Wrestling world loses another legend in Roddy Piper
HOUSTON – The wrestling world is in shock after the passing of yet another legend. Roddy “Rowdy” Piper passed away at the age of 61. TMZ Sports was the first to report on the passing. Piper had been battling cancer but was in the Bayou City recently for the Comic Con. He had beaten the cancer and is reportedly to have died because of cardiac arrest.
Earlier this year, another legend of the ring, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes passed away.
Though Piper was born Roderick Toombs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Piper accentuated his Scottish heritage and would be billed from Glasgow, Scotland. He would often come to the ring wearing a kilt and his trademark ‘Hot Rod’ t-shirt, and playing a bagpipe.
Piper began his wrestling career at age 15. In the many decades that followed, Piper would feud with the top good guys wherever he went. When wrestling on the West Coast for the National Wrestling Alliance, Piper took on the legendary Guerrero family. When he came east to the Mid-Atlantic promotion, Piper feuded with the likes of Jack Brisco and Ric Flair. He wrestled Greg “The Hammer” Valentine in a dog collar match at the very first Starrcade event.
Piper’s star soared when he joined the then World Wrestling Federation, drawing jeers for blasting Jimmy Snuka with a coconut during an interview segment. He also main evented the first WrestleMania, teaming with Paul Orndorff to face Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
After years of being reviled, the crowds began to like Piper’s antics and acerbic wit, prompting the WWF to make him a good guy. Even when he tried to be a bad guy, crowds just refused to boo the man.