Perhaps nobody knows more about what the British Bulldog has meant to pro wrestling than his son Harry Smith. It’s a big reason why he has carried on the Davey Boy Smith name in Major League Wrestling. These days of COVID-19 and staying at home more gives the star extra time to reflect on his late dad’s legendary career and the motivation behind keeping such an important legacy alive.
“I’ll have to go back to the match he had with Bret Hart at SummerSlam 1992. That was probably his greatest moment in the professional wrestling ring,” Smith reminisced. “Another great memory I had was the Canadian Stampede from 1997 in July in Calgary. It was great for all the families to get together.
“The whole city of Calgary was certainly behind my father and the rest of the Hart Foundation. The ambiance and atmosphere with the audience that night was just untouchable. I never felt something so strong or profound. You couldn’t even hear yourself speak. It was that loud. It was also a lot of fun hanging with my cousins all summer. WWE was really hot at the time in western Canada.”
Smith’s sister Georgia has been active in celebrating the life of the British Bulldog through a new website and merchandise store. He’s glad to see their dad’s memories shared with a potentially new fan base building up in the process. As a member of the famed Hart wrestling dynasty with a famous pop, certainly created a unique childhood. There was even a time in 1996 where his mom Diana was even involved in a soap opera-esque storyline. She was accusing then WWF champion Shawn Michaels of sexually assaulting her. The controversial onscreen angle was used to add fuel to the fire heading into HBK’s title defense against the Bulldog. For a young Smith, it didn’t affect school life much.
“A few of my close friends who were watching it at the time. I guess the business was treated more as real back then,” he said. “At the same time, going to school wasn’t terribly awkward or anything. At that time WWE, I don’t think they had reached the pinnacle or the amount of ratings they were doing at that time. Some kids were watching it at that point. But for example if that were happening in the year 2000 when it was super hot, it might have been talked about all around school.
“But in 1996 in elementary school, some kids knew Hulk Hogan and watched periodically but they weren’t fanatics. It was a different time in the business. Some of my friends were aware of it, and we gossiped about it. We would always joke and hope that my dad would get revenge on Shawn Michaels I suppose. They had a lot of great matches at that time for sure.”
Before the pandemic cancelled WrestleMania festivities like the WWE Hall of Fame, Smith was preparing to deliver an induction speech for his dad. The hope is the traditional ceremony will happen at some point down the line.
“I wasn’t putting it off, but I suppose I was trying to think of the right things to say,” Smith said of the Hall of Fame speech writing. “The most important things to say. I had no idea what kind of time frame WWE was looking at for my speech because I know they were cutting down the time for the speeches because of Hillbilly Jim or somebody went overtime a while ago, and they are very strict on that.
“I knew what I wanted to say, but I was waiting to hear how long it was going to be and could practice because I wanted it to be perfect. It was all praise of course and thanking the WWE and audience and the rest of the universe for all the support for my dad after all these years. It was a nice way to have him remembered.”
Davey’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.