“Do you think they would’ve loved you so much, if they hadn’t hated me?”--That was Roddy Piper to Hulk "Hollywood" Hogan at Halloween Havoc 1996 when he made his surprise WCW debut. It was a really great moment and Piper's early-WCW run was excellent in just about every way really. That line really spoke to what a great foil Roddy Piper was for Hulk Hogan during the '80's WWE Expansion. He was a phenomenal "Anti-Hogan" that could rile the crowd up. Dave Meltzer put it this way...
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Speaking of Piper, I hope everyone understands that this business would be very different today if you remove Piper from the WM 1 equation.— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) August 1, 2015
Piper/Hogan and Flair/Rhodes are the first two feuds I think I really remember. For that, Piper always had a special place in my heart as a fan. As great as he was as a heel a lot of my favorite Piper moments where when he was a face such as his WCW debut. Others would be when he came back and doused Morton Downey, Jr. with a fire extinguisher at WrestleMania or won the Intercontinental Title. Not matter which side of the fence he was on, the guy knew how to push buttons.
Outside the ring my favorite Piper vehicle is the cult classic, "They Live." The hook for even watching that film was that "Hot Rod" was the lead. Even better it turned out to be a really cool film with a quote that's currently trending due to Piper's passing. Seriously, if you haven't seen "They Live" then you need to track that down. I bought it for Dad on DVD years ago, it really is a lot of fun.
Piper's passing at the age of 61 shocked me, I could not believe it when I read it on Friday night. Sometimes it feels like we are losing all our heroes and/or villains. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was great at both and epitomized "larger than life" when it came to the wrestling business.
Rest In Peace, Roddy. You are missed.