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Wrestling Legend Roddy Piper Dies At 61

August 1, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Wrestling Legend Roddy Piper Dies At 61

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Legendary wrestling champion “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at 61, World Wrestling Entertainment has confirmed.

The WWE Hall of Famer passed away in his Hollywood, Calif. home after suffering a heart attack in his sleep Thursday night. He was discovered on Friday, TMZ reported.

Piper, who also went by the name “Hot Rod” which was often seen blazoned across his shirt, had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006 but last fall said that he was cancer free.

In his monumental career, he was named Intercontinental Champion, World Tag Team Champion, WCW U.S. Champion and inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 in Los Angles.

He also acted in a number of Hollywood films and TV shows, his most successful film having been the 1988 sci-fi cult classic, “They Live,” directed by John Carpenter.

Piper’s own Cinderella man story began at the age of 15 when he took on Larry “The Axe” Hennig but spectacularly lost in just 10 seconds’ time.

Not one to stay down, the destined fighter went from rings in Winnipeg, Canada to battling within the National Wrestling Alliance, the world’s oldest wrestling organization, in the 1970s.

When he started his WWE career in 1984 he was regarded as “one of the most-hated villains ever to step between the ropes,” according to the organization.

His son, Colt Toombs, expressed his heartbreak on Twitter shortly after news broke of his sudden death.

“My father @R_Roddy_Piper was a great man and my best friend I will miss him forever and will always try to be the man he raised me to be,” he wrote.

Among those expressing their grievances over his loss is WWE CEO Vince McMahon who tweeted: “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.”

NWA President Bruce Tharpe also released a statement on his passing, saying the NWA is “shocked” to hear of his death.

“He took part in so many historic and memorable NWA moments on television and PPV — from his legendary “Dog Collar Match” against Greg Valentine to co-hosting Georgia Championship Wrestling with Gordon Solie to headlining for the first time in Mike LeBell’s NWA territory in LA. We express our condolences to his family and may he Rest in Peace.”

Fellow WWE Hall of Famers The Iron Sheik and Kevin Nash also tweeted out their condolences.

The Iron Sheik, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with Piper in 2005, tweeted: “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba,” The Iron Sheik 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

“RIP to Roddy Piper. Prayers to his family and loved ones,” Kevin Nash also wrote.

Academy Award-winning film maker John Carpenter also expressed his heartbreak, tweeting: “I’m devastated by the passing of my friend Roddy Piper. Great wrestler, underrated actor, dear friend. Rest in peace, Rod.”

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. also tweeted: “The guy was a real entertainer. While he was often the villain, he had a gift to make you laugh and always enjoy the show. #RIPRoddy.”

Piper’s sudden death comes only one month after fellow former pro wrestler “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel died at the age of 53 at his home in Virginia.

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