September 12, 2017
Piper was “one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE beloved by millions of fans around the world. Safe home Rowdy.
Wrestling superstar “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at age 61. Multiple reports indicate that Piper died in his sleep from a heart attack.
“Rod passed peacefully in his sleep last night,” Piper’s agent Jay Schacter told Variety. “I am shocked and beyond devastated.”
Upon learning of his death, WWE chairman Vince McMahon tweeted that Piper was “one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE beloved by millions of fans around the world.”
Piper, whose real name was Roddy Toombs, is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, and was one of the core members of the ’80s-era WWE (then known as the WWF). Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, Piper competed in the very first Wrestlemania, working a faux-Scottish angle in a tag-team match (along with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff) against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, and quickly became one of the sport’s most hated villains.
Piper’s rivalries with Hogan, Jimmy Snuka and even Cyndi Lauper set the tone for the WWF, helping the wrestling organization achieve the nationwide prominence that it enjoys to this day.