Harry Smith recently spoke with Raj Giri of WrestlingINC.com about his start in the business, his WWE run and departure, wrestling for Resistance Pro, Ring Ka King and much more. Part two of the interview is below. Click here for part one, where Smith talked about not joining Legacy, the future of tag teams in WWE, his WWE signing and departure and much more.
WrestlingINC.com: You have been training MMA with Josh Barnett, is that something that you have been interested in for awhile?
Smith: Yeah. I dabbled in it a little bit like five years ago or so, before I signed with WWE. I met Josh Barnett at a show in Seattle, Washington where he was living at the time. We were both wresting in New Japan at the same time, but we were on different tours at the time and they were using him for Big Shows and they were starting to use him less frequently right as I was coming in. We were never on the same tours, but I was kind of interested in it and I did quite a bit of amateur wrestling before so he invited me down.
I had started taking some Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Josh opened up my eyes to a world of submission wrestling, catch wrestling, leg locks, neck cranks, slams, suplexes, you know? I thought it was really, really cool. So I would say after that I got interested in it and was just kind of wowed but it. This guy was just highly, highly skilled and I was just like geez! Then after that, I kind of got interested in training with jiu-jitsu. I mean, I would dabble a little with muay-thai kick boxing, but it would just be a practice here and there. As time went on, I started training with it more and just kind of got more interested in it. A lot of people wanted me to start entering grappling tournaments, but unfortunately with WWE's contract I couldn't do that, but I can now [laughs].
WrestlingINC.com: Is that something you see yourself doing in the future? Do you see yourself competing in MMA?
Smith: Yeah, I would like to give it a try. Things just doesn't happen overnight because I didn't do a lot of striking training before. As soon as I got released, Batista opened up an MMA school in Tampa and then he bought down a good MMA coach, Josh Rafferty, and then I started training a lot of stand-up. This is about 5 or 6 months of the training. So I would say overall to become a good mixed martial artist and to get all the skills ready to start fighting, I think that it takes about two years.
Not to say that I couldn't start fighting amateur fights right now. It's kind of the same thing as pro wrestling, to get the body and the central nervous system, everything to be done as far as reaction times, where the body knows before you have to think about it. Learning about distances with striking, about footwork and movement and a whole bunch of things. So, I would like to eventually, but it's just going to take a bit more time. I would think eventually yes, but no exact planned date or anything like that. It takes time, like even when [Brock] Lesnar left WWE in 2004, or was that 2003? I don't think he had his first fight until 2007 or something that. I know he played around with football for awhile after that, but it takes a couple of years.
WrestlingINC.com: When you teamed with Bobby Lashley last fall in Japan for IGF [Inoki Genome Federation], did he have any pointers or anything?
Smith: Yeah, we talked. He invited me to his MMA school in Denver and told me that if I ever wanted to, when the time is ready and I feel right, he would hook me up with [MMA gym] American Top Team down in Coconut Creek, which is about four or five hours from where I lived down in Tampa. He was really cool, we hung out backstage and we talked about MMA and everything like that. I enjoyed the tag team match we did. I don't know when I'll be going back to IGF, but hopefully I can work with Bobby some more. [He's a] Real good guy. Strong too… oh my gosh!
WrestlingINC.com: You are now a part of TNA's Ring Ka King promotion in India, and it's already doing well. The ratings were really high for the debut episode. What is it like being part a of it?
Smith: Yeah, Ring Ka King is great. They put a lot of money into the production and the studio they have down there in Pune. I think it will be great. What I was told is that more people will be seeing me on these Ring Ka King shows than probably ever before because of India's population. That's just crazy because people recognize me all the time and see me on TV in the United States and all over the world, but just in India alone I mean it's crazy.
I like India in general, the people were very, very friendly. It's a great country and I've made some good friends. Unfortunately my last trip there I got a stomach infection that kind of took me out of commission for about three days. Other than that it was awesome.
WrestlingINC.com: You're a tag champion there [in Ring Ka King] with Chavo Guererro and you are also now the first heavyweight champion of Resistance Pro, the promotion run by [Smashing Pumpkins frontman] Billy Corgan. How is it working with Corgan?
