Roderick George Toombs, AKA Roddy Piper, passed away on July 30th, 2015, at age 61, due to cardiac arrest. First, we lost Dusty Rhodes, and now we lose Roddy Piper. How am I supposed to deal with that? Why would you take Roddy from us, you bastard?!?!
I can only assume that the big man is a classic wrestling fan, and up in Heaven right now, he’s got Roddy going over Macho Man Randy Savage and Dusty Rhodes in a Triple Threat. That started as a joke, obviously, but if it’s real, then that is absolutely what I want to see when I walk through the pearly gates.
All three of them back in their prime, and going at it in a packed arena.
NOTE: While looking for anything involving Piper, Macho, and Dusty – I found this.
Okay, I have to focus up. It’s time to pay homage to Roddy. My earliest memory of him comes from when I was a young kid. I loved wrestling. Still do – obviously. To satiate this love, I started collecting the old WrestleMania VHS tapes.
Somewhere along the way, I picked up the 8th Showcase of the Immortals, where Roddy wrestled Bret Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. They put on the best match that night, with Savage vs Flair coming in at a very close second.
Man, nobody cut a better promo than Roddy, huh?
Speaking of which, if we are going to pay tribute to the man, then we have to include Piper’s Pit. Obviously, I’m going to start with his Jimmy Snuka interview, but I’ll try and find a “best of” video to along with it.
NOTE: Never mind. I have found an edition of Piper’s Pit from January 6th, 2014, featuring The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns). I’ve wanted to see this for a while.
Let’s watch it together.
That was great. I’m sure Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns, and CM Punk were all thrilled with that segment. If you’re wondering why Punk is included there – then you should watch the segment, bro. We’re paying tribute to Roddy Piper.
If you don’t watch everything linked in this post, then you shouldn’t be reading it.
Moving on – let’s get the Piper vs Valentine Dog Collar Match up in here. This match was so good, that they ruined the concept for me. Every time a match like this is scheduled, all I can think is –
“Why should I give a damn? It’s not going to be better than Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine.”
NOTE: I can’t find the match itself. I have found this video, though. In it, you can hear about the match from the two men who were actually in the ring.
If you want to see the match – hit the WWE Network, and head to Starrcade 1983. It’s the third to last bout on the card, and it is downright brutal. It’s 16 minutes of Piper and Valentine beating the ever-loving hell out of each other.
There’s a reason that Roddy Piper was considered one of the toughest mamma jammas in the history of the business – because he was. Dude had gigantic balls of steel. He talks about Savage coming up hard in that first video I posted, but things weren’t too easy on, “The Rowdy One,” either.
He dealt with a rocky paternal relationship when he was younger. At one point, he even left home, staying in various youth hostels to get by. I’m sure he did plenty of fighting during that time.
Here’s the thing: I don’t really know what else to say about the man. I never knew Roderick Toombs personally, but I knew Roddy Piper as well as anyone else in my life. I’m not often bummed out by the passing of a public figure, but the loss of Piper has me deep down in the dumps. He will be missed.
Rest In Peace, Roddy Piper.
For the last link of this piece, I have chosen what is arguably the greatest moment that Piper ever had on the silver screen:
I hope they have plenty of bubblegum in Heaven.
One more time for the cheap seats – RIP “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Your work will live on for years and years in the hearts of your many, many fans (myself included).