybe because at this moment you’re not being annoying. The voluptuous Ashley comes in and the guys seem to care less and less. Even Mean Gene the pervert. She tells them that they will be at a roast ripping into each other. She says there needs to be a guest of honor, and since he left the house Ashley says Piper’s punishment is that he is the guest of honor. Oh boy, this may end the peacefulness of the house guys.

Dan: This has all the makings of being bowling shoe ugly. I think some skeletons are coming out by the end of this one. Piper is a perfect choice for this in all honesty. And his last laugh should be comedy gold because he probably has something on every one of these guys. Gene is going to be vicious. He even warned Piper about his arsenal of jabs. Three strangers enter the house led by comedian Guy Torry. These guys are going to coach the legends on their jokes to make sure they don’t bomb on stage. Torry nabs Piper to work with him individually. I’m skeptical of all this because I feel like these guys could come up with their own material and have it be from the heart. Geez Gene has about 100 index cards full of jokes. Then he craps on the comedians which is quite apropos for “Mean Gene.”

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Scott: Well honestly who the hell are these clowns that came in. We need like Don Rickles or (if he was still alive) George Carlin. Those guys are masters. I’m sure I’ll get old jokes there, but hey without my age nobody’s sense of humor at PTBN would be worth much. The comedians coach the legends, but Hillbilly pretty much stole a Superstar Billy Graham promo for his rib. That’s lame. Tony Atlas can’t write jokes because he was taught not to make fun of anybody. What planet did Tony grow up on? He’s truly the oddest person I’ve ever seen in my life. He can’t write jokes. Jesus what is his problem. Although he can add the Abraham Washington laugh, which may…well not do anything and he will bomb. Howard’s also uncomfortable with ripping people. Dan, these guys wouldn’t survive a PTBN field trip.

Dan: Haha I’m not sure I’ll survive one myself and the next one is in my backyard (Order Money in The Bank live from the TD Garden in Boston riiiight now). Piper, surprisingly, is having a hard time with his material and no shock here but he’s getting emotional. The roast is about to begin and only Gene seems excited to be there. Pretty good crowd for this event. I would love to get a ticket to something like this! Holy smokes, the Iron Sheik is the special guest roaster. This guy needs to be on Season 2 of this program or we riot. Hillbilly is leading us off and he immediately makes a Gary Coleman joke for our guy Torry (Too soon?). Wow he also made a Tony Atlas ass joke but otherwise killed it. Gene though is absolutely made for this atmosphere! What a vulgar SOB that guy is. Scott, you need in on this action!

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Scott: Yeah a B. Brian Blair dig! Now that’s what I’m waiting for this entire episode. Iron Sheik is certifiably insane, and I agree Dan he needs to be on next season’s show no doubt about it. Of course we get to Jimmy Hart and he’s not ready. He’s not even a funny part of the show, and of course Jimmy’s jokes are bombing miserably. Sounds like the first time Andrew Riche was on a podcast. Duggan’s up, and he throws an old joke on Pat for wrestling Moses. NO I DIDN’T UNDERGRADE THAT MATCH! Howard’s up and I have a bad feeling about this. He used that lousy Popeye joke? Good grief. Great line by Howard, “The cage was spinning but the hamster was dead.” Oh Jesus, Tony’s up and he’s probably going to make everybody feel bad with an Abraham Washington laugh. Wow a black joke, and that got some laughs. But now Dan, it’s time for Piper to rebut. Oh boy this may not end well. Somebody will be crying.

Dan: Absolutely loved when Piper took the stage. He called Tony “Shrek” and Jimmy “Donkey” which was awesome improv. Clearly he is a fan of the cartoon talk on the Steve Corino Show. I also enjoyed his line about Gene only living another two weeks. In the most remarkable moment of the show, Piper thanked everyone for not taking that cheap shot or gratuitous low blow. “Pipes” even seems sorry that it all has to end and even mentioned that they are only there for another day and a half. Pat tries to focus the guys and get serious at the dinner table. He speaks about what all these guys are supposed to be like in real life. These guys seem to live two separate and very different lives. A wrestling life and a “real person” life. Everyone now seems to be walking on eggshells. Things are getting testy. Piper snaps on Fink of all people and rehashes the old limo story from a few episodes ago. Let it go Roddy! They hug it out in the end praise God! Patterson makes the point that people don’t really know the real him. He doesn’t want to be phony anymore and wants to be free and truthful because he feels his time is short to be real. Guys were getting teary-eyed and now so am I so let me pass it back to Scotty C.