Smith: I believe he has his fingers dabbled in it pretty good. The first show he missed unfortunately, because he was overseas touring. The second show he was there and Raven was the head agent, so he was really busy at that show. He would come talk to us a little bit directly, and then Raven would help to put together the show and figure out what time it would end and everything like that.
Billy is a great guy, he loves wrestling. I've known him for quite a few years and he always goes to the WrestleMania's. I got to go see him live in Tampa one year with my cousin Nattie, who he's good friends with, and got to hang out with him backstage. He's a great guy.
WrestlingINC.com: What are your thoughts on Resistance Pro and how it compares with other independent promotions?
Smith: I think it's good. They have a whole bunch of young talent. Like my cousin Teddy Hart was on the first show. Kevin Steen, Petey Williams, Davey Richards is on this last show, he is a hell of a talent. I think there is a lot of good talent there. Billy's got a great mind for… I mean he's a genius when it comes to music and he understands wrestling really good, so I think that with more shows to come it's going to be a really good project.
WrestlingINC.com: You are using the name Brakkus there, is that based on the guy in the 90's who… like they built him up a little bit in the WWE but he never debuted, well he might of debuted for a couple of matches, but is the name based on that wrestler? Or is it something you came up with?
Smith: It's a complete tribute to that wrestler [laughs]. No, I'm just kidding. No, a lot of people think that, but actually what it is… did you ever see that movie The Best of The Best 2? It's a martial arts movie and there's this big German guy with kind of brown-blonde hair and his name is Brakkus and he neck cranks everybody. So at Batista's school, Josh Rafferty and a few of the guys started nicknaming me Brakkus because of that movie. We would joke around about how I would be coming into fights and wrestling shows by landing on the top of a building with a helicopter like Brakkus does in The Best of the Best. So it was just kind of a joke at first, and then all of a sudden everybody at Batista's school started calling me Brakkus. I kinda changed my Twitter name to Brakkus just to generate some interest, to see where it goes and see if it sticks and if not, just call me Harry.
Once you leave WWE you have to keep the fans on Twitter and stuff like that interested. So they say, "ohhhhh, Harry changed his name to Brakkus," or "ohhhhh, what's he doing now," and they research. Just to try to do something.
WrestlingINC.com: Doing Ring Ka King, you're kind of affiliated with TNA. Could you see yourself joining TNA?
Smith: Yes, I mean... I think I could, it would just depend on what direction they would want to go. It would depend on their contract, because when you sign WWE contracts you are basically screwed. I mean, I couldn't do anything outside. So it would just be… could I still go over to Japan and do a tour here and there? What kind of promotions can and can't I work for? There would be a lot of questioning, curiosity on that behalf on what the contract would consist of what they would let you do, what they wouldn't let you do. There would be a number of things, but I would give it a try. Jeff [Jarrett] has been great with me in Ring Ka King, he was friends with my dad, really good friends with my Uncle Lowell. It isn't out of the question, it could happen.
WrestlingINC.com: Has there been any movement in that direction?
Smith: No. I mean Jeff was cool, we just talked and [he said] I'll see you next tour. He didn't say anything… it was more like, "I don't understand why you aren't still in WWE or what happened, you're a hell of a talent, we'll see you next tour, we're glad to have you," just that kind of thing. Nothing in that, no contract offers.
WrestlingINC.com: I know you said you're not really following WWE right now. One thing that's been really ticking off a lot of people on WrestlingINC has been this angle that they are doing with Natalya, are you familiar with that at all?
Smith: Yeah, someone texted me and told me about it recently. I mean, yeah… That's crazy. Whatever. That's the company. It's kind of sh-tty thing, pardon my language. But when you sign up and they wanted me to do something… it's like... You're under contract for them, so you gotta do what they. But what can you say? Whatever... I don't understand how that's going to make Nattie any money or how that's going to make the company any money, but whatever.
WrestlingINC.com: Thanks for your time Harry, and best of luck in the future.
Smith: Thanks a lot, I enjoyed it.
Click here to check out part one of our interview, where Smith talked about not joining Legacy, the future of tag teams in WWE, his WWE signing and departure and much more.