Diana Hart joined SLAM! Wrestling live for a chat. Here’s the transcript:
Moderator: Diana Hart is here. We will now get to your questions.
Diana Hart: Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me.
Hitman’s Biggest Fan: We haven’t heard about your mom in a while. I have kept her in my prayers. How is she doing?
Diana Hart: She’s stable but still in intensive care. We’re hoping to move her into her own room in ICU.
Devin Chittick: Diana, are you worried at all by what your family’s reaction might be to some of things you’ve touched on in your book?
Diana Hart: No, generally the majority of my family has been extremely supportive. I haven’t heard from Bret or my mom. But she was one of the biggest supporters.
Jelle van Malderen: Do you still watch wrestling???
Diana Hart: Yes, I do. A lot of old wrestling tapes too.
Dave M.: Hello Diana, I would like to know how your son Harry’s wrestling career is developing and if he has any plans on having a career in the WWF like his father? Thanks.
Diana Hart: His wrestling career is on the verge of exploding. He’s with MatRats and if anyone deserves to be recognized in wrestling, it’s Harry. I hope to see him in the WWF, maybe with Davey, or not. Whatever Harry wants.
Terry Harris: Based on what you have told us about wrestling, why would you want your son Harry to become a wrestler as well?
Diana Hart: Because Harry is full of integrity like his uncle Owen, like his grandfather Stu and like a lot of wrestlers who made it to the top. I want Harry to fulfill his dream of being a pro wrestler. He is so good too.
Mike Noronha: Diana, do you think that you and Bret will ever talk to each other again?
Diana Hart: Hopefully, as a result of this book Bret will take me seriously. But if not, I just want to stay out of his way, and him to stay out of my way — mostly physically. Let the games begin.
Gurvinder Bansal: What are your views on the Dynamite Kid after everything that has gone on, and what was your previous relationship like with him?
Diana Hart: I elaborate on this in Under the Mat, that he is a sadistic, masochistic bastard who got Davey hooked on drugs, abused his wife and takes no responsibility for the way his life has now turned out. I think he’s overrated as a wrestler too.
Trond F. Helland (From Norway): The greatest match that I have ever seen was the match between Davey Boy Smith and Bret Hart at SummerSlam’92. You were sitting at ringside and I was wondering what your feelings were like before, during and after the match?
Diana Hart: I was a nervous wreck watching the match, proud of both Davey and Bret. It was utopia after the match. I agree with you, it was one of the best matches I’ve ever been privileged to watch.
Dennis Glenn: Hi Diana, My question is how was your experience in the WWF in the mid-90’s? Myself being a huge fan of Bret and Owen, how did they feel having you a part of the WWF?
Diana Hart: I talk quite a bit about my wrestling career in Under The Mat. I wish it had been longer. I enjoyed being a part of the Hart Foundation. I think the whole Hart Foundation concept could have gone on for years.
Paul Foglund: What exactly caused the rift between yourself and Bret?
Diana Hart: Well, in Under The Mat I talk about Bret’s falling out with the WWF at Survivor Series 1997, and his feelings of animosity and betrayal intensified after Owen died. But I don’t feel Vince McMahon murdered Owen. I will always believe it was an accident. Bret sees it otherwise. That’s just scratching the surface.
MaryM: In your younger days, if you could have been involved in women’s wrestling as it is today, would you?
Diana Hart: I would have seen myself as a female version of Owen and Bret put together. I think that would still be marketable today.
HHH: I was wondering whether, in hindsight, your ex-husband and brothers would have benefited from a labor union?
Diana Hart: I don’t think so. I think most wrestlers wrestle because they are non-conformists. My dad never mistreated his wrestlers. I don’t think that Vince McMahon does either.
Eddie: When Lex Luger left for WCW did you and Davey Boy feel any resentment towards him for leaving him high and dry?
Diana Hart: When they were the Allied Powers, they were just taking off. I understand Lex made a decision based on what was best for him and his family, but at the time I felt like he didn’t really trust us. That all changed when he explained what happened. He was not happy at the WWF. He was offered a great deal to switch at that moment. They were capitalizing on seizing the moment. Lex wasn’t under contract with Vince so he was free to go.
