This is not a memorial for Rowdy Roddy Piper. I can't do any better than what The Masked Man penned over at Grantland. If you haven't read it yet, do so immediately. If you've already read it, do so again.
As he so often does, The Masked Man masterfully touchs on a topic that everyone else seemed to ignore in their understandable rush to encapsulate the Rowdy One's career: his fabulous color commentary.
As with his in-ring career, Piper's most memorable moments came in his time as a rule breaking maniac in the 80's. The praise Roddy lavishs upon Bill White in the Grantland clip is absolute gold. Truly a virtuoso performance all around.
What isn't mentioned is Piper's superlative work as kinder (but still maniacal), good guy announcer in the early 90's WWF. Replacing Jesse "The Body" Ventura on Pay Per Views and Saturday Night's Main Event was a tall order indeed, but Roddy shone with an intensity that never detracted from, and always emphasized, the importance of what was going on in the ring. He also stood apart from the future governor of Minnesota by throwing his sympathy behind "good guy" wrestlers like Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior, and most-notably Virgil, in the critical period after he left Ted DiBiase's employ.
There are a number of amazing examples from this largely forgotten period in Hot Rod's storied career. Summerslam '91 in particular, benefits greatly from his presence (Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, and Piper form perhaps the greatest three man booth in history).
Allow me to direct your attention to the following match from the November 1990 episode of The Main Event. This NBC special is a snapshot of the absolute apex of Ultimate Warrior's WWF Championship reign. With a peak Million Dollar Man challenging for the title, this was a slam dunk of a match to begin with, but Piper's intensity takes the whole experience over the top. His incendiary interplay with Vince McMahon make it perfectly clear to the viewer that what's happening in the ring is very important. This sentiment is sadly missing from today's sanitized commentary product.
The first part of the match is the main part I am referring about. Piper and Vince explode out of the gate with the tremendous fire that befits a major Network television special. I implore you to watch the whole thing on WWE Network. This clip of the end is the only free clip available online. Check it out!
Rest in peace, Roddy Piper. Your legacy is secure as long as YouTube and WWE Network exist. Your millions of loyal fans will never forget you. Thank you for all the good times!
OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA
ANY WIN = 2 POINTS
US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS
NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X
SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS
WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS
The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!
Monday Night Raw-- 8/3/15
Main Event-- 8/4/15
WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 19 *TOP TEN*
1. Seth Rollins -- 53.5 points
2. Neville -- 51
3. John Cena -- 43.5
4. Ryback -- 39
5. Dean Ambrose -- 36.5
6. King Barrett -- 33.5
7. Roman Reigns -- 31.5
8. Randy Orton -- 28
9. Sheamus -- 27.5
T10. Rusev -- 24
T10. Stardust -- 24
Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!