Roderick George Toombs was born in Saskatchewan on April 17th, 1954 and
raised in Winnipeg until pre-adolescence. However, in the world of
professional wrestling and realms of entertainment beyond, he will be
remembered as legendary Scottish hell raiser, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
The nickname, "Rowdy", was a name that he had earned long before he had
publicly adopted it. His formal education ended when the junior high school
that he attended expelled him. Even the institution of family was too
confining for the adventurous Roddy. After a fateful row with his father, he
soon found himself drifting on the wayward, youth hostel-ridden path that
would lead him to become the youngest professional wrestler in history at
Piper paid his initial major company dues working the lower rungs of the AWA,
Paul Boesch's NWA Houston promotion, and Fritz Von Erich's Big Time
Wrestling in Dallas. Piper's skills and personality turned a lot of heads
and he subsequently spent the mid-to-late 1970's in California rising
through the NWA ranks in Hollywood and San Francisco as a top heel. By the
time of his departure in 1979, he had enjoyed over ten reigns with various
After a successful stint in the Pacific Northwest, Piper spent the early
1980's in the Mid-Atlantic territory, where he defeated Jack Brisco. He also
began a multiyear perennial rivalry with Ric Flair. Piper was still as
"Rowdy" as ever, inside the ring and out, and he was eventually fired due to
lateness in 1982.
Piper entered the WWF in 1984 as an impressive upstart hotshot from the
regional territories. By the time he had first departed from the company in
1996, he had ended a run that left him with an internationally renowned
legacy shaped by the unforgettable work he accomplished as both a heel and a
babyface against opponents such as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka,
Adrian Adonis, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler and Bret Hart. His Wrestlemania VIII
appearance is still considered by many to be one of the best matches in
His WCW experience lasted four years and commenced with a PPV submission
victory over longtime rival Hulk Hogan, whom he defeated with the sleeper
hold. He took many hiatuses during this tenure and returned sporadically for
brief feuds with the top names in the company. This trend continued as he has
since reappeared twice in the WWE (not to mention a brief turn on NWA TNA in
between) to revive another quintessential career highlight: the Piper's Pit
interview segment. Piper's Pit played host to some of the most memorable
storyline incidents in WWE history, and paved the way for similar format
interview segments that continue to exist in various incarnations today.
Piper is married with four children and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
He will be starring as a U.S. Marshal in an upcoming horror film called
Sin-Jin Smyth, which will be the latest addition to his resume of over
forty film appearances. One of the most complex and versatile individuals
ever to grace the squared circle, Piper will always be known for his
bagpipes and the kilt as well as the blood and the sweat that he gave to
making the professional wrestling industry a more controversial and "Rowdy"
place for over thirty years.
- Michael Pantozzi