"Rowdy" Roddy Piper News - His Cause Of Death

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper debuted at the Winnipeg Arena as the youngest wrestler to ever set foot in the ring. Ten seconds after the bell rang, he was defeated by the legendary Larry “The Axe” Hennig. That night began his initiation into the sacred fraternity of the ring.

In 1984, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper entered the World Wrestling Federation with his kilt, bagpipes, and irascible manner. As manager to “Dr. D” David Schultz and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, Piper incited audiences and WWF Superstars alike from ringside and was never shy about inserting himself into a match. “Hot Rod” pushed the limits of what was considered decent and his appearances in the ring required WWF officials to employ a police presence at every arena he visited. Roddy evoked such anger from people he hired “Cowboy” Bob Orton as a bodyguard.

Determined to show the world that when he spoke people listened, he introduced a revolutionary segment to WWF programming called Piper’s Pit. Whether he pulled the microphone away from a guest as they answered a question or blindsided a guest with an unprovoked attack, his segment was a breeding ground for confrontation. This was never clearer than when he humiliated Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and viciously broke a coconut over his head.

Piper hit his stride during 1985’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection. Piper ruined Captain Lou Albano’s Gold Record award ceremony, kicked Cyndi Lauper in the head and knocked out her manager, David Wolff. This heinous act put all eyes on the first WrestleMania main event as Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” squared off against Mr. T and WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. With the world watching perhaps the biggest wrestling match of all-time, Piper stayed true to form when he deserted his partner and laid out referee Pat Patterson during his Madison Square Garden exit with bodyguard in tow. The lack of respect between Piper and Mr. T carried through to the next year and the two met in a boxing match at WrestleMania 2. Piper’s war with Hulk Hogan led to attendance reaching unprecedented numbers.

Months later, Piper returned to the WWF and changed his villainous ways. He soon entered into a debate with “Adorable” Adrian Adonis over which was the better show, Piper’s Pit or The Flower Shop. After an attack by Adonis, a Hair vs. Hair Match was set for WrestleMania III. Billed as Piper’s final match, Roddy defeated his foe with the help of Brutus Beefcake. When they shaved Adrian’s head and revived him, the colorful Adonis darted out of the ring.

Piper exited the World Wrestling Federation in a blaze of glory, but went directly to the silver screen in November 1988 in John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic They Live. Flooded with movie offers, Piper yearned for the energy that only the WWF could provide. At WrestleMania V, he silenced big mouth Brother Love and drove Morton Downey, Jr. from the ring. With Piper hotter than ever, WWF Superstars such as “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Dino Bravo and Bad News Brown looked to use him as a stepping stone to stardom. Piper’s conflict with Brown culminated at WrestleMania VI. Still an expert psychologist, Piper raced through the SkyDome to the ring with half of his body painted black.

In 1991, Roddy brought his brand of mayhem to the broadcast position on Prime Time Wrestling and pay-per-view events. On January 19, 1992, he won his first major title in the World Wrestling Federation by defeating The Mountie for the Intercontinental Championship. He lost to Bret “Hit Man” Hart a few months later at WrestleMania VIII.

By the mid-1990s, Roddy was a bona fide leading man in Hollywood and one of the most popular Superstars in the World Wrestling Federation. Whether he was a surprise special guest referee at WrestleMania X, or involved in a Backlot Brawl with Goldust at WrestleMania XII, “Hot Rod” brought audiences to their feet.

After a seven-year absence, Piper stunned fans in 2003 when he returned to the sports-entertainment organization—now known as WWE—at WrestleMania XIX during the Street Fight between Hulk Hogan and Mr. McMahon. On April 2, 2005, he was enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame. The next night at WrestleMania 21, he hosted a special Piper’s Pit with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as his guest. Since then, Piper has continued to appear on WWE programming and even captured the World Tag Team Championship on November 5, 2006 with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Three years later, Piper was part of the team that taught Chris Jericho a wrestling lesson after he blatantly disrespected the legends of professional wrestling. In 2010, Roddy inducted his friend, Wendi Richter, into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The WWE Universe even enjoyed a revival of Piper’s Pit, where WWE Superstars attempt to resolve their differences and receive a reality check from the Hall of Famer at the same time. The “Hot Rod” also stays busy co-host of WWE Vintage with “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

