You won’t find many wrestling fans, if any, who haven’t heard of the renowned Hart Dungeon. Founded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1955, the Dungeon became known as one of the most brutal, but one of the best, training schools in professional wrestling history. Led by the legendary Stu Hart, the Dungeon produced some of the biggest names in professional wrestling history, including the Hart family, the Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, Tyson Kidd, and more.
Unfortunately, the Dungeon closed in 2003, shortly after the death of the Hart family patriarch. Since then, there has been no true predecessor to Stu’s fabled Dungeon: at least, nothing until recently, with TJ Wilson and Natalya opening their own version of the Dungeon in Florida.
Recently speaking with Natalya, I asked her about her love of training and, of course, the New Hart Dungeon itself.
“It’s so nice to be able to carry on that tradition”
“It’s awesome. We love our dungeon!” espoused the Queen of Harts. “Of course, a lot of people ask about how they can come and train with us. It’s not a school, because we don’t have time for school. TJ and I are on the road so much: literally, like six days a week, we’re working. But, we train on a certain day of the week, and it’s sort of invite only. There’s people that I’ve run into during my career that will say, ‘Hey, would it be okay if I came down and checked it out?’ I’m totally fine with that. But, it’s just so hard because there’s so many people, it’s hard to get everybody in the ring.
“My practices are really intense. The training is really…it’s grueling. It’s like the way the Dungeon was back in the day. The Dungeon actually was started in 1955, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at the Hart House. It’s a tradition, it’s our family tradition, and it’s so nice to be able to carry on that tradition. It is really a place for people that love wrestling. It’s like a wrestling workshop. There’s a lot of secrets that are shared about the industry as far as how to construct a match, and how to be great, and how to excellently execute things. It’s like a wrestling workshop. It’s really cool for the people that come in there and train with us.”
“He Puts In the Work”
One individual Hart was quick to point out was Street Profits star Angelo Dawkins. Since the return of live crowd, Dawkins has been noted as one of the most-improved wrestlers on the WWE roster. That’s no accident, says Natalya, but his efforts both on and off of shows.
“You look at somebody like Angelo Dawkins. He’s been training with us since the very beginning, and you see the growth and the improvement that he’s made. He’s lost all this weight and his performances are incredible. His conditioning is awesome. It’s just like a testament to him. He’ll be on Raw, he’ll be on SmackDown, he’ll be doing live events, [and] he’ll be on a pay-per-view. But, he shows up. He comes in, he trains with us and he puts in the work even though he has a family, too. It’s just so commendable.”
Tune in to our full interview with Natalya below. For those who choose to use the above transcriptions, please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling.