This particular list was originally created within hours after the passing of WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper on July 31, 2015.
Why? Because Piper was one of my personal all-time favorites, and it only seemed fitting to remember the Hot Rod, one of the few characters who transcended the wrestling business, became a part of pop culture and created memorable antics both inside and outside the ring.
In selecting the Top 50 Rowdy Roddy Piper Moments... well, this is quite a bit different than many of the lists on Wrestling Merchandise and Memories. This was a list of personal favorites after thinking about all of the great matches, angles, acting appearances and other events The Rowdy One was part of in his legendary career.
It's not the traditional way to write a Top 50 list but, hey.... not much about Rowdy Roddy Piper was all that traditional.
Questions? Feedback? Comments? As always, we want YOU to be a part of the conversation! Leave a comment below, or let us know on Twitter (@CanadianBulldog) using the hashtag #Top50.
Ready? Here we go!
The Final Pit
In December 2014, Rowdy Roddy Piper hosted what would be his final edition of Piper's Pit. Guests Rusev and Lana were complaining about the Americans' love of Christmas. Piper countered with a Christmas present for the Russian power couple: a gift-wrapped and angry Ryback.
The Machines were a masked trio in 1986, designed to protect the identity of the suspended Andre The Giant. When Andre was unable to compete, a few "guest" Machines joined Super Machine and Big Machine. Among them was Piper Machine, a masked Rowdy Roddy Piper, who helped defeat The Heenan Family.
One of Rowdy Roddy Piper's final projects was the WWE Network reality show Legends House, which featured Hot Rod living with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Pat Patterson, Jimmy Hart and others. While Piper held his own on the program, he candidly admitted after that the show wasn't his cup of tea.
Legends vs. Jericho
As part of a 2009 feud with The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke, Chris Jericho decided to lash out at Rowdy Roddy Piper and fellow WWE Legends Superfly Jimmy Snuka and Ricky Steamboat. Jericho faced all three at WrestleMania XXV and won, although Piper and co. gave him a fight.
Meddling in the Daniel Bryan-AJ Lee Situation
In 2012, a heel Bryan was a guest on Piper's Pit. Rowdy Roddy Piper not only dressed down Bryan, but also brought out his girlfriend AJ Lee and tried to convince her to leave her man, saying she deserves better than someone talking down to her.
Ending a Podcast Feud
Towards the end of his life, Rowdy Roddy Piper's podcast was dropped from Podcast One due to a mock interview with someone playing Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin allegedly told Podcast One to drop the show (which he denies) and Piper made an impassioned plea on air for the two stars to bury the hatchet.
Some 29 years after Hulk Hogan and Mr. T took on Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff in the main event of WrestleMania, they gathered together during a backstage segment at WrestleMania XXX. Both sides agreed to a truce, which included Piper forcing Orndorff to shake Hogan's hand.
Although Rowdy Roddy Piper did quite a bit of voiceover acting, perhaps his most memorable V/O role was when he played an action figure version of himself on Robot Chicken's "Hogan's Heroes" sketch. The brief bit included an instant classic Piper line: "Hey, ya f****n' Nazis. How ya doin'?"
In 1991, ABC television aired a pilot for a new program starring Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura. The premise of Tag Team was Piper and Ventura as two ex-wrestlers that had become cops, and with all of the cliched action that comes with it. Sadly, the series wasn't picked up.
Boxing B.A. Baracus
In 1986, Mr. T was boxing Cowboy Bob Orton on Saturday Night's Main Event. Orton's ally Rowdy Roddy Piper intervened, and the two began beating T down with a belt. This led to a boxing match at WrestleMania II, in which Piper was disqualified for bodyslamming Mr. T.
More than two decades after their confrontation on Piper's Pit, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Superfly Jimmy Snuka were reunited on TNA's Victory Road PPV in 2004. Piper tried to bury the hatchet, and the two had to fight off TNA's Kid Kash, Frankie Kazarian and Michael Shane.
Haircut by Hot Rod
In 1986, The Haiti Kid won a match on WWF television and was abucted by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Cowboy" Bob Orton. Haiti Kid admitted he was an admirer of Mr. T's, so Piper and Orton decided to give him a Mr. T-style mohawk haircut, against The Kid's will.
Feudin' with Flair
The rivalry between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Ric Flair existed through three different promotions -- in the Mid-Atlantic in the early 1980s; in the WWF in the early 1990s; and in WCW towards the late 1990s. The two were close friends off camera.
During his brief run as interim WWF President, Rowdy Roddy Piper was put in the crosshairs of Goldust. The two engaged in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl at WrestleMania XI that included a Ford Bronco chase through California and stripping Goldust's clothes off in the ring.
Endearing Himself to the Latino Community
In the late 1970s, Rowdy Roddy Piper was competing in Los Angeles and engaged in a feud with Chavo Guerrero Sr. Piper endeared himself to the Latino community by constantly insulting the Guerrero family and hispanics in general, and further angered them by playing "La Cucaracha" on his bagpipes.
