Truth be told I missed the peak of Piper’s career. i was too young to understand the greatness of his matches, his hilarious promos and his biting sarcasm during the 80s, and by the time I was older and into the Attitude era of WWF, he was wasting away his time having horrible matches in WCW.
But good lord was I blown away after watching “They Live” on basic cable one night. I was obsessed, devouring the movie and reading trivia about one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made.
John Carpenter + Roddy Piper + Keith David = A fabulous sci-fi movie.
He and David were an unlikely pair, but they worked well together. Two grizzled actors who looked like they could kick the shit out of anyone.
And they definitely kicked the shit out of each other.
Please, witness the greatest fight scene caught on film.
It’s unreal how fantastic Piper and David Keith work together in this fight. Sure it’s choreographed, but you feel every punch, every slam into the concrete and you FUCKING want Keith to just listen to Piper and put on the god damn glasses.
Piper never got his due as an actor, unfortunately, despite his lead in They Live and several extraordinarily popular guest spots as “The Maniac” in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s a shame, because you could tell he put everything into a role and could have been more of an actor if he had gotten out of wrestling for good.
But then we wouldn’t have this moment, perhaps his greatest as a wrestler:
Oh god he SMASHED the coconut (which was real by the way) over Snuka’s dumb head. it was striking, it was exciting, and it was HILARIOUS.
But that was Piper. He was a proficient wrestler, but ask most what they remember about his in ring prowess and they’ll tell you they loved it when he poked people in the eyes.
He would POKE them in the eyes like Moe. It’s hilariously dirty, even for a fake sport, because you know he had to mess it up on occasion and almost gouge out his opponents eyeball for real.
Take a look at this…the way he stalks his opponents and then jabs his fingers into their ocular cavities. It’s not an RKO out of nowhere, it’s a Piper poke out of nowhere. How can you not laugh at him poking Ric Flair and Flair freaking out like he had been shot?
That’s what I remember about Piper. He was sarcastic, he was a prick, and he was a bastard, but he was so goddamn funny.
The Coggin Toboggan salutes you, Piper. Poke God in the eye for us and make a getaway, we already miss you.