NEW YORK - MARCH 31: 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper attends the WrestleMania 25th anniversary press conference at the Hard Rock Caf? on March 31, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Wrestling legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, whose birth name was Roderick Toombs, died Thursday.
Piper is regarded as the first true great villain in professional wrestling, a role that earned him as much praise as it did criticism and made him truly unique among wrestling superstars. He highlighted the first WrestleMania, as well, taking part in a match Mr. T and Hulk Hogan.
Wrestling superstars paid tribute to Piper on social media Thursday, and Ronda Rousey, who was given permission by Piper himself to use the nickname "Rowdy," dedicated Saturday's fight to the WWE Hall of Famer.
A confirmed cause of death was not immediately available. Initial reports said Piper died in his sleep from cardiac arrest. He was 61 years old.