Almost a week ago we said goodbye to a true wrestling legend when Roddy Piper sadly passed away. There will be many eulogies that will summarise the man and his achievements far more eloquently than I ever could so I wanted to write something different as a tribute.
I am always conscious that wrestling is for everyone and that some of our readers will be far too young to remember his immense talents, I myself am a little to young to remember Piper when he was one of the greatest in the world at the turn of the 1980s. Therefore I have put together a handy list of some of his best or most memorable matches available on the WWE Network so that people young and old can remember the outrageous and entertaining character that was "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
I have made the below spoiler free for those who don't know or can't remember the outcome.
Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (Collar Match)
Where to find: Shows > PPV > WCW > Starrcade '83
Gimmick matches may be the norm these days but this match pre-ECW and TLC, which saw Piper and Valentine wearing spiked collars and chained to each other by the neck, was seen as the height of extreme at the time. As you can expect the chain was used throughout by both as a vicious weapon and both men were busted wide open in what JR would describe as a "good old-fashioned slobber-knocker" and Piper was legitimately left deaf in one ear after this. Bloody, brutal, beautiful, barbaric brawling. Think the complete opposite of Dean Malenko vs Steve Regal.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs Hulk Hogan and Mr T
Where to find: Shows > PPV > WWE> WrestleMania 1
Yes WrestleMania, "the grandaddy of them all" was first headlined by Piper evidence in itself of his status in wrestling's history books. He was undoubtedly on of the top five wrestlers of the eighties and here "Hot Rod" was in his brilliant full heel mode. This encounter was voted "Match Of The Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated and still stands up today despite the terrible Mr T's involvement, it even has Muhammed Ali.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs Bruno Sammartino
Where to find: Shows > Vault > Old School > 1985 > Boston Garden 12/7/85
Another slugfest from the old-school, here ageing legend Sammartino was after revenge after Piper had insulted him during one of the legendary Piper's Pit segments. Again, not a wrestling classic, it was again a bloody affair and it also included a vintage heel performance from "Hot Rod". They don't make 'em like this anymore kids.
Roddy's Rowdies (Piper, Jimmy Snuka and The Bushwhackers) vs The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr Perfect and The Fabulous Rogeaus)
Where to find: Shows > PPV > WWE> Survivor Series 1989
Roddy Piper and Rick Rude had been fierce rivals ever since Piper distracted Rude in his match against The Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam which cost him the Intercontinental title. Here the two face off as part of a traditional 4 vs 4 elimination match. A match bursting at the seams with WWE legends.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs Ric Flair
Where to find: Shows > Vault > Old School > 1991 > MSG 28/10/91
Two of the biggest superstars of the 1980s face off in the historic setting of Madison Square Garden. By this time Piper was a face and Flair, accompanied by Booby Heenan very much a heel. Would the combination of their two evil minds and dirty tactics prove too much for "Hot Rod"?
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs The Mountie (Intercontinental Title Match) and The Royal Rumble match
Where to find: Shows > PPV > WWE> Royal Rumble 1992
This was a night when Piper could become both Intercontinental and World Heavyweight champion in the same night. Here he faced The Mountie for his IC belt and later he was entered into the Royal Rumble itself which was for the vacant championship. Was he to be victorious in one, both or leave empty handed?
Enjoy the memories and RIP Roddy Piper