Piper responds to being ranked as wrestling's greatest villain
WWE CLASSICS: How does it feel to be ranked as the No. 1 villain in sports-entertainment history?
RODDY PIPER: Actually, I’m quite honored and I’ll tell you why. The very first individual that breaks out in my mind as a top villain is Gorgeous George, and it’s hard to beat the first guy.
WWE CLASSICS: How did you become a great bad guy?
PIPER: There was a lot of work that people don’t know about that I did to establish my villain persona. There were a lot of miles on the road that went into it, thousands upon thousands of hours of writing on yellow pads while driving in my car with the dome light on. I can’t begin to tell you how many individuals in the industry would school me 24 hours a day. I would then perform at night and they would tear me up afterward, over and over, to help me perfect my craft. So, from my point of view, I’m humbled, and I take this recognition by WWE.com as a complete honor. It blows me away. ( SEE THE FULL LIST)
WWE CLASSICS: "Piper’s Pit" was a unique concept. How did the segment benefit you as a villain?
PIPER: "Piper’s Pit" was totally unscripted, everything just happened, thus innovation was a challenging must to accomplish. One of my early "Pits" involved a fellow named Frankie Williams, and I didn’t have a clue as to what I was going to do. So I asked him where he was from, and in the thickest Hispanic accent he said I’m from Columbus, Ohio. Bang, we’re on!
WWE CLASSICS: WWE fans still talk about that segment today.
PIPER: I felt that interview more than any other put "Piper’s Pit" on the map. And what was a positive for me was that I didn’t know who was going to be on. I honestly had no idea. Things changed on a dime back then. But I had a personal knowledge of just about everybody in the business, and I had that banked in my back pocket, so if I got stuck I would go there. But in the "Pit," I had to be biting and original and controversial, all at the same time. Plus I set a personal bar to top myself each and every week. That became difficult. But I believe that I did just that, and the rest, as they say, is history. ( WATCH: THE WILDEST PIPER'S PITS)
WWE CLASSICS: What would you say was your most villainous moment?
PIPER: Probably when I had my altercation with Cyndi Lauper in 1984. She was the female entertainer of the year that year. And I also broke her gold record over the head of Captain Lou Albano, all in the same night. After all was said and done, I turned around and there was a New York City policeman in uniform with a gun, standing in the middle of the ring at me. I looked at him like, “What are you doing here?” It got pretty warm in there pretty quickly. ( WATCH)
WWE CLASSICS: Over the years, the jeers turned to cheers for you. Did you set a course for that to happen in your career, or did you want to remain a villain all the way?
PIPER: I’m a villain at heart. I’m a born villain. But at WrestleMania 2, when I boxed Mr. T, they started chanting my name. I didn’t know why they did that, but it’s never stopped from that moment. And quite frankly, to that end, if I might tweak an original “Piper-ism”: Just when you thought I had the answers, they changed the questions!