– Recently released WWE developmental talent and member of the famous Hart family, Teddy Hart recently did an interview with John Pollock of Fight Network Radio. Below is a full transcript of the interview written by Blaine van der Griend. Remember to catch Fight Network Radio every Monday – Friday on Hardcore Sports Radio on Sirius Channel 186 and archived online at www.hardcoresportsradio.com.
Teddy, I’m going to say right off the bat, we will not be c***-blocking you on this show. We won’t be talk-blocking you. You can say anything you’d like and it’s a pleasure to have you on Fight Network Radio.
Hart: Well thank you very much. God bless your network. Anytime I get to speak is always fan favorable.
Well when Teddy Hart speaks, there’s always people listening and tonight you’re going to be at the Prairie Wrestling Alliance show, teaming with Hannibal taking on Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. But the question right off the bat Teddy that I know that people want to know is what happened with this recent run with the WWE? You were working in the Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory and were let go last week. What’s the story?
Hart: You know, it was a sad experience for me being let go. WWE’s a place that I’ve been wanting to work for a long time. Like I say, it took be about nine or ten years to get my job back in that company, but I think the door’s still open. The excuse that I was given, or reason I was given, was that they didn’t like my psychology. There was no problem with management; no problem with any of the boys. There was actually a good group of guys down there. Steve Keirn, which was Skinner and Tom Prichard. They were my two coaches in Florida Championship Wrestling and very, very good guys. I had a really great time down there. I think it could be a test. Maybe with everything going on with congress and the WWE being under scrutiny, I’m not sure some of my past interviews and some of my past exploits have made me a risk, where they’re wondering, if I do get a push on live TV, if I’m all of a sudden going to go off and after a week or two, get comfortable and maybe go crazy. I hope that they give me another chance. You know, I want to follow in Bret’s footsteps; Owen’s footsteps. The company itself, right now they have a policy which is kind of a “less is more” and it’s taken me a bit of time to understand that. But this is one of the few times where I’m not a guy who kisses ass. I’m usually a very straight shooter, but for Triple H and Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels, I found that most of the stuff they’ve been doing has actually been quite good and I watched the Triple H match with Randy Orton. They wrestled three nights, er three matches in one night. At first when I was hearing about it, I was thinking, you know this sounds kind of odd. I wonder how it’s going to go. But into the show, I thought that Triple H, considering his injuries and stuff in the past, had actually done a very, very good job. I kind of got an understanding of why they don’t want the younger guys going out there and trying to do a lot of high spots, because these guys may have four or five years left, maybe some have less, where this is their time to shine. I guess I’m still young and it gives me a lot of time to evaluate life and try to come up with a new style. But I think it’s sort of, where those guys that are on top right now, aren’t quite ready to move over yet and maybe things with Bret and Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon will get better in the future. I always think the Hart Foundation without Bret coming in the ring with us, personally will never be the same. I was hoping, you know, down the road, you never know. Bret at first, was never going to do the hall of fame; he wasn’t going to do anything with WWE and times change. I guess past issues get softer and people change their perspective on things. So I’m hoping that down the road, if I get another chance, maybe Bret’s got his son, and he’s not quite sure if he wants to get into the business yet or not. But this might give me some time to maybe recruit him and lure him in and try to restart the Hart Foundation in another year. I was given an open door. John Laurenitis was the guy that hired me and it took a lot of time and effort on his behalf to get me in there in the first place. I never find out who’s against me and I don’t know how the company really works internally, because we’re always at an arms length away. We’re the boys and I’m on a lower level, being in Florida Championship Wrestling. I never really know what’s going on, but from what I see, they were going to do the Hart Foundation angle and out of nowhere, it got pulled. They said basically that it was my psychology and that I needed to work on placement of moves. I can only, I guess, go back to the drawing board. I’ve had to do it, like I say, four or five times, and try to re-invent myself. I just want the fans to know, that are out there and support me, that I will not give up. I will continue to try to be crazy. My controversial style, I think is impossible to lose. I just hope that maybe I can do it in a way that doesn’t offend the wrong people. There’s only a certain group of people that I really care to impress. The rest of the world, if they don’t like what I’m doing, technically, my own motto is that they can kiss my ass generally, and I’ll keep going through wrestling. I think the fans that know wrestling and understand about paying money for a ticket and driving an hour or two hours for a show and wanting to see guys trying to break their necks for them, because I believe the fans break their necks for us. I really don’t have anything bad to say about the WWE. They gave me an opportunity. I was nice with them. They did take a chance on me and I hope that I get another chance in the future.
