The official cause of death for pro wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was announced to the media on Wednesday.
According to a report released by TMZ, Piper died from a heart attack suffered due to a blood clot in his lungs.
The report from TMZ notes that the website was able to obtain a copy of Piper’s official death certificate, which lists Roddy suffering a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) which triggered a heart attack.
Roddy Piper suffered from hypertension for many years. Due to this medical condition, Piper routinely had high blood pressure, which often times results in blood clotting.
During his life, Piper also suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a medical condition where cancer originates from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Piper’s diagnosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma was announced to wrestling fans by WWE in November, 2006. Piper underwent radiation therapy for the condition, and he finished radiation in January, 2007.
Roddy Piper’s death last month shook the wrestling world to its core, the second high profile wrestling death of the summer of 2015 (Dusty Rhodes). Piper died in his home in Hollywood, California. The former WWE Intercontinental Champion was only 61-years-old.
Unquestionably one of the biggest wrestling stars of the 1980s, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was instrumental in the success of the first WrestleMania in 1985. Vince McMahon bet the livelihood and future of his company on the success of that inaugural event, built upon a feud between Hulk Hogan (with Mr. T at his side) and Piper. The event featured a main event of Hogan and Mr. T (with Jimmy Snuka as their manager) taking on “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and Piper (with “Cowboy” Bob Orton as their manager) in a tag team match. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Pat Patterson served as special referees for the WrestleMania main event.
Piper announced several retirements during his wrestling career, the most notable occurring following WrestleMania III when Piper left the WWF (now WWE) to pursue a career in Hollywood. It was during this time that Piper filmed and starred in They Live, a John Carpenter-directed cult-classic.
Piper eventually returned to the WWF and shortly after, won the only single’s title he ever held in the company when he defeated The Mountie at the 1992 Royal Rumble. Piper lost the title two months later to Bret Hart at WrestleMania VIII.
Piper’s official death certificate listed his occupation as “Professional Wrestler — 45 Years.” What a great four decades they were.
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