Bret Hart, Jake Roberts & Marty Jannetty React To Roddy Piper’s Death

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Bret Hart, Jake Roberts and Marty Jannetty recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about the death of Roddy Piper. Here is what they had to say…

Bret Hart: “I would be a footnote in this business without Roddy Piper,” said Hart. “Roddy took a shine to me and took me under his wing. Maybe it was because I was a Canadian kid like he was, but he protected and looked out for me right from the start from the first time I met him.” “Piper passed the torch to me at WrestleMania,” said Hart. I think I was the first guy who pinned him in the ring. Roddy was one of the first guys to help make me into a main attraction. I was supposed to work, at one point, with Ultimate Warrior, but he never passed the torch to anybody. [Hulk] Hogan didn’t have enough respect to put me over or help the next generation.”

Jake Roberts: “There was something between Roddy and I that I never had with anybody else,” said Roberts. “A deep, deep connection. I think it’s from a rough upbringing. Roddy went through some tough times when he was young, but he was a fighter. A never-give-up fighter. Roddy and I made a couple road trips during our time in WWE. We talked about some serious things that happened in our lives. He had some dark areas, too. We talked about those dark areas, and over the years we became very close because of that.”

Marty Jannetty: “He was a real mentor to [The Rockers],” said Jannetty. “Everyone who ever met him talked about what they’d learned from Roddy. His psychology of the sport, as well as his philosophies in life, were just amazing.” One of Jannetty’s favorite moments with Piper occurred right before the 1991 Royal Rumble. “Shawn and I got to the building in Miami and found out we were in the first match against the Orient Express,” said Jannetty. “We were both surprised – we’d work so hard but were still the opening match. Roddy overheard Shawn and I talking about it, and he called us over to the corner. ‘This is a compliment,’ Roddy told us. ‘It’s the biggest compliment you can get. The two biggest matches of a pay per view are the opening match and the main event.”

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