The wrestling world was shocked with the death of Rowdy Roddy Piper today, who passed away from cardiac arrest at the age of 61.
Piper made his wrestling debut in 1969 at the age of 15 and worked his way to the AWA in 1973. In 1975 he joined the NWA where he spent five years there before moving to Georgia Championship Wrestling and Mid-Atlantic in 1980 for three years.
In 1984 he joined the WWF full time and became one of the most hated heels in WWF history, first feuding with Jimmy Snuka and cracking the coconut on his head and then moving in a feud with Hulk Hogan, leading to the WrestleMania I main event between himself and Mr Wonderful vs Hogan and Mr T.
Piper then turned face and wrestled Adrian Adonis at WrestleMania III which was billed as his retirement match. Hot Rod returned in 1989 at WrestleMania V and stayed there till 1992, feuding with Bad News Brown, the Million Dollar Man, The Mountie, Ric Flair, and Bret Hart.
After a two year absence, he returned at WrestleMania X to referee the main event and after transitioning to commentary and a feud with Goldust, Piper left the WWF to move to WCW.
A five year stint in WCW saw Piper resuming his Feud with Hogan, Ric Flair, the nWo, and others.
Piper went back to WWE in 2003 but his stint didn’t last long and then returned in 2005 when he was announced as part of the Hall of Fame that year. Piper made several appearances for the company over a 10 year period, appearing at pay-per-views and televised events. He was also part of the Legends House reality show which aired on the WWE Network last year.
In late 2006 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma but managed to beat cancer a few years later.
Piper last appeared on WWE television at WrestleMania 31 during a backstage segment involving Daniel Bryan and other WWE Legends.
During his time in WWE, Piper won the World Tag Team titles once with Ric Flair, and the Intercontinental title once as well.