Without Dragons,you don’t need Dragon Slayers.Roddy Piper was the best Dragon The Wrestling ever saw.And with a smile,the best Dragon Slayer
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) August 1, 2015
It’s been a tough summer for wrestling legends. Less than two months after Dusty Rhodes passed away, and with the wrestling world still reeling, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died at the age of 61 on Thursday night. Piper was, without a doubt, one of the greatest wrestling villains of all time. My favorite remembrance of Piper was tweeted by William Regal, and it summed up perfectly how we grow to really cherish these guys. As a dragon back in the early 80’s, with Hulk-a-mania running wild, it was Piper who was tasked with making sure people hated him so much that they almost fell in love with Hogan by default. He was vile, he was cocky, and he would win by any means necessary. The wrestling world of today lacks true villains, and as Jim Ross explained in his Piper tribute article, it’s mainly because the “heels” of today are more worried about being the cool bad guy instead of the hated one. Piper never cared about being cool (he wore a kilt to the ring) but became as cool as can be in the process. His famous line was “I was rowdy before rowdy was cool” and he couldn’t have been more right. If you inserted Piper into the Attitude Era, he might have gotten the same anti-authority response as Austin, but back in the early 80s, our heroes were clean cut and beloved, mostly because their foils were so abrasive. Piper soon became a dragon slayer, as do all the wrestling legends with age. You may not love him like a good guy, but are you really going to boo Roddy Piper in 2015? I don’t think so. Piper will go down as one of the greatest stars in the history of the wrestling business, and his legacy will not soon be forgotten. I’m sure WWE will have another great video tribute for Piper on Raw tonight, but I think I speak for everyone when I say I’d rather not watch the tribute if it meant still having the Hot Rod in this world.