Brian Damage & Craig Wilson
Last week the world of wrestling lost, in Roddy Piper, a true great. In today’s Top Five Craig and Brian look at some of the most iconic moments of his legendary in-ring and on-screen career.
5. Roddy Piper Destroys the Flower Shop
Tensions were building for some time between Piper and Adrian Adonis. Adonis hosted a talk show segment called the Flower Shop that temporarily replaced Piper’s Pit. Adonis also hired Cowboy Bob Orton as his bodyguard….a duty Orton once had with Roddy Piper. It all came to a boiling point when Piper interrupted the Flower Shop segment with a baseball bat and destroyed Adonis’ set.
4. Roddy Piper Smashed Gold Record Over Capt. Lou Albano’s Head
In February of 1985, Piper interrupted a segment in Madison Square Garden between Cyndi Lauper , Hulk Hogan and Captain Lou Albano. Piper grabbed a gold record and smashed it over the head of Albano causing a melee and adding fuel to the fire leading up to the first Wrestlemania.
3. Roddy Piper in They Live
I know this wasn’t a pro wrestling moment per se, but iconic no less. In my opinion one of the greatest movies to star a pro wrestler in the lead role. Who will ever forget the classic line….”I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
2. Roddy Piper Cuts The Haiti Kid’s Hair
In a segment you’d probably never see again in this lifetime…Piper and Orton brutalize the Haiti Kid a supposed friend of Mr. T and proceed to cut his hair into a Mohawk to chide Mr. T leading up to their boxing match at Wrestlemania 2.
1. Roddy Piper Vs. Greg Valentine in a Dog Collar Match
I was torn between this moment and the coconut incident between him and Snuka. I have a pretty good feeling some of my colleagues will pick that as one of their top 5 moments…so it made it easier for me to pick this truly brutal match between him and Valentine at the first ever Starrcade. Piper legitimately blew out an eardrum after a stiff shot from Valentine and had blood pouring from his ear. A gory but iconic match that showed Piper’s grit and toughness.
5. Haiti Kid gets a hair cut
It was between this and the Adrian Adonis angle but not sure how many hair cut angles you can really have in one Top Five submission… Anyway, this just edges it as led to a bigger match than the hair vs hair match at WrestleMania 3 as in cutting Haiti Kid’s hair it led to the “boxing” match between Piper and Mr. T at the second WrestleMania.
4. Piper smashes record over the head of Captain Lou Albana
An iconic moment that played a very significant part in hyping the first WrestleMania – garnering crossover appeal into the world of the MTV generation – and also, just as significantly, gave the likes of Cyndi Lauper a big spot in the lead up to WrestleMania one. It was one of the many moments that came together to make the event the success that it was.
3. WrestleMania 1 main event
Hulk Hogan gets a lot of the credit for the success of WrestleMania and it working out but as Piper challenged Hogan during their WCW feud, Hogan wouldn’t have been as loved had Piper not been as hated and with the Rowdy one being the perfect foil for the Hulkster.
2. Dog-collar match vs Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine
It’s Brian’s number one but it just gets pipped to second place in my list. ‘Starrcade ’83: A Flair for the Gold’ was one of the first cards I watched when I got the Network and I was blown away by this match. This was so hard hitting that it partially deafened Piper for the rest of his life. This is a gory old school battle between two hard hitting guys with Piper picking up the win by tying up his opponents legs with the chain.
1. Smashing Coconut over Snuka’s head
It’s still a moment that is featured in WWE clips to this day. Jimmy Snuka appeared on the legendary “Piper’s Pit” leading to a feud between the pair. Piper had brought bananas, pineapples, and coconuts to make Snuka “feel more at home” and when Snuka’s back was turned, Piper smashed a coconut off the back of his head. The two were still fighting this out by at the 2008 Royal Rumble…
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.