Legendary WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper passed away on Friday, and tributes are already pouring in. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair issued an emotional statement, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is dedicating her UFC 190 title defense against Bethe Correia to her nicknamesake, and now Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is sharing his thoughts on the passing of the Rowdy One via Instagram.
Johnson talks about what a major influence Piper was on his career and persona, and expressed gratitude for the time they were able to spend together. You know you led a good life when you inspired someone like The Rock:
RIP legend. I first met this wrestling icon when I was 12yrs old when he was wrestling my pops the WWE. For weeks and weeks after that meeting I would have my mom set up a video camera in the kitchen as I would “become” Hot Rod and mimmic and emulate his every word, style, swag, heat, cool cockiness and all delivered with his classic smile (and my awful 12yr old afro). He was a huge influence on me as a kid and an even bigger one when I became The Rock in the WWE. Thank you Roddy for all the talks, all the stories (especially the crazy ones about my grandfather and grandmother ?) all the advice and most importantly.. all the memories of you entertaining us fans. You’re missed my friend. Heaven just got a lil’ rowdier… Rest in love ~ DJ #JustWhenTheyThinkTheyHaveAllTheAnswers #HotRodChangesTheQuestions
If you want to know how far back Piper’s connection to Rock’s family goes, here’s The Rock’s dad, Rocky Johnson, guesting on Piper’s Pit. Piper decides he’s gonna be racist, and the Soulman lets him have it.