RIP Roddy Piper

42 Submitted by on Fri, 31 July 2015, 19:58


I am absolutely devastated to learn that Roddy Piper has passed away.  Truly one of my favorite wrestlers ever.  One of the greatest moments not of my little wrestling career but of my entire life was being on his podcast a few months ago…after he did a run-in on WrestleCrap Radio a few years prior.

Just so so sad.

Leave your memories of the great Roddy Piper below.

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42 Responses to "RIP Roddy Piper"
  1. John C says:

    This just really came out of nowhere. Hot Rod was that thing that really hooked me into wrestling. Where else could you get a smallish guy playing bagpipes and would go toe to toe with huge foes like Hogan and Andre not only did you not feel bad for the bigger guys pounding on him you wanted them to pound him more. The antagonizing fingerpoke to the eye was such a great heelish move I absolutely loved it. The epic brawls with Jimmy Snuka, feuding with Paul Orndorff, Piper’s Pit, so much more. Farewell Rowdy One.

  2. Steve says:

    His match against Bret at WM8 is one of the greatest ever. R.I.P. Hot Rod.

  3. TV's Mr. Neil says:

    Sadness. Glad you got to meet him, Deal. You’ll always have that memory.

  4. pyoobez says:

    I got ino wrestling during the Monday Night Wars, so I didn’t get to see most of his prime work until later, but I quickly became a fan. I lucked into getting Roddy Piper’s Greatest Hits, his Coliseum VHS tape in a low point of wrestling for me, when the Invasion was going on. There was an exclusive Piper’s Pit in it where he interviews himself and it blew my mind and made me a bigger fan than I was. It’s easily one of the top things I’ve ever seen WWF produce in terms of entrtainment and it was all Roddy.

    His charisma, humor and timing were at another level for professional wrestling.

    If wrestlers are to be honored for their acting ability, Roddy has to be in the running for the top spot. He just got it in terms of connecting to the audience as both a heel and a face. He could do practically anything with a microphone and bring a level of reality to it that made it believable.

    Outside the ring, he seemed like a great guy. From orphanages to wrestling at 14 years old, he seemed like the true definition of someone who fought and worked his way to the top and into so many hearts.

  5. Emer Prevost says:

    Words cannot express feeling of loss right now.

    While I never got to Roddy live, I loved every moment of him on TV. Be it as a commentator or a wrestler, Roddy Piper guaranteed entertainment.

    Perhaps my favorite moment is during the unveiling of the Gooker. You can hear Piper genuinely laugh at how stupid the whole thing as, and he still tried his hardest to get the thing over. His commentary made that entire segment worth watching.

    Rest in peace, Hot Rod. Give ’em hell in heaven.

  6. gobias says:

    Well, damn. This blindsided me. Thanks for the memories, Roddy.

  7. StarTreker says:

    This is so fucking horrible. I cried like a baby.

  8. StarTreker says:

    This is so fucking horrible. I cried like a baby when I first heard it.

  9. Christopher Lujan says:

    There will only be one Hot Rod. I was glad to be in the generation that watched him perform in and outside the ring. He will be missed. I enjoyed reading his tweets and listening to his podcasts. As a 10 year old wrestling fan, Piper was one of the first “bad guy” wrestlers I liked because I did not like the Hulkster. Coincidentally, I have started rewatcing the Nitros recently on the WWE network and its at the time frame where Piper starts his feud with Hogan to set up Starcade 96. Even back then with artificial hips he looks ICONIC.

  10. David Tolentino says:

    86/87 Destroying the Flower Shop on crutches with a baseball bat. Andre Confronts Hogan with surprise manager- Bobby Heenan on the Piper’s Pit.. Beefcake cutting Adonis’ hair after Piper defeats him at Wrestlemania 3.

  11. Wally says:

    I hope he’s up in heaven now, kicking ass and chewing bubblegum. A legend!

  12. Raven7309 says:

    Completely and absolutely shattered. I just read about his passing on IGN. For us “Old School” wrestling fans, Roddy was the epitome of what a heel should be. My deepest sympathies, condolences, and prayers go out to his friends and family.

    My personal top 5 Roddy Piper moments:
    1. Coming out to the ring at WM6 against Bad News Brown with half his body painted black.
    2. Smashing the “Flower Shop” with a baseball bat after Adrian Adonis and Cowboy Bob Orton injured
    his knee.
    3. Smashing Cindy Lauper ‘s gold record over Captain Lou Albano’s head at MSG.
    4. Shaving the Haiti Kid’s head on “Piper’s Pit”.
    5. Coming to the ring at the first Wrestlemania playing the bagpipes and being accompanied by the
    NYPD marching band.

  13. Paul Lucas says:

    I truely didnt appreciate his kill on the mic or in the ring in the 80s when i started watching, but can go back and see how much of a Star he was in everything he did. will have to have a roddy piper movie marathon this weekend!

  14. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    I’m in complete mourning; one of the greatest of all time, funny as hell too, great actor. Will be sorely missed forever.

  15. CLS says:

    I remember watching “Roddy” Piper on TV as a kid, I used to hate him because he was a bully. Dusty’s gone and now this. May the Piper rest in peace.

