Wow we lost a master last week. No one is lying when they say there will never be another Rowdy Roddy Piper(Jericho has been close). He was a product of the 80’s environment, with the power to be both hip and a villainous at the same time. He was the loud obnoxious voice of the establishment, speaking against Hulkamania, and the MTV Generation. Piper’s “old school” leanings probably explain his unwillingness to break kayfabe in his memoirs, and some interviews?
There was no one on WWE’s roster cool enough to take on Hogan, by being a anti-Hogan. (?) Iron Sheik was too reserved, Mr Wonderful was kind of a dork, and WWE has never had a giant that could give Hogan a run for his money. Piper was one of the few, in Hogan’s Rogue’s Gallery, that wasn’t a strong man or giant.
Piper never had too many world title runs, but that wasn’t because he wasn’t deserving. He was able to sellout arenas by just being on the card. He didn’t need to be champ, no one gave a shit if he won or lost. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, talent didn’t give a shit whether they were champs or not because they got paid either way. You’d hear those bagpipes, and it was like Stone Cold’s glass breaking, you knew shit was going down.
As a the crazed young hothead, formed into an insane exhausted family man, Piper was just as dangerous. He took on Hollywood Hogan in WCW, which reversed their roles, as Hogan was the top heel in the World at the time. Piper finally beat Hogan at Starrcade 1996, in a non-title match.
Piper didn’t need the belt, he needed to look strong to face Hogan two more times. Every loss and beat down from the NWO made Hogan nuttier, and more destructive. Broken hip jokes aside, Hogan and Piper continued their fued well. Their WWE fued in 2003, wasn’t so great.
Piper was also known for his Piper’s Pit segments. The most known segment was probably Piper slamming Jimmy Snuka in the head with a coconut. It really wasn’t that great. My personal favorite segment from the Pit was at WrestleMania V (…or five). Piper faced off against fellow obnoxious show hosts, Brother Love and Morton Downey Jr.
In 2008, Piper became an exclusive G.I. Joe figure, as a member of Destro’s Iron Grenadiers. Fitting that Piper would join Destro, considering their shared Scottish heritage. The Piper figure also gave G.I. Joe fans a long-awaited wrestler rival for their Sgt Slaughter G.I. Joe figure. I guess no wrestlers were willing to join Cobra?
My favorite Piper segment was from WrestleMania XXX (…, or thirty), where Piper ,backed up by Mr Wonderful and Cowboy Bob Orton, finally buried the hatchet with Hulk Hogan and Mr T. All five men headlined the very first WrestleMania, and it was nice to see them all together again.
I’ll remember Piper as the loudmouth King of Heels. He may not have been the King for long, but he’ll always be remembered as one of the best. Wow, I’m writing like an overly emotional Bob Ryder. It’s an improvement from my usual ADHD ridden slag. We love you Roderick Toombs.
Roddy’s Top Allies
5) Dr D. The Ear Slapper
4) Mr McMahon
3) Ric Flair
1) Cowboy Bob Orton
Tags: Cowboy Bob Orton, Destro, gi joe con, Hulk Hogan, Iron Grenadiers, Jimmy Snuka, Mr. T, paul orndorff, Piper's Pit, Proddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter