Bret Hart and Roddy Piper have worked together extensively during their wrestling careers. In an exclusive clip of Roddy Piper: In His Own Words sent to Wrestling Inc. by director David Sinnott, which can be seen above, Piper discusses his relationship with Hart and talks about putting him over.
Piper and Hart wrestled against each other many times in both the WWE and WCW and they became close friends outside of the ring. Piper revealed that he and Hart are cousins. He also said he didn't look forward to wrestling Hart, but he knew it was the right time to help him go over.
"Bret Hart is my cousin, I'm told. Didn't know that until I was, I don't know, 28, 25. His father Stu Hart lived 500 miles from where I was born, and his father knew names that nobody could possibly know," Piper said. "I really did not want to wrestle Bret, but I went 17 and a half years, I never took a dive for anybody, nobody pinned me... When it came to Bret, Bret needed a launch. He was right there, ready to go and not only that, he put in the time. He was obviously second-generation, but he had put in the time that it takes for someone to be very proud of him and know that he could carry the banner high and not be taken down. But he's gonna have to earn it."
Piper said it was one of the best matches he's been a part of. From a technical aspect, they put on a great performance and had the crowd cheering for both of them.
"It was interesting, the match from the aspect of when we came into wherever it was, half the fans were cheering for him, half the fans were cheering for me. They were cheering for me much ladder than they were cheering for him, but Bret would tell you opposite," Piper said. "During the match, as the match went on, for me it was a lot of fun psychology-wise, because we're all just masters of psychology. The ones that make it are masters of crowd-psychology. It was really fun and really interesting, and then trying to keep a hold on Bret at the same time was a multi-tasking chore."
Towards the end of the match, Piper had picked up a weapon to use behind the referee's back, but the he experienced something that has never happened to him before. The crowd vehemently pleaded with him not to use the weapon for the sake of not ruining the match. When he threw the weapon away, it was one of the biggest pops he's ever heard.
"I don't know that anybody's ever heard this from a crowd, it was shouting to me with such love, 'No! Please don't do it!' The tone that came brought a reality to the situation that I, myself, have never had in any other wrestling match," he said. "They were sincere, one, they wanted to like me and two, they really liked Bret. And the match was a hard-fought, very technical match. No illegal tactics, very hard-hitting, so it was like, 'Don't ruin a beautiful match like this!' I might be reading a little bit too much into it, but that's the tone I got from it. It really grabbed me... When I threw it away, the place went nuts. I've never seen or heard of a match that that's happened before."
Hart won the match when the referee failed to check on him while Piper had him in the sleeper hold and rather counted Piper's shoulders on the mat. Piper joked that he initiated the offensive move first so the referee should've checked on Hart instead of counting the pin. "I will give Bret the win, after 17 and a half years, you could have it, Bret," Piper said.
Piper also praised Hart's success. Hart was the first wrestler to win both the WWE and WCW Triple Crown Championships. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
"I was right about him, when I was thinking about him. He not only propelled himself to the next level, but to every accolade the WWE had... I don't think there was one [championship] he missed, so I'm very proud of him."
Roddy Piper: In His Own Words is available to stream now at ninelegendsfilm.com for $7.99. It includes access to Nine Legends, which was also directed by Sinnott and stars Bill Goldberg, Mike Tyson and Chris Jericho. A percentage of all sales will be donated to the Doernbecher Children's Hospital, a hospital which was special to Piper.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Roddy Piper: In His Own Words with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.