Monday, February 12, 2007

Roddy Piper

Ring name(s) Roddy Piper,The Masked Canadian,The Piper Machine,Hot Rod,Roddy the Piper
Billed height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Billed weight 234 lb (106 kg)
Born April 17, 1954,Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Resides Hillsboro, Oregon
Billed from Glasgow, Scotland
Trained by Tony Condello,,Stu Hart
Debut 1973

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper (born Roderick George Toombs on April 17, 1954) is a Canadian professional wrestler. Raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he is billed from Glasgow, Scotland and is known for his signature kilt and bagpipe entrance music. He earned the nickname "Rowdy" by displaying his trademark "Scottish" rage, spontaneity and quick wit, and is also nicknamed "Hot Rod". He currently makes appearances for World Wrestling Entertainment on the RAW brand.

After being expelled from junior high and having a falling out with his father, Toombs hit the road and stayed in youth hostels wherever he could find them. By the age of 16, he was the youngest wrestler in the history of professional wrestling and he made his pro debut in Winnipeg, against Larry Hennig. Piper lost the match in ten seconds. He was a boxer and an amateur wrestler before he started to become a pro wrestler. He won the Golden Gloves boxing championship. He was awarded a Black Belt from the world-renowned 'Judo' Gene Lebell. He has held more than 38 professional wrestling titles. He has won more than 7,000 professional matches.

From 1973-1975 Piper was a jobber in the AWA, Kansas City, the Maritimes, and Texas working for Paul Boesch's NWA Houston Wrestling promotion and in Dallas working for Fritz Von Erich's Big Time Wrestling. While in Texas Piper impressed many of the guys including Red Bastien who arranged for him to go to Portland. However, what was supposed to be a brief run in California turned out to be a long term stint as booker Leo Garibaldi and publicist Jeff Walton were impressed with Piper and saw the money making possibilities he had as a heel.

By late 1975 and early 1976 Piper was a top heel for Mike Lebell's & Gene Lebell's NWA Hollywood Wrestling. In 77-78 also started to work for Roy Shire's NWA San Francisco Wrestling in addition to remaining with the LA office. Los Angeles was where Piper developed his Rowdy Character as one of the most hated heels in Los Angeles since the days of Classy Freddy Blassie, with one of his most notorious doings being the continuous insults directed at the area's Mexican community, which he later promised to amend by playing the Mexican national anthem on his bagpipes only to anger the fans further by playing "La Cucaraca" on the bagpipes instead [1]. Piper also served as manager for several heels in Los Angeles and worked as a referee from time to time. Piper feuded with all the faces in the area and had a long and bloody feud with Chavo Guerrero. During Piper's California stint, he would go on to win: the legendary Americas (Los Angeles Version) title 5 times, the U.S. title (San Francisco Version) (1), NWA World Light Heavyweight Title (1), Americas Tag Team Title (7) with various partners like Crusher Verdu (2), Adrian Adonis (1), Ron Bass(1), Pak Choo (1), The Hangman (Gene Lebell) (1), and one time with Chavo Guerrero with Piper as The Masked Canadian. Finally in 1978 Piper along with Ed Wiskoski won the prestigious NWA World Tag Team Titles (San Francisco Version).

By 1979, he left the California promotions for even more fame in Don Owen’s Pacific Northwest Territory where he teamed with Killer Tim Brooks, Rick Martel and Mike Popovich to win The NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Title (5). Piper went on to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title with victories over both Lord Jonathan Boyd and "Playboy" Buddy Rose.

In late 1980 Piper ventured to the Mid-Atlantic territory where he grew to achieve even bigger fame. He beat Jack Brisco for the Mid-Atlantic title and Ric Flair for the US belt which turned into a huge feud. In 1981, Piper started with the Georgia territory as an antagonistic heel commentator. This is where he started to get worldwide attention. In 1982 due to showing up late for a match he was fired and reportedly blackballed. Piper maintains this in his book, but others dispute this. He did receive an offer from Gary Hart to go to World Class Championship Wrestling but the money was not good enough. Instead he went to Puerto Rico for a month or so and was able to get booked again by Jim Crockett shortly thereafter. It was in Crockett's promotion that Piper was attacked by a fan, leading him to turn face. In Wrestling to Rasslin', Gerald W. Morton and George M. O'Brien described the transformation: "the drama finally played itself out on television when one of his [Piper's] hired assassins, Don Muraco, suddenly attacked the commentator Gordon Solie. Seeing Solie hurt, Piper unleashed his Scottish fury on Muraco. In the week that followed, like Achilles avenging Patroklas, he slaughtered villain after villain.... In the arenas fans chanted his name throughout his matches." As a face, Piper feuded with Sgt. Slaughter and more notably Greg Valentine. Piper's feud with Valentine culminated in a famous dog collar match at the first Starrcade. Valentine would end up damaging the eardrum in Piper's left ear with the collar's chain leaving Piper with permanent hearing loss.

Later in 1996, Piper joined WCW. He appeared at Halloween Havoc to "break Hogan's monotony." In his first appearance, Piper famously asked Hogan, "Do you think [the fans] would've loved you so much, if they hadn't hated me?"

Piper's WCW tenure is best remembered for his long-running feud with Hogan, at the time a heel, over which of them was wrestling's true icon. Piper and Hogan wrestled in a non-title match as the main event of 1996's Starrcade, WCW's biggest pay-per-view event of the year. Piper defeated Hogan with a sleeper hold.

Piper faced Hogan in a title match at SuperBrawl VII. This time, Hogan beat Piper when Randy Savage interfered and joined the New World Order. Promos showed Piper locking himself in the Alcatraz prison and vigorously exercising in order to prepare for the highly anticipated match. During the spring of 1997, Piper would join forces with Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen in their battle with the nWo. Shortly there after, Piper and Flair would feud before Piper disappeared from the scene. Piper briefly returned in October 1997 to face Hogan once again in a steel cage match.

In early 1998, Piper once again returned to feud with Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Bret Hart. In early 1999, Piper had a short run as United States Champion, became WCW Commissioner, and resumed his feud with Ric Flair over control of WCW. Piper also had a short feud with Buff Bagwell in the summer of 1999. In late 1999, Piper would once again be featured on WCW Television, in an angle with Vince Russo, who was now portraying himself as the "Powers That Be" (an un-seen power that was controling WCW). At Starrcade 1999, Piper was the special referee in the WCW title match featuring Bill Goldberg & Bret Hart. Forced by Russo, Piper called for the bell when Hart locked in the Sharpshooter on Goldberg, when it was apparent that Goldberg hadn't submitted. The feud between Piper and the Powers That Be ended shortly after and Piper disappeared, never to be seen on WCW TV again.

In the fall of 2000, WCW terminated Piper's contract.

On November 27, 2006, it was announced on that Piper has Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and is to undergo radiation therapy. This was also confirmed on Piper's official web site where he posted messages of thanks to all his fans and supporters.

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