Former WWE Superstar says he was supposed to debut on Smackdown as 'The Stampede Stud’

WWE performer Harry Smith was supposed to debut under a gimmick name, but it didn't materialize
WWE performer Harry Smith was supposed to debut under a gimmick name, but it didn't materialize

According to former WWE Superstar Harry Smith, he was set to debut on the SmackDown brand under a name that was a nod to his family's rich professional wrestling heritage.

WWE signed Smith, son of the legendary British Bulldog, back in 2007, but never seemed to find a spot or persona that fit him. He was off and on when it came to his value on the roster, having been released and re-signed in the past.

At one point in 2021, however, he received quite a surprise from a company official.

Smith learned that he would be introduced as The Stampede Stud, a name derived from the Calgary-based promotion that his grandfather, Stu Hart, used to operate.

In a recent interview with Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside the Ropes, Smith said he was all ready to go with the new gimmick:

“John Cone said “the next time you are going to come to SmackDown it’s going to be your debut”, you did really good [in your dark match], Vince really liked it. So I was like, great, I’ll just wait and then they asked me to do a dark match in Tampa and they were going to do some backstage vignettes with me and my father’s leather vest."

It seemed as though Vince McMahon himself was onboard with the idea. However, Smith said an unfortunate battle with the coronavirus played a role in the situation being sidetracked:

"They were going to show that for the documentary, and then luck be have it I ended up having COVID, really bad, so I was kind of out of commission for about three weeks or a month. Then I was kind of forgotten about, I came to TV one or two times… I was waiting to come back and then they called and Johnny [Laurinaitis] said he wasn’t a fan of it [his release], he wasn’t happy with the list of names he was given but it wasn’t from him."

Smith was unfortunately released in November 2021. He returned to the indie circuit shortly after and debuted in NWA in March of this year.

Unfortunately for Harry Smith, WWE's plans for him were seemingly abandoned

Smith, who goes by Davey Boy Smith Jr. on the independent circuit, has enjoyed a wrestling career stretching over two decades to this point. But despite his obvious pedigree, the 36-year old simply couldn't catch a big enough break with WWE.

Speaking with Inside the Ropes, Smith said that after a certain amount of time, the angle was essentially just forgotten about, even though he was ready to assume the role:

"I don’t know what they were waiting for, the only thing I was told was, I was going to be debuting on SmackDown and they were going to call me, ‘The Stampede Stud’."

There didn't seem to be a reason as to why it was never brought up again, and even Smith seemed confused by the ordeal:

"It just never happened, it wasn’t my fault. I showed up more than in shape. I saw Vince and he was like 'Oh, you’re looking good kid'."

Aside from his work in WWE, Smith is known for his stints with NJPW and MLW, where he was part of the Hart Family group that included Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr.

Harry Smith will be appearing for Billy Corgan and the National Wrestling Alliance on June 11th at the Alwayz Ready PPV.


If you use any quotes from this interview, please provide a h/t and link back to Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside The Ropes.

One of Samoa Joe's colleagues had harsh words for him HERE