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[1992-03-15-WWF-Wrestling Challenge] Roddy Piper and Bret Hart

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Piper says he may have changed Bret's diapers at one point, which would mean Piper would have been 2 or 3 years old hanging out at Hart House. Piper tries to back out of Mania, saying he can't find it in his heart to fight Bret. Bret says if he's not going to fight, then Bret should be the IC champ. Piper takes exception to that, and says if Bret wants to do this, they can shake hands and they'll hate each other until Wrestlemania. Otherwise, they can not have the match and have a good friendship. Bret says he'll see him at Wrestlemania, and Piper teases attacking him, but Bret turns around. Piper says "I would have had you" and walks off. Great segment.

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This was so great. Loved Hart getting that poster from the audience when he came out. For some reason, I found it amusing that Bret instantly pulled down his straps when Piper teases the attack. Really liked this angle.

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This was so great. Loved Hart getting that poster from the audience when he came out. For some reason, I found it amusing that Bret instantly pulled down his straps when Piper teases the attack. Really liked this angle.

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I liked how the both sit down on the edge of the stage when they first start the interview. It gets more intense and both men stand up. Piper teases hitting Bret with the belt from behind. He lets Bret know he could have had him if wanted.

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This was fun stuff from Piper, especially at the end when he teases hitting Bret from behind, a good reminder that only a few years ago Piper would have done that without hesitation.

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Piper talks about knowing the Hart family for years, going back to changing Bret's diapers and won't fight him at WM. This felt like an incredibly forced way to create an issue between the two. After shaking hands Piper teases hitting Hart from behind with the belt.

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Piper is out in street clothes (!)--he only wears his kilt when he's ready to fight. And yeah, they're clearly trying to push Bret Hart as being younger than he is. Piper wants to back out of the title match at WM8. Bret insists that if that happens, he wins the IC belt by forfeit. That sets Piper off--he wants one handshake, and after that he's going to hate Bret's guts until April 6. As Bret turns to leave, Piper sets up to whack him with the belt, but he only wanted to make the point that "I woulda had ya." There's a great payoff to that in the WM8 pre-match interview that I hope gets left in.

 

Awesome performance from Piper, going from the cheesy gladhanding commentary Piper to being very low-key and serious by his standards.

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Less then a year ago, Piper was doing commentary when Bret won the IC title at Summerslam. Now, he's defending the title against Bret at Wrestlemania. I never made that connection before. This felt a little staged but Piper is so great that it ended up being great. Bret pulling his straps down was comical.

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This was much better done than I thought it was going to be. Piper offers not to fight Bret, but doesn't seem cowardly; he obviously respects Bret and the Hart family and doesn't want to lose his friendship. Bret seems to understand this, but wants to win the IC title back, and if he has to beat Piper to do it, so be it.

 

I didn't think this was contrived at all; the problem is that as fans we're so used to dastardly attacks and boiling hatred that low-key but tough competition seems strange to us. Of course, Piper raises the stakes by threatening to brain Bret with the IC belt, but Bret foils that by turning around at the last minute, and we get an uneasy truce as Piper warns Bret, "I would've had you."

 

It's just a shame that the match was such a foregone conclusion because of Piper's imminent retirement from in-ring competition; I'm not sure if a rematch would have packed Wembley Stadium the way Bret's match with Davey Boy did, but the rematches would have done good business around the house show circuit for the rest of the summer.

 

Nice little back and forth between Gino and Heenan concerning the friendship (or lack thereof) between Piper and Bret, which culminates with Gino complaining, "Everything's dollars and cents with you", to which Bobby replies (with a smile, no doubt), "Yep!"

 

I don't think Bret would have won the title by forfeit if Piper had given it up; it would have been put up in a tournament at Mania instead.

 

The sign from the fan was a great reminder of the point of this whole segment. The only question is, was it a legit homemade sign or a plant?

 

Nice touch having Piper and Bret sit like old friends for the first part of the interview, then stand up when stuff gets real. The only problem was that Gene had to almost be a contortionist to get the mic in between them.

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Roddy threatening the attack from behind really sold this.  Sad to see Roddy "retiring", but it seems like he's willing to put Bret over so he should make it look good in the match.

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