Scott: I have to admit it’s kind of puzzling at how everyone’s happy and they’re eating dinner and all of a sudden Pat says one thing and all good feelings go out the window. I felt it was kind of forced, but in any event we are there and I think we all know where Pat is going. He stops and walks away. The next morning Jimmy is kind of glum. He talks to Tony and it turns out Jimmy’s daughter passed away. He starts to cry and Tony hugs him. This is an interesting scenario because all season Jimmy has easily been the most annoying guy in the house, and out of the blue we now must feel sympathy. I’m not saying we shouldn’t and I am pretty emotional now, but it is interesting how the season played out like that. With that shot we are done with episode #8. We finally get some raw nerves out of the group and with only a day and a half left in the house things are really starting to reach a certain emotional limit. Dan my boy, your thoughts on this episode before we fire up the finale?

Dan: It did seem sudden but that also could be editing at its finest. Who really knows if some of this emotional stuff was building up even during the first few days they moved in. Still, Pat does raise a tremendous point that our tomorrows aren’t promised and some of these guys could legitimately never see each other after they leave the house. Now was as good a time as any to be real and not keep living their lives as characters. Very powerful stuff! All in all, a terrific set up to our finale. Had no clue what Jimmy was going through and looking back, could anyone have seen Tony as the guy providing the shoulder to cry on back on episode 2? These guys have come a long way since they first pulled into that driveway! Let’s push play on finale¬†shall we?

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Scott: OK so we fire up the finale, and everybody is emotionally wiped after the previous evening’s issues. Here’s Ashley to break all the tension, and she sadly tells everyone that this is her last morning. Jimmy clearly hates her. They are going to throw a farewell house party. That should be fun. They are also going to sing a farewell song together. As they do a group hug Pat drops Howard’s pants. Hillbilly couldn’t have wrote a better song than that love song he sang back in the late 80s. Piper is a little rusty on the bagpipes so he’s practicing with an electronic bagpipe machine. The guys start working on the song. Tony has his managerial outfit on from when he was with Mark Henry. Dan, doesn’t Corino wear the sleeveless outfit for the show?

Dan: No but he definitely had a Phillies Snuggie on for episode 2 (download the Steve Corino Show on Place to Be Nation riiiiiiight now!). Once their party plans were completed, the guys went out to eat and the sad and emotional talk starts right back up again. The boys reflect on the larping, the cheating on the game show and even the appearance by Gary Busey in the pilot. These guys had an absolute blast with each other and it’s fun to see when you compare it with other reality shows. Even Tony comes across as compassionate and likable at the restaurant. He shows his love and appreciation for everyone which would have been madness to consider him saying just a few shows ago. Pat asks everyone what their biggest lifetime moment was. The guys reflect on the old days like Hacksaw coming out to accept an open challenge from Andre. Awesome story!

Scott: That actually was a great story, and now Tony talks about meeting his wife while he was homeless? Wow. Hillbilly Jim talks about living on welfare with just his mother, and he talks about buying a new house and car with his first WWF money. That was nice. Jimmy Hart talks about WrestleMania I being his great moment. Duggan has four kids? Wow again. Piper is a grandfather? It seems even Dan and I don’t know any of these guys. Then Gene really opens up about being on dialysis and how his wife donated her kidney to him. That’s powerful shit. It is good that they saved all this stuff for the finale, and let us have fun for the first seven episodes. Jimmy opens up about the death of his daughter now and Pat feels bad they had been breaking his balls. This is good stuff, Dan. Real good stuff.

