Wrestling should stop being so shocking we reckon. After all, of the 38 wrestlers who performed at Wrestlemania VI, fourteen have died as of last night, and that number does not include Miss Elizabeth. However, Roddy Piper seems like perhaps the biggest loss yet. He had never worn out his welcome. Whether as a dastardly heel or a beloved crazy babyface, he was an icon, surpassed only by the likes of the “Superstar Trio” of Hogan, Austin, and The Rock. But what were the quintessential moments of Roddy Piper. Scouring thru Youtube and the like, we at Icygeek have found the moments that simply define the Hot Rod. Here is out tribute to him.
1) Brash Youth
His WWF/WWE days are the best remembered, thanks to all the available video coverage still around. However, this clip of a young Roddy Piper from 1977 just shows you what the young Roddy Piper was all about.
Even then, when you had the answers, he chose to change the question. Sadly, we were unable to find a clip where Piper promised to perform the Mexican national anthem on the bagpipes, only to perform Le Cucaracha instead.
2) Renegade outside the ring.
Wrestling attracts eccentric personalities, which end up creating the best “war” stories. Here is Piper talkign about an incident that happened while he and two other wrestlers were out on the road.
Say what you will, but at least they were heels at the time, so that making news like this helped their persons, althro it would hurt them severely now…look how badly it hurt Jack Swagger and Rob Van Dam when their indiscretions were know in the news.
3) You put the head in the coconut
The first of our “segments you couldn’t get away with now”, we see one of the most iconic moments in Piper’s history, when he blatantly cheap shots Jimmy Snuka with Pacific Islander stereotypes.
Fun corollary: years laters, when Piper captained a Survivor Series team, the kayfabe reason he chose Smuka for his team is that he wanted the toughest guy he ever faced along with him, and during segments leading up to the PPV you can see how Piper kept kayfabe by acting deferential to Snuka, hoping that Snuka wouldn’t remember what Piper once did to him.
4) Wrestlemania III entrance
At the biggest WWE event of all time, wrestlers were being transported out to the ring in special motorized carts. Only Hogan was to just walk out to the wing, being the big babyface in the main event. However, when the cart that Piper was to use did perform, Piper said screw it and…
…walked out anyways, perhaps taking away from the specialness of Hogn walking out later. But Piper didn’t care…he had to get out to the ring somehow and he was going to reture anyways…a returement that lasted only a couple of years.
5) Bubblegum scene
During his departure from WWF, Piper starred in a few movies. One, [amazon text=They Live&asin=B0000AOX0F], was often viewed as the best performance in a movie by a wrestler ever, before the advent of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into film. One line about chewing bubble gum and kicking ass became one of the best meme lines ever.
Others prefer the scene where he fights a work buddy, but this is my favorite scene of the film. It was just one bad ass taking care of business, protecting his fellow humans from aliens.
6) The making of Bret Hart
Piper wasn’t known for putting guys over. He seldom allowed himself to be booked to lose by pinfall…it was usually by disqualification. However, one person he respected enough to allowed himself to be pinned by was Bret Hart. The following is the promo that Piper gave to set up his match with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania VIII.
Months afterward, after Hart won the Intercontinental title from Piper at Wrestlemania, only to lose it to the British Bulldog at the following Summerslam, Hart managed to win the WWF title from Ric Flair in October. By allowing himself to lose to Bret, Piper allowed Bret to “get thr ub” from him, launching Bret into becoming one of the greats.
7) Piper vs. Goldust
By Wrestlemania XII, Piper was put in a kayfabe position of power in the WWF, something that someone with Piper’s dubious past should not be considered for. Anyways, he and the newly established character of Goldust did not get along, which resulted in a “Hollywood Street Fight” at Wrestlemania XII. Chaos ensued.
The fight continued when both arrived at the arena, but only after the WWF blatantly ripped off the famous OJ white Bronco chase scene with Piper’s choice of conveyance. Piper did win in the end.
8) The unintimidated Hot Rod
Many years after his wrestling career ended, Piper would be brought back occasionally for cameos. In one scene last year, the intimidating Brock Lesnar decided to interrupt all the legends in the ring. All but one the the legends was intimidated by the man-beast, but the one who was not was the Hod Rod.
Perhaps it was because he was smaller than most wrestlers of his time, but Piper would not let himself look weak, even when he was 60 years olds.
9) Thanks for the memories Roddy
The word is that Roderick Toombs (the real name of Roddy Piper) died from cardiac arrest, not an uncommon death for a wrestler. Many have sought out this next video, which features some of the best Piper action before Wrestlemania 3, as Frank Sinatra’s My Way is a popular funeral dirge. It is a fitting way to cap off this look into the scenes that illustrate Roddy’s greatness
R.I.P, Hot Rod. We will miss you.
Wait a minute, after all the due mourning, we should be celebrating Roddy’s life. What better way than with the video of the song he did for The Wrestling Album, titled For Everybody (the word “for” replacing a certain other f-word). That is far more in the spirit of the Hot Rod.
There’s one heck of a Wrestlemania in heaven now.