October 29, 2006
Rowdy Roddy feels all-Canadian
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
When Rowdy Roddy Piper gets off the VIA train in Ottawa on Nov. 14, he will be looking for someone special in the crowd at the train station ... his real-life sister Marilyn Robertson (Toombs), who lives in Perth.
Piper got together with his sister at WWE's 24/7 Canadian launch last year. He says it'd been 28 or 29 years. And he can't wait to see her again.
"Maybe I'll get her on the train with me," he says. "She's very special. She really helped me out."
Piper, who will also sign autographs at the St. Laurent Toys R Us that day, will be riding the rails to promote a WWE/VIA partnership for next year's Wrestlemania in Detroit. And Piper couldn't be happier that he's been asked to ride VIA from Quebec City to Montreal to Ottawa to Kingston to Oshawa to Toronto to London to Windsor, all from Nov. 13-17.
"I'm darn proud of being Canadian," he says. "I was born on the Canadian National Railways. I lived in The Pas ... Manitoba. They had a little red shack by the tracks. (his dad was a railway cop). I call it a shack, but it was home for me for seven, eight or nine years of my life. I was always around the tracks ... I used to jump trains all the time."
Technically, Piper was born in Saskatoon, but he also spent time in The Pas, Flin Flon, Dauphin, Port Arthur (Thunder Bay), Scotland, Australia and Toronto.
"I was given the key to the city in Winnipeg," says Piper. "And I was asked where home was. I said I'd never really had a place I call home. I was embarrassed. But it's true ... when people ask, 'Where are you from," ... I say, 'I'm from Canada.' "
At the age of 15, after living in Winnipeg for about a year and a half, Roderick George Toombs was at a crossroads. He played the bagpipes and he was learning boxing and amateur wrestling.
"The youth hostel closed at 9 p.m. sharp and I was always late," Toombs said over the phone earlier this week. "My trainer said to me one night: 'You're going to be late ... you're going to get cold and hungry ... then you're going to go to jail, get raped and die. But I can get you $25 if you want to go to the Winnipeg Arena and wrestle.'
"My pipe band played me in. The ring announcer had no idea who I was. So he announced me: 'Ladies and gentlemen, here comes Roddy the piper.' "
And the road to stardom began for Rowdy Roddy Piper, who on that night lost to Larry "The Axe" Hennig.
"I lost the match in 10 seconds," says Piper. "I was 167 lbs., he was 320. My nose was broken, my eye was drooping. The promoter came to me and said: 'Kid, how would you like to go to Kansas City?'
"I got in a van, crossed the border and I've been going ever since."
Piper's on and off tenure with WWE is on again. He's appeared alongside Ric Flair twice recently on Monday Night RAW.
And with a new DVD out soon ... Born to Controversy: The Roddy Piper Story ... he's riding on top of the world.
"(The DVD) is honest. It won't be the Bambi version."
- Sting is the new TNA champ, defeating Jeff Jarrett at last Sunday's Bound for Glory pay-per-view. Other results: Austin Starr won the Kevin Nash Open Invitational X-Division Gauntlet Battle Royal; Team 3D beat America's Most Wanted, The James Gang and The Naturals; Samoa Joe beat Abyss, Brother Runt, and Raven in a Monsters Ball match (with Jake Roberts as the ref); Eric Young beat Larry Zbyszko in a loser-gets-fired match; Chris Sabin won the X Division title from Senshi; Christian Cage beat Rhino in an 8 Mile Street Fight; and LAX won the tag titles from AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels.
- Here's the lineup for next Sunday's WWE Cyber Sunday: John Cena vs. King Booker vs. Big Show; DX vs. Edge and Randy Orton (fans choose between Eric Bischoff, Jonathan Coachman and Vince McMahon as the guest ref); Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito, Shelton Benjamin or Johnny Nitro; The Spirit Squad vs. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes or Sgt. Slaughter; and Umaga vs. Kane, Chris Benoit or The Sandman. Go to wwe.com to vote.
- Provincial Championship Wrestling debuts Nov. 4, 8 p.m., at the Jim Durrell arena on Walkley Road. The card features The Hickster vs. The Wild Ace; Team Player (Tyler Logan and J. Rennals) vs. Matt Gray and Chris Rage, and Cherry Bomb vs. Danyah in a Divas match.