Layfield Laments Loss Of ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper

August 10, 2015

[Written by Don Burgess]

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper was one of the two greatest villains in this history of entertainment.

This from Bermuda resident John Layfield, whose best known wrestling persona was as former WWE champ JBL.

Mr. Layfield lamented the loss of his friend this week on social media after Rowdy Rod died of cardiac arrest in Hollywood, California.

Roddy Rowdy Piper with the WWE Legends on Raw [Photo courtesy Mr. Layfield's Twitter account]:


Mr. Layfield said ‘Hot Rod’ had a huge influence on him. The pair met in the early to mid 90s when Mr. Layfield was still cutting his teeth on the wrestling circuit.

“I met him then and I was just in awe of him,” Mr. Layfield said. “I watched him growing up even though he’s not that much older than me, just 13 years. He was one of my legends and I got to meet him.

“When we got to work in the ring, he treated me like an equal even though I wasn’t,” Mr. Layfield added. “He went overboard to make me feel welcome and treated me really well. He was a really great guy and we were really close.”
He got see first-hand the legend that was Rowdy Roddy Piper.

“People debate who was the greatest villain of all-time in sports entertainment, and it’s either one of two people — Rowdy Piper or Gorgeous George. But once you get past those two, that’s it. Those guys were on a different level.”

Mr. Layfield’s ring persona JBL was also a heel but he declared “Rowdy Piper was playing chess and while the rest of us were playing checkers. He was that much better than everyone else. I’ve never seen a better entertainer than him. He absolutely loved it.”

Entire WWE roster honors “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on August 3:

Mr. Layfield recalled a story Rowdy Roddy told him where he was in the Carolinas and a fan hopped into the ring with a knife and said he was going to stab Mr. Piper.

“I asked ‘What happened?’

“He said ‘He stabbed me’.

“He then pulled up his shirt and showed me the guy had cut his stomach half open.

“I said ‘Oh, my God Roddy I wasn’t even expecting that!’”

Mr. Layfield said even though he worked with Rowdy Piper quite often, there were no real sit downs on giving him advice on how to be a better entertainer.

“He would talk to me about the business but wouldn’t take me through specifics like ‘This is how you be a bad guy’. He would explain how he was in situations and how crowds would be in a fever pitch. I would learn from him by him telling me these stories, which he did a lot because he knew I appreciated them.”

He added that Rowdy Rod will be truly missed.

“Rowdy was one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He would go overboard for people. He would tell them he loved them, he hugged everybody. Hardly anybody has a bad word to say about Rowdy Piper.

“He was a true gentleman. He just loved to perform. He loved to be out in front of people.”

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