UPDATE 5: The wrestling industry is reacting to the sudden death today of Roddy Piper at the age of 61. Hulk Hogan spoke with TMZ Sports, saying, “I will forever miss him….He was my best friend. He is a legend.”
He added, “God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace. Much love forever, HH.”
Others have taken to Twitter to react; a sampling is below:
RODDY PIPER. I LOVE YOU FOREVER. GOD BLESS YOU BUBBA
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 31, 2015
RIP to Roddy Piper. Prayers to his family and loved ones.
— Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) July 31, 2015
UPDATE 4: Hulk Hogan tells TMZ Sports … he’s devastated over the news of his friend Roddy Piper — saying, “I will forever miss him.”
“He was my best friend. He is a legend.”
Hogan adds, “God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace. Much love forever, HH.”
Hogan and Piper were the two of the biggest stars in wrestling back in the ’80s — and famously did battle at Wrestlemania I in 1985.
But outside the ring, they were tight — and remained friends for decades.
The Iron Sheik has also issued a statement … saying, “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you bubba.”
UPDATE 3: WWE has provided a company statement, as well as one by Vince McMahon, to us about Roddy Piper’s passing today:
WWE is deeply saddened that Roderick Toombs, aka “Rowdy” Roddy Piper — WWE Hall of Famer and Intercontinental Champion — passed away today at the age of 61.
WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Toombs’ family, friends and fans.
“Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”
The statement is also posted on WWE.com.
UPDATE x 2: TMZ has more news on Roddy Piper’s death, revealing that the WWE legend passed away in his sleep due to a heart attack. Piper’s agent told the site, “I am devastated at this news. Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all.”
In addition, Piper’s family issued a statement, saying, “Our family is saddened by the sudden passing of our father and beloved husband, Roderick Toombs aka Rowdy Roddy Piper.”
UPDATE: The following is from TMZ.com:
Wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at the age of 61… TMZ Sports has learned.
Piper — born Roderick George Toombs — died from cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood at around noon Friday.
Piper was a wrestling icon — one of the biggest stars in the WWE back in the ’80s, and even wrestled in “Wrestlemania I” back in 1985 … squaring off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
Roddy’s rep tells us, “I am devastated at this news. Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all.”
Piper had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, but last November he said he was cancer free. A family source tells us he was “cancer free” at the time of his death.
A family member tells us, “Our family is saddened by the sudden passing of our father and beloved husband, Roderick Toombs aka Rowdy Roddy Piper.”
Roddy was admitted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2005 and was one of the top 50 villains in the history of the WWE .
Piper had a long relationship with WWE — last wrestling back in 2008 … but appeared on various WWE shows up until 2014.
Roddy is survived by his wife Kitty and their 4 kids — including 3 daughters and son Colton who’s pursuing a career in professional wrestling.
The death is especially shocking considering we just spoke to him on Friday and asked his opinion about the Hulk Hogan scandal.
ORIGINAL: Roddy Piper has passed away. TMZ reports that Piper died at a home in Hollywood from natural causes. He had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2006, but had said he was cancer-free as recently as November.
Piper, of course, is a pivotal figure in WWE history and wrestling in general. Beginning his career in 1969 at the age of fifteen, Piper spent his early days in the business working for the American Wrestling Association and the NWA. He spent time in the Pacific Northwest territory and Georgia Championship Wrestling before signing with the WWE in 1983, where he became one of the company’s biggest heels. His feud with Hulk Hogan is likely his most memorable; he also had runs in WCW and TNA as well. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
On behalf of everyone here on the website, we send our condolences to the family, fans and friends of Mr. Piper. He will most definitely be missed.