Roderick George Toombs (17 April 1954 – 31 July 2015), was better known as ”Rowdy” Roddy Piper. He was a Canadian professional wrestler. Piper was most well-known to international audiences for the work that he did with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, which is now WWE) as well as the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) between almost 1984 and 2000.
Even though he was Canadian, owing to his Scottish heritage he was promoted as coming from Glasgow and was quite well known for his signature kilt and bagpipe entrance music. Piper got the nicknames “Rowdy” and “Hot Rod” by showing off his trademark “Scottish” short temper, freedom, and quick wit. According to The Daily Telegraph, Piper is “considered by many as the greatest ‘heel’ (or villain) wrestler ever”.
Here are a couple of things that you probably didn’t know about the late Roddy Piper.
Expelled From School And Walked Away From Family
Like most of the professional and famous wrestlers out there, Roddy Piper also had an eventful early life. Piper was expelled from high school at a young age. He then went on to have an altercation with his father which made him walk away from his family. He spent his teenage years in youth hostels and did some odd jobs to earn a living.
His Wrestling Debut
Piper made his pro wrestling debut at the age of 15 in 1969 against Larry Hennig (father of Mr Perfect and grandfather or Curtis Axel). His final match came 42 years later in 2011 when he teamed with Bob Orton Jr (father of Randy Orton) and the two defeated hardcore legends, Mick Foley and Terry Funk. Piper and Orton had first met up in 1985 when Piper recruited Orton to be his bodyguard in his feud against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
He Has Something In Common With Chuck Norris
What is common between Chuck Norris and Roddy Piper? They were both trained up by the same instructor. Gene LeBell, who trained Chuck Norris in Mixed Martial arts, also trained Roddy Piper in Judo. LeBell is a 10th degree red belt when it comes to Judo and a 9th degree black belt when it comes to jujutsu. Though Norris and Piper did not train together, having the same instructor is a big thing indeed. And another famous student of Gene LeBell is none other than Ronda Rousey, so it’s like hitting the jackpot with online gambling NZ, only with trainers!
His Famous Name Was Not Planned
Roddy Piper is not only cult name in the wrestling industry, but his name also rolls off the tongue very well. One might think that a lot of thought would go into a name like that, however it was the exact opposite. The Roddy Piper name was really created at a moment’s notice.
During one of his earlier matches, the ring announcer just knew Roddy’s name and referenced a nearby bagpiper, calling him Roddy The Piper. That is how the Roddy Piper name came into being, though the Rowdy portion of his character was still a short way off.