In a world where only the good die young, the best died way too young this morning. Professional wrestler and actor Roderick Toombs, known the world over as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper passed away in his sleep as the result of cardiac arrest.
Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Toombs made his pro wrestling debut in Winnipeg at age 15, making his debut against Larry "The Axe" Hennig. He would eventually making his way to America, where he landed a gig with the American Wrestling Association, which ran from 1973 to 1975. He would move onto to the rival National Wrestling Alliance in 1975 and finally to the World Wrestling Federation in 1983.
Piper would prove himself to be one of the greatest talents in the world of professional wrestling, with success as an in ring performer, manager and commentator throughout his career. Piper's wrestling career apexed at Wrestlemania I, when Piper teamed with "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff to take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. The match would be decided when Piper's "bodyguard", "Cowboy" Bob Orton hit Orndoff by mistake and allowing Hogan and Mr. T to get the victory. In later interviews, Piper would tell how he spent the match helping to cover T's lack of wrestling ability. These statements would lead to hostility between the two later in their lives.
Outer Limits and RoboCop. But his greatest success came in the cult classic movie They Live!, directed by John Caprenter. Piper would appear in over 50 movies and TV series. His most recent appearances on
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and three as yet unreleased projects.
Many remember Piper as a tireless fighter, who recovered from severe injuries suffered in a 2005 car crash and then defeating Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2006/2007. Piper would then return to the ring to team with old nemesis Ric Flair to win the pair's final titles, the WWE Tag Team Championship. But, I choose to remember Roddy Piper as a true professional, who befriended a green horn rookie wrestler and after they worked together for the first time, set the kid down to not only tell him what he did wrong in the match, but to equally praise him for everything he did right. Piper would repeat this every time the pair's paths crossed, whether they were working a match together or not.
There is one incredible wrestling card in heaven tonight, and God just brought home one hell of a main-eventer. Rest in peace Roderick Toombs, the likes of you will not pass this way again. Roderick Toombs was survived by his wife Kitty, three daughters (Ariel, Anastacia and Falon), one son (Colton) and one grandchild. Toombs was 62.
Rowdy Roddy Piper's age could not be confirmed.