In October 1986, Rowdy Roddy Piper was scheduled to meet The Iron Sheik on Saturday Night's Main Event, but was injured and replaced by Pedro Morales. That didn't stop Piper from hobbling to the ring on crutches and shouting at Morales "You.... OUT!" before taking over and defeating The Sheik in less than a minute.
One of the most famous editions of Piper's Pit was when Rowdy Roddy Piper decided to interview journeyman Frankie Williams. Piper made fun of Williams' win-loss record, his hometown and then began to beat up the grappler on national television before kicking him off his set.
Despite claiming to hate rock music (not to mention Cyndi Lauper), Rowdy Roddy Piper had a key cameo in Lauper's 1985 music video The Goonies 'R' Good Enough. In the two-part video, Piper, The Iron Sheik and other heels tried to rob Lauper, Captain Lou Albano and The Goonies out of their family business.
New York City Mugging
When he first arrived in the WWF in 1984, Rowdy Roddy Piper wasn't cleared to wrestle because of some balance issues so he became a manager, leading the careers of Dr. D David Schultz and Paul Orndorff. To show how tough they were, the trio was shown attacking some random person in New York City.
Owning The Loud Mouths
WrestleMania V featured the return of Rowdy Roddy Piper, some two years after retiring from in-ring competition. In a special Piper's Pit, Hot Rod battled two other famous loud mouths - the WWF's Brother Love and talk show host Morton Downey Jr. Piper was able to school both men in relatively short order.
Although Rowdy Roddy Piper held very few major championships, his biggest was holding the WWF Intercontinental Championship in 1992. While Piper was a last-minute substitute for Bret Hit Man Hart, he managed to defeat The Mountie to win the championship.
For The Record...
A month before WrestleMania I, Captain Lou Albano was being presented a gold record in Madison Square Garden when Rowdy Roddy Piper interfered and smashed the record album over Albano's head. Piper then assaulted attendees Cyndi Lauper and her boyfriend Dave Wolff in a chaotic scene.
Dog Collar Chain Match
An incredibly vicious and barbaric match took place at the first Starrcade in 1983, when Rowdy Roddy Piper took on Greg Valentine. The competitors engaged in a Dog Collar Chain Match which left both men extremely bloody and Piper with only partial hearing in one of his ears.
The War To Settle The Score
One of the biggest televised wrestling matches took place in February 1985 on MTV. The show featured a match between WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper, with Hogan defeating Piper by disqualification, setting up the main event for WrestleMania I.
The Coconut Incident
The most famous (or infamous) Piper's Pit took place in 1985, when Rowdy Roddy Piper had Superfly Jimmy Snuka on his show. After making fun of the Polynesian star, Piper walloped Snuka in the head with a coconut (legitimately!), causing the Pit set to collapse and creating one of the top wrestling feuds of the 1980s.
A Surprising Return
No one expected Rowdy Roddy Piper, to make a cameo in the Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon match at WrestleMania XIX in 2003. He been seen on WWE programming for a decade and decided to attack Hogan, leading to a brief return of his heel persona on SmackDown.
Battle Royal Preview
Right beofre WrestleMania XXX, Rowdy Roddy Piper previewed the first Andre The Giant Battle Royal by interviewing participant The Miz. He was quickly joined by Sheamus, Titus O'Neil and Dolph Ziggler. Piper ended the interview by eye-gouging The Miz, leading to a giant brawl.
One Hand Tied Behind His Back
In 1986, Rowdy Roddy Piper returned to the WWF as a babyface and was matched against jobber A.J. Petrucci. Petrucci slapped Hot Rod across his face before the match began, angering him enough to win the match with one hand stuffed into the back of his trunks.
Calling Out Smokin' Joe
In the lead up to his WrestleMania II boxing match against Mr. T, Rowdy Roddy Piper visited the gym of boxing legend Smokin' Joe Frazier, Mr. T's cornerman. Apparently, the entire segment was done as an improv, with Piper calling out Smokin' Joe and talking smack.
In 2013, WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper participated in reality show Celebrity Wife Swap. While much of the progam's content appeared somewhat contrived, it showed us Piper's long-lasting love for wife Kitty and kids Anastacia, Ariel, Falcon and Colt.
Tag Team Auditions
In 1997, Rowdy Roddy Piper recruited a team of unknown wrestlers (and John Tenta) to team with him against the new World order at Uncensored. To make his selections, Piper faced all of them in the ring, deciding based on fan support whether they would stay. This being WCW, the wrestlers were later replaced.
Rowdy Roddy Piper returned to WWF/E numerous times over the years, but one his first big returns was in the main event of WrestleMania X. As the surprise referee for a WWF Title Match between Bret Hart and Yokozuna, Piper oversaw his former WrestleMania rival Hart capture the championship gold.
