Hart Dungeon

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Hart Dungeon
Building Hart House
Location Basement
Country Canada
Named For Stu Hart
Purpose Training facility

The Hart Dungeon or Hart Family Dungeon, otherwise known simply as The Dungeon, was the gym and wrestling school located in the basement of the Hart mansion. The school was created by Stu Hart, patriarch of the Hart wrestling family and is known for having produced some of the greatest and most successful professional wrestlers ever.[1]

Description[edit]

The room was located in the Hart family mansion basement and had a very low roof. For most of the duration of the room being used as training hall there was a wrestling mat located on the floor without any ropes which would be used for training students.

History[edit]

It was established by Stu shortly after his founding of Stampede Wrestling in 1948; although, the nickname itself developed over time.[2]

Aside from professional wrestlers, the Dungeon provided training grounds for various athletes from strongmen to football players. The majority of Hart's sons trained in the Dungeon and went on to become involved in the wrestling world including Bret and Owen Hart. Other famous Dungeon graduates include Billy Graham, Greg Valentine, Allen Coage, Davey Boy Smith, Brian Pillman, Jushin Thunder Liger, Ricky Fuji, Chris Jericho, Lance Storm, Chris Benoit, Justin Credible, Edge, Christian and Mark Henry.[3][4] Natalya, daughter of Jim Neidhart and granddaughter of Stu, was the first ever woman to graduate from the Dungeon.[5] The final graduate of the Hart Dungeon was Tyson Kidd (now Natalya's husband).

I take a lot of pride in being one of the last guys that had the hands-on training from Stu Hart when I went to the Hart family to train ... It was a good experience just to be there, to imagine all the people that had been through there, and all the blood, sweat, and tears that had been paid ... Going to the Hart family for training was kind of like, if you're a very religious person, going to the Vatican.

—Chris Benoit, WWE Unscripted, p. 54

One of the first televised acknowledgements of the nickname "Dungeon" was by then WWF color commentator Jesse Ventura. Its first significant exposure was in the documentary Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows. In it, the Dungeon was moderately filmed for the first time and Stu Hart is shown demonstrating wrestling holds on a pupil. Bret also discusses being trained by his father and having submission holds applied to himself, often with graphic descriptions from his father of the holds' impact. A bonus feature on Bret's DVD set also shows him discussing the Dungeon.

Various activities took place in the Dungeon, ranging from weight lifting to Catch wrestling. Bret Hart has described the Dungeon in interviews as having holes in the walls and ceiling from bodies being driven into them. He also noted that practices could, at times, be as intense as MMA styled fighting. In July 1998, the WWF filmed a match between Owen Hart and Ken Shamrock in the Dungeon for the Fully Loaded pay-per-view.

Reputation[edit]

During the period when Stu Hart was regularly training individuals at the school it held a reputation for being one of the harshest wrestling schools in the world and graduating from it was considered very impresive and something which would be brought up on air on televised wrestling shows. Hart himself also garnered a reputation for being borderline sadistic in his training techniques and was known to torture his pupils with legitimate submission wrestling hold he had learned as a sports wrestler.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] In difference from his descendants Stu never took money for his training services and did it mostly for the love of the artform of professional wrestling.[17]

List of notable trainees[edit]

Subsequent training camps[edit]

After their father's retirement some of the Hart brothers managed the school by themselves under the name Hart Brothers Training Camp which was also known by the nickname School of Hart Knocks.[44][45][46] Leading up to the Hart House's sale in 2003, the Hart Brothers Training Camp run by Bruce, Keith and Ross was still running three times a week in the basement of the Hart mansion.[47] A very similar training camp remains today at the family's gym, although none of the Hart brothers are involved.

Teddy Hart, grandson of Stu Hart ran a training camp in texas named Texas Hart Dungeon from around 2012 to 2015.

Smith Hart, the oldest son of Stu Hart founded a new wrestling school in 2015 named Dungeon Discipline Professional Wrestling School which is run out of Calgary and Berrie in Alberta.

