Superstar Scores: Rowdy Roddy Piper Career Ranking | Smark Out Moment

Superstar Scores: Rowdy Roddy Piper Career Ranking

Posted by Anthony Mango Wednesday, August 5, 2015
On this twelfth edition of SUPERSTAR SCORES, we honor the late ROWDY RODDY PIPER, who recently passed away at the age of 61. He was one of the most beloved legends and Hall of Famers who oddly enough, never won a world title despite his massive popularity and influence. For this round of rankings, we will break down just what comprised The Hot Rod.

If you're unfamiliar with how the segment works, here is a quick breakdown: Each edition, a wrestler will be put under the spotlight and rated on a 0-100 scale based on 10 categories that have been broken up into 5 umbrella sections: In the Ring Skills, On the Mic Skills, Appearance, Backstage, and Crowd Reaction. The rating scale is as basic as you can get: 0-1-2-3-4 | 5 | 6-7-8-9-10. It follows the Three-Count Critique method of green being the good, yellow being in the middle, and red being the bad. A perfect 100 is the goal.



Athleticism: Does the person have a good signature moveset and finisher? Can they perform a wide variety of moves on a regular basis and not botch them?

My Rating = 5
Piper wasn't a particularly agile wrestler in the ring. He's far from the likes of someone like Khali, who can't really move, but he's also far from the likes of the luchadores out there. As I'm not nearly as well-versed on Piper as I am with some other wrestlers, I have to give him a middle of the road score.

Psychology: The wrestler's ability to tell a story in the ring. Do they make you believe it's real or do they forget to sell their injuries properly? Can they make a long match stay interesting and not get boring?

My Rating = 9
What Piper lacked in the athleticism, he made up for in his psychology. This guy understood how to work a crowd and how to come off as a true villain in a match. He would play up all the angles to cheat and he'd take his comeuppance with style.


Charisma: If they get a mic, can they cut a promo without stuttering? Are they repetitive or do they keep things fresh?

My Rating = 9
The only reason I don't give him a 10 is because that's reserved for The Rock, essentially, but he comes as close as you can get. Piper was charismatic as all hell and that's why Piper's Pit was such a success. His promos were the best thing about him in WWE.

Character: Is their gimmick(s) interesting? Can they pull off being both a heel and a face?

My Rating = 7
This might seem a bit low, but hear me out. I gave Brock Lesnar a 7 because his character is a bit one-note as "the ass kicker" and even though I believe it, it's not the craziest thing in the world. Piper is a bit nuttier, but his character is basically a variation of this one-note kind of concept. Whether he was a heel or a face, Piper's gimmick was basically always just to be a prick. He did it masterfully, but if I'm going to say Undertaker is a 10, that's so much more elaborate than to basically be yourself, so I can't go much higher than the same ranking I gave Lesnar. If you took Piper's character and put it on someone who wasn't charismatic, you wouldn't be able to tell it's the same character, while if you took Finn Balor or Bray Wyatt and put those gimmicks on someone else, you'd spot it immediately.


Physique: Are they in the proper shape for their gimmick or are they out of shape? (note: someone like Mabel isn't supposed to look like John Morrison, but Matt Hardy gaining weight deducts his points).

My Rating = 6
Piper was in shape, but never the most muscular, toned, cut, etc. He didn't stand out of the pack, but he also didn't stand out in a negative way when he was an active roster member. I'm not judging him based on his older years, as that's unfair. I'd give a 7 to him at WrestleMania VIII but overall a 6 when scrolling through a bunch of pictures from the past. Above average, but there are some levels above him, too.

Entrance: Their music, the pyro if they have any, whatever taunts or actions they do to make it interesting.

My Rating = 6
Older wrestlers are always at a disadvantage when it comes to this, as they didn't have the pyro and the special effects to contend with what is going on now. Still, credit for having a memorable theme. Piper didn't really do much else other than walk to the ring, though.


Professionalism: Are they a locker room leader or do they cause problems behind the scenes? Are they bogged down in politics? Do they put other people over or screw people over?

My Rating = 5
Admittedly, this section is always the hardest for me to judge, as I'm usually not too up to date on stories that deal with what goes on backstage. However, I do know that Piper had had issues and arguments with some people in the past and had had some tenuous relationships with WWE, Mr. T, etc. I would have to assume giving him a 5 is fair ground, but if you can enlighten me, please do so in the comments below so I can adjust this accordingly.

Marketability: Is this wrestler a public relations problem with arrests and such, or are they someone that promotes the company well, does charities, talk shows, etc?

My Rating = 6
Again, Piper was a bit of a rambunctious guy, but I need to give him a bump up in this category because of how he resonated with people. In a way, this kind of factors into our next category, but it should be taken into account how Piper could be invited to do a talk show and be trusted to be entertaining in his gruff, controversial sort of way.


Popularity: How loud are the cheers and boos for them? Do they sell merchandise? Are ratings up or down when they're on screen? How many Twitter and Facebook followers do they have?

My Rating = 9
Piper is one of the reasons why Hulk Hogan was able to be such a good guy, because the crowd hated him so much. You don't become a beloved legend and get voted the greatest villain in WWE history without being popular. Just look at how he was able to have film roles and transcend the wrestling business for proof that he was insanely popular. Rowdy Roddy Piper is part of a small list of names that non-wrestling fans recognize no matter how old they are.

Credibility: Is this person someone you would see as a main eventer and a future legend or are they doomed to forever be a jobber?

My Rating = 7
This may seem weird, considering how he's legitimately a Hall of Famer, but if we have to be brutally honest, Piper didn't have the best track record of wins. He never did get that world title and since he was the heel, it was his job to lose at the end of the day more times than not. When he did win, he did so through dubious means quite often, so that hurt his credibility as well. Piper was someone who could come onto Raw and knock someone down with a single punch because of his status as a villain, but not someone who was viewed as the favorite to win the majority of his matches.


FINAL THOUGHTS: It doesn't matter what Piper's score is compared to other wrestlers, because he's in that list of names of pure legends. If someone wasn't used to professional wrestling and asked me to explain things to them, I wouldn't be showing them Piper's ring work, but I would definitely be showing them his skills on the mic to help explain just what's so encapsulating about this form of entertainment. The best way to put it is that Rowdy Roddy Piper was an A+ entertainer and truly worthy of the praise he's received and will continue to receive. RIP, Hot Rod.


Rowdy Roddy Piper rating scale 1-100 Is Hot Rod the best wrestler ever?


Tony Mango is the head writer, host of Smack Talk, and founder/CEO/director of operations for Smark Out Moment as well as all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. He is a writer, creative director/consultant, media manager and entertainer. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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