When you think of famous families in wrestling, usually the first one that comes to mind is the Hart Family. Starting with patriarch Stu Hart and matriarch Helen Smith, the couple would have a dozen children that took professional wrestling by storm. Stu started his own promotion, Stampede Wrestling, that became one of the better known territories before eventually being purchased by the WWE, making some of his children into international stars.
Not everybody in the Hart Family would get into wrestling, but many of Stu’s direct descendents entered the ring at one time or another. Even members outside of the family have had close connections, including Roddy Piper, Tyson Kidd, Dave Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart. To say that the Hart Family has had an impact on pro wrestling as we know it would be a huge understatement.
When you line them all up, though, where do the members of the Hart Family stack up? When we say that we’re ranking the Harts, we don’t mean that we’re ranking their personal lives. Instead, we solely want to focus on their accomplishments both in the ring and in the world of wrestling as a whole. With that said, here is a ranking of all 15 members of the Hart Family.
15 Wayne Hart
Not every member of the Hart Family is going to be someone that you instantly recognize. Some, you might not recognize at all, which is probably the case for Wayne Hart. Wayne is the direct son of Stu and Helen Hart, and is one of the younger children of the bunch. Wayne didn’t dabble in professional wrestling as much as some of his siblings, though he did attempt at a career in the ring.
After some time, Wayne decided that wrestling was the right business, but being a wrestler wasn’t. With that said, Wayne became a referee across multiple promotions, especially with his family’s promotion. These days, the 64 year old is married to his wife Lynn, and has kept quiet and away from wrestling for much of his life, which is an accomplishment on its own.
14 Diana Hart
The second youngest of all of Stu Hart’s children, Diana was born in 1963 and was married to Davey Boy Smith at 21 years old before she even started in professional wrestling. After making appearances with Stampede Wrestling in the late 1980’s, and would become entangled in storylines in the WWE alongside her husband and family. This included an awkward angle with Shawn Michaels where she said that he assault her.
Diana wasn’t a wrestler in her time with both companies, but did make plenty of in-ring appearances. These days, Diana is working with the Hart Legacy Wrestling promotion and has even written an autobiography and a series of romance novels. Though her wrestling career isn’t memorable, she seems to be doing fine for herself.
13 Matt Hart
Smith Hart was Stu Hart’s oldest child, and would go on to have five children of his own. Smith and Lianne Herweg would have a pair of sons named Matt and Mike, and they were the middle children out of Smith’s five. Matt hasn’t gotten deep into a wrestling career at this point, working the independent scene as a freelancer along with his brother. It’s hard to rank the two since they typically work together and are new to the scene.
Matt Hart made his debut in 2015, with much of the marketing acknowledging the fact that he’s Bret Hart’s nephew. Matt has a chance to make his way up the family rankings at his young age, although he has just around 25 matches under his belt. Matt’s most recent match came with RCW at their 14th Anniversary Show back in May 2017 when he teamed with Tiger Ali.
12 Mike Hart
Not to be confused with the former Michigan running back, Mike Hart is the brother of Matt Hart and son of Smith Hart. Mike, who is now 36 years old, is a little more experienced in professional wrestling with more than 60 matches, having won more than two thirds of his contests. However, you probably haven’t seen many of them on television. For the most part, Hart has been wrestling in PWA.
At this point, it would be a bit of a surprise to see Mike Hart make it to the big time of professional wrestling, although you can never say never. With just one match recorded this year for Mike, it seems like he might actually be winding down. With not much information or fanfare provided, it’s hard to tell where his career stands.
11 Ross Hart
Out of the 12 children that Stu Hart had, Ross was the second youngest son behind Owen, and made most of his impact with his family’s promotion at Stampede Wrestling. Ross started wrestling back in the mid 1980s, and wrestled with some big names that included Chris Benoit. Unlike many of his family members, though, Ross wouldn’t win gold while with Stampede Wrestling.
In the early 1990s, Ross would get a crack at the WWE without the Hart surname, instead wrestling as Ross Lindsey. Ross was a bit of a jobber while with the WWE, making only sporadic appearances before heading back to Canada. He then retired from the ring and instead became a promoter with Stampede and has made appearances here and there ever since.
10 Smith Hart
Over the summer of 2017, wrestling fans received sad news when it was announced that Smith Hart passed away at 68 years old from prostate cancer. Smith was the oldest of Stu Hart’s 12 children, and spent a lot of time wrestling around the world. Between Stampede Wrestling and competing in countries such as Puerto Rico and Japan, Smith was a well known wrestler, but not here in the United States.
In terms of championships, the only one on Smith’s resume was a Caribbean Tag Team Championship with brother Bret in the World Wrestling Council. Smith spend most of the 1990s and 2000s as a promoter and writer, serving as a columnist with PWMania. Smith is the father of both Mike and Matt Hart, who we discussed just a bit earlier.
9 Dean Hart
Cut down in the prime of his life, we’ll never know if Dean Hart could have made it big as a pro wrestler. One of Stu’s 12 children, Dean excelled as an amateur wrestler and almost immediately went into Stampede Wrestling before heading to Texas to wrestle for Dory Funk. Dean would also head far west to Hawaii, wrestling with the NWA’s territory out there alongside Steve Strong, winning a Tag Team Championship.
Dean also won a pair of British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championships while with Stampede Wrestling, but became more focused on music instead of trying to make the WWE. After a vehicle accident in 1978, Dean suffered from kidney damage that would require a transplant, but he never mentioned it to his family. Instead, Dean’s kidneys would end up failing him and he passed away in late 1980 at just 36 years old.
