Vince McMahon has revealed what he looks for in a good villain in sports entertainment and how ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper had all the attributes to succeed in that role.
McMahon was talking on the A&E Biography covering Piper’s life and career. Piper was a huge star in the World Wrestling Federation as the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling era morphed into the Golden Age of the late eighties. So much so that Piper headlined the first WrestleMania against WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Hogan and his partner Mr. T bested Piper and his teammate Paul Orndorff in the history-making match.
Explaining what a heel in wrestling needs to excel in the role, McMahon said:
“When you look for attributes of a bad guy, you have to be fearless – you have to have the gift of gab. You have to be able to say anything that you want, even though you know it’s going to be controversial. You have to have a certain attitude about you. Roddy had all of that and more.”
Known for his sharp tongue Piper fronted the famous Piper Pit segments on WWF television. It was during a series of these segments that the WrestleMania 3 main event between Hulk Hogan and André The Giant was set up.
Piper had an on-again/off-again relationship with what is now WWE over the years. He even teamed with Ric Flair at the age of 52. Piper’s final WWE appearance came at WrestleMania 31 only four months before his untimely death at the age of 61.
Vince McMahon is no stranger to villains in professional wrestling. Many consider the WWE Chairman to have been the archetypal wrestling heel during his years-long feud with Steve Austin. The seminal rivalry of the Attitude Era saw McMahon attempt to screw Austin at every turn making for some memorable moments.
The A&E Biography series covering WWE will also feature episodes on Steve Austin, Randy Savage, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley, and The Ultimate Warrior.