Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #20 - Roddy Piper
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts with WWE verbage in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than any Seth Rollins theme song (you know, ”Burn It Down?” Okay, I’ll see that bad joke right out the door).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All" (with a little help from Wikipedia to fill in the blanks), I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990, factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
#20: Roddy Piper
Hailing From: Glasgow, Scotland
Finisher: The Sleeper Hold
Absence certainly makes the fan boy’s heart grow fonder and if any main event star benefited from time away from the ring in the 1990s, it was Hot Rod. Half of his decade consisted of part-time WWF appearances here and there while the latter included him being embroiled with WCW’s war against the N.W.O.
But in Piper fashion, the decade started off in controversy for Roddy. During his feud with Bad News Brown leading up to WrestleMania VI, Piper painted half his body black and Bad News Brown legitimately wasn’t a fan (Here's Bad News Brown's take & here's Piper's take, either way it was an awful, awful idea.)
After a few appearances and a motorcycle crash, Piper’s most memorable run in the first half of the decade came when he won the Intercontinental Title. That culminated in a match with Bret Hart at WrestleMania VIII which became a classic for both competitors and one of the matches that Bret Hart ranks as one of his all time favorites.
Roddy would continue to pop in for WWF here and there and in 1996 would be in the pre-taped “Hollywood Backlot Brawl” with #32 Goldust.
It’s later in 1996 when Piper went to WCW to become one of the several big names to go up against the N.W.O. He showed up at Halloween Havoc and it’s then he decided to fight the faction solo until eventually teaming with Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen. He wouldn’t win any championships during this feud, but would be featured in main event bouts with Hogan, Savage, Diamond Dallas Page & The Outsiders.
Later, he’d return as WCW commissioner to help implement law & order over the N.W.O., and in 1999 would win the U.S. belt for a third time (his first in WCW.) Roddy’s decade would pretty much wrap up against wrestling booking most hated heel in Vince Russo (and that’s not a good thing.)
Piper’s presence in the 1990s wasn’t as prominent as his super-hot 80s run, but his cache and time away has put him at #20 on the list.