Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rowdy Roddy Piper, R.I.P.

I grew up watching professional wrestling whenever I could sneak the time at the television.  I continued to watch it on and off for many years.  I knew it was fake by the time I was ten, but for some reason I still enjoyed the spectacle.  In 1980, I discovered Rowdy Roddy Piper and followed his exploits for many years.  Friday, at the age of 61--only a year older than I am, Piper died.

Piper appealed to many people because he made up in wit and insane behavior what he lacked in musculature.  He was rarely the more imposing man in a match, and as steroid use intensified and wrestlers grew bigger and bigger, Piper stayed relatively the same size.  Despite never being the physically most impressive athlete, he managed to become one of the all-time greatest wrestling villains--and also remained surprisingly likable for most fans.

Piper came from a legitimate athletic background.  He was a Golden Gloves boxing champion and a judo black belt (from Gene LeBell).

Ronda Rousey borrowed her nickname, "Rowdy," from Piper, with his permission, and dedicated last night's fight to him.

I'm sorry to see him die so young.

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