WrestlingDVDNews.com has posted an in-depth preview of the documentary feature on the upcoming History of WWE DVD and Blu-ray. They describe the chapter on Owen Hart’s tragic death as “very classy” with WWE first discussing the events of May 23rd, 1999 and then talking about who Owen was. Martha Hart is only referred to by her first name once by Linda McMahon and none of the legal events were mentioned. Linda, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross and The Undertaker were interviewed for the Owen chapter.
We’ve all lost someone we either knew or loved. Depending upon your proximity to that person in your life, you may think about them occasionally or constantly. My dad died when I was 18 and I think about him often… my mother-in-law passed away in 2001 and I think about her every day.
It’s weird about Owen Hart. He died 14 years ago today and it’s fair to say Owen and I were “work friends”. We all have “work friends”… guys or girls you work with, that you know but at the end of work, that’s where our friendship ended. He would go home to his family in Calgary, me to mine in Connecticut and there was no socializing between us at all. At work, we’d chat and be friendly but that was it… work friends.
The weird part for me about Owen’s death is that I think about him, his family and the day he died often. Probably more than I should, I think, for someone who was just a “work friend”.
And I think many people in the wrestling industry that knew Owen feel the same way. I have a few theories as to why this might be.
Owen’s death was a tragic accident – I have little empathy for drug addicts who wrestle and die from an overdose. Steve Bradley was the rare exception and for him, I feel guilt and remorse about the career that could have been. But for Owen, it was an accident. A terrible, tragic accident that could of and should have been avoided.
Owen was universally loved – I don’t know anyone who ever had a bad thing to say about Owen Hart and that’s tough to say in the crazy, competitive world in which he lived. Even Steve Austin, who held a grudge against Owen for their match at Summerslam never “hated” Owen but never forgave him. He was a loveable pest, who’s ribbing nature could drive you crazy but you couldn’t get too mad at him. More on Owen and his ribs later.
Owen Hart was a family man. – I’m not just talking about being Bret’s brother or Helen and Stu’s son but a great husband and father. I’ve known guys who are married and/or have kids but they are pieces of garbage… Owen truly loved his wife and kids and worked hard to get home to them. If he had to give up wrestling to be home, he would have done it in a second. His “family first” attitude made him so likeable among his peers.
His death occurred at an event. – Sadly, one of the reasons why Owen Hart remains so fresh in our minds is because he died at a televised event, not in a hotel room. He’s not the only wrestler who died at a show but it sticks with us when we think about that fateful night in Kansas City. I still think about the master tapes on the shelf at the WWE video library inside the walls of the TV studio. Instructions never to destroy, view or duplicate.
The great debate about whether or not to continue the show – Moreso than whether or not Owen should have been doing that stunt in the first place, I am most frequently asked my opinion on whether the show should have continued or not. I think this is another reason why Owen’s death stays with us because there is that eternal question, to which there is no right or wrong answer.
I am sure there are more reasons why Owen Hart’s death stays close to our hearts and minds but on the 14th anniversary of his passing, I wanted to share these thoughts with you. Also, my pal Todd from the Monday Night Mayhem show shared this link on Facebook… I agree with the list below, although I didn’t know Harley Race got a comeback…
Enjoy! And in honor of Owen Hart’s memory, let’s all try to be better husbands, fathers, sons and friends. Rib someone today with fart spray or a prank call. Spray water (accidentally) on someone. Harmless fun.
OWEN HART FOR WWE HALL OF FAME
God bless you, my work friend.
Courtesy of LordsofPain.net:
Jason Sensation joined Inside The Ropes this past week. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
On working with WWF after Montreal being close with The Harts: “There was a couple of times I was doing some home shopping gigs in Canada with WWE and this was prior to my parody as Owen Hart and Triple H was at one of the shows and he came up and asked me to dress up like Bret and make fun of him. I really didn’t wanna do it, he was my favourite guy and everything. Triple H had to sit down and explain the business to me, telling me: