“Hot Rod” Roddy Piper died Friday morning at the age of 61. Piper, along with Hulk Hogan, were the two biggest starts of the WWE in 1985. Piper was a charismatic wrestler, who enjoyed one of the most success careers in wrestling history. Let’s look at his 5 greatest feuds.
5. Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis
Piper defeated Adonis in a classic Hair vs. Career match at WrestleMania III. Adonis worked as a flamboyantly gay character who sprayed perfume on his opponents and acted effeminate in the ring. Piper was a bad guy until he encountered Adonis and defeated him at WrestleMania III. After the match he helped shave Adonis’ head, and then rode off to Hollywood where he made “They Live.
4. Roddy Piper vs. Goldust
This wasn’t a long feud, but Piper certainly didn’t appreciate bring groped by Goldust, who like Adonis, was pushing the boundaries and playing flamboyant and eccentric character. Adonis actually “came out” on an episode of TNT; The Goldust character never did, but it was implied that he was, at a minimum, hitting on the his opponents in an attempt to distract them enough to defeat them in the ring. Piper fought Goldust in a memorable “Backlot Brawl” at WrestleMania 12. Piper and Goldust did the best they could to make the match look road, hitting each other with all sorts of weapons, taking place in a supposed Hollywood “back lot. At one point Goldust even drove a car into Piper, who jumped onto the hood in a vignett that looked very real.
3. Roddy Piper vs. Mr. .T
Piper in 1985 was a professional wrestler. He wasn’t “superstar” or a “performer.” He was a professional wrestler he defended his sport and did not like Mr. T entering his ring and earning a top spot. Piper insulted Mr. T’s intelligence several times leading up to WrestleMania 1, and completely out-hustled him on the microphone. Piper continued his feud with Mr. T at WrestleMania 2, in a boxing match that wasn’t a classic, but was memorable. Mr. T may have been famous on TV, but inside the squared circle he couldn’t hang with the rowdy one.
2. Roddy Piper vs. Hulk Hogan
Go spend some time on the WWE Network and find the match where Hogan pins or submits Piper. Go ahead. Look for it. It’s not there. That’s because Piper never lost to Hogan. He refused to. In the sports entertainment world of professional wrestling, there’s always a guy who goes over and guy who puts him over. Piper never put Hogan over. Why not? He hated him. Hogan was an awful in-ring worker and was only champion because of his incredible popularity with the fans. Piper was a good worker who wasn’t going to let Hogan beat him. These two feuded in 1985, including a match on MTV. Piper always made Hogan look good, but any smart wrestling fan knew that Piper was the real star, the one who was having the broomstick match with the champ.
1. Roddy Piper vs Superfly Jimmy Snuka
One interview segment changed professional wrestling forever. Piper famously hit Snuka over the head with a coconut during a Piper’s Pit interview segment. The angle made Piper the biggest wrestling star in the world, and a household name out of Snuka. Piper beat him up and then Snuka, of course, fought back and chased Piper away, setting up a feud in 1984. This one segment got everyone talking about wrestling, and help solidify the company’s expansion and presence on the national stage.