A Look At “Rowdy” Roddy Piper


A fifteen-year-old Roddy Piper was on the receiving end of a brutal ten-second beating in Winnipeg, Canada, courtesy of Larry “The Axe” Hennig. However, this scrappy newcomer and international Golden Gloves boxing champion would not be discouraged. Piper traveled up and down the West Coast for the better half of the 1970s, proving himself in the ring against names like Chavo Guerrero, Buddy Rose and “Killer” Tim Brooks. At one point he was even known as The Masked Canadian in Los Angeles, California. In 1980, Piper joined Jim Crockett’s NWA Mid-Atlantic promotion, where he battled the likes of Ric Flair, Wahoo McDaniel and Paul Jones. His storied feud with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, one of the most talked-about rivalries, reached its violent apex in 1983 at Starrcade. Piper and Valentine met in a ferocious Dog Collar match that would be regarded as one of the violent in the history of professional wrestling. Piper lost 75 percent of the hearing in his left ear, an injury that would continue to plague the legendary wrestler for the rest of his life.

In 1984, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper made his riotous debut in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), dressed in his signature kilt. Piper became one of wrestling’s most hated villains. His feuds were so violent that company officials added security around the ring in arenas across the country to prevent fan attacks. It reached a point where the tension became so great he had to enlist the services of “Cowboy” Bob Orton as his bodyguard. “Mean” Gene Okerlund once described Piper’s ego as “simply astounding in size.” During this era of mayhem, Piper also introduced the most influential and controversial television segment in the professional wrestling industry—Piper’s Pit. It was here that “Hot Rod” expressed his offensive views, applauded deplorable behavior and antagonized fan favorites to incite altercations. One of his more popular tactics was to ask his guest a question and, before the guest could answer, bring the microphone back to himself to continue his rant. Piper began a bloody feud with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka when, during an episode of Piper’s Pit, he made disparaging remarks about Snuka and his Samoan ancestors. When Snuka bent down to pick up a banana, a shameless Piper smashed the “Superfly” in the head with a coconut, knocking him out. The force was so great it sent Snuka through the show set and down to the floor. A crazed Piper added insult to injury by pummeling the fallen WWF Superstar until he was restrained by fellow wrestlers.

Piper’s revolting behavior did not reach its pinnacle until he was feuding with WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. This ongoing war was so consuming that even celebrities like Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T got caught in its violent groundswell. Piper and Hogan battled during The War to Settle the Score that aired live on MTV. This match ended in sheer bedlam and set the stage for an incredible WrestleMania main event as the lines were drawn in the sand. “The Rowdy One” and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff were set to go against Hogan and Mr. T. Both sides had men in their corner. Piper had his bodyguard “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and Hogan called upon friend and Piper archenemy Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. The match was fast and furious, and while the Piper-Hogan saga continued, a feud began between “Hot Rod” and Mr. T that reached a near boiling point. The match ended when “Mr. Wonderful” got accidentally clobbered in the head with Orton’s “protective” cast and was pinned for the three-count. With the world watching, Piper once again displayed his true nature, leaving Orndorff alone in the ring.

Throughout 1986, Piper tormented Mr. T and even appeared on the set of his hit TV show The A-Team. The two met in a boxing match at WrestleMania 2. Before the event, Piper sent a message to his opponent during an episode of Piper’s Pit, by shaving the head of Mr. T’s friend the Haiti Kid. Piper came to the ring with legendary trainer Lou Duva in his corner. The match went three rounds, and each man knocked the other to the canvas. As the contest continued, Piper displayed his infamous temper when he threw a stool at Mr. T and jawed derogatory remarks at his corner. Eventually, Piper was disqualified when he bodyslammed Mr. T, inciting a near riot in the ring.

Toward the end of the year, “Hot Rod” began to change some of his unpopular views and took aim at one-time allies. During an episode of The Flower Shop, show host “Adorable” Adrian Adonis took issue with Piper on his newfound attitude. Adonis attacked Piper; as he drew first blood, he had no idea of the fury that was going to be unleashed upon him. The two clashed at WrestleMania III in a Hair vs. Hair match that was billed as Piper’s final bout. Though the match saw the pendulum shift on several occasions, when “Hot Rod” was in serious trouble, he received help from an unexpected source. When Adonis had Piper in his “Good Night Irene” sleeper hold, he thought “The Hot Scot” was out cold. As Adonis prematurely celebrated in the ring, Brutus Beefcake ran in and revived “Hot Rod.” With Piper alert and back on his feet, the former Golden Gloves boxing champion rallied, slapping in his own version of the sleeper. As Adonis went goodnight, Piper helped introduce fans to the new incarnation of Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake as Beefcake shaved Adonis’ head. When he was awakened and Piper showed him his new look, Adonis fled the ring in disgust and humiliation.

