Saturday, 1 August 2015

RIP Hot Rod Rowdy Roddy Piper

Wow so here I am again writing about Wrestling on a blog that I never intended to write about wrestling on but I just couldn't help but talk about the passing of Roderick George Toombs AKA the Hot Rod Rowdy Roddy Piper.

In professional wrestling, he is best known for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in the 1980s and 1990s. Piper headlined several major pay-per-view events; most importantly he participated in the main event of the first WrestleMania.
This match  pitted Hulk Hogan, who was the reigning WWF Champion, and Mr. T, who were accompanied by Jimmy Snuka, against Roddy Piper and Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff, who were accompanied by The Cowboy Bob Orton (Randy Orton's Father for those newer to the world of wrestling). Professional boxer Muhammad Ali was the special guest referee and lets just say that with this match the WWF tried to pull out all of the stops to show what a big deal wrestling could be. This is a key moment in the history of wrestling one which has effected everything since and a large part of this was down to the skill of the Rowdy one.
Although Piper was a Canadian, due to his Scottish heritage he was billed as being Scottish and coming from Glasgow and was known for his signature kilt and bagpipe entrance music. I could talk about the highs of his career all day but I think this will have been discussed again and again with the fact that Piper was very rightfully inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and has been named as the top villain in wrestling history by WWE as can be seen through the link below. This is amazing when you consider he beat out such impressive villains as Ric Flair and Classy"Freddie Blassie
Piper was more than just a wrestler though he also acted in  films and TV shows, including the lead role in the 1988 John Carpenter film They Live. He also had his own podcast and recently he was a representative for the anti bullying charity Stand for the Silent.

I was a  big big fan of Roddy Piper as a child even when he was considered a baddy, no matter what he did I still loved him, he was just an awesome nutty wild card of a fellow you honestly never knew what he would do or say next, he always seemed to keep every moment unpredictable. He was the wrestler I felt the most connection to, he was a Scot and I had Scottish heritage too, I didn't want to back a big meat head body builder like the British bulldog, Roddy was my guy in a sea of big American superstars. As an adult I would happily re-watch his matches and his Pipers pit segments, I followed his career and his life, happy to see him turn up to wrestle, sad when I heard he had gotten cancer. Hearing he had beaten cancer was a joyous moment, it was good to hear that he had faced it the same way he had faced everything else and had won the good fight.

I have recently enjoyed listening to his podcasts some of them have been really fun listening to him talk to other older wrestlers about there days on the road. The one with him and one of the bushwhackers being a highlight for me. I also think  They Live was and is an awesome film ahead of its time. I have fondness for Hell Comes to Frogtown and would recommend it to anyone who likes B movie cult films.

Rest in peace Hot Rod, you may be gone but you will never be forgotten.

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