  16. DarthPitch says:

    One of my favorites when I first started watching wrestling in the early 90s, along with the Honky Tonk Man and Mr. Perfect. I always loved the heels. Sad that two of those three are no longer with us now. Never met him, but he always seemed like a legit nice guy.

  17. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    One of the best heels and best faces to ever be in the business. He could make you love him to death or want to throttle him.

  18. RD Reynolds says:

    This one just really, really hurts. I am usually very good about wanting to remember the great moments, but tonight I just want to grieve. Macho, Warrior, Roddy…and Hogan in exile for being an idiot.

    Rough times.

  19. JSWH says:

    A fond memory from 1989, Nassau Coliseum- Roddy Piper enters a Bunkhouse Brawl, wearing an Islanders jersey. RP won the match! The Isles jersey was his second entrance.The first one saw him with a chainsaw (a no DQ match but he was still barred from using it).

  20. Rebel Coyote says:

    Roddy Piper teaching Virgil how to fight against Ted DiBiase. During the build it Piper appeared as guest of Funeral Parlor where he and Virgil played with dolls.
    Piper smashing The Flower Shop.
    Ric Flair/Piper confrontation resulting Piper hitting Vince with a chair.
    Piper/Greg Valentine dog collar match
    Piper/Goldust backlot brawl

  21. Casey K. says:

    The Rowdy One was the first major character I witnessed performing a switch from mega heel to a babyface, and I remember the mark out feeling I got back then. Wrestlemania 2 was a terrible “boxing” match, but Piper made you really wish Mr T would have knocked his teeth out. R.I.P. Roddy.

  22. Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

    The first wrestling event I ever saw was WrestleMania VIII as a five-year old, and the first match that made me realise this wrestling lark might be up my street was Roddy Piper vs Bret Hart. This hurts a lot.

    Rest in peace, Rowdy one.

  23. TMM says:

    He was also great in Portland where he showed he could be as much of a top heel than a top face, my first exposure of him was when he was in Mid-Atlantic with Jim Crockett. He as among the earlier color commentary heel working if i’m not mistaken. He was pretty good at it showing enthusiasm for matches while at thje same time showing disdain for faces.

  24. Alexandru says:

    Yeah Piper was one of a kind. While he was never a personal favorite of mine what I saw of him was always entertaining. While The Rock has hugely successful in movies he couldn’t hold a candle to Piper’s performance in “They Live” as that is a movie that will be remembered years from now

  25. Gotchism For Life says:

    It’s a shame and a shock. I wish I could have seen more from his NWA days when he would feud with Flair.

    As a kid I was a Hulkamaniac, and while I still enjoy watching Hogan’s work in the WWF, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Hot Rod would have been allowed to go over Hogan during his heel run.

    My sister and I were texting last night about Piper and she said he got her into wrestling and he was her fave. I always loved the energy in his promos.

    One moment that may not be as famous but fun for me was seeing his run in during the McMahon vs Hogan match at WM XIX. The pop was phenomenal and his yelling “C’mon Junior” was gold.

  26. Al says:

    Man, it really sucks seeing the legends of my childhood pass on so suddenly. I’m really gonna miss hearing those bagpipes. Rest in peace, Roddy, we’ll see you in the main event.

  27. Drew says:

    Had the pleasure of meeting him once in a Philly gym around 1982 or 83. Just about everyone else got a picture with him, most of which ended up on the gym wall. For some stupid reason, I never got a pic with him. But I do remember what a nice guy he was to everyone.

  28. NightmareNear says:

    Rest in peace Roddy, you were one of the greats.

  29. Conquistador #3 says:

    If you have never seen it go watch his steel cage match with Rick Rude from the late 80s era… Truly one of my favorite all time pro wrestling matches. Roddy Piper was my favorite wrestler above any other and it’s just so unbelievable that a force of nature like that can just be gone. It was great to see him in Portland at the Hogan birthday celebration last year and the hometown crowd gave him a great reaction. I can’t express the sorrow I feel today properly so I’ll let RP do it for me- I don’t need to know how tough I am to know how tough I am. Rest in peace, Hot Rod.

  30. Doc 902714 says:

    Hard to put into words what a great talent Roddy Piper was. He could make you really love him or really hate him. He was good on both sides of the coin. I remember being truly entertained by him in everything he did. I remember him for the time he was appointed WWF President back in 1996 when he done that interview with Vince McMahon. He ended the segment by delivering an airplane spin to Vince McMahon. Just Roddy. He was a great fortune teller as well when he interrupted a face to face interview with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels on MNR when he would make the blockbuster announcement about their 60 minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Title at WM XII. He said “Well boys you might as well shake hands now because you’re gonna hate each other after this.!” Hit Man and Shawn hadn’t shook hands until RAW in 2010, this was in 1996. He was ROWDY before ROWDY was COOL. Just sad.