Mariela Grantcharova: Diana, what do you think of what the WWF puts on TV and do you let your children watch it?
Diana Hart: It certainly is explicit. I do let Harry and Georgia watch it. I sometimes watch it with them, so I know how outrageous it has gotten. But I want Harry to know what he’s contending with. He’s six-foot-four and wrestles like his dad and his uncle Owen, and I believe there is a place in wrestling today for that. And he’s only 15.
Sheena: Are there any parts of this book that shocked James? [EDITOR’s NOTE: James is James Trimble, aka Dick Butkus Jr., whom Diana is dating.]
Diana Hart: He was shocked by the Hermish chapter and he had never met my brother Dean, so he was sorry about the way Dean died.
Tom: Growing up, what was the biggest advantage and disadvantage of being the daughter of a pro wrestler?
Diana Hart: The biggest advantage that I was the daughter of the greatest father and wrestler I could ever have. Perhaps that is a disadvantage because I forever am comparing everyone — male especially — to my dad, and no one measures up. I hated getting teased about my dad being a phony wrestler. My whole family was ridiculed, as I discuss in detail in Under The Mat.
Art Schmitt: When Davey Boy re-entered the WWF after the Survivor Series screwjob of Bret, there was an interview with the both of you that was never shown on TV. What did that interview contain?
Diana Hart: In summary, it contained the conversation that I had with Bret the day after Owen’s funeral regarding Davey and my relationship with Vince McMahon. Bret was incredibly threatening and mean to me. I go into it further in the book. But that’s what I talked about with the Jim Ross interview. They were going to bring Davey and I in as a babyface husband and face team. I don’t know why it was never shown. Maybe because of the lawsuit.
Janet Martinez: Diana I have been trying in vain to get a copy of your book but it seems it is not available here in the states. Where can I order a couple of copies? I already tried Barnes and Nobles online and stores in town, Amazon.com and Chapters.ca and Bookstar…
Diana Hart: Try Chapters-Indigo stores and I believe it should be in some Barnes & Noble stores. Please don’t give up trying!
Trevor F.: I remember seeing you at a house show in Winnipeg once where King Kong Bundy accidentally gave you the avalanche. What did that feel like?
Diana Hart: I don’t remember that. I think you must have me mistaken… but I’m not sure with who, actually.
Keith: Getting back to Luger, you said you felt he didn’t trust… Do you find that there’s a lot of mixed feelings wrestlers have towards each other, mistrust, etc, because it seems that the WWF tries to come off as one big happy family/workplace.
Diana Hart: Yeah, I do think there is a lot of mistrust. I think it stems from a lot of the agents treating the wrestlers indifferently. I always could talk to Vince and he would fix things. But when I would go through an agent, or Davey or Owen would have a problem, often the agent only aggravated the situation. Sometimes you would feel like quitting.
Skip: Was this a difficult book to write? Were you ever worried about what the wrestling world would think about you/it once it was out?
Diana Hart: This book was difficult to write because it was full of emotion and the truth hurts even when it’s me telling the truth, not just hearing it. Frankly, I don’t care what most of the wrestlers think.
Aaron Keys: When you ever offered a contract from the WWF when you were involved in the Shawn Michaels/British Bulldog feud back in 1996?
Diana Hart: No, there was always talk of it, but mostly just me pestering Davey.
Sarah Foglund: What is your relationship with Davey like these days?
Diana Hart: In Under The Mat, it basically ends with Davey and me never-ever wanting to see each other again. As I mention in the book, he’s living with my brother Bruce’s wife, which tells me now he still hasn’t cleaned up. But things are better between us. He wishes me luck with this book.
Tom: As a little girl, what were your thoughts when a wrestler would hobble up the stairs of “The Dungeon” after being stretched by Stu?
