Ric Flair Shares Heartwarming Farewell To Roddy Piper

Wrestlers stick together. Sure, there are some occasional real-world feuds and rivalries behind the curtain, but seasoned grapplers tend to rise above such matters and put things into perspective. In the wake of Roddy Piper’s sudden passing, tributes from his peers have flooded public forums and social media. And while all such expressions of grief are sure to tug at the heartstrings, Ric Flair’s farewell to his fallen friend was exceptionally moving. As reported by WrestleZone, TMZ shared a statement from the legendary grappler earlier today in which he reflected on his personal and professional relationship with Roddy Piper.

“We’ve shared the ring, traveled the world, maintained a friendship throughout the ups and downs of the wrestling world, and battled to see who was the better heel. It’s almost impossible to express my grief. My condolences to his children and to his wife Kitty. I’ll miss you Roddy. The world will never be as Rowdy without you.”

Although Ric Flair is widely known to fans as a flamboyant and egotistical tough guy in the ring and on the mic, he has shown his emotions with incredible candor over the past several years, including his tearful Hall of Fame induction and retirement match in 2008. Flair has also endured tragedy in his personal life in the recent past with the untimely passing of his son Reid in 2013. Piper’s death seems to be yet another emotional trial for Ric.

“Nature Boy” Ric Flair faced Roddy Piper as an opponent and worked with him as an in-ring parter numerous times during the course of their respective careers. The two clashed at Madison Square Garden in 1991 and Flair picked up the win in that contest, defeating Piper with an illegal pin in which he used the ropes for leverage. Piper got revenge by crowning Ric with a chair after the bell. Fifteen years later, Flair and Piper carried the WWE tag titles briefly, ultimately losing them to Edge and Randy Orton.

In another homage to Roddy Piper, Pro Wrestling Illustrated posted via Twitter earlier today a number of iconic magazine covers featuring the departed grappler.

Pro wrestlers worldwide have also paid tribute to Roddy Piper in their matches this weekend, including up-and-coming independent star Jason Kincaid who sported a kilt on the way to the ring for his match in Princeton, West Virginia, on Saturday night.

Had to pay homage to one of my all-time favorites. #RIPHotRod

A photo posted by Jason Kincaid (@giftkincaid) on

Fans, young and old, will undoubtedly continue to struggle in coming to terms with Roddy Piper’s unfortunate departure. Hopefully, the knowledge that they share their sentiments with some of the toughest heroes of the squared circle will provide a bit of solace as time begins to heal the wounds of grief.

[Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]