Is Ronda Rousey related to Rowdy Roddy Piper? The truth behind the ‘Rowdy’ connection

Ronda Rousey is one of the most influential and successful athletes of all time. She has dominated in judo, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling, earning accolades and fans across the world. She is also known as ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey, a nickname that pays tribute to another legendary figure in sports entertainment: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper.

But is Ronda Rousey related to Roddy Piper? The answer is no, they are not related by blood. However, they had a strong bond based on their love for professional wrestling, their ‘Rowdy’ nickname, and their friendship. Rousey has honored Piper’s memory and legacy throughout her career, and has maintained a connection with his family.

How Ronda Rousey got the ‘Rowdy’ nickname

Ronda Rousey was born in 1987 in Riverside, California. She started practicing judo at the age of 11, following in the footsteps of her mother AnnMaria De Mars, who was the first American to win a world judo championship in 1984. Rousey became a prodigy in the sport, winning multiple national and international titles, including a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

After retiring from judo in 2008, Rousey decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. She made her amateur debut in 2010, and quickly rose through the ranks with her impressive skills and charisma. She became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in judo and the first woman to win a UFC championship.

Early in her MMA career, when trying to think of a nickname, several people pointed out the alliteration of ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey. The notion made Rousey uncomfortable, because it felt like stealing, when that’s what Roddy Piper was already so well known as being.

Roddy Piper was born in 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He started wrestling at the age of 15, and became one of the most popular and controversial stars of the industry. He was known for his charismatic personality, his rebellious attitude, and his iconic kilt and bagpipe entrance. He was also one of the pioneers of the wrestling talk show format, with his famous segment ‘Piper’s Pit’.

Piper was a fan favorite and a villain, depending on the storyline. He had memorable feuds with Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, and many others. He won several championships, including the WWF Intercontinental Championship and the WCW United States Championship. He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Rousey admired Piper as a child, and was inspired by his style and charisma. She wanted to use his nickname as a tribute, but she was afraid to do so without his permission. Luckily for her, she got the chance to meet him in person.

How Ronda Rousey met Roddy Piper

Ronda Rousey met Roddy Piper through Gene LeBell, a legendary martial artist and wrestler who trained both of them. LeBell introduced them at his gym in Los Angeles, where they hit it off immediately.

“I happened to see the ‘Rowdy’ one,” Rousey said in A&E’s Biography: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “and got his blessing and he was very sweet about it. He was like, ‘Sure kid, no problem. Better do the name proud’ or something like that.”

Rousey did the name proud for sure. She became one of the most dominant and popular fighters in MMA history, winning 12 consecutive fights, 11 by submission. She defended her UFC women’s bantamweight title six times, defeating opponents like Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche, Cat Zingano, Bethe Correia, and Sara McMann.

She also became a mainstream celebrity, appearing on magazines, movies, TV shows, and video games. She was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2015.

Piper was proud of Rousey’s achievements, and supported her throughout her career. He even gave her his leather jacket to wear for her UFC 190 weigh-in against Correia.

“He gave me his jacket that he wore when he fought Mr T,” Rousey said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, “and he told me that I’m his last hope.”

How Ronda Rousey honored Roddy Piper after his death

Sadly, Roddy Piper passed away on July 31st 2015 at the age of 61 from a heart attack. His death shocked and saddened the wrestling world and beyond.

Rousey dedicated her UFC 190 fight against Correia to him, and wore his jacket and T-shirt to the octagon. She knocked out Correia in 34 seconds, and paid tribute to Piper in her post-fight interview.

“Thank you for the name, and thank you for everything else,” Rousey said.

Rousey also honored Piper’s memory and legacy when she transitioned to professional wrestling in 2018. She signed with WWE, and made her debut at the Royal Rumble, wearing Piper’s jacket and T-shirt again. She also used his entrance music, ‘I’m Your Man’ by The Killers.

Rousey had a successful run in WWE, becoming the Raw Women’s Champion and headlining WrestleMania 35 with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. She also had memorable matches with Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, and others.

Rousey’s love for Piper spreads to his family. She has met Piper’s widow, Kathy Toombs, telling her, “Thank you so much for everything. Thank you for trusting me.” She has also trained in the wrestling ring with Piper’s daughter, Ariel Teal Toombs, who is also a professional wrestler.


Ronda Rousey and Roddy Piper are not related by blood, but they are related by spirit. They share a passion for wrestling, a respect for each other, and a legacy that will live on forever. They are both ‘Rowdy’, and they are both icons..

Doms Desk

Leave a Comment