As he promised, Piper left the World Wrestling Federation, but he did not stay out of the spotlight for too long. On November 4, 1988, Piper made his motion picture debut, starring in film director John Carpenter’s They Live. The movie became an instant sci-fi cult hit and established Piper as a star in Tinseltown.

Despite the fanfare that surrounded his movie career, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper couldn’t stay away from the ring. At WrestleMania V, “Hot Rod” hosted an episode of Piper’s Pit and squared off in a verbal brawl with two other controversial talk show hosts, Brother Love and Morton Downey, Jr. After embarrassing Brother Love, Piper became fed up with Downey blowing cigarette smoke in his face despite multiple requests to stop. “Hot Rod” found a way to shut the loudmouth up and put out his cigarette, dousing him with a fire extinguisher and showing fans that he is still “Rowdy.”

Piper soon returned to the World Wrestling Federation full-time and feuded with Bad News Brown. The two faced off at WrestleMania VI, and Toronto witnessed a brutal clash of fighting styles. Always the devil’s advocate, Piper showed he was an equal-opportunity pugilist when he sprinted down the SkyDome aisle with his body painted half-black. The two WWF Superstars fought tooth-and-nail in a wild altercation. Though the match ended in a double count-out, this marked the return of the “Hot Rod.” On wrestling’s grandest stage, Piper showed he hadn’t lost a step, or the myriad tricks that were always up his sleeve.

The early and mid-1990s saw Piper exhibit his amazing versatility as a Superstar for the World Wrestling Federation. Piper made his formal announcing debut when he got behind the broadcast booth. Then, on January 19, 1992, Piper won his first major title when he defeated The Mountie for the Intercontinental Championship in Albany, New York. Piper held the title for three months until he faced longtime friend and former Intercontinental Champion Bret “Hit Man’ Hart at WrestleMania VIII. After the two traded table turns, the referee was knocked out. When Piper returned to the ring with the timekeeper’s bell and raised it above his head, the capacity Hoosier Dome crowd almost collapsed in shock as “Hot Rod” stood over a bloodied “Hit Man.” Piper lost the match and the Intercontinental Championship, but the two friends embraced in the middle of the ring in a show of mutual respect and admiration.

At WrestleMania X, Piper was the special guest referee for a WWF Championship Match that saw Hart defeat the mighty Yokozuna. In 1996, after Gorilla Monsoon was injured at the hands of Vader, Piper became the the Interim President of the World Wrestling Federation. One of his great achievements in while in office was at WrestleMania XII, when he defeated Goldust in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl. Shortly after his victory at the event, Piper parted ways with the WWF.

On October 27, 1996, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper shocked the world when he appeared for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) at Halloween Havoc and confronted his supreme nemesis, Hulk Hogan. The circumstances that surrounded their standoff were dramatically different this time. “The Hulkster” was now the loathsome Hollywood Hogan, leader of the nWo, or New World Order if you will. The “Hot Rod” was the beloved figure that resonated with an entire generation of wrestling fans. The rekindled feud was to settle who was the true icon of professional wrestling.

The two icons faced off in the main event of WCW’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year, Starrcade, on December 29, 1996. Piper beat Hogan with a sleeper hold—he did not capture the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Hogan since it was a non-title match. Piper challenged Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at SuperBrawl VII on February 23, 1997, but was defeated.

With Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen battling the nWo, Piper formed an alliance with his longtime rival in the spring to help fend off the nefarious faction. The two legends would eventually feud before “Hot Rod” disappeared from the scene. He briefly returned in the fall and defeated Hogan in a Steel Cage Match at Halloween Havoc on October 26, 1997—once again, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was not at stake.

Piper continued to pop in and out of WCW until 2000, when his contract was terminated. The organization ceased to exist after being sold to the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001.

After parting ways with WCW, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper appeared at select independent events before he once again shocked the wrestling world by returning to Vince McMahon’s organization—now known as WWE—in 2003. At WrestleMania XIX, “Hot Rod” bum-rushed the ring during the Street Fight between Hulk Hogan and McMahon (competing under the name Mr. McMahon) and laid out both men before he quickly exited Safeco Field. Shortly thereafter, he resurrected Piper’s Pit and aligned himself with Sean O’Haire. His run, however, was brief and he parted ways with the company in June.

In 2005, Piper was awarded the ultimate honor. On April 2, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with fellow legends who helped usher in rebellion to the professional wrestling industry. The following night at WrestleMania 21, “Hot Rod” hosted a special episode of Piper’s Pit with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as his guest. Since then Piper has made surprise appearances at WWE live events around the world, including WWE Homecoming on October 3, 2005 with “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley as his special guest on Piper’s Pit.

