April 8, 2006
Harry Smith inks deal with WWE
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun

Harry Smith

Wrestlers never get to use that old 'I'm going to Disneyland' line.

As Mick Foley explained in his 2001 autobiography, the morning after a big event isn't spent making lavish travel plans or celebrating a job well done.

For wrestlers, it's usually spent rushing to the next city for a stress-filled live TV taping.

Which is why it's no surprise just six days removed from Wrestlemania 22 -- WWE's annual Super Bowl event -- it's business as usual at WWE headquarters.

The company is in the middle of signing a crop of new talent for the upcoming season, with names such as Andrew (Test) Martin, Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak already back on the WWE payroll.

The big news is the signing of a 19-year-old Calgarian who has been earmarked for wrestling stardom since before he hit puberty. Harry Smith has agreed to terms with WWE and could debut on the Raw brand as soon as next month.


Smith, a 6-ft. 6-in., 250-lb. powerhouse, is the son of the late Davey Boy Smith (the British Bulldog) and the nephew of Bret (The Hitman) Hart. Smith met with WWE bosses in Chicago last weekend after uncle Bret was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

He acted as his own agent in meetings with talent executive John Laurainitis and it's believed he agreed to a multi-year deal.

Although new signees usually go to one of WWE's developmental territories for seasoning -- either OVW in Kentucky or Deep South Wrestling in Georgia -- Smith will go straight to the main roster.

He has already been fitted for ring gear and is expected to debut on WWE's flagship Monday night brand as soon as he returns from Germany, where he is now wrestling.

Smith has been a Stampede Wrestling regular since his early teens and has wrestled extensively in Japan and Europe. He also has had several dark matches (bouts that take place before the cameras start rolling) at large-scale WWE events at the Saddledome.

WWE bosses also spoke with Teddy Hart, Smith's cousin and another nephew of the legendary Hitman, but no deal has been confirmed.

Hart previously had a developmental contract with the then-WWF in '98 (when he was just 18) and wrestled for TNA in 2003. WWE is expected to announce even more signings over the next few weeks.

With so much traffic coming into the company, it was inevitable some familiar faces would be departing.

Tyson Tomko parted ways with WWE this week, although it was at his own request. Tomko was reportedly upset with his position at the bottom of the card, often not being used on TV for weeks at a time.

Randy Orton also will be disappearing from Smackdown but only temporarily. Orton has been suspended for 60 days, starting after next week's TV tapings in Wisconsin. The reason for the suspension was listed on WWE's website as 'unprofessional conduct.'

The timing of the punishment had many fans speculating is was due to WWE's drug testing policy, which went into effect last month but that is apparently not the case. Orton will miss the Judgment Day pay-per-view in May.


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