Smith Hart, the eldest brother of the infamous Hart clan, recently spoke with Raj Giri (@RajGiri_303) of WrestlingINC.com about his time in the business, his family, the Montreal screwjob, WWF buying Stampede and much more. Here is the full interview, in its entirety.
Also, you can follow Smith Hart on Twitter (@SmithHart1) by clicking here.
WrestlingINC.com: You started wrestling back in the 70's in Stampede, was that where you got your start?
Hart: Yeah, exactly. I started wrestling professionally maybe in 1971 or 1972. I thought I was actually a bona-fide wrestler and in 1973 when I went to Japan, I realized how much I didn't know and how a lot of what I learned in the pro ring could be improved upon in Japan. It was great training, absolutely great training. I didn't realize I had 6 months of intensive training there. I knew my parents wanted me home for Christmas, but I was so improved by then that I was looking so much better than a lot of guys who were working on the top of the card. But I wasn't as big or well built or as seasoned as those guys. I worked out in the gym, but I wasn't a body builder or a weight lifter. I had a damn good physique and good genetics, but I was really a lazy bastard, I didn't really like to work out. I had more brains for promotion and angles and spotting talent and making the most out of situations and wrestlers than I did for getting in there.
WrestlingINC.com: How long did you keep wrestling for?
Hart: I wrestled professionally for 18 years. Sometimes I would have a little lay off or I would be in a moody spell and didn't want to wrestle in Calgary, but I'd pick it up again. I traveled a lot around the world in the process.
WrestlingINC.com: What was your relationship like with your brothers?
Hart: Keith was my dad's pet, Bruce was my mother's pet, I was nobody's pet. I was raised by my grandparents and never really bonded with my mother or my dad, I kind of feared my dadů you can call it respect or fear that I didn't lock horns with him too much. I was raised by my grandparents because my parents had a bad car accident and couldn't get back to New York -- they were in Montana and had to stay there to fight this lawsuit for two years -- and I was with my grandparents. At first it was only for a short time, but then they [parents] couldn't pick me up and it just got longer and longer. My mother's father was an Olympic track star that broke the world record in 1912 and he had 5 daughters and no sons, so I was like the son they never had and always wanted. I had a great time there, but when I got to Calgary, Bruce and Keith were born there and I had never seen them before and I was like a stranger. I was the odd man out.
WrestlingINC.com: When WWF bought Stampede wrestling in 1984, what were your thoughts on that sale and did you think it was a good idea at the time?
Hart: At the time I thought it was a great idea, but when you say sale, the deal never happened. Vince [McMahon] Sr. made the deal with my parents in Japan and then he died not long after and Vince [McMahon] Jr. didn't honor the deal, so there was no deal. Vince Jr. shrugged his big, broad padded shoulders and said, "Well, you can start promoting again."
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