8 Teddy Hart
One of Stu Hart’s children that didn’t get into wrestling was his daughter Georgia, who would instead settle down with gym owner BJ Annis. In 1980, the two welcomed a son named Edward, who would become known as Teddy Hart. Teddy followed his family’s long lineage of professional wrestling, and became the youngest person ever signed to the WWE in 1998 when he was just 18 years old.
Unfortunately for Teddy, he never made it past the training portion of his career as personal problems kept him out of the big time. Teddy instead went to Ring of Honor a few years later, and has wrestled for multiple independent organizations. Teddy had a couple of chances with WWE once again, but was never featured on television outside of an episode of Velocity. Teddy has won several titles, though, including stops in Jersey All Pro Wrestling, NWA and Stampede Wrestling.
7 Natalya Neidhart
There’s only one female wrestler on our list that has in-ring experience, and she’s still wrestling today. Natalie (her birth name) Neidhart is the daughter of Ellie Hart, one of Stu’s children that didn’t get involved in the business. She’s also the daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who was obviously heavily involved. Natalie debuted with the WWE in 2008 as Natalya, and is closing in on a decade with the company.
Though time probably won’t remember Natalie as one of the best female wrestlers ever, being employed with the WWE for a decade as a wrestler is impressive for both men and women. Despite her long tenure, Natalie has only held a Women’s Championship once (though that could change at SummerSlam), but did win two titles at Stampede Wrestling.
6 Keith Hart
Keith Hart didn’t really plan on being a wrestler, instead wanting to become a teacher. After his family got him into it, though, Keith made the best of his pro wrestling career. Starting with Stampede Wrestling, Keith would team up with brother Bret Hart to win multiple Tag Team Championships, wrestling around the world. In the early 1990s, Keith made the jump over to WWE with his brother, participating in the 1993 Survivor Series.
His WWE career was very short lived, however, and he would return back to Stampede to team up with Chris Benoit. Keith always looked outside of wrestling in terms of his career, working as both a firefighter and a teacher, a job that he still has today. Overall, Keith was ranked in the top 500 multiple times across the world throughout the 1990s and held a total of 12 wrestling championship.s
5 Bruce Hart
The oldest of Stu Hart’s living children, Bruce Hart started wrestling at 21 years old and made his debut the next year with Stampede Wrestling. Bruce would wrestle sporadically with the promotion over the course of a few years, mainly due to an injury that sidelined him for an extended period of time. He then headed to England and then Japan as a booker that found a lot of success.
Bruce would work for New Japan Pro Wrestling while overseas and was promoting around the world before joining the WWE in 1992. Bruce has seen some in-ring action in a lot of different promotions over the years, and won a total of 16 titles in Stampede Wrestling and trained a boatload of wrestlers that include Chris Benoit and Tyson Kidd.
4 Davey Boy Smith, Jr.
When Diana Hart and Davey Boy Smith were married, they had a son in 1985 named Harry Francis Smith. To capitalize on his family’s namesake, Smith has wrestled as Davey Boy Smith, Jr. Smith had been training to become a wrestler since a very young age, which included a WWE house show when he was 11 years old. Smith eventually became a professional wrestler before even being old enough to drive a car.
In 2004, WWE offered Smith a contract, but he instead went international, including a stop in Japan. Smith would return to WWE in 2006, sticking around for several years, becoming a member of The Hart Dynasty. After his contract with WWE expired in 2011, Smith returned to the independent circuit and has had a couple of stints with New Japan Pro Wrestling ever since. Smith has won titles around the world, including two Tag Team Championships with Tyson Kidd, and the 32 year old is still going strong with NJPW.
3 Owen Hart
Stu Hart welcomed his final child on May 7, 1965 when Owen Hart was born. While not many members of the Hart Family would find their way to WWE success, Owen would, starting in 1988. Owen made several appearances in the late 1980s before heading back to Stampede Wrestling and a short stint with WCW before coming back home to the WWE.
Owen had a slew of titles in WWE that included four Tag Team Championships, two Intercontinental Championships and a King of the Ring victory. Owen was certainly one of the best wrestlers of the 1990s, with some in the business saying that he was an all-timer. Sadly, Owen’s life was cut short on May 23, 1999 when his entrance from the rafters malfunctioned at the Over the Edge pay per view.
2 Stu Hart
Of course, we can’t leave off the man that started it all as one of the pioneers of professional wrestling, Stu Hart. Born in 1915, Stu revolutionized pro wrestling in Canada, especially when he started up Stampede Wrestling in the 1960s. Not only was his promotion wildly popular, but he also trained legends outside of his family such as Chris Jericho, Abdullah the Butcher, Gorilla Monsoon and many more.
The list of accomplishments that Stu Hart had is incredibly long, and the WWE acknowledged his greatness in 2010 when they inducted him in the WWE Hall of Fame. Although not much of a professional wrestler himself, Stu had a tremendous impact on the business and his preference for technically sound performances still resonate with fans today. The Canadian legend passed away in 2003 after a full life at 88 years old.
1 Bret Hart
You probably knew that the top of the list would feature “The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.” That was the mantra of Bret Hart for many years during his professional wrestling career, which lands him safely among the top members of the Hart Family. However, many would go beyond that and say that Bret was the best professional wrestler of all time.
Hart’s work is well known around the world between his time with Stampede Wrestling, WWE and WCW. The Hall of Famer and his signature sharpshooter won many different titles across the three promotions, and he won an incredibly three Match of the Year Awards during the 1990s against the likes of Shawn Michaels, British Bulldog and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Though he hasn’t wrestled in years, “The Hitman” is still one of the better known wrestlers around.