The wrestling world lost one of its most iconic figures on Thursday night when “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died in his sleep at his Hollywood home. Piper wrestled for smaller promotions at the beginning of his career and was a part of WCW in the late 1990’s, but he’s best known for his time in WWE.
Despite never holding the company’s top title, Piper was one of WWE’s biggest stars of the 1980’s. He was one of Hulk Hogan’s biggest rivals during the height of “Hulkamania,” facing wrestling’s top star in the main event of the first ever WrestleMania.
After tagging with Paul Orndorff against Hogan and Mr. T at WrestleMania I, Piper continued to have memorable matches at the year’s biggest event. He fought Mr. T in a boxing match at WrestleMania II, followed by what was thought to be Piper’s retirement match against Adrian Adonis at WrestleMania III. Five years later, Piper faced Bret Hart in what was probably his greatest ever WrestleMania match for the Intercontinental Championship. Piper’s WrestleMania 12 match with Goldust was unlike any in the event’s history, as the two wrestled in a “Hollywood Backlot Brawl.”
Piper was a one-time Intercontinental Champion, but many of his best moments came outside of the ring. Few wrestlers, if any, were as good as Piper on the mic. His talk show “Piper’s Pit” produced several iconic moments in WWE history, and his fiery promos were one of a kind.
One of the best heels the business has ever seen, Piper was an inspiration for a number of WWE superstars that came after him.
Below is a look at some of Piper’s greatest moments in WWE.