Local wrestling announcer remembers “Gentle” Roddy Piper

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RICHMOND, Va. -- While the wrestling community is still trying to get over the death of the American Dream Dusty Rhodes, they were shocked to learn about the death of Roddy piper this week of cardiac arrest.

Nicknamed “Rowdy,” Piper was a legend in the old WWF back in the 80's appearing in the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden.

Fans in this area may remember Piper working for Jim Crockett and Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, making monthly trips to the Richmond Coliseum.

One person that had a front row seat was former announcer Rich Landrum, who knew another side of the man known as hot rod.

Piper was notorious for his wrestling bad guy persona, but Landrum said Piper was nothing like his TV character.

“He was just a super nice guy.  As I got to know him, I realized how really personable and gentle that he was. -- He's just nice to be around, fun to be around, family man, married had four children,” Landrum said. “He was good with the fans, away from the ring and away from TV, he was good with the fans.”

Piper, whose real name was Roderick George Toombs, was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame in 2005.

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