Now Teddy, a lot of people will say, almost to a man that, Teddy Hart has all the talent in the world to be on any top roster in the world, but that his attitude has closed a lot of doors. How would you respond to that statement?
Hart: I don’t believe it’s my attitude really. I think it’s more, when you put Teddy Hart on a show, I think he raises the level of intensity on the show and a lot of guys, if they have to follow say someone like me, or Jack Evans or you took the handcuffs off someone like Harry Smith and you said go out there and do everything you can with something like a Japanese style, where it was more orientated on making moves count, but the placement of moves. I think it’s reputation of a Ring of Honour, made it difficult. But I don’t know of any enemies in the business. Maybe the boys, when they see me, they might be a little different then when I’m not there. People talk s**t about, you know if people aren’t in the room, it’s a different story. But everyone to my face, generally is very decent. I have a hard time whenever I hear “my attitude, my attitude.” Generally, I get along with promoters and sometimes we plan stuff and I do a very good job of keeping it real after the show and I don’t talk to a lot of the boys about what’s going on with the promoter. I think a lot of the boys are the ones that leak stuff to the Internet. If I can keep it looking like a shoot and it creates controversy. I just don’t want to be losing jobs for stuff that’s actually not really happening and that’s what I think occurred in the situation here, where my reputation has preceded me. I don’t think my attitude, again, I can always work on things. I’m always open to criticism if it makes sense. But if it’s one of those guys that I find, really hasn’t done what I’ve done in the ring and hasn’t had the pedigree or the legacy or has the business given me a lot of advice. I have a hard time hearing it. I think that might be one thing, that I’m straight up with a lot of people. A lot of guys in the wrestling business are on the Internet; they’re talking to promoters all the time. I generally have a busy life and normally with school and I travel, doing a lot of different stuff with my clothing line and I try to get that launched, and my sunglasses and different things like that, so I don’t have time to do the Internet ass kissing and a lot of the chat logs and stuff. I find most of the guys in Ring of Honour, they talk to Gabe Sapolsky three or four times a week and they’re going over their stuff. I was never interested in that. I just thought my abilities would get me work and I guess this business, it surprised me, because it seems to me, it’s the guys that, I won’t say ass kissing, but they do a lot of extra things behind the scenes, where I go, I think, the extra mile in the ring. I thought wrestling was about in-ring performance more than anything, but it seems to be one of those things that I keep getting mixed up with the point of wrestling. I thought it was to entertain fans, keep kids happy, try to put a good message out there and do death-defying stuff, because if you ever drive in New York traffic, it’s death defying just to get to the God damn show and that’s where I did most of my wrestling, was out in New Jersey. If I was driving to watch a basketball game, and Kobe Bryant was not allowed to… (Cell phone rings)
Now Teddy, based on what you’re saying now, it seems like Ring of Honor might not be an avenue you’re going towards. Is TNA an option for you now? What are you looking to do right now in the interim, trying to make your way back to the WWE?
Hart: John Laurenitis was nice enough to give me an opportunity to go to Japan and I spoke to Konnan. Konnan has actually been a very nice guy and he’s been a good friend of mine along the way. I think he was one of the guys that sort of helped launch Rey Mysterio in the past, and Psycosis. He called Jack Evans and he’s interested in going down to Mexico full time to work for AAA. He’s booking right now and I guess he’s quite high on our stuff. He saw us in Wrestling Society X and he thought we did a very good job there and I’ve never had any problems with him. He’s one of those guys that I’d say is a straight shooter and doesn’t really have time for a lot of the bulls**t, so he called me up and it was very flattering. I should say I was kind of down. The WWE’s been a dream like I say again, and to have the dream pulled, you know, usually I screw up; I screw up big and it’s something I can really put my finger on and I, in retrospect, look back at it, and I could kick myself in the ass. But this one is so vague. Being released for the reason I was released for, I’m still trying to get to the bottom of it. It was kind of a lottery ticket that Konnan called and he said he’d like to have us come down, ASAP basically, and start working down there. I sent him some promos and I think he’s going to start airing stuff in Mexico possibly as soon as next week. That’s what I was told and again, this is all up in the air still. Nothing’s been absolutely confirmed, but that’s the only good news I have, is that I’m supposed to be going to AAA and working down there and I’m going to be trying to open up a wrestling school in California, I have a place down there and I’ve been going back and forth. There’s a guy named Bob and calls himself Bob Hart. He’s like a third cousin of ours. He traced his family tree and it turns out he was related to us. He called me and asked permission to use the name and I granted it to him. He’s looking for a facility down there and I might go down there and try to teach kids to get into my thing and I would get into MMA a little bit, not to do any fighting, just to help better my skills in wrestling, so I can do more stuff. They love the ultimate fighting, the fans, so if I could do stuff that relates to that and still do my high flying, I’m constantly trying to better myself. I’m going to go back to gymnastics too and there’s about four or five moves I’d like to get down pat, like the shooting star with a full twist off the top ropes. I do a front twisting off the top. I try to watch these divers in the Olympics and it seems to be off like a small diving board. They’re able to get a double back flip in fairly easily and the double front flips. Jack Evans and I are basically just trying to re-invent ourselves. I’ve lost a little weight, just trying to get a little lighter. I’ll try to beef back up when it’s possible, but just to do a lot of the flips I want to do. I want to work on a really cool new style, that I hope entertains the fans and makes me someone that goes down, at least if I don’t get my job in the WWE back, and goes down in history as someone who was an innovator and a creator of new offense in wrestling. My main goal is to keep the fans, that are, I hope they’re happy. I find that a wrestling fan is constantly overlooked and he’s abused and doesn’t get his money’s worth a lot of the time and if I can be a guy that can at least go home and talk about either my screwed up haircut or one of my messed up promos or whatever it is. At least they’ll talk about me, so hopefully it touches base on what I’m going to do with my future. It’s always up in the air. If WWE called me back, I’d be willing to go. I have, sort of, one “get out of jail” free card, so hopefully with, Bret’s going to try to, I believe, call the WWE and find out what really happened? What’s the situation, if there’s anything else that’s not being mentioned to me. I’m a little disappointed, on Gerwitz website, and I don’t know how much credibility they have. I’m not a big Internet guy, so like you said, I had management problems and I had heat with the boys. That’s one thing I can say, that there was no heat with the boys this time. I’ve had heat with the boys in the past and it’s been publicly noted by a lot of people. This is one of the few cases where I did keep my mouth shut down there, and I had a great time in the WWE. I don’t know what I did wrong, besides, I did a back flip one time to the floor without being told. I wasn’t told specifically not to do it, but I was told to stay safe and I thought safe’s being able to do 150-160 back flips and not being injured yet. That would be considered something in my repertoire that would be safe, but it may have alienated a couple of the people in higher positions in WWE, thinking that I wasn’t listening and that maybe I was trying to take the business into my own hands in front of 20 or 30 thousand people, which is, I think, their issue with me; that I want to have control. I don’t blame them. My past is my fault; I created a lot of that stuff by doing, at the time, what I thought was noble, and in Ring of Honour, I stick to my story. I got knocked out. I don’t remember doing any of that stuff that I did. It was just instinct.
CZW, I was dropped on my head on a bunch of nails. But I still liked to work for him because I loved the fans so much, but after a while, when you’re working in a small environment with a lot of different promoters, all you have is your work rate. If you’re making say around 500 bucks a show, when you’re doing two shows for free, why would the other promoter pay you 500 bucks when you just did two shows for free? That’s where I found, some of the boys that were friends of mine said “you can’t do shows for free, because you’re financially independent on your own, because it kills us then. They try to work us for a hundred bucks, instead of four,” and I don’t want to do that. With other companies, maybe small things like once I get there, they would guinea pig me on a ticket or two and then I’d be stuck in that same company for two or three days, and I’d go down and volunteer to work for a show and then wouldn’t get paid and then they would put it on the Internet that Teddy Hart’s working for 100 bucks, which kills the incentive of other guys to get paid by the promoter, if that makes sense to you.
Okay Teddy, we’re all out of time, but for anyone in Calgary , definitely go check out the Prairie Wrestling Alliance show and Teddy, we definitely love to have you back on. An excellent interview, just as you’ve told us, so thanks a lot for joining us.
Hart: God bless you guys. Thank you for your time.
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