Dan: This has to be one of the hardest things to write. Real heartbreaking stories but it adds another dimension to this cast of legends. Pat has really touched a nerve with everyone. Hacksaw speaks of a major car accident he got into and lost a loved one as result. Howard talked about how he overcame bullying and achieved success regardless. Finally, the buildup leads to what we all were expecting and that was Pat Patterson officially coming out of the closet and admitting that he was gay. He had a partner for 40 years before losing him to a heart attack. He said that he gave his life to the business and now he only wants to be happy. He wants to celebrate because he made it this far and held it in for so long that it looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. I literally got chills hearing all these stories. I’m not overstating this when I say, this is one of the best hours of television I’ve witnessed. A crowning moment for the WWE Network.

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Scott: I can’t believe this has been in the can for two years and nobody spilled the beans about Pat. Sure the rumors and conjecture had been strong (remember Jim Ross saying on camera “He’s single guys” one night on PPV?) but for Pat to finally say it in the open for some reason makes me respect the man even more. Losing your soul mate (I saw it happen with my mom) obviously is absolutely gut-wrenching, but to open up to everybody like that was definitely tougher than any match he was ever in. And yes, I can say it. I no longer have vitriol or hatred for Jim Duggan. Maybe I’m still not a fan of his CHARACTER, but Pat taught everybody (including the audience) that there’s more to these guys than the characters in the ring. Finally we get to the party at night and everybody is blowing off steam on the last night. The song was great, and Jimmy’s voice was actually on par. Tony Atlas is shaking his booty and that I could have done without. Now its time for Pat to have his big solo moment. Dan, I give it to you.

Dan: Somehow, it all makes sense that Pat is singing “My Way” to end the party. He has everyone hanging on each and every note. For a guy who at times speaks in fragments and broken English since it’s his second langauge and all, he sounds wonderful on that stage. He was doing what he was born to do. What a fantastic send off to season one. A tear-jerking dinner followed by a show stopping performance. He went from the cranky old man who drank with Gene, to the series MVP. You honestly couldn’t have this show without Pat Patterson. Now that the high spot is over, it’s now time for the boys to “go home.”

Scott: It’s indeed a sad morning as everybody is packed and ready to leave. Tony leaves first, followed by Hillbilly Jim. They should bring back maybe two or three guys to be the foundation for season 2. Like Gene, Pat and Hillbilly. I remember Justin and I meeting Hillbilly in 2005 and he was such a great guy. Jimmy Hart, who went from most hated to well, not most hated leaves next. Howard leaves next, and I think he gained the respect of the guys I don’t think he had before. Gene leaves next, and let’s not forget the story of his wife giving him a kidney. Pat leaves and he became maybe the MVP of season 1. It figures that the dynamic duo of Duggan and Piper are the last two in the house. Now Piper, who after episode one was alone in a field talking at the moon, became a different person. Or at least opened up a new part of himself. Piper sadly thinks he’ll never see any of these guys again. I’m sure he will at some point. On a lighter note, Jesus that’s a lot of vodka on the counter. Piper finally leaves, and with that we are out. What a great experience to be able to go on the journey with these guys we watched as kids and now can understand them better as adults. Dan, my friend, it was a privilege to be able to join you on this journey. Take us out my boy.

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Dan: I don’t even think WWE knew what they had when they put this show together but in the end, I think it is safe to say, they found a bonafide hit. I was surprised on the first show that these guys were basically strangers to each other. You just figured that at some point, all of these men would have started up friendships or traveled together. That wasn’t the case here. Now at the end of our journey, I can’t imagine one guy without the other. Friendships were made and will never be broken in my opinion. I can’t help but feel that since they kept it more like “The Real World” and not like “Survivor,” it was less about competition and cliques and more about comradery and as Piper said, “humanity.” Scott, when I pitched this idea down in the PTB Man Cave, it was more about being silly and seeing if you’d play along. Not only did you come through, but this was truly some of the most fun I have ever had in writing. I hope you readers got to share in that fun. WWE, don’t screw this up and start casting season 2 riiiiiiight now.

For Scott, I’m Dan. We’ll see you all again, inside the Legends’ House.

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.