clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WWE legend and Rousey namesake 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies at 61

New, comments

WWE star Roddy Piper, whose "Rowdy" nickname was taken by request by UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, has been pronounced dead after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Hollywood home on Friday, July 31st.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Earlier today, TMZ reported that WWE legend 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper -- or Roderick George Toombs -- was found dead at a Hollywood home. The 61-year-old battled with Hodgkins Lymphoma from 2006-2014, but the WWE icon died from cardiac arrest at around noon on Friday, July 31st.

Piper was a star throughout the '80's and participated in the first ever WrestleMania event alongside Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. The wrestling dynamo was also an inspiration to childhood Piper fan and UFC bantamweight women's champ, Ronda Rousey. The arm bar queen shares Piper's nickname, Rowdy, after the WWE heel generously handed it over her.

"So then maybe a year ago-ish (my timing's not great), Ronda and Gene called me, "Piper revealed in an interview with FightLand last year. She was so, so excited and so beautiful, saying, "Would you mind? I'll make you proud and I'm giving it everything you got." And I said, "You go, gal. You go!"

Somebody asked me, "What would you think if ‘Rowdy' Ronda Rousey would become the face of the UFC?" I said I think it would be great. I think it would be a really great thing."

Piper's rep told TMZ that he was devastated by the news and referred to the former wrestler as good friend as well as a client.

"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."

Rowdy leaves behind four children and his wife, Kitty. His son Colton is following in his fathers footsteps by taking up a career in professional wrestling.

UFC president Dana White also tweeted out his tribute to Piper following news of his death:

For more pro wrestling coverage, turn over to Cageside Seats