Legacy[edit]

In 2005 a documentary directed by Blake Norton (who trained at the school) named Surviving the Dungeon: The Legacy of Stu Hart was released.[48][49][50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Logan, Shawn (April 26, 2008). "Taking falls in the New Hart Dungeon". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  2. ^ "Surviving The Dungeon part 2/11". Documentary. 
  3. ^ James Martin (2001). Calgary: The Unknown City. Arsenal Pulp Press. p. 69 pp. ISBN 978-1551521114. 
  4. ^ Marsha Erb (2002). Stu Hart: Lord of the ring. ECW Press. p. 17 pp. ISBN 1-55022-508-1. 
  5. ^ Mooneyham, Mike (April 29, 2012). "WWE diva Natalya: Pretty in pink but red hot in the ring". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  6. ^ (Klein 2012, pp. 25)
  7. ^ (Snowden 2012, pp. ?)
  8. ^ (Matysik 2005, pp. 48)
  9. ^ (Erb 2002, pp. 136)
  10. ^ (Graham 2007, pp. ?)
  11. ^ (Kerekes 1994, pp. 18–20)
  12. ^ (Muchnick 2009, pp. ?)
  13. ^ (Jericho 2008, pp. ?)
  14. ^ (Randazzo 2008, pp. 47)
  15. ^ Wood, Greg (7 November 1999). "The sadist, the loving father and a knockout end". The Independent. Retrieved 11 January 2014
  16. ^ Keith, Scott (2008). Dungeon of Death. Citadel. ISBN 978-0806530680. 
  17. ^ McCoy, Heath (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  18. ^ (Davies 2002, pp. 19)
  19. ^ Hornbaker, T.; Snuka, J. (2012). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. ISBN 9781613213148. 
  20. ^ (Davies 2002, pp. 19)
  21. ^ "DAN SPIVEY, BILLY JACK HAYNES AND BRYAN CLARKE HAVE BEEN GOING BACK-AND-FORTH ON SOCIAL MEDIA". f4wonline.com. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. July 23, 2015.
  22. ^ (Dixon 2013, pp. 22)
  23. ^ Lunney, Doug (2000-01-15). "Benoit inspired by the Dynamite Kid, Crippler adopts idol's high-risk style". Slam! Wrestling. Winnipeg Sun via Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  24. ^ Haldar, Prityush (October 2, 2016). "Chris Jericho talks about learning from Stu Hart". Sportskeeda. Retrieved 2017-02-14
  25. ^ "Stu Hart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  26. ^ Smith, Caleb (April 30, 2014). "Tyler Mane's movie career all started with wrestling". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  27. ^ "Stu Hart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  28. ^ (Toombs 2016, pp. ??)
  29. ^ Hornbaker, T.; Snuka, J. (2012). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. ISBN 9781613213148. 
  30. ^ "Stu Hart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  31. ^ (Hart, Jimmy 2004, pp. 124)
  32. ^ "Stu Hart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  33. ^ "Bruce Hart Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2017-02-14
  34. ^ "Stu Hart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  35. ^ Altamura, Mike (August 16, 2001). "Jason Helton: Raising hell Down Under". Slam! Wrestling. Canoe.com. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  36. ^ Clevett, Jason (2004-11-03). "The legend of Jushin "Thunder" Liger". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  37. ^ (Martin 2001, pp. 69)
  38. ^ "Nikolai Volkoff WWE Hall of Fame Profile". WWE. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
  39. ^ "Ricky Fuji Puroresu Central profile". PuroresuCentral.com. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  40. ^ Hornbaker, T.; Snuka, J. (2012). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. ISBN 9781613213148. 
  41. ^ (Zawadzki 2001, pp. 175)
  42. ^ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/superstar-billy-graham-made-it-big-in-wrestling-now-the-steroids-that-got-him-there-may-be-killing-him-6448014
  43. ^ Clevett, Jason (February 26, 2004). "Apocalypse on his first NJPW tour". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 12, 2009. 
  44. ^ McCoy, Heath (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  45. ^ Marsha Erb (2002). Stu Hart: Lord of the ring. ECW Press. p. 21. ISBN 1-55022-508-1. 
  46. ^ Hart, Martha; Francis, Eric. Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 270. ISBN 978-1-59077-036-8. 
  47. ^ Berger, Richard (2010). A Fool for Old School ... Wrestling, That is. Richard Berger & Barking Spider Productions. p. 64-65. 
  48. ^ Elliott, Brian (November 23, 2009). "Hart Dungeon DVD gives rough picture of Stu". Slam! Wrestling. Canoe.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  49. ^ "Surviving the Dungeon: The Legacy of Stu Hart". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  50. ^ Elliott, Brian (November 4, 2009). ""Surviving The Dungeon filmmaker's legacy as much as Stu Hart's". Slam! Wrestling. Canoe.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-27.