The history of the Hart Family has made them one of the most important families in the wrestling industry. Bret Hart was the biggest star becoming a massive draw for the WWE as the face of the company for a short time period. This opened up opportunities for others to have longer careers in the WWE. Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart all worked with Bret for years and had great tenures for the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. The other brothers such as Bruce, Smith and Keith struggled to stand out and were unable to follow their relatives to the WWE.
Stu Hart was the head of the family, training all of his sons and helping his son-in-laws develop the tools to making in the WWE. Diana Hart was the sibling of Bret and the wife of Davey Boy, making WWE choose to hire her as an on-air character for quite some time. The next generation of Harts features names like Natalya, Harry Smith, Tyson Kidd and Teddy Hart. This rich history is celebrated, but there have been many ugly moments over the years. We’ll look at the dark side by revealing fifteen things the Hart Family hopes you forget about.
15. Family War
The biggest issue in the Hart Family took place when everyone turned on each other. Wrestling is a political business that can cause conflict between the best of friends and it carried over to family. There were public issues between the Hart siblings at some point during their careers. Some of the less successful Hart siblings turned on the more successful ones out of bitterness.
Owen Hart was reportedly the only one to keep peace with everyone until his untimely death. The other siblings all developed disdain for each other over the years. At WrestleMania XXVI, when Bret defeated Vince McMahon, gave us one of the final moments where the Hart Family would all appear together in the spotlight before their drama continued back in Canada. Everyone has their own lives but Smith, Bruce and Bret still exchange insults at various points in the public eye.
14. Jealousy of Bret
A great deal of the Hart Family drama surrounded Bret Hart’s rise to fame. All of the Hart’s were big deals in Calgary with their history there, but Bret took it to the next level by becoming the WWE Champion and the first big star following Hulk Hogan’s departure. Smith and Bruce felt like he didn’t go to bat for them enough to land jobs in the WWE along with Owen, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart.
Their jealousy of Bret made him a target of his relatives. Diana Hart Smith even criticized Bret, calling him selfish for refusing to put over Shawn Michaels, leading to the entire Montreal Screwjob fiasco. WWE was no longer the home of the Hart’s and the siblings of Bret lashed out against him for that. That part of the family history is one they likely wish could be erased.
13. Diana Cheating Rumors
One of the more salacious rumors regarding the Hart Family focuses on Davey Boy Smith’s wife, Diana Hart. The stories have surfaced that Diana slept with Shawn Michaels and attempted to enter a relationship with Steve Austin behind Davey Boy’s back. Diana has never admitted to this, but the siblings of Bret and Owen all wanting to get big contracts from the WWE as well could add credence to the story.
Michaels was the biggest star in the company at the time and Austin was ascending to surpass him. Diana ranted against Bret, causing tension between the Hart Family and the WWE, showing just how much she cared about having a role with the company. Hopefully the rumors were, false but the fact that Diana has a controversial reputation in wrestling would make it plausible.
12. Vince McMahon Buying Out Stampede Wrestling
Vince McMahon taking the WWE national led to him aggressively going after many territories. One of the companies that Vince managed to legally obtain was the library of Stampede Wrestling owned by Stu Hart. Stu promoted shows in Calgary bringing in some huge stars to face the top names in Canada. Andre the Giant was one of the major draws Stu booked often during his prime.
Bret Hart earned his reputation for being a pristine in-ring worker with his Stampede work. WWE has used Stampede matches of Bret vs. Dynamite Kid in numerous DVD projects over the years. Stu being one of the major promoters to sell his history to McMahon is not one of the things that most want to associate with the Hart legacy.
11. Hart Brothers School of Wrestling Scam
Stu Hart trained numerous talented wrestlers that went on to become future stars of the industry. The training went on in the legendary Hart Dungeon in his house. This has led to confusion with other wrestlers doing their training at the Hart Brothers School of Wrestling. Chris Jericho and Lance Storm trained there, but quickly found out Hart Brothers did not mean Bret or Owen.
Bruce, Smith and Keith were the ones trying to make extra money by having the school under the Hart name. Young wrestlers were swindled into thinking they would train with WWE Superstars, Bret and Owen. They ended up getting treated poorly by lesser known Hart brothers that very rarely even visited the school. It was a total scam that shamed the Hart name for a cash grab.
10. Why Owen Hart Is Not In The WWE HOF
The high profile members of the Hart Family still with us have made peace with WWE. Bret Hart makes occasional appearances for the company. Jim Neidhart is on Total Divas when the cameras follow the life of his daughter Natalya. Diana Hart Smith is even over her controversial stint of lashing out at everyone else.
One thing that has yet to be resolved is the widow of Owen Hart still holding a grudge against WWE. You have to sympathize with a wife losing her husband due to a ridiculous stunt that would see Owen pass away. Martha refuses to make peace with WWE and is the reason they can’t induct Owen into the WWE Hall of Fame.
9. Jim Neidhart Was In Same Jail As Charles Manson
An odd fact about a member of the Hart Family focuses on Jim Neidhart sharing prison time with a certain infamous name. Neidhart served a short three week sentence that happened to be in the same correctional facility as Charles Manson. His horrific actions saw him form a cult and mastermind numerous murders.
Neidhart’s sentence lasted less than a month, but it happened to be in the same place with one of the most dangerous criminals. The wrestling legend revealed that security protocols would change dramatically anytime Manson had to be moved anywhere. They did not want to risk giving him a chance to start another cult or give others the chance to attack him. Neidhart luckily got out of there quickly.
