I recently spoke with Diana Hart Smith about her life in the legendary Hart wrestling family, her times on the road with Davey Boy Smith, her son Harry, as well as her new novel, Cauliflower Heart: A Romantic Wrestler.
Was wrestling something you ever considered getting into, or was that off limits?
"It was definitely off limits, but I had a knack for it. More grappling, like bear cub wrestling sort of. It was sort of strange, I was acrobatic, but I don't think in my wildest dreams I could do a dropkick, but I could do other things. I guess if it was wrestling related I steered away from it because I was afraid my mom would find out. Or I suppose my Dad. I kind of liked amateur wrestling, I seemed to have a bit of a knack for that. To do professional wrestling in my day was definitely off limits"
There was a situation in 1997 regarding HBK and Davey in Europe where Davey was supposed to defend the European Title but Shawn ended up going over. How was their relationship after that?
"It seemed OK. I think things were okay. I was talking to Shawn earlier that day. It was disappointing that Davey had to lose that night in England, but that's how things are in wrestling. I don't think there were any hard feelings. I don't recall Davey having any hard feelings with anyone. When the Montreal thing happened with Bret, we started thinking back and wondering if there was more to that match. Suddenly the finish changing the afternoon of the pay-per-view, we wondered if things were being put in place where they were immobilizing The Hart Foundation, taking away all the power to get ready for the Montreal match with Bret. I'm thinking that we didn't know if Bret was going to give his notice. Bret might have known."
You also appeared in 2010 during the storyline with Bret and Vince McMahon. Was that something you were on board with, and how did the family feel?
"Certain ones it took convincing. To be honest, I didn't know anything about that until the day of the event, really. It was kept so top secret. They didn't want anyone to know what the finish would be. I guess with ten Hart family members, there could be somebody that talks to a wife or friend, and then it's all over the world."
You've started a petition to get Davey Boy Smith in the WWE Hall of Fame. Have you heard anything from WWE about this?
"No, Michael Finney is campaigning on our behalf. He's been a tireless foot soldier, but hasn't indicated that anyone on that side has responded. I don't know if they've even acknowledged that there's a petition. They must be aware of it, but they haven't addressed."
What were your feelings regarding your son Harry using the Davey Boy Smith Jr name. Was that something you were in favor of?
"Oh yeah. When he was in WWE he was David Hart Smith, and they were trying to capitalize off of Davey's name and the Hart name. He's done such a magnificent job. I'm really proud of him, and he'd do his father so proud if he were still here. I absolutely endorse Harry being Davey Boy Smith Jr. It wasn't my idea by any means, it was New Japan's. Davey and Dynamite were so popular over there."
Do you think he'll ever get into MMA? I spoke to Billy Robinson before his passing and he said that if Harry improved his striking game he could.
"I wish he would do that and go full steam ahead. I guess it takes a lot. He's doing so well in Japan, it's hard to put that on the back burner. But I'd like the world to see that he can be a top contender. He was one of Billy Robinson's protégés like Josh Barnett. I want the world to see how good he is, and that it's not just me looking through rose colored glasses. I think he can be world championship material in MMA. He's perfected not just the grappling, but he learned from Billy that you could never learn it all. He's so thirsty to know more and more and more. He trained with the original Tiger Mask learning kickboxing, went to Amsterdam to train with Peter Aerts. Anywhere he can go, he tries to find the best in that city to train kickboxing or striking or grappling. He's really passionate about it, and I wish he would go to the next level with it, but he'd have to commit to it. I'm not just boasting or bragging about my son. He has so much potential, and just because he hasn't made a grand entrance doesn't mean he won't. Billy wouldn't give credit to someone who didn't earn it, or he didn't believe in. You have to have heart. I think that was a big factor with Billy was that if you didn't have the heart you didn't need to waste anyone's time."
Where can fans follow you on social media?
"Oh, I have a few. I have DianaHartAuthor on Twitter and Facebook, DianaHartSmith on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My Diana Hart Facebook is already full, so I had to start a new public page! I also have OfficialDianaHart.com. You can buy my book on there and see what I'm up to. The whole site is a work in progress. I'm an easy person to find."
Don't forget to check out Diana's new novel at this link.