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“Rowdy” Roddy Piper dead at 61

Roderick George Toombs, known to professional wrestling fans as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died of cardiac arrest in his sleep Thursday and was discovered today, according to TMZ.

He was 61 years old.

WWE CEO  and Chairman Vince McMahon said the following in a story on the company website:

Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved my millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family. 

Piper built up a following wherever he worked, but most notably in World Wrestling Entertainment, where his feud with Hulk Hogan made him one of the most hated “heels” in wrestling history.


Piper was born on April 17th, 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He faced adversity in his formative years but along the way learned how to play the bagpipes.

Making his pro wrestling debut at age 15, and appeared at one point or another in every major North American territory.

He helped usher in the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era with Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter, which gave birth to the original Wrestlemania main event.

UFC womens bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey credits Piper as one of her heroes, even using the “Rowdy” moniker in her own nickname.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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