“Rod passed peacefully in his sleep last night,” Piper’s agent Jay Schacter told Variety. “I am shocked and beyond devastated.”
Upon learning of his death, WWE chairman Vince McMahon tweeted that Piper was “one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE beloved by millions of fans around the world.”
Piper, whose real name was Roddy Toombs, is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, and was one of the core members of the ’80s-era WWE (then known as the WWF). Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, Piper competed in the very first Wrestlemania, working a faux-Scottish angle in a tag-team match (along with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff) against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, and quickly became one of the sport’s most hated villains.
Piper’s rivalries with Hogan, Jimmy Snuka and even Cyndi Lauper set the tone for the WWF, helping the wrestling organization achieve the nationwide prominence that it enjoys to this day.
Piper’s key gimmick was “Piper’s Pit,” a mock talk show in which Piper would sit down with fellow wrestlers to talk out the issues of the day. Naturally, the talk lasted less than a minute before the fists flew. Here’s a representative installment from 1984, where Piper interviewed Sgt. Slaughter. – Yahoo News