Diana Hart: I used to think when they were obviously suffering that they just couldn’t take it. Owen and I used to kind of get a kick out of seeing and hearing them in the bathroom vomiting. My dad didn’t want us to be exposed to that. It was just the discipline thing that my dad was big on.
Steve: What do you think of the women of the WWF today?
Diana Hart: Well I always like to meet them in person to give an overall opinion of them. I like Lita. She seems to know what she’s doing in the ring. I think it’s good that Terri has hung in there. Molly Holly isn’t too bad. I think they all enjoy wrestling. There’s some mention in my book about Debra and why I don’t care for her now.
Jason Clevett: Harry spends a lot of time with his cousin Ted and friend TJ. How do you see those three boys’ futures panning out?
Diana Hart: I would like to see them put the Harts back on the map as far as physically getting out there and wrestling. This book, I hope, will do a lot to open doors, as outrageous and controversial as it is. But it will bring attention back to the Harts and hopefully kick down some doors that have been closed for some reason when it comes to the next Hart generation.
Captain Clean Pro: What are your thoughts on some of the Canadian wrestlers: ie Chris Benoit, Lance Storm, Jericho, Edge, Makhan Singh, Bret Hart, Val Venis, Christian, Test. Which one of them do you see “winning the big one”?
Diana Hart: I would like to see Chris Benoit because he has the heart and integrity that Dynamite was lacking, and appreciation. I hope he makes a comeback. He’s just a young pup still.
Jayboy: How did everyone feel when Ted Hart announced his girlfriend was pregnant? Are you excited to be a great aunt?
Diana Hart: He’s an adorable baby, really fat and extremely good natured. I can see it already. He’ll be the fourth generation Hart wrestler. I’m sure there will be a chapter on him in one of my future books — Under The Mat Part 5 or something.
Brawlin Buddy Maxwell: Have you read any of the other wrestling books, like: Mick Foley, The Rock, Bret, Chyna, Mr. Fuji, Goldberg?
Diana Hart: Yes, I have read Mick Foley and The Rock’s. One thing can say is that I liked reading their books but they were under the power of the WWF before they went to press. I am not under contract with anyone, so I didn’t have to hold back when I wrote. There’s a lot more edge and eye-popping revelations in Under The Mat.
Moderator: We have time for three more questions
Wrestling-Online.com: It’s no secret that the Hart family has been divided since Owen’s death. Who are you most close with now in your family? Do you speak with Owen’s wife Martha, or her kids?
Diana Hart: I’m at the moment very close to my mom and dad and have always been pretty close to my dad. My brother Ross and my sister Georgia I’m closest with, but in the last few months, the whole family is pretty tight, with the exception of Bret. Martha alienated herself and Oje and Athena from the rest of the family long before Owen was gone. I go into it a lot in the book.
Vergil: Hi Diana, I read the first chapter of your book and I still close my jaw together because of the shock of how honestly and bluntly you tell your story – have you had any backlash from people you mention in your book (ie Davey, “The Anvil,” etc.)?
Diana Hart: Well, Davey actually told as recently as Tuesday that he hopes I do well because he wants the assurance that somebody will be able to take care of our kids. There are lots of things like a potential movie with Pamela Anderson playing me, which could be good. And if it ever gets to that point, I will make sure that the whole Hart family benefits. I don’t really care what Jim Neidhart thinks.
Karene: Any last words to the Hart family fans ?
Diana Hart: This book wasn’t intended to be a vindictive, heartless attack by me, the youngest Hart against my family because I’m so proud to be a Hart. But I’ve lived an outrageous life and I’m tired of not defending myself. To quote Owen, “Enough is enough, it’s time for a change.” I have a story to tell because of my family. I lost my brother, not just Bret, not just Martha. I grew up in wrestling and I think it’s right for me to take part in the popularity that my family helped to build. Thanks for reading my book.
Moderator: We would like to thank Diana Hart for taking time to participate in this chat, and to all of you for submitting your questions.
Diana Hart: Some very poignant questions. I appreciate the thought and devotion so many of you have for wrestling and my family. I hope to do this again. Please look for me at book signings!