Though he passed away in 2015, the legacy of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper continues to live on in professional wrestling and always will. Obviously, Ronda Rousey carries the “Rowdy” moniker and has done everything she can in both her MMA and professional wrestling careers to pay homage to the legend.
But now, Roddy Piper’s daughter—Teal Piper—plans to also carry on the legacy of “Hot Rod,” as the newest member of the WOW – Women of Wrestling roster. During a recent media call, Wrestling Inc. managing editor Nick Hausman was able to ask the second-generation wrestler if she’d be wearing Roddy’s jacket to the ring, as Ronda did in her WWE debut at Royal Rumble 2018.
“I will not be wearing my dad’s gear if that’s what you’re wondering,” Teal said. “As far as getting anything back, I promise our family will have everything of his at some point, so, I’m not worried about that… Me personally, that’s the same jacket my dad put on me as like a five year old, you know? So I have such a sentimental appreciation for all of his stuff; I would feel weird wearing it to the ring. And more than that, especially as his kid, it’s a bit in-your-face to be showing up in his gimmick. I want to be my own person. So while my costume will have nods to him, it’s definitely not going to be the same style you see Ronda Rousey in.”
Teal also spoke more about Ronda, though it’s unclear if she’d be down for a Goat Walk…
“Ronda, for me personally, I wasn’t a huge MMA fan until she came on the scene and I just fell in love with her,” Teal explained. “Regardless of training with Judo Gene LeBell and coming from the same fighting family that my father came from, I just loved what she was doing for MMA. So I was already on her team when she came into the light, and I was actually in the room when she was talking to my dad about using the name ‘Rowdy’ back for MMA years ago. As far as knowing her personally, I only met her for the first time at WrestleMania this year. But I’ve really been honored that she has wanted to pay such a tribute to my dad, and I think it’s really cool for her and it’s really neat to see the Rowdy name main-eventing but for the first time as women at WrestleMania this past year.”
Back in January, Ronda looked back on how she came in possession of Roddy’s jacket for her WWE debut. Specifically, the experience of meeting Colt Toombs, Teal’s brother:
“No one can rock a kilt like Piper. It’s impossible. You can’t. But, that’s obviously, something great that I know I can’t rock a kilt like Piper, but it’s fun to try. I wanted to be able to wear the jacket and I didn’t have any way to talk to the family, but WWE did and they reached out to them and Colt was willing to not just let me wear the jacket but to fly out personally and bring it to give to me himself to wear. And then right afterward, I gave it right back to him for him to bring home. But just to have that moment, to be able to speak to him.
As someone who also lost my father, it’s… It was just, I don’t know, it felt really important to me in a way to be able to talk to Colt. And Piper, when I talked to him for his podcast, I just remember afterward him telling me over and over and over how his son is his best friend. He was just so over the moon in love with his son. That was the one takeaway I could really have from that conversation. I was like wow, he really loves his son. That was how warmly he spoke of him.
It was just one of those kind of things. If anyone knew my dad and he spoke about me like that to them, I would want to hear that. I just have that little… I don’t have any videos or anything of my dad. We have very few pictures. There’s very little of him that I have left. Very little memories and things like that. So if anyone else can bring me a memory of him, it’s so precious and I have one more. So I just wanted to bring Colt a memory of his dad that I had to share with him. It was a very overwhelming moment. Just because, I think with everything else going on, everything disappeared and it was really all about Roddy Piper and his legacy that night. I really didn’t feel like it was about me and my debut. It was about ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper’s legacy continuing more than anything else. It was like I was walking out to say this isn’t over, we’re still going. ‘Rowdy’ never dies.”