In January of 1984, Hulk Hogan became WWE Champion and spent the next year beating up all the heels in the federation. Roddy Piper joined the WWE at this time and was humiliating all the faces on his talk show Piper's Pit. In addition, Piper was a manager and several of his wrestlers fought Hogan for the title. On December 28, 1984, at Madison Square Garden, Hulk Hogan presented Cyndi Lauper with an award. After Hogan left the ring, Piper attacked Lauper. Hulk would not allow this to go unpunished.
The War to Settle the Score
In a match televised live on MTV, Hulk finally got to fight Piper. After the referee was knocked out, Paul Orndorff entered the ring and they beat up Hogan. They then turned their attentions to Cyndi Lauper. Before they attacked her, Mr. T, who was sitting in the front row, jumped into the ring to save her. The ring was then swarmed by police and WWF officials. This event led to the main event of the first WrestleMania. During the promotion of this match, wrestling reached a new level of popularity. Hulk Hogan co-hosted Saturday Night Live the night before the big match. This match was also very important to the future of the WWF. If it wasn’t successful, the company could possibly have gone out of business.
The main event of WrestleMania featured Hulk Hogan & Mr. T fight Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff. In addition, Liberace, Muhammad Ali, and Billy Martin were involved in the match. Hulk & Mr. T won the match when the outside interference of Bob Orton backfired and he hit Paul Orndorff with his cast. The event was a tremendous success and solidified Vince McMahon as the number one promoter in the business.
WWE Returns to National TV
On May 11, 1985, the WWE broadcast the first installment of Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC. The main event featured Hulk Hogan beat Roddy Piper's bodyguard Bob Orton. Hulk Hogan spent the next few months feuding with other heels while Piper feuded with Paul Orndorff because of their WrestleMania loss.
The Wrestling Classic
The WWE held their first pay per view card on November 7, 1985. The main event of this card featured Hogan vs Piper. Like all their previous matches, this one ended with a DQ victory by Hogan when Bob Orton interfered. After this match, Piper would start his Hollywood career which would eventually lead to the first of his many retirements in 1987.
11 Years Later and a Different Company
In 1997, Hollywood Hogan was the number one heel in the business. His New World Order was dominating WCW. At Halloween Havoc 1996, Piper came out after Hogan’s match to let him know that he was very disappointed with Hogan’s recent behavior. On December 29, 1996 at Starrcade 96, Piper made Hogan submit to the sleeper hold but didn’t win the title because the match was non-title. In the rematch at SuperBrawl on February 23, 1997, Hogan pinned Piper to retain the title. In the rubber match, Piper beat Hogan in a non-title steel cage match at Halloween Havoc 96 on October 26, 1997.
WrestleMania 19 and Beyond
On March 30, 2003, Roddy Piper shocked the wrestling world by interfering in Vince McMahon’s match against Hulk Hogan. They fought on May 18, 2003 at Judgment Day. Hulk Hogan finally pinned Piper in a WWE ring, but unfortunately, he was under a mask known as Mr. America. Piper was fired shortly after this match for comments he made on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumble.
The Hall of Fame Ceremony
On April 2, 2005, both men were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. It was a fitting tribute for these two men and their feud that they were both inducted on the same night.