Remembering “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Today is two years since “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has passed. He was an incredible force in wrestling and entertainment throughout my childhood, and into my adult life. As I was a wrestling fan from early childhood, Piper was always one of those guys who stood out to me. My first memories were when he feuded with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. As a small child the dog collar match really frightened me.
A few years later, Piper would join the WWF and become an temporary manager, and personality, which led to his very own segment, “Pipers Pit”. This segment always consisted of Piper calling our other wrestlers to interview, then would insult them, and it would almost always end with a fight. The heat Piper had as a heel at WWF was amazing, and he hadn’t even wrestled. When he finally wrestled Hogan, in that MTV special with Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou, he helped Hogan become more beloved by the crowd, for as snide and pompous as Piper could be, Hogan was equally wholesome and inspiring… it was one of Hogans more memorable moments of my childhood, and it was also what slung shot Piper to stardom.
Over the years Piper was the IC champion, was The “President” of the company, and was seen as a guest ref in matches, then from WWF went to WCW and ran an memorable feud with NWO that lasted nearly two years. He took a chunk of time off and returned to WWE in the early 2000’s, mostly in a non wrestling role. He left the company at some point, and had a brief run in TNA, after which he returned to WWE, as well as did a series of appearances on the Independent circuit before his death.
What really got me about Piper, was the way he was able to keep your attention. When he spoke, people listened, well unless they were booing… He could play the crowd like a violin, and very few wrestlers who have succeeded him, have even come close to his greatness on the mic. Piper influenced a legion of wrestlers, managers, and personalities, with his quick wit, and his seemingly boundless energy and love for the business.
He will never be forgotten.