When I arrived home last Friday night, I was saddened to learn of the passing of professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. My initial instinct was to make a quick tribute post. But at the same time, I knew I would be sharing the recent outtakes video in the morning, and thought it inappropriate to write an off-topic article only to have it bumped down so soon. I was also grasping for words, to properly express this loss.
Growing up in the 1980’s, in New York, there was always baseball and arcade video games. There was of course the T&A naughty movies like Porky’s and Private School, watching Benny Hill late night on channel 9. And there was professional wrestling.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper played a larger than life character. He was a counter-culture iconoclast in every sense of the word. When the world was cheering Mr. Popularity Hulk Hogan, Piper mocked him. When the WWF was revolutionizing the sports entertainment industry with its Rock and Wrestling connection, Piper was right there boldly calling MTV “music to vomit by!” Always politically incorrect, Piper spoke his mind both in the theatre of wrestling and even as it expanded into the mainstream conscious.
I dug up some footage from the Saturday Night’s Main Event program that aired in 1987. This was just before Wrestlemania III, and a tribute was made for Piper, as his character was heading into a retirement match. Given the reality of his now passing, this video tribute is more compelling than anything else I have found. Set to the music of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, here is a fitting farewell to a legendary showman and athlete.