The Wrestling world loses another legend taken much before his time. Legend and cult-film favorite “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died after suffering a heart attack at his Hollywood home at the age of 61. He earned the nickname “Rowdy” by displaying his trademark “Scottish” rage, spontaneity and quick wit. Despite being a crowd favorite for his rock star-like persona, he often played a villain. Aside from his ring name, he was also known by the nickname “Hot Rod”.
Born Roderick George Toombs, in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Canada, Roddy Piper rose to success as a member of the World Wrestling Federation after working in various lower-tiered pro-wrestling organizations, including the National Wrestling Alliance, throughout the ’70s. After joining the WWF in 1984, Piper started out as a manager for up-and-coming combatants in the squared circle. Toombs’ character, “Rowdy,” was perpetually clad in a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Hot Rod” and a kilt; he would enter the ring to a bagpipe theme and say he heralded from “Glasgow, Scotland,” despite actually being raised in Winnipeg. Piper headlined several major pay-per-view events; he participated in the main events of WrestleMania I and WrestleMania X – as a special guest referee in the latter. Never a world champion, he nevertheless accumulated 34 championships in various promotions during his career. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and named No. 1 of the Top 50 villains in wrestling history by WWE.
A formidable opponent in the ring, Piper truly found his calling as a trash-talking shit starter when he began hosting “Piper’s Pit,” a segment where Piper would insult and antagonize other members of the WWF universe. Some of the more infamous segments on his talk show-inspired segment included being manhandled by Andre The Giant after insinuating that the big guy may not be very intelligent and smashing a coconut over “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka’s head. He also starred in several movies including Hell Comes To Frogtown, Body Slam & They Live. He leaves behind his wife Kitty, 4 children and a grandchild.
Roderick “Roddy” George Toombs (April 17, 1954 – July 30, 2015)