Some thoughts on Roddy Piper

Hours later and I still can’t believe Roddy Piper has left us. I wish I could properly express my gratitude for the hours of entertainment Piper provided me as a kid. Watching pro wrestling, even when I was young, was a guilty pleasure. It wasn’t something I could discuss with my parents – who divorced when I was very young -- and they wouldn’t have gotten it anyway. It was my own personal comic book of heroes and anti-heroes and jobbers and villains and at the top of this insane mountain, was Roddy Piper.

I’ve always loved two kinds of pro wrestlers: Those who own the mic like Piper and Punk and Dusty and those who morphed between babyface and heel (which is why I loved Crow-era Sting). But Piper was truly my guy – the wrestler I loved above all -- because he straddled all of these worlds. He wasn’t built like Hogan or Lugar or any of the big muscle guys, he wasn’t a high-flyer like Macho or Steamboat, and he wasn’t a Giant like Andre. He looked like a normal, in-shape athletic guy but, man, what a performer. I’d watch his promos and come away mesmerized. The guy connected.

I know a lot of wrestling fans point to his Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka as the singular Piper moment but this promo is it for me.

This is the full Piper, sneering and mocking Gene Okerlund, bringing himself into full crazy-man froth, ad-libbing from the jump, including pouring an awful-looking drink over his head and bellowing, “I do exactly what I want to do. You say I’m insane. I say thank you very much.”

I probably repeatedly that line to my friends 1,000 times over the years. Man, he was the best. That promo ends with the iconic Piper send off (“That’s why I’m Roddy Piper – and you’re not.”) and I find myself watching it on repeat tonight.

Rest In Peace, Hot Rod. There will never be another one like you.

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