“Rowdy” Roddy Piper Dead – Wrestler Dies At 61 From Cardiac Arrest
Roddy Piper has died. The wrestling star was 61 years old. He died on Friday in Hollywood of a cardiac arrest.
Piper was one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling in the 1980s, and was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. Known as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, he was as famous for his wrestling matches as he was for his trash-talking of competitors, including the equally over-the-top Hulk Hogan.
Piper had a number of signature moves, including the sleeper hold, poking an opponent’s eyes and what was called the “Rowdy Punch.” Interestingly, he started his career as one of the leagues villains, but over the years morphed into a hero of the WWE.
Back in November 2006, it had been announced on the WWE’s site that Piper had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Years later, he claimed he was entirely cancer-free.
Born Roderick George Toombs, Piper is survived by his wife Kitty, daughters Anastacia, Ariel, and Falon, and son Colton. He also had one grandchild from his daughter Anastacia.
Colton, a wrestler as well, tweeted, “My father @R_Roddy_Piper was a great man and my best friend I will miss him forever and will alway try to be the man he raised me to be.” His daughter Falon also wrote, “RIP dad. I will always love you.”
In a statement to Gossip Cop, the WWE said, “WWE is deeply saddened that Roderick Toombs, aka ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper – WWE Hall of Famer and Intercontinental Champion – passed away today at the age of 61. WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Toombs’ family, friends and fans.” And WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon added, “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”