Roddy Piper (Rodderick Toombs) was an actor as well as a wrestler; my justification for this post. 🙂 And though he starred in B movies for the most part, we’ll never forget that winning line, “I’m here for two reasons…”
He was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and not just in my opinion. It’s a well known fact in the wrestling world. Oddly though, he wasn’t highly skilled with regards to holds and technique like Curt Hennig or Daniel Bryan. He wasn’t a physical specimen like Hulk Hogan or Andre the Giant. He didn’t have that magnetic star-quality like The Rock or John Cena. What made him great? There are many reasons, but the biggest one in my mind is that Roddy Piper wore his emotions on his sleeve and allowed that to guide his performance. When he was angry, hurt, excited, riled up—you felt it. For me as a 14-year-old, his great moments were my great moments. I found myself mimicking some of this mannerisms in everyday life. I didn’t idolize him, I respected and admired him.
Usually it takes a great heel to make a good guy look good. Piper did that with such ease he had the entire world hating him in the early-mid 80’s. But when he was a good guy (babyface), he almost didn’t need a heel. Anything he did to “get” the villain was a “YEAH!!” moment.
Speaking of which, my favourite Piper moment is a three-way tie between his match with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania VIII, his Piper’s Pit interview with Morton Downey Jr. at Wrestlemania V, and his boxing match with Mr. T at Wrestlemania II. T was one of the most celebrated TV stars of 1986, but not only did Piper outshine him in the bout, by the end of it the crowd started to cheer for him, and he was the heel. “Roddy! Roddy! Roddy!”
He is my favourite wrestler of all time and I’m so sad he’s gone. We’ll miss you Hotrod. Cue the bagpipes.