Fans just never knew when “The Hot Scot” would appear, or what would happen. One thing fans could be sure of is to expect the unexpected. “Hot Rod” is one of the WWE legends who has fomented as much hatred as a villain as he inspired love as a hero. Adored by many, hated by a few and respected by all—no one will ever top “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper Passes Away


Rowdy Roddy Piper

July 31, 2015 – Just months after the death of one WWE Hall of Famer, Dusty Rhodes, wrestling fans are dealing with the death of another legend. TMZ reports “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at age 61.

TMZ said in its piece Piper died as a result of cardiac arrest, a report confirmed by his rep.

Wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at the age of 61… TMZ Sports has learned.

Piper — born Roderick George Toombs — died from cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood at around noon Friday.

Piper was a wrestling icon — one of the biggest stars in the WWE back in the ’80s, and even wrestled in “Wrestlemania I” back in 1985 … squaring off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.

Roddy’s rep tells us, “I am devastated at this news.”

“Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all.”

Piper was largely known as one of the greatest heels in all of professional wrestling, popularized by his ability to talk and his intensity inside and outside of the ring. His “Piper’s Pit” segments were among the most popular in-ring segments ever produced, often helping propel other stars in the process.

His last full involvement with WWE, outside of a few appearances here and there, was as a cast of WWE Legends’ House, where he was primarily focused on as the main character.

As noted by TMZ, Piper struggled with Hodgkins Lymphoma, which put him in poor health at times. However, the indication was he was fully in the clear and was in good health.

Bret Hart Reacts To “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s Death


August 1, 2015 – The wrestling community is in mourning over the death of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who according to TMZ.com, died from cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood, California on Thursday night. He was discovered on Friday. Fellow WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart shared his thoughts on the passing of the legendary wrestler, who, like Hulk Hogan, considered him to be his best friend in the professional wrestling industry.

He wrote on Instagram and Facebook, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career.

“In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me, a brother who loved me and was there for me through my darkest days.

“He was the only wrestler to come visit me when I suffered a stroke in 2002. He totally made me at Wrestlemania 8 in our classic match. Passing a torch that many from that era couldn’t conceive of doing.

I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me, a brother who loved me and was there for me through my darkest days. He was the only wrestler to come visit me when I suffered a stroke in 2002. He totally made me at Wrestlemania 8 in our classic match. Passing a torch that many from that era couldn’t conceive of doing. We always called each other “cuz” because we were so close. I loved you Roddy, and I’ll miss you and your laugh for the rest of my days. I’m stunned and the hole in my heart will widen as it sinks in that I lost a brother of such great worth. What a tragic loss to all that knew him.

A photo posted by Bret (@brethitmanhart) on

“We always called each other “cuz” because we were so close. I loved you Roddy, and I’ll miss you and your laugh for the rest of my days. I’m stunned and the hole in my heart will widen as it sinks in that I lost a brother of such great worth. What a tragic loss to all that knew him.”

Updated Details On The Death Of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper


Rowdy Roddy Piper

August 1, 2015 – Just weeks after the death of one WWE Hall of Famer, Dusty Rhodes, wrestling fans are dealing with the death of another legend. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at the age of 61.

TMZ initially reported that Piper died around noon on Friday from cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood, California. The report now says that he died from cardiac arrest in his sleep on Thursday night and was found unresponsive on Friday.

Piper had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, but last November he said he was cancer free. A family source told TMZ he was “cancer free” at the time of his death.

Piper was largely known as one of the greatest heels in all of professional wrestling, popularized by his ability to talk and his intensity inside and outside of the ring. His “Piper’s Pit” segments were among the most popular in-ring segments ever produced, often helping propel other stars in the process.

His last full involvement with WWE, outside of a few appearances here and there, was as a cast of WWE Legends’ House, where he was primarily focused on as the main character.

Piper is survived by his wife Kitty and their 4 kids—including three daughters and son Colton who’s pursuing a career in professional wrestling.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s Cause Of Death Revealed


Rowdy Roddy Piper

August 19, 2015 – The cause of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s sudden death at 61 has been confirmed.

His death certificate, obtained by TMZ.com, states that the WWE Hall of Famer died of a heart attack triggered by a pulmonary embolism in his lungs on July 31, 2015.

Piper, who is survived by his wife Kitty and four children, was found dead that day in his home in Hollywood, California. He died in his sleep.

Piper was a professional wrestler for 45 years, the record confirms, and had a history of high blood pressure and hypertension, which is a known cause of clotting. He was previously diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, though last November he declared was cancer free.

Piper’s death certificate, which TMZ has posted, can be seen here.