The A&E Network series Biography is featuring a number of professional wrestlers on its show. This week, the featured wrestler was the legendary “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Fans know that Piper, as the villain to Hulk Hogan’s hero, was instrumental in the birth of WrestleMania 1. However, there is much about Piper that was not common knowledge. Viewers learned a lot more about “Hot Rod” from this show.
When he became a star, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper tried to be pinned as little as possible.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper tried to lose as few matches as possible. He felt that by doing so, it would be more meaningful when it happened. Roddy lost the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Title cleanly to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 8 because Piper knew that it would help Hart get over.
For Roddy Piper, family came first.
Because of his troubled childhood, Piper’s family was most important to him. Piper would return home from the road and rent a hotel room so that he could recover from his wrestling injuries. He never wanted his kids to see him in pain. Once he was home, Piper’s only concern was being a good husband and father. The family filmed as much of their lives as they could so that he could see the kids while he was away, and see what he missed when he returned.
After signing with Georgia Championship Wrestling, Piper began his career there as a heel commentator.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper entered Georgia Championship Wrestling as a heel commentator who would ruffle the feathers of the babyface wrestlers. This would help him to generate heat. When the time was right, Piper engaged in physical confrontations inside of the ring.
Piper filled a notebook with quotes and sayings that he later incorporated into promos.
Piper’s ability to talk came from hours of preparation. Julius “Dr. J” Erving once said that a reverse dunk in a game was not dangerous because he had spent hours practicing the move. Piper approached promos much the same way. He would write down lines that he hoped to incorporate at some point or another, and he would use these thoughts when they best fit the circumstance.
Piper created the, “I have come to chew bubble gum and kick ass, but I’m all out of bubble gum” line and saved it for just the right time. John Carpenter liked the line and decided to use it in the movie ‘They Live.’
Piper was stabbed at least three times during his career.
Piper was such a successful heel during the kayfabe era of wrestling that the fans truly hated him. He was once severely stabbed in his chest. Another wrestler had to hold Piper’s wound closed. At the hospital, the doctor said that the blade missed Piper’s heart by 1/2 inch.
Because he had been stabbed multiple times, Piper wore a leather jacket that was he had lined with Kevlar.
Roddy Piper made a mistake that was almost very costly.
During the infamous Jimmy Snuka episode of Piper’s Pit, the WWF provided Piper with a gimmicked coconut for him to use as a weapon on Snuka. However, in the heat of the moment, Piper grabbed the wrong coconut and smashed it against the skull of “Superfly.” Surprisingly, Snuka sustained no injury. The two men were able to have an extended rivalry that drew considerable money for the company.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper had a third career after his wrestling days were over.
After wrestling and movies, Piper was able to forge a career as a stand-up comic in his later years. He worked with comedy writers and turned his professional wrestling road stories into a stand-up act. The move to comedy allowed Piper to continue performing in front of live crowds without the pain of taking bumps.
Piper sent Hulk Hogan a message from the grave.
Hogan told a story about how, after he found out that Piper has passed, he noticed that he had a voice mail message from “Hot Rod” on his phone. The message stated that Piper had seen “the light” and was walking with Jesus. Piper told Hogan that Piper loved Hogan and would be praying for him.
Piper did not want his kids in the business.
Roddy Piper did not want his kids to follow him in the business, but their children made their own decisions. Of his four children, two have entered the world of combat sports. His daughter Ariel Toombs became a professional wrestler, working under the name Teal Piper. She has appeared for AEW and SWE Fury. Roddy’s only son, Colt Toombs, attempted to make a name for himself in the world of MMA.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Sheamus fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of Sheamus and WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!