It is weird how life works. A little over five weeks ago we lost an American Dream. Now we have lost a wrestling icon. But even more than that Roddy Piper was the prototype for those that transcended sports entertainment and became pop-culture icons.

There would be no Broken Skull Challenge for Steve Austin or box office blockbusters for Dwayne Johnson if Roddy Piper had not made pathways in Hollywood for professional wrestlers. His role in John Carpenter’s “They Live” showed that wrestlers were more than meatheads, they could be actors.

But it wasn’t just on the silver screen that Roddy Piper could captivate an audience, he did so in the ring as well. It is often said that without a Ying can be no Yang. And without Piper there would’ve been no Hogan, no Rock N’ Wrestling Connection and no WWF expansion in the 1980s. You may think that’s an exaggeration but it’s true. If Hogan didn’t have a dynamic foil to play off of WWE’s attempt to go national would’ve fell flat on its face. Piper’s smarmy yet charismatic delivery was the perfect counterbalance to Hulk’s over-the-top Boy Scout nature. Superman needs his Lex Luthor. Roddy was the blasting cap that made Hulk Hogan explode on the mainstream. Would WWE have done well without Hot Rod? Sure. But maybe not as well. It was lightning in a bottle. It will never be re-created again.

WWE also struck gold with Piper’s Pit. The off-the-cuff interview series frAs with any creative personality, passion for what they do sometimes causing them a detriment and I can be the same for Roddy. A kid fighting on the streets when he was 15 he saw the wrestling industry as a fraternity. He would openly say that promoters take advantage of the workers in the company. He probably got fired from WWE more than most.om the Rowdy Scotsman was nothing that had ever been seen before. WWE has attempted to re-create the success multiple times but nobody has the personality of Roddy Piper and they never will.

As with any creative personality, passion for what they do sometimes causing them a detriment and I can be the same for Roddy. A kid fighting on the streets when he was 15 he saw the wrestling industry as a fraternity. He would openly say that promoters take advantage of the workers in the company. He probably got fired from WWE more than most.

Famously in an interview with Bob Costas, Piper would take Vince McMahon to task for issues with wrestler deaths in 2003. This would lead to a two-year exile from the company for Hot Rod. Say what you want about The Rowdy Scotsman he was a man of principle. He had his code. Sometimes it would cost him millions. But he showed that he wasn’t going to compromise himself for just the almighty dollar. Take for example, Piper and the Portland area. For years while he was working for WWF and WCW you would not work on Portland events out of respect for promoter Don Owen who gave him his first big break. It was only after he got Owen permission that he competed for other promotions. In the last two years Piper even tried to revive the territory with his son Colt to show respect for the place where he became a man.

I met Roddy Piper once. It was during Wrestlemania 25 weekend. For man that was so high strung on screen he was the sweetest man I ever met. He kissed me on the forehand. I will never forget that moment as long as I live.

In a famous Piper’s Pit , the tartan wearing titan said just when you think you have the answers I change the questions and I think that pretty much sums up a man like Roddy Piper. He always changed the conventions that people expected from a wrestler but still having respect for the medium he came from. Up until last year, Roddy would not even mention the word bump. He still believed in the legitimacy of the sport.

There will never be another Roddy Piper. You can’t throw rocks at someone holding a machine gun. Roddy Piper Rest in Peace my friend.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.