Top 10 Rowdy Roddy Piper moments – The professional wrestling world was shocked and saddened to learn on the final day of July 2015 that legend and icon of the industry “Rowdy” Roddy Piper had passed away.
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Piper is widely regarded as one of the most gifted entertainers to ever work in North American pro wrestling, as his ability to captivate audiences with his words while working as a heel or as a babyface made his matches must-see television. Most casual wrestling fans will remember Piper for all that he achieved while working for the World Wrestling Federation, most notably for his contributions to the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” boom.
Piper was, of course, not just your standard heel for heroes such as Hulk Hogan. Even before he passed away, it had been suggested by wrestling journalists and insiders that Hogan never would have risen to the fame and fortune that he has been able to enjoy without Piper being there to serve as his rival during the 1980s. Eric Bischoff attempted to resurrect that feud in World Championship Wrestling during the “Monday Night Wars” of the 1990s. While the spark for a Hogan-Piper had largely dwindled away by then, Piper was nevertheless able to turn the clock back and produce some memorable moments.
Like Hogan, Andre the Giant and other wrestling superstars, Piper made his way into the mainstream in other forms of entertainment. He had roles in a plethora of television shows and movies, including a film that became a cult classic among fans and one that has what could be the most famous line that Piper ever spoke during his public life. As fun as those moments were, it was his time spent in the wrestling industry that made Piper famous beyond what he could have dreamed when he first began that career. There has never been another “Hot Rod,” a once-in-a-generation performer who will be missed.
Any young performer looking to make his way into the wrestling business as a top heel would be wise to use hours of his free time watching reels of Piper’s work during the 1980s. What could have been a standard “bad guy” interview segment that involved Piper taking out poor Frank Williams became a historic segment when “Hot Rod” strolled over to the camera and yelled out: “Just when they think they’ve got the answers, I change the questions!” Not many in history could produce magic at the drop of the hat as could Piper whenever the microphones were hot and the cameras were rolling.
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