The legends find themselves still coping with the emotional hangover from the previous night; where we almost got the big revelation that most hardcore wrestling nerds and every wrestler ever already knew, but then where would that leave the season finale of Legends’ House? Ashley magically appears out of sexy air one last time to give the legends their final assignment: throwing a going away party for themselves and putting on a musical performance. Surprisingly, nobody gets extremely pervy. Not even Mean Gene. Roddy Piper smoothly asks Ashley to wear her red dress, and she flirtatiously mentions that she just might. Then we get a group hug, which I immediately assume is the catalyst for her eventual abduction. But all we get is a genuine hug. That, and Pat Patterson decides to pants poor Howard Finkel for no reason other than he’s a dick.
After about an hour of practicing the song they’re going to perform, the legends head over to downtown Palm Springs for dinner, brought to us by The Falls Steakhouse. Piper assumes that they were going to have a private dinner with no cameras around, then he remembers he’s on a damn reality TV show. It doesn’t take long for the legends to get mad real again. They talk about how they’re barely getting to know each other, which makes sense when you consider that this damn show seems to have only taken place over the course of eight days, or three and a half weeks according to Jim Duggan. No wonder these episodes were stretched so thin. They literally had nothing going on because they were barely getting comfortable with letting their guard down a bit. Doesn’t Real World have their casts live together for like half a year? I’m not saying these guys should’ve stayed with each other for six months, but at least make it a full month. They even had the balls to reflect back on the past two weeks via flashback clips as if it was a lifetime worth of memories.
In an effort to really get to know each other one last time, and eventually segue into Pat’s big reveal, Pat asks them all what their number one biggest life moment is. For some reason, Mean Gene picks a wrestling-related one that the WWE just happens to have a clip of. In any case, it’s pretty damn cool because it involves Piper, “Cowboy” Bob Orton and Paul Orndorff beating the crap out of a fan who was accosting Mean Gene, or at least it looked that way. The only disappointing part was that Orton didn’t even use his cast to hit the guy. That was Orton’s entire gimmick during his WWE run! Way to let us down, Bob.
The legends finally veer towards personal life-related moments that affected them deeply. And the first one to hit the ground running is none other than professional sad story teller, Tony Atlas. I really hope this leads to Tony being featured on NPR’s This American Life or, at the very least, a regular contributor to the Moth storytelling podcast. Tony talks about his pre-Saba Simba days of 1989, when he was broke, homeless, and freezing his ass off in 22 below zero temperatures before his wife took him in and saved his life. Next!
We learn that Hillbilly Jim actually grew up on welfare and raised by a single mom in the projects, which I was unaware existed in places like Mudlick, Kentucky. And once he started making that sweet 1980’s WWE cash he bought his mom a new house and car. Mean Gene shares that had it not been for his wife giving him one of her kidneys he wouldn’t be here today. And that must be one helluva kidney, seeing how much alcohol Mean Gene consumes. And here I always thought people with one kidney were only allowed to drink in moderation. Mean Gene then calls out Jimmy Hart to finally man up and share his sorrow. After learning about Jimmy’s daughter passing away, everyone at the table immediately feels like shit for busting Jimmy’s balls the entire time they’ve been living together. Hell, even I felt bad for talking shit on Jimmy Hart while writing these reviews.
Jim Duggan also decides to get personal, and it doesn’t involve him yelling menacingly or knocking over drinks. Instead, he tells everyone about Vickie, the woman he was with when he was working for (I’m assuming) Mid South, and how she died after the car they were in flipped over a couple of times. Holy shit. Thankfully, The Fink put a stop to this crescendoing revelation of heartbreak and triumph by revealing that he was constantly picked on as a youngster. Now, I’m not knocking the severity of bullying, but we just finished hearing about eating out of dumpsters, near death experiences, and actual death experiences. In hindsight, Howard probably should’ve been the first to go. But just like in wrestling, we sometimes need a rest spot, so that we can catch our breath and regroup right before moving on to the next high spot.
Finally, Pat takes us home, but not before going into another lengthy prologue. Pat then reveals that he’s gay and has been in the closet for the last 40 years during his career in professional wrestling, 20 of which were probably true. The rest of the legends are momentarily speechless, most likely because they were probably waiting for Pat to follow that up with something else; something they didn’t already know. Seeing as this show was filmed in 2012 and was being shopped around to networks around the same time, this revelation would’ve probably carried some more weight had it aired back then. At least for non hardcore wrestling nerds. But seeing as Darren Young had come out as the first gay wrestler while currently employed by the WWE last year, Pat’s revelation wasn’t as shocking as the show would’ve wanted you to think. In any case, at least Pat felt a lot better about it.
The legends head over to their going away party that includes people the producers pulled in from the streets of Palm Springs, and So-Cal indie wrestler and professional mustache ride giver, Joey Ryan. While the rest of the legends mingle, Mean Gene takes to the bar and fixes Ashley a drink. It’s his own recipe, called The Okerlund, which is mostly 85% vodka and tonic water. Ashley, finally connecting all the dots leading up to this night, quips that she thinks Gene was trying to take advantage of her. Even the camera zooms in on the glass just to make sure he didn’t roofie her.
The legends put on their musical showcase, which includes Piper playing “Scotland the Brave” on his electric bagpipes. Then an ensemble performance of “The House is A-Rockin”(?) with all the legends takes place, which wasn’t half bad despite a Roddy Piper harmonica solo. Stick to the electric bagpipes, Piper. Pat then closes the show with his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” and for a few minutes we forget how horrible his English is.
The legends say their goodbyes the next morning as they all leave one by one, in separate limos. I get this was done for the purposes of creating a better visual than all of them piling into one limo and riding to LAX, but it just didn’t seem practical or fiscally sound. Although, I’m sure it was the same limo showing up, while the legends just waited off-screen after their turn. And what was up with Hillbilly Jim’s smallest duffel bag ever? You expect me to believe he stuffed three weeks worth of clothes in that bag? Have you seen how big this guy is? At least we found that Pat’s sense of humor didn’t fade after he came out, it just became more explicit. Thanks to him, we all now know that Tony Atlas can be a pain the ass sometimes that feels pretty good. Of course, Piper is the last to leave. It looks like he’s about to go full Randy the Ram, but instead reflects on the last three weeks as he sits at the piano playing Beethoven’s f*cking “Moonlight Sonata.”
For a trial run, the show wasn’t that bad. Then again, as a hardcore wrestling nerd who will go out of his way to watch any horrible TV show or movie that features a pro wrestler, or is even slightly wrestling oriented, that isn’t saying much. However, I can objectively say that after watching all eight episodes of Legends’ House, I can see why no actual TV network wanted to pick this up. Here’s hoping WWE learns from this experiment and does a better job with season two. Either way, I’m still going to watch it.
Legendary Lessons Learned:
- Gary Busey is the best thing to ever happened to the legends.
- We all wimps compared to Jimmy Hart.
- Tony needs to start a line of sleeveless dress shirts, complete with tie. Exclusively sold at Ross.
- Tony and Duggan are the best of friends now.
- Jimmy Hart is going to keep these memories forever.
- Mean Gene is like a big sister to Pat Patterson.
- It wasn’t about business, it was about humanity.
- We will never know what happened between Tony and Duggan 20 years ago.