Name: Roddy Piper
Year Inducted: 2007
Induction Category: Modern Era

Roddy Piper

Roderick George Toombs was born in Saskatchewan on April 17th, 1954 and raised in Winnipeg until pre-adolescence. However, in the world of professional wrestling and realms of entertainment beyond, he will be remembered as legendary Scottish hell raiser, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

The nickname, "Rowdy", was a name that he had earned long before he had publicly adopted it. His formal education ended when the junior high school that he attended expelled him. Even the institution of family was too confining for the adventurous Roddy. After a fateful row with his father, he soon found himself drifting on the wayward, youth hostel-ridden path that would lead him to become the youngest professional wrestler in history at age 15.

Piper paid his initial major company dues working the lower rungs of the AWA, Paul Boesch's NWA Houston promotion, and Fritz Von Erich's Big Time Wrestling in Dallas. Piper's skills and personality turned a lot of heads and he subsequently spent the mid-to-late 1970's in California rising through the NWA ranks in Hollywood and San Francisco as a top heel. By the time of his departure in 1979, he had enjoyed over ten reigns with various titles.

After a successful stint in the Pacific Northwest, Piper spent the early 1980's in the Mid-Atlantic territory, where he defeated Jack Brisco. He also began a multiyear perennial rivalry with Ric Flair. Piper was still as "Rowdy" as ever, inside the ring and out, and he was eventually fired due to lateness in 1982.

Piper entered the WWF in 1984 as an impressive upstart hotshot from the regional territories. By the time he had first departed from the company in 1996, he had ended a run that left him with an internationally renowned legacy shaped by the unforgettable work he accomplished as both a heel and a babyface against opponents such as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Adrian Adonis, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler and Bret Hart. His Wrestlemania VIII appearance is still considered by many to be one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history.

His WCW experience lasted four years and commenced with a PPV submission victory over longtime rival Hulk Hogan, whom he defeated with the sleeper hold. He took many hiatuses during this tenure and returned sporadically for brief feuds with the top names in the company. This trend continued as he has since reappeared twice in the WWE (not to mention a brief turn on NWA TNA in between) to revive another quintessential career highlight: the Piper's Pit interview segment. Piper's Pit played host to some of the most memorable storyline incidents in WWE history, and paved the way for similar format interview segments that continue to exist in various incarnations today.

Piper is married with four children and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. He will be starring as a U.S. Marshal in an upcoming horror film called Sin-Jin Smyth, which will be the latest addition to his resume of over forty film appearances. One of the most complex and versatile individuals ever to grace the squared circle, Piper will always be known for his bagpipes and the kilt as well as the blood and the sweat that he gave to making the professional wrestling industry a more controversial and "Rowdy" place for over thirty years.

- Michael Pantozzi

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