I would love to tell you that my first experience with Roddy Piper was with his time as a wrestler, but damn it, it was watching “They Live.” Yes, the movie that basically turned Piper in to a bonafide action star is the movie I knew Piper from, originally. I must have watched “They Live” a billion times on television when I was a child. As Nada, Roddy Piper was a force to be reckoned with, and it was an easy role to fit in to, mainly because Piper was a grade A entertainer who knew how to act. Sure he didn’t act on films or TV shows in his early days, but he played a character, and he was damn good at what he did.
He was the baby face for a while, then the heel, and became known as the loud mouth of the WWF for a very long time. It was through my mom and uncle I was able to study up on Piper and see what he contributed to the world of wrestling entertainment. Not many people know this, but for a very long time I was a humongous wrestling fan. From the time I was old enough to walk well into my late teen years, I watched WWF religiously, and Piper was one of my favorites. He was a loud mouth, he was obnoxious, he was sarcastic, and he knew how to ruffle feathers.
As the wrestler and entertainer “The Hot Rod” was one of a kind and in a league of his own. That’s hard to do when you’re around people like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. Piper was on my radar for many years after I stopped watching wrestling and I followed just about everything he did. And you know what? I enjoyed most of the entertainment he had to offer audiences, too. I loved his movies with Billy Blanks, I thought “Jungle Ground” was pretty damn fun, and I found his turn as a bad guy in “No Contest” to be a highlight of the nineties.
Roddy Piper could do anything. He could do comedy, action, horror, he could wrestle, he could inspire, he could rally people around him. He was an icon, and he was one of my many childhood influences growing up. I had his action figure as a child and it was definitely one of my favorites to play with. I never had the pleasure of meeting the man, but I followed his Twitter much like I followed his career, and it made me happy to see how much he affected so many people from near and far. No matter what, Rowdy Roddy Piper will live on forever. He seemed to aim for immortality and by god he achieved it. He’ll live on as Nada, the Hot Rod, the host of Piper’s Pit, and most importantly, Roddy Piper.
Thanks for all the years of laughs, thrills, and excitement, Roddy. May you rest in peace.