Bret Hart Comments on His Match With “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 8

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During an interview with ESPN, Bret Hart commented on his WrestleMania 8 match with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On needing someone to help elevate him: “It was a really special time for me because a) I think I needed a Roddy Piper or somebody to kind of pull me up to the next level a little bit. I needed someone to help me a little bit. Perfect had done a good job but I don’t think The Mountie paid big dividends for me. It didn’t do a lot for my stock. Roddy was perfect for me. A big name wrestler that was gonna come back specifically…it was his idea to work with me. And he wanted to basically make me. He wanted to be that guy to build me up to the next level. Like he believed in me and sort of saw an opportunity to give back, which I really love and appreciate about Roddy, which when I look at some of the supposed big name, great wrestlers from the 80s like Jake Roberts, Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, they never really did anything for the next generation. They never made any other wrestlers. All they did was, they were holding the torch and they kinda stuck the torch in the ground and never helped anyone else make it to the next level. The guys who were gonna fill your shoes as time goes on. I always resented those guys. But Roddy was one of those guys that did say that, ‘you know, I’m gonna reach down and help the next generation by helping a Bret Hart or helping a Shawn Michaels. That’s why I really appreciate what Roddy did for me at that time by just agreeing to the match and to work with me at Wrestlemania, such an iconic stage.”

On his relationship with Roddy Piper: “Roddy was also as close as you could get..he was probably my closest friend as a wrestler. We were always really close all through the years and he was kinda like my big brother on so many occasions. He really gave me advice on how to climb the ladder. Like with Jim the Anvil, he was the first one to tell me, ‘You guys are not doing any interviews. You’re not gonna make any money if you don’t get interviews.’ And I remember talking to him about it and he said, ‘You need to go in and talk to Vince and tell him you need to do interviews.’ Which is exactly what I did and we started getting interviews. And that’s a big step that I was missing. Just little things like that, but he would always give me great advice like in a big brother kind of way about how to climb the ladder there. I was really so respectful of Roddy and everything he had already done for me.”

On the match at WrestleMania: “When we came to Wrestlemania that year, you got two wrestlers that are really close friends and you sit down and of course Roddy and I really never ever wrestled before. I think we had a couple of situations where we were in the ring together but we never really had a serious match before. That’s not so easy when you’ve never worked with somebody and Roddy was kind of a brawling sort of wrestler and not a technical babyface. That’s what I understood from Roddy when I look back on it. He really wanted this match with me to show everybody just one time that he could really wrestle. That he was a real wrestler, not just a promo guy and not just a brawler. And he wanted to tell a story.”


On putting the match together: “I remember when I had that match with Roddy, we met up about ten days or two weeks before the match and we finally said, ‘let’s sit down and talk about the match. I had already been thinking about it, I had sort of formed this idea in my head about how to have the match. I was worried that Roddy was gonna lay out a story for me that I didn’t like and then I would have to tell him I didn’t like it and I wanted to do this instead, that we would see it differently. That’s always a fear because when you’re good friends, you can upset your friendship with a disagreement like that. It was an important time for me and I was really sensitive about my career and I just remember being quite concerned about it when I sat down with Roddy. We were having dinner at a restaurant, I think it was New Brunswick, and I remember that he said, ‘This is what I think.’ And he just started to lay out the match to me. And he talked for about twenty minutes but the concept that he had was literally a complete, exactly the same blueprint that I had. Exact same was I was gonna start the match…the only thing that I didn’t have was the ending.”


On the end of the match: “At that time I would be so presumptuous to assume to tell Roddy what the ending was. Let him help with the ending. It was his ending, his idea, his concept. The whole with the bell, the sleeper hold, the backwards push off the turnbuckle. Which is a very dangerous move if you look at that move. I’m a 235 pound man. Roddy’s basically gonna take 235 pounds straight on his back and his neck. He totally did, said, ‘I’ll brace for it.’ But it was a very sacrificial thing for him to do to be that way and make me look so strong, give me such a clear win and that’s what he wanted to do. It was very genuine, the hugs, the pride we both had in that match. I think I gave Roddy that one sort of classic real wrestling match where he got to show people he could wrestle and that was so important to him. Which I don’t think I knew at the time that it was that important but I think over the years I realized how much it meant to him to do that. And for me it was a critical moment where somebody reached up and really pulled me up a big step. I climbed a big step of the ladder that night when I defeated Roddy.”

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