The sudden death of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper leaves a void in the wrestling world that can never be replaced. Piper maybe have been great in the ring, but he cemented himself as one of the best on the mic. His promos were energetic and aggressive. When he wanted you to know he was coming for you, he really let you have it.
Piper feuded with the WWE's top stars in his time (and some, way after) and always seemed to deliver some of the best promos to his opponents. It never mattered who it was. His way with words engaged the audience and made it seem like it was the most important match on the card. His intensity couldn't be rivaled in his generation and is the personification of what it means to be a "Hall of Famer".
Today, we're going to take a look at the "Rowdy One's" best promos and their significance of them for his career.
5. "I bounced the world on my little fingertips."
I did mention his intensity, right?
So heading into a WrestleMania rematch at the Boston Garden in 1984, Piper almost explodes here with "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviewing him. Piper goes into why he is going into this match and why nobody thinks he can win, even though he's taken out "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka at this point. Piper had a big mouth and wasn't afraid to use it either. Okerlund's comment about how somebody should check Piper's blood pressure by the end of it was a nice touch. Again, Piper's feud with Hogan helped launch both of the men into the wrestling stratosphere and became the cornerstone of the first WrestleMania.
4. "Ric Flair says I have illusions of grandeur! What is that? Spanish? I don't speak Spanish!"
It might not seem like a big deal to see Ric Flair in a WWE ring today, but in 1991, it was a game-changer. See, Flair had always been the face of the NWA/WCW and Jim Crockett Promotions, and the thought of him as a member of the WWE was simply beyond comprehension. Then it actually happened. Flair jumped ship to the WWE and bringing with him the NWA's "Big Gold Belt", claiming to be the "real" World's Champion.
Fantasy bookers were salivating at the thought of Flair against almost any of the WWE's main eventers, but it was Piper that was one of the first ones to really go after him. Piper had already doing promos against Flair in late 1991, by the time the Royal Rumble came around, he was ready to unleash hell on Flair. Piper was already scheduled at the Rumble that year (which took place the next day after this promo was shot) against the Mountie for the Intercontinental Championship. The thing about the Rumble that year was that for the first time ever (and only time since) the Rumble was for the WWE Championship.
Flair ended up winning the Rumble and the title as well (though only losing it nearly 3 months later to Randy Savage at WrestleMania VIII), but Piper made sure Flair knew he was gunning for him.
3. "Hart? We'll see how much heart you got."
Speaking of Intercontinental Championships...
Piper beat The Mountie at the Royal Rumble in 1992 for the IC title (The Mountie only had it for two days, beating Bret Hart) making it the first time Piper actually held any WWE gold. The storyline was that Hart had a severe case of the flu, but in actuality was going through some rough contract negotiations (he would later become WWE Champion by the year's end). Hart's return was inevitable, but Piper made the best out of this situation. He never insulted or berated Hart, no, he constantly reminded him that "this is how I feed my family". He wanted to best Hart, not destroy him. Piper warned Hart that he liked him and didn't want to fight, but if Hart went after him, he'd respond in kind.
The two went on to have what is considered the match of the night, with Hart winning and becoming a two-time Intercontinental Champion. Still, Piper being a veteran of the company was still proving why he was one of the best.
2. "Sid Justice ain't nothing but a big goofball!"
Childhood insults aside, this one really shows Piper at his best.
Once sworn enemies, Piper teams up with Hulk Hogan to go against Ric Flair and Sid Justice at the Boston Garden. At the time, Hogan was scheduled to face Flair at WrestleMania, but things were changed around and Flair faced Randy Savage, while Hogan went up against Sid. But just look at Piper go at it! Him and Flair were already rivals by then, but add in Hogan and Sid (who needed to get over with WWE fans) and things were pretty much explosive. The best part here isn't just Piper's part of the promo, it's also his interaction with Hogan during his speech. The way he becomes almost sassy with his "Ooooh" as Hogan threatens Flair about shooting him between the eyes. They had definite chemistry and this being one of Piper's most unhinged moments.
1. "Sheepherders, you're in for a treat."0comments
This promo is one of his pre-WWE one, but when he was still just getting known for his intensity, not only in the ring, but on the mic as well. Piper busted a beer bottle over his forehead to show how brutal he can be as he calls out The Sheepherders (later to be known more famously as The Bushwhackers). The promo itself doesn't have the strongest words, or the more animated expressions Piper later used. No, this was more of a "you do NOT want to mess with me" sort of promo. He was stern, to the point, and gave fans one of the most profound visuals at the time proving to us he was a man who was not kidding around.
So readers, did you find your favorite Piper promo among these? Any we missed? Do you think Piper is the greatest of all time on the mic? Let us know in the comments!