Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Guest Blog: Rock 'N Piper

Piper on Rock 'n Wrestling was as important as he was in the regular narrative
Screen Grab via Behind the Voice Actor
Joey O. is a Philadelphia wrestling bon vivant and also a DJ for Y-Not Internet Radio. He's here to share his thoughts and recollections on Hot Rod.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper was my first favorite wrestler growing up, and yes it was entirely rooted in his role as the leader of the heels on Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling. While I remember Hulkamania being omnipresent in the mid-80s, Piper has always been burned in my brain as my favorite, pretty much entirely thanks to that show (and the array of those giant rubber LJN toys my friend Sean and his brother had scattered around their house... I'm almost positive they had Piper).

Oddly, I barely saw him in the ring back then, since I didn't really watch the WWF until the Warrior-HBK-Taker era of the late '80s/early '90s. Of course I eventually saw his attention-grabbing charisma and obnoxiousness on the mic; always with that smirk that showed how much he loved stirring the pot while simultaneously entertaining the fans. After I signed up for the Network last year, I watched the Roddy Piper Story documentary, which I highly recommend, as it really gives you the full scope of his career.

How many times has WWE shown Piper saying, "Mr. Dow-ney" and blasting a fire extinguisher in Morton Downey Jr.'s face? (Why was that guy famous again?) The Snuka-in-Piper's Pit coconut attack is unquestionably one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history. Even in recent years, his appearances on WWE TV showed he could still turn from jokey to serious intensity on a dime. His influence on generations of shit-talkers will be felt for years to come.

RIP Hot Rod.