June 27, 2003
WWE, Piper part ways
By GREG OLIVER -- Co-producer, SLAM! Wrestling
Roddy Piper and the WWE have gone their separate ways again.
Piper had been with the company this go-round since WrestleMania, when he made a surprise appearance during the Hulk Hogan-Vince McMahon match. He has had numerous other stints with the WWE/WWF/WWWF during his storied career.
The WWE posted a statement on its web site, explaining their move to part with Piper:
\"Statement regarding Roddy Piper\"
\"Since March 31, 2003, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (\"WWE\") and Roderick Toombs, AKA. \"Roddy Piper\", have attempted to negotiate the terms of an arrangement for Roddy to appear on WWE programming through August of this year. The parties have been unable to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.\"
\"On Tuesday, June 24, Piper appeared on an HBO program and revealed disturbing facts about his own personal drug use. Piper stated that he used drugs for many years while working in professional wrestling and that he does not like the person that he becomes when he actively performs as a professional wrestler.\"
\"In view of WWE\'s inability to reach agreement on a contract and to assist Piper from engaging in any self destructive behavior, the WWE is ending any further discussion with Piper regarding a contract.\"
\"The WWE sincerely hopes for Piper and his family that Roddy can find happiness.\"
On the HBO show, which was taped before Piper returned to the WWE, Piper said \"This business has a hell of an entrance plan but it\'s got no exit plan.\" Asked about his recent return to the ring, he went on to add, \"I\'m not going to make it to 65. Let\'s just face facts guys.\"
Piper was also very critical of the WWE in his autobiography, Roddy Piper: In The Pit with Piper.
Piper was on the Smackdown! TV show last night, taped Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, and along with Sean O\'Haire faced tag champs Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri. Piper was pinned by Guerrero when Tajiri spit his green mist in Piper\'s eyes. In his current storyline with the WWE Piper was acting as O\'Haire\'s mentor and had revived his \'Piper\'s Pit\' segment for Smackdown!
According to his web site, Piper is scheduled to be in New York City this weekend for the New York International Sci-Fi and Fantasy Creators Convention at Madison Square Garden. His scheduled times are Friday 3-7pm, Saturday 10am-2pm, Sunday 10am-1pm.
The WWE had planned on Piper being an intrical part of the upcoming WrestleMania XX celebrations. Piper, Paul Orndorff versus Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. headlined the first ever WrestleMania. Throughout the eighties Roddy Piper was the dominant heel in pro wrestling.
Greg Oliver has had his own experiences (good and bad) with Piper over the years, and wishes him the best in future endeavours, and hopes to see him again at a Cauliflower Alley Club reunion. Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in 1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians from ECW Press (which includes Mr. Piper in the Top 20 Canadians of all time). Order it from Highspots.com. Greg can be emailed at email@example.com.