Under the Mat:

Inside Wrestling's Greatest Family

by Diana Hart with Kirstie McLellan

Description: "They're crazy. All of them." This is the reply I got from Terry Funk once at a book signing after asking him about the Hart family. After reading Diana's book, it becomes clear that at least one of the Harts is crazy.

In Under The Mat, Diana comes across as vindictive, cold, and a beaten woman. She relives the past by drudging up every bad story she can remember (or make up) to badmouth those she has differences with. There are only a few people in the book, Owen and Stu among them, who seem to be on Diana's good side. Along the way, she bashes her brothers Bret and Bruce, her sisters' husbands (including Jim Neidhart), her ex-husband Davey Boy Smith, and Owen's widow Martha. It was Martha who thankfully had the guts to threaten Diana with legal action unless the book was removed from the shelves. Bret wrote in one of his newspaper columns that he was thankful his mother Helen died before she had the chance to read her daughter's book because it would have broken her heart.

Another thing wrong with this book is that it is not well written. Diana skips around so much and goes off on so many tangents (especially in earlier chapters), that the reader has to flip back to remember what the chapter is about. She also gets a lot of facts incorrect. One that I can remember, and it's only a small detail, is that she says that Jacques and Raymond Rougeau wrestled as the Quebecers. Well, at least she's half right. Sometimes, she just flat out lies. She states that when the Hart Foundation won the tag titles from the British Bulldogs, the finish saw Jim Neidhart whack Davey Boy legit over the head with a megaphone before they finished him off with the Hart Foundation's patented move...the avalanche! Upon reviewing the tape, Neidhart never even has the megaphone and the Hart Foundation of course used the Hart Attack to finish off Davey.

While I am a bit ashamed to have read all the way through this book, I have to admit it was entertaining reading Diana tell stories that are so obviously made up that you almost have to laugh. Among some of the better fibs are when she claims that Bret threatened to run her over with his car, that Owen confided in her after Montreal that he hated Bret and was glad he left, and that Vince Russo was a good man and a close friend of Owen.

Rating: I give Diana a 2/10 on this book. One point for trying and one for taking the book off the shelves.

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