The Santa Domingo Incident
Rowdy Roddy Piper had allegedly been blackballed from wrestling in the 1970s and found some freelance work managing Ric Flair at a show in the Dominician Republic. Piper made fun of the locals there, who in turn began to riot, with Piper and Flair barely making it out alive.
Bruno Visits The Pit
In October 1985, Bruno Sammartino was the guest of a live Piper's Pit from Madison Square Garden. Rowdy Roddy Piper used the opportunity to dress down the legend in his "home" arena. Sammartino brawled with Piper, leading to a steel cage match at MSG.
Doing Time at Alcatraz
Leading to his SuperBrawl VII match against Hollywood Hogan in San Francisco, Rowdy Roddy Piper filmed a series of vignettes where he was locked away at the infamous Alcatraz prison in preparation for their steel cage match. Piper eventually 'escaped' the tourist spot.
One of the more controversial feuds in the career of Rowdy Roddy Piper was his 1990 feud with Bad News Brown. After a series of pull-aparts, Piper challenged Brown to a match at WrestleMania VI. Piper showed up with his body painted half-black... for unexplained reasons.
When Wrestling Superstar Virgil split from The Million Dollar Man in 1991, the former bodyguard received encouragement from Rowdy Roddy Piper, who was thrilled that Virgil was on his own. In fact, Piper was in Virgil's corner for a match at WrestleMania VII.
Arrival of an I.C.O.N.
At Hallowe'en Havoc 1996, Hollywood Hogan and the nWo were gloating when Rowdy Roddy Piper's music suddenly hit. Piper made his debut in WCW and immediately ran down Hogan, saying he was the I.C.O.N. of wrestling and that Hogan had never been able to pin Piper.
Although Rowdy Roddy Piper had several acting roles, one of his funniest was a role on television's It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. As the punch-drunk wrestler known as Da Maniac, Piper taught The Gang how to put on a wrestling show, before leaving them high and dry.
Andre's Giant Pit Stop
Rowdy Roddy Piper has several top guests on Piper's Pit over the years, but perhaps the most physically imposing was Andre The Giant when he came on in the early 1980s. Andre refused to answer any of Piper's questions, simply repeating that it was "none of your business" before lifting Hot Rod high into the air and dropping him down.
Animated Hot Rod
When Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling debuted on CBS in 1985, one of the lead characters was Rowdy Roddy Piper (voiced by actor Charles Adler). While the program was a little... well, cartoon-y, Piper as leader of the heel group was a phenomenal character that helped spread the legend of the WWF's top villian.
Jericho Meets Piper
In 2003, Chris Jericho and Rowdy Roddy Piper were both heels in 2003 when they had a backstage confrontation at the Judgment Day PPV. Jericho accused Piper of being a slow-witted senior citizen, while Hot Rod accused Y2J of ripping off the Piper's Pit format.
Stone Cold Pit
WrestleMania XXI in 2005 featured a confrontation between two of wrestling's best talkers and biggest bad-asses, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The special edition of Piper's Pit featured Piper and Austin swapping slaps and insults, until they both turned their attention to Carlito.
Rowdy Roddy Piper's final major singles championship was the WCW United States Championship, which he captured from his old rival Bret Hit Man Hart on Monday Nitro in February 1999. Although he dropped the belt to nWo member Scott Hall a few weeks later, it showed Piper's staying power.
Wrestling's first televised wedding took place on Saturday Night's Main Event in October 1985, when Uncle Elmer married his sweetheart Joyce Stazko. Before the ceremony could be completed, Rowdy Roddy Piper made an appearance to make fun of Elmer, his bride, the wedding and groomsman Hulk Hogan.
Right after Rowdy Roddy Piper (first) retired in 1987, he appeared in John Carpenter's film They Live. Piper surprised critics with his performance, which included the iconic line "I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum."
Piper vs. Russo
One of Rowdy Roddy Piper's biggest unscripted appearances was in 2002 during one of TNA's weekly pay-per-views. Appearing as a surprise guest, Piper called head writer Vince Russo out to the ring and debated Russo's role in the fall of WCW and even accused him of playing a role in Owen Hart's death.
Rowdy Roddy Piper's only title defense at a WrestleMania happened in 1992 when he was defending the Intercontinental Championship against his good friend and "cousin" Bret Hart. In the end, Hart pinned Piper cleanly (one of the few times that's happened in Hot Rod's career).
Piper vs. Adonis
When Rowdy Roddy Piper returned to the WWF in the summer of 1986, he feuded with Adorable Adrian Adonis, who had created The Flower Shop in Piper's absence. After a heated debate, Piper destroyed The Flower Shop set and then defeated Adonis at WrestleMania III and helping to shave Adonis's head bald.
Any mention of the career of Rowdy Roddy Piper must include his participation in WrestleMania I in 1985, where he teamed with Paul Orndorff against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the main event. In the end, Piper's bodyguard Bob Orton accidentally knocked out Orndorff, ensuring that Hot Rod didn't even have to get pinned in what was arguably the biggest match of his storied career.