‘Rowdy’ In the 1980s, Roddy Piper became well-known as a loud bad guy in the growing WWE circuit. In 2005, he was put into the WWE Hall of fame.
What did Roddy Piper do?
During his teenage years in Canada, Roddy Piper was homeless. With the help of a bagpipes gimmick, he found a way to make a living in pro wrestling. After perfecting his heel role in Los Angeles, “Rowdy” Roddy became one of WWE’s most famous bad guys in the 1980s.
His loud personality led to a number of feuds, and he was the host of Piper’s Pit for a long time. He was enlisted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 for his work, and until his death in July 2015, he was one of the most important people in pro wrestling.
Roddy Piper was born in Saskatchewan, Canada on April 17, 1954. His full name is Roderick George Toombs. Piper’s father was a police officer who worked for the railroad. Because of this, he moved around a lot as a child, living in places like a Native American reservation where he often had to fight off angry locals with his fists.
Wrestling in High School:
Piper found peace when he learned to play the bagpipes at age 6, and he got rid of his anger by wrestling in high school. Home life stayed hard, though, and when he was in his early teens, he left his family to live on the streets.
Early Years as a Pro Wrestler:
Father O’Malley, a priest, told the 15-year-old boy who was living in a youth hostel that he could make $25 by wrestling in a professional match. Piper jumped at the chance, and he was called “Roddy the Piper” . He brought his bagpipes with him as a prop.
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Professional Wrestling Circuits:
The young wrestler moved around the different professional wrestling circuits in North America until he joined NWA Hollywood Wrestling in the mid-1970s. There, he did well under the guidance of “Judo” Gene LeBell. As “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, he played the bad guy and made fans crazy with dirty tricks and verbal attacks on rivals like the Guerrero family. Once, he told Guerrero fans that he would play the Mexican national anthem on his bagpipes, but instead he started playing “La Cucaracha.”
Georgia Championship Wrestling:
After living in Portland, Oregon for a while, Piper moved to the southeast to wrestle in the ring. And work as a negative commentator for Georgia Championship Wrestling. During this time, he had a big fight with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. In November 1983, at pro wrestling’s first pay-per-view event, they had a brutal “dog collar match” to settle their differences.
Join World Wrestling Entertainment:
In 1984, Piper joined World Wrestling Entertainment, which was then called the World Wrestling Federation. He helped turn wrestling from a niche interest into a popular sport. With his ability to talk and his collection of ideas and catchphrases written on legal notepads, he became the host of Piper’s Pit, a talk show with interviews that often turned into fights. For example, one interview ended when Piper smashed a coconut on the head of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and another ended when Andre the Giant picked up the host and threw him.
Rowdy brake Gold Record:
At an event in late 1984, Piper took his bad behaviour to a new level when he broke a gold record over the head of Captain Lou Albano and then “kicked” Albano’s friend, pop star Cyndi Lauper. This led to Piper’s “The War to Settle the Score” match with Hulk Hogan on MTV in January 1985. Adding the famous tough guy actor Mr. T to the match brought even more attention to pro wrestling.
Building on the story of the Piper-Hogan/Mr. T feud, WWE brought WrestleMania to PPV audiences for the first time in 1985. This was the first of what would become an annual flagship event. The next year, Piper and Mr. T were again two of the biggest draws at WrestleMania 2. Their boxing match ended when Piper body-slammed his opponent, which got him kicked out of the match.
Help Bret Hart Win the Intercontinental Title:
Piper was always trying to put on a show. After Adrian Adonis won Wrestlemania III, he had his hair cut, and at Wrestlemania V, he hosed down talk show host Morton Downey Jr. He also knew how to use his skills to help his fellow wrestlers. For example, he helped Bret Hart win the Intercontinental title at Wrestlemania VIII after coming back from a loss.
The Hall of Fame and His Later Work:
After taking a break, Piper came back to WWE in 1996 as interim president. He was once again at the centre of a major storyline, which ended with him beating Goldust in the “Backyard Brawl” and taking off his clothes at WrestleMania XXII. Years of beatings in the ring were taking their toll.
Interview with Bryant Gumbel:
Piper sat down for an eye-opening interview with Bryant Gumbel in June 2003, when he seemed to have had enough. In the interview, he talked about the deaths of his old friends and blamed his employers for not taking care of the wrestling talent. He left WWE a few days later, but he and CEO Vince McMahon eventually made up, which led to him being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with tears in his eyes in April 2005.
Win the World Tag Team Title:
Piper stayed a big deal after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He teamed up with another veteran, Ric Flair, to win the World Tag Team Title from the Spirit Squad on Cyber Sunday in November 2006, but he started to ease out of the ring as he got closer to his 60s.
Appearances in Movies and on TV:
Piper has a long list of screen credits, most notably as John Nada, a vigilante who fights aliens that control people’s minds. In John Carpenter’s cult favourite science fiction movie They Live (1988). Later, he joined other WWE stars on the reality show Legends’ House and used stand-up comedy to tell his stories in a different way.
Piper and his wife, Kitty, had four children. The children have said that it was hard for their father and husband to be gone for most of the year. Also, Piper’s convincing role as an A-list jerk led to more than one attempt on his life. Colt and Teal, two of the Hall of Famer’s children, have joined their father in the pro wrestling ring.
Roddy Piper died due to heart attack on July 31, 2015.
Piper is remembered as one of the best bad guys in WWE history and one of the most important people in the 1980s. Wrestlers like Ronda Rousey, a former MMA champion who used the name “Rowdy” for her WWE debut in 2018, have been influenced by him.