Piper shows victorious Hart at WrestleMania VIII
The battle for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania VIII between future WWE Hall of Famers Rowdy Roddy Piper and Bret "Hit Man" Hart had all the makings of a classic bout -- and a moment of sportsmanship from the Hot Scot that WWE.com is proud to recognize as its No. 7 "Rough Side/Soft Side Moment."
It was the first time that Piper, the champion, and Hart, the No. 1 contender and former champion, had ever met for the Intercontinental Title, and while the two fan favorites were friendly and respectful toward each other leading up to their battle at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Ind., the cordiality ended in a pre-match interview as "Mean" Gene Okerlund struggled to keep the two from exchanging blows in the locker room.
Almost ironically, as the two battled in the ring that night, Piper demonstrated an uncharacteristic "Soft Side" several times, passing up opportunities for illegal moves and cheap shots on the "Hit Man." At one point, after the two spilled out of the ring, Hot Rod even opened the ropes and allowed Hart to climb back into the ring safely.
Before long, however, Piper turned up the heat. The softness in his demeanor had disappeared as he clocked "Hit Man" with a sucker punch, then bit the forehead of Hart. Then, seeing an opening with the referee incapacitated, Piper grabbed the ring bell. With his opponent nearly unconscious, Hot Rod could have ended the match and retained his title by ringing Hart's bell with the illegal object.
At that moment, the "Soft Side" of Piper shined through again. As the crowd pleaded with the Hot Scot not to use the bell on Hart, the champion relented and slapped his patented sleeper hold on the "Hit Man." But the Excellence of Execution suddenly pushed off the turnbuckle and flipped the hold into a pinning bridge, getting the three-count on Piper to win the Intercontinental Championship.
Frustrated, Piper ripped the title from the referee's hands, but as the Hot Scot stood over the exhausted "Hit Man," his "Soft Side" prompted him to help the new champ to his feet, and place the title around Hart's waist.
The two shared a hug in front of 62,167 cheering fans at the Hoosier Dome, applauding Piper's "Soft Side" and sportsmanship -- as well as one of the greatest Intercontinental Championship Matches in WrestleMania history.