  31. Tom says:

    Being in NY and not having cable I first “meet” Roddy through the Apter mags. So when he came to WWE and did not have a dog collar around his neck I was disappointed. (See Stracade Greg Valentine). Being young and not all smart to the business I believed he fought everyone in dog collar matches. But I learned he was so much more multi-dimensional. Also try to find tapes of his feuds in LA with Chavo Guerrero (Chavo Classic). That was the feud that first put him on the radar of other promoters and began to show what a talent he was. And never forget without Roddy Piper Hulk Hogan would still be Golden Sterling…

  32. 80's Guy says:

    Roddy was a great heel. Probably the best in the history of the business, IMO. But when he turned face, it was that much more satisfying and amazing because he kept his edge.

    I was always the type of kid that wanted to see people do good. Even after I got into wrestling, I really liked the heels that turned face. Probably because I thought it was admirable for somebody who was a “bad guy” to be able to see the error of his/her ways and become good (Orndorff, Beefcake, Hercules, Taker, Patera, Piper, Savage, Roberts, Perfect, Boss Man, even Earthquake, Demolition, Powers of Pain, etc.).

    Piper became legendary before the term legendary was commonplace. He was a favorite of mine as a youth, and in my top 5 favorites of all time, simply because of his attitude and entertainment value. I even used to go to the bars when I lived in VA in a kilt and my Hot Rod t shirt.

    So sudden, so unexpected, and definitely a major blow to an individual as well as the business. Just like Warrior.

    RIP, Hot Rod. You will be sorely missed.

  33. Matt Latford says:

    While watching Nitro one Monday, I must have been about 9 y/o, my dad see’s Piper coming to the ring. He tells me “That’s Roddy Piper! He’s the best, I watched him when I was your age.”
    Curious little me asked, “What was his move?”
    (Up until then I had always believed in big powerbomb-ing types)
    Dad’s answer…”Oh I don’t know, he’d just come out and talk junk about anybody, didn’t matter who you were.”
    I’ve been hooked ever since and have always been jealous of that 70’s mid-atlantic era


  34. Josh says:

    I have to admit that my first exposure to him was seeing his cinematic oeuvre (as I only got into wrestling when I was about 8 years old). Seeing him in “They Live” and “Hell Comes to Frogtown” made me a fan of his, and I have been ever since.

    This is the moment where I’d play Danny Boy, if I had bagpipes to play.

  35. Jed Shaffer says:

    I got into wrestling around the Hogan/Orndorff feud, so I only got to experience a little of Piper-as-heel. My memories are more of him as the brash, outspoken, unhinged face. Regardless, he was always magnetic. A human force of nature. Where everybody else was muscle-bound and a superhero, he was so different. So memorable. It felt like he was someone that could never die. That he’d be popping up, being an irascible tornado of a person, until the end of time. Wrestling without Piper … it just doesn’t seem possible.

    RIP Hot Rod. It’s not that you were taken too soon. It’s that you were taken at all.

  36. Piper's Armpit says:

    This is definitely a tough one.
    I noticed this on another forum and I thought it summed up Piper’s influence perfectly. Apologies for horrific paraphrasing.
    Piper to Hogan in WCW, referring to the 1980s: “Would they have loved you as much, if they didn’t hate me so much?”
    Piper was just as instrumental to the Wrestlemania era as Hogan. Every superhero needs their iconic first villain.

  37. hobu0 says:

    The very 1st major ppv I ever saw was Survivor Series ’89. We had it on vhs. My cousins and I would watch it over and over. Watching Piper go crazy all over Mr. Perfect and Rick Rude….his babyface run during the late 80’s early 90’s….I think we all overlook his amazing performance at the 92 Royal Rumble thanks to Flairs incredible night….. Fucking awesome memories 🙂 🙂 🙂

  38. Shockwave says:

    Just hard saying goodbye, he was a huge fixture of the Rock and Roll era.

  39. Mister Forth says:

    There are three things that come to mind.

    The Piper’s Pit where Andre turned on Hogan. Roddy noticed an accidental scratch, and said “You’re bleedin’ man”. Those three words sealed the deal for that match.

    They Live. Back when wrestlers would end up in B-movies, Roddy gave a performance that made a great addition to the action genre. Down to I have come here to chew bubblegum, and kick ass. And ‘

  40. Mister Forth says:

    There are three things that come to mind.

    The Piper’s Pit where Andre turned on Hogan. Roddy noticed an accidental scratch, and said “You’re bleedin’ man”. Those three words sealed the deal for that match.

    They Live. Back when wrestlers would end up in B-movies, Roddy gave a performance that made a great addition to the action genre. Down to I have come here to chew bubblegum, and kick ass. And I’m all outta bubblegum.

    And there is only one thing Roddy said that I think applies here. “I’m trying to find a place with peace. And if not, then let’s fill it with mayhem”.

  41. Enhancement Talent 2, Mark III says:

    Here’s what I recall most after a week thinking about Piper:

    Bret says in his book that Roddy was the only wrestler to visit him in the hospital after Bret suffered his stroke.

    Dynamite Kid says in his book that Roddy offered to take care of him monetarily after Kid was hospitalized because “you know the office won’t.”

    I can’t believe how shook I am over this. I never even met the man.

    RD, didn’t you name one of your dogs Piper?

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