The Hart Grapevine – Looking At The Bill DeMott Situation

The opinions and views expressed at or through this article are the opinions of the designated author (Smith Hart) and do not reflect the opinions or views of or the opinions or views of any other individual.

The tactics, events and consequential demise of Bill DeMott in NXT prompted my immediate response as follows. I may not be involved in the current modern day training systems, but between my brothers, my father and myself, I feel we have a solid history in terms of training wrestlers.

I believe we have totaled 12 WWE Hall of Famers and more than 16 former Worlds Champions. I myself was proud to have passed on my experience to all my brothers particularly Owen & Bret or in laws like Davey, Jim and Dynamite as well as other notable students such as Chris Benoit, The Highlanders, Eric Young and Tye Dillinger amongst others.

I never had the occasion to meet Bill Demott, but I have seen his work both in WCW and WWE and was not impressed. With all the accusations prevalent, many questions remain unanswered. What the hell did Bill Demott ever accomplish to warrant being placed in charge of WWE’s developmental system? How did this fat, out of shape, mid-card jobber get the leading training position in the largest sports entertainment entity on the planet? What could such an oaf possible know about strength and conditioning let alone wrestling instruction?

In a system that includes former world champions like Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, William Regal and Terry Taylor what qualified Bill Demott? How were notable trainers with proven track records like Dory Funk, Lance Storm, Dr. Tom Pritchard, Les Thatcher or my brothers Bruce or Bret passed over in favor of General Rection/Hugh Morrus? Why did the esteemed co-trainers of developmental cow-towed to such a reprobate? And why were the well-recruited select and qualified aspirants subjected to such abuse? This whole situation seemed baffling to say the least.

I personally had the pleasure to give complimentary basic training to former developmental star Derek Foore known in NXT as Chad Baxter, prior to him entering the WWE system. Derek was an exceptional, well-conditioned, worthy prospect with proven amateur credentials, who was capable of becoming a future Kurt Angle and who was summarily dismissed some 18 months after his debut. Upon his departure I garnered from Derek that Demott was not only a bullying tyrant cheap shot artist and homophobic racist, but also a sexual deviant harassing the divas seemingly accountable to no one. These accusations have been echoed by Austin Matelson, Kevin Matthews, Ethan Carter, Ryan Nemeth, Chick Donovan and others. Generally where there is smoke there is usually fire. With so many former developmental stars coming forward with the same accusations, I would tend to think there is merit. I’d think that this conduct is blatantly contrary to WWE’s anti-bullying corporate image. Perhaps nobody gave Bill the lessons on how to Be a Star.

The ability to learn the art of wrestling needs to come from a master of the craft. It’s mind-boggling how the established proven craftsmen that teach in WWE’s institute of learning had been passed over in favor of Demott. Perhaps now that he has left the system, a more capable trainer can assume the helm in a non-toxic, positive, encouraging work environment. Sadly for those that have since been released they may never get to see their dreams fulfilled. Word has it that the all too multi-gimmicked/nicknamed Prince Albert/A-Train/Giant Bernard/Lord Tensai/Sweet T/Jason Albert/Matt Bloom will be the interim head coach. Bloom is a seasoned veteran of wrestling, with indisputable success in Japan. Hopefully he has learned from his predecessor’s shortcomings and mistakes.