8. Substance Abuse Issues
The 80s and 90s time periods of pro wrestling featured dangerous amounts of drug and alcohol abuse by the wrestlers. Talent would freely exchange pills and various drugs backstage as if they were trading candy or baseball cards. Davey Boy Smith passed away at the young age of 39 due to a heart attack. An autopsy revealed that the death may have been caused from steroids, along with the overall effect of all the drugs used.
Jim Neidhart was arrested in 2010 for carrying illegal drugs with the intent to distribute along with charges of trafficking. The legend would spend some time in jail before coming out and attempting to clean up his life. One of the stories of Total Divas in Natalya’s life is her trying to help her father continue a clean lifestyle following the history of drugs and alcohol hurting his life.
7. Dynamite Kid’s Ties To Family
Dynamite Kid was a pioneer in the wrestling business by implementing a new in-ring style that would inspire many others. His smaller size saw Dynamite use aerial moves and hard hitting strikes to make up for being one of the smaller wrestlers of his era. Bret Hart had some of the best matches of his career in Stampede Wrestling against Dynamite.
The tag team of Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite made up the very successful British Bulldogs that landed them a job in WWE. Dynamite was an unofficial member of the Hart Family for a few years, due to his closeness to them. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the best person. Bret revealed in his book that Dynamite often treated fans poorly and exhibited racist behavior.
6. Hart Foundation Ending Too Soon Due To Bret Leaving
The Hart Foundation was among the best things in WWE during the 90s. Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman formed the anti-American stable that spoke up for the international fans. It was a dynamic idea that showed forward-thinking storytelling in many ways. All members were in the best places of their WWE careers.
Bret’s massive contract led to Vince McMahon asking him to break it to head to WCW as a way to save money. The decision to have Bret leave saw the Montreal Screwjob happen and end The Hart Foundation stable way too early. They could have easily carried it on for another year or two and would have been mentioned with the New World Order and Four Horsemen in the conversation for greatest factions of all-time.
The aftermath of the Montreal Screwjob caused all of the Hart relatives employed by WWE to want to leave. Bret Hart signed a huge contract to become a main event star in WCW. Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart left WWE and joined WCW within a few months. Owen Hart wanted to leave as well, but WWE refused to let him out of his contract due to how valuable he was to the company.
WCW failed to use any of their three Hart Family members well. Bret may have been the most disappointing signing in company history thanks to horrible booking failing him. Davey Boy and Neidhart were a tag team that rarely had any relevant storylines. It was a depressing time period to follow the red hot Hart Foundation stable in WWE. No Hart Family fan wants to remember anything about their WCW runs.
4. Teddy Hart Using Family Name
Teddy Hart’s career is one of the more depressing tales in recent wrestling memory. Teddy had athletic ability with high flying moves never seen before and WWE signed him at a young age due to his potential. WWE saw Teddy’s ties to the Hart Family as a sign he came up the same way but could not be any more wrong.
Teddy was the son of Georgia Hart and grew up in the house of wrestling. A series of bad decisions saw him burn every bridge with wrestling promoters all over the world. Teddy has been arrested on numerous occasions for making horrible choices. Bret Hart has claimed that Teddy needs to be black-listed from wrestling and is in need of mental help. Regardless, Teddy has absolutely shamed the Hart name as one of the worst legacies from the family.
3. Diana’s Book
One of the most controversial actions by a Hart Family member saw Diana write and release her autobiography. Under the Mat featured stories from Diana absolutely trashing and implicating many members of the family. Diana told tales painting Bret Hart as an egomaniac, her ex-husband Davey Boy Smith as a reckless addict and even claimed her beloved mother was an alcoholic.
The book was viewed as a cash grab with quite a few of the controversial stories fabricated. Diana’s stories claimed numerous wrestlers and relatives should be in jail for various actions. Martha Hart issued a lawsuit that led to the book being removed from stores. Diana has even expressed regret about the book and the Hart Family have tried to put it in the past.
2. The Hart Dynasty Flopping
WWE tried to showcase the next generation of Hart wrestlers with The Hart Dynasty faction. Tyson Kidd, Harry Smith and Natalya were all positioned together as a team hoping to continue their family’s legendary history. Harry is the son of Davey Boy, Natalya is the daughter of Jim Neidhart and Kidd spent his childhood in the Hart home as a friend of the family.
All three possessed great talent, but the faction just never worked out with a lack of character work aside from the family name. Unlike the past era of Harts, these three all genuinely cared about each other and wanted to work together. The disappointing tenure led to Smith leaving WWE for a career in Japan. Natalya is a featured member of the women’s division. Kidd is married to Natalya, but on the shelf with a serious neck injury. It will always be a shame their faction never worked out.
1. Bret Hart’s Vendetta Against Triple H
One current feud that still exists in the wrestling world is Bret Hart’s disdain for Triple H. The two never got along and Triple H actually suggested the idea of the Montreal Screwjob to Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. Hart has held on to the grudge for many years, with the occasional insult still being thrown towards Triple H’s way these days.
Bret has trashed Triple H as a person, wrestler and wresting mind. The term 4 out of 10 was used by Bret to describe Triple H’s wrestling career. Bret also claimed WWE is going to be in bad shape if Triple H is running the company after Vince McMahon steps down. The Hart Family wants to be in good graces for historical purposes. Active wrestlers like Natalya and Tyson also have to worry about Bret’s words impacting their careers. Everyone in the family likely wishes they could erase Bret’s rants. Even Bret has expressed regret and canceled his podcast due to this.