Tribute to the Hart Family Dungeon!

John BetschelCorrespondent IIApril 3, 2010

The Hart Dungeon is perhaps the most famous and legendary training area for wrestlers ever.

Chris Benoit once said "going to the Hart family for training was kind of like, if you're a very religious person, going to the Vatican."

Above is a photo of Stu and Bret Hart training in the legendary basement.

The Dungeon was created in the basement of the Hart mansion, and was devolved shortly after Stu Hart founded Stampede Wrestling in 1948. The nickname "The Dungeon" didn't develop until a later time, however.

Aside from professional wrestlers, The Dungeon was used as training grounds for various different athletes, from Strongmen to Football players.

Many of Hart's sons were trained there and went on to become wrestlers, including the legendary Bret and Owen Hart.

Other wrestlers that trained there include, The British Bulldog, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Mark Henry, Abdullah The Butcher, Roddy Piper, The Honky Tonk Man, Steve Blackman, Monty Brown (The Alpha Male), Junkyard Dog, Lance Storm, Edge, 'Superstar' Billy Graham, Brian Pillman, and Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart.

The list goes on and on, and about half the wrestlers I've named have gone on to become World Champions in one company or another.

In 1990, when Jericho and Storm entered the Dungeon, Stu Hart was no longer taking part in the training of wrestlers; the trainers simply relied on a book of Hart's teachings.

Both reported of having to be taught how to take falls varying from 500-1000 times during some sessions. And Jericho claimed that when he brought this to the attention of Bret Hart, Hart claimed he didn't even know the trainings were still going on.

Jericho later claimed he was upset with the three-month training he and Storm went through, and felt they had been snubbed by the Harts. Claiming that the only Hart they trained with was Keith, and only for the first day.

However, Jericho also noted having trained with Stu Hart later on.

One of the first televised acknowledgements of the nickname 'Dungeon' was by then-WWF commentator Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.

Its first significant exposure was in the documentary Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows, which on a side note also went in depth to the Montreal Screw Job.

In the documentary, The Dungeon is shown on film moderately for one of the first times and shows Stu Hart applying wrestling holds on a pupil in severe pain.

Bret Hart also discusses the brutality his father would inflict on him, and the morbid words Stu uttered as he would torture him.

In some interviews, Bret would also describe the dungeon as having holes in the walls and ceiling from bodies being driven into them. Also saying that practices at times, could be as intense as MMA-style fighting.

In July 1998 during the Fully Loaded PPV, WWE would broadcast a match between Owen Hart and Ken Shamrock in the Dungeon, which Owen won.

On Oct. 18, 2003 Stu Hart died of a stroke, and the remaining Hart brothers were forced to put the mansion up for sale because of various reasons.

In his will, Stu Hart instructed it not to be torn down, and because of its status as a historical site, it cannot.

Stu Hart was finally inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year by The Hitman himself, cementing his legacy forever.

The Legacy of the Dungeon lives on today through Tyson Kidd, being the last-ever superstar to be trained in the Dungeon by the Harts.

Natalya, the first ever female to be trained in the Dungeon, and David Hart Smith, son of the legendary British Bulldog.

These three superstars are left to carry on the Hart legacy for the next generation, and only time will tell what success lies for them in the future.

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