Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rowdy Roddy Piper

Roderick "Roddy" George Toombs (born April 17, 1954), better known by his ring name "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, is a Canadian semi-retired professional wrestler and film actor who is currently signed to WWE. In professional wrestling, he is best known for his work with WWE. Although he is Canadian, due to his Scottish heritage, he was billed as coming from Glasgow in Scotland and was known for his signature kilt and bagpipe entrance music. He earned the nickname "Rowdy" by displaying his trademark "Scottish" rage, spontaneity and quick wit. Despite being a crowd favorite for his rockstar-like persona, he often played the villain. He was also nicknamed "Hot Rod". Never a world champion, he accumulated thirty-four championships in various promotions during his career. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Piper told Arda Ocal of The Score Television Network in an interview that before entering the World Wrestling Federation full time in 1984, Piper had a match with the WWWF under Vince McMahon Sr in the mid 70s at Madison Square Garden. As a rib to Piper, Freddie Blassie stuffed his bagpipes with toilet paper, so they wouldn't play in front of the Garden crowd. Piper was not invited back for several years.

Later that year, he was given his own interview segment called Piper's Pit, in which he talked to other superstars and which frequently ended in a fight between Piper and his guest. The Piper's Pit segments helped create the feuds Piper had with other wrestlers. According to Piper's autobiography, Piper's Pit was completely unscripted and was in fact so popular that it was taken on the road. In addition to pleasing many of his fans who wanted to see the Pit in person, it accomplished other things: it gave Piper the opportunity to heal some nagging injuries while still retaining his heat with the fans. An early guest on Piper's Pit was his Mid-Atlantic nemesis Valentine, who also arrived to the WWF. In a rare occurrence for WWF programming at the time, the two made reference to their history in the rival organization and hinted at rekindling it, but as the two were now top villains, they both agreed that they had mutual respect for each other, and it was left at that. In one Piper's Pit, Piper had an interview with Jimmy Snuka. Piper started insulting Snuka's Polynesian heritage by bringing out pineapples, bananas, and dropping coconuts onto the table; this was to make Snuka "feel at home" in an act of "remorse" after Snuka was not given much time to speak the previous times he was on Piper's Pit. Snuka took offense to this and Piper then attacked Snuka by smashing him over the head with a coconut and shoving a banana in his face. He followed this up by whipping Snuka with his belt. Snuka was legitimately knocked woozy allowing Piper to leave before Snuka, now seriously enraged, could fight back. This incident led to a long feud between the two. Piper also insulted Bruno Sammartino during a Piper's Pit which led to a feud between the two, ending in a steel cage match which Piper lost.

Another feud, this time between Piper and Hulk Hogan erupted soon after and became what was at the time the highest-profile feud in wrestling history, thanks to the involvement of pop singer Cyndi Lauper, where Piper kicked Lauper in the head—and even attacked Captain Lou Albano—with Hogan seeking revenge as a result. In 1985, MTV broadcast The War to Settle the Score, featuring a main-event matchup between Piper and Hogan, who was accompanied to the ring by Albano, Lauper, and Mr. T. This event set up the very first WrestleMania, which pitted Piper and Paul Orndorff against Hogan and Mr. T. Orndorff was pinned by Hogan when Piper's bodyguard "Cowboy" Bob Orton interfered and mistakenly struck Orndorff instead of Hogan with his trademark "injured" arm covered in a plaster cast. In Born to Controversy, Piper recalled how he had to keep Mr. T busy with tie-ups and other shoot wrestling moves to keep Mr. T's lack of wrestling ability from being seen by the fans, thus ruining the match. From this situation, Piper and Mr. T's real-life relationship became hostile, leading to the inevitable conclusion that they be put into a feud with one another. It was on Right After Wrestling in March 2011, hosted by Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas, that Piper explained why WrestleMania didn't feature a 1-on-1 main event. He said it was because that match happened at the War to Settle the Score, before the WrestleMania event actually happened.Piper once again faced Mr. T, this time alone, in a boxing match at WrestleMania 2 in 1986. Piper lost the match by disqualification after bodyslamming Mr. T.

No comments: