Harry Smith talks going into MMA, says never given a fair shot in WWE
How long he's been training MMA and who he is working with:
I’ve had a lot of interest in mixed martial arts actually since before I got signed with WWE. I was training a little bit in jiu jistu, I was an amateur wrestler a little bit before. I ended up getting into contact with Josh Barnett, ‘cause we were both wrestling in New Japan Pro Wrestling at the same time, just different tours. The first time I met Josh, I went down to an independent show for Pinnacle Wrestling in Seattle, Washington, and I saw Josh there. He looked at me, and we talked a bit, and he goes “So, when are you gonna get into fighting?” I kinda chuckled, I didn’t really think much of it at the time, but I did have some interest in it. He invited me to come down and train with him at the next show up in Seattle, so I did grapple with Josh, and I was just amazed. My eyes were sort of totally opened up to this whole other level of grappling that was like catch wrestling. Crossfaces, leg locks, slams, suplexes, different unique throws. From that point on, I had started watching a lot of Erik Paulson DVDs, and some other catch wrestling stuff, and trained in jiu jitsu as well. I came back and trained with Josh a year later or so, and Billy Robinson happened to come up to California for a seminar. I got to meet him, we trained a little bit. At that time, I had been signed with WWE, so I was still training at it a lot, and the more and more I trained at it, the more and more interested I got with it. I think it’s sort of in my blood, with my grandfather being Stu (Hart) and his legendary reputation of catch wrestling.
It’s not like as if I just left WWE and it’s like, “Okay, now I wanna become a mixed martial artist to make money. I really do love mixed martial arts, and I think me training with Billy, and training at it while I was employed with WWE goes to show that I was always sort of interested in it. Since I left WWE, I’ve been training at it full time, trying to get the striking down, putting everything together, finding a good fighting weight for myself. We’ve toyed around with a few things, maybe even 205, not exactly sure, that might be too light. We’re sort of experimenting a bit with weight, and just putting it all together. Not exactly sure when there will be a fight. More training with Josh, and cage time, and we’ll see.
The WWE not giving him enough of a chance:
The big complaint that I had with WWE was just that they never gave me a fair chance, ever. We had a good deal with the tag team title run and everything, but guys like Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, they’re obviously very good talents and big guys and everything, but if they had given me the rocket like they had given those two guys, I’m sure that with my family’s lineage and going over to Canada and the UK, they could have done some really good business. For whatever reason, they didn’t. I’m not gonna point any fingers at anybody, but I think that there’s people up there that probably didn’t like my family, or maybe my Dad ribbed too many of the guys that are up top now. That’s basically the way that it happened, and I’m glad to be gone really. I don’t want to be wasting my time at a place that doesn’t appreciate me, or doesn’t want to do anything with me. There were other interests that I had, and so when John (Laurinaitis) called and gave me the release, I was relieved. We had a good talk, and he said that the doors are open to come back.
Teddy Hart and some of his plans to train animals for future shows:
I just heard from hearsay about some of the ideas, like I think cats are supposed to bring weapons to the ring and stuff like that. I mean, if he can train the cats to wrestle...actually, he should train the cats how to shoot and grapple and stuff. Put some gi’s on the cats and let them grapple. He might just be saying some of that stuff to generate interest with the audience and stuff like that, to see if he would really do that. He hasn’t actually explained any of that sort of stuff to me. Some of his ideas are very good, with MatRats, they had the pizza pie plate at the top of the ring post, which I guess is about six to eight inches higher than the top turnbuckle and further out, so two people can both stand on the top and do a suplex off there, or a hurricanrana. It was kind of a nice spectacle for the fans. So, you know, some of the ideas are good. The cat stuff might be a little bit out there, but hey man if he can train those cats to do it, all the power to him. I wanna see it, too.
Transcribed by Chris Maffei
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