Owen Hart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Owen Hart
Owen Hart with a fan.jpg
Birth name Owen James Hart
Born (1965-05-07)May 7, 1965[1]
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Died May 23, 1999(1999-05-23) (aged 34)
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Spouse(s)
Children Oje (born 1992)
Athena (born 1995)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) The Blue Blazer[1]
Owen Hart[1]
Owen James[1]
The Rocket[1]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Billed weight 229 lb (104 kg)[1]
Billed from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Parts Unknown (as the Blue Blazer)
Trained by Stu Hart[1]
Debut 1983[2][3]

Owen James Hart (May 7, 1965 – May 23, 1999)[1] was a Canadian professional and amateur wrestler who worked for several promotions including Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and most notably, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he wrestled under both his own name, and ring name The Blue Blazer. A member of the Hart wrestling family, Hart was born in Calgary, Alberta, the youngest of 12 children of Stampede Wrestling promoter and WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart and Helen Hart.

Among other accolades, Hart was a one-time world champion, having held the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship during the USWA's partnership with the WWF, a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, a one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWF European Champion, and a four-time WWF World Tag Team Champion. He was also the winner of the 1994 WWF King of the Ring. A staple of the WWF's In Your House pay-per-view series from 1995 to 1998, Hart wrestled more matches at those events than any other performer with 22, including three headlining slots.[4] He also main-evented SummerSlam 1994 in a steel cage match against older brother Bret Hart for the WWF Championship,[5] which remains one of only five WWF matches in history awarded a full five stars in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[6]

Regarded by a number of peers as one of the WWF's greatest professional wrestlers,[7][8][9] Hart died on May 23, 1999, when an equipment malfunction occurred during his entrance from the rafters of Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., at the WWF's Over the Edge pay-per-view event.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Training and independent circuit (1983–1988)[edit]

Owen was born on May 7th 1965 in Calgary, Alberta into the Hart wrestling family. He was of Greek descent through his maternal grandparents. Hart first gained wrestling experience in the amateur wrestling division at high school, through which he met his wife, Martha.[10] Wrestling was not Hart's first choice for a career; as Martha explained in her book Broken Harts, Owen tried numerous times to find a profitable living outside of wrestling.[11] As those attempts were unsuccessful, Hart was trained in his father's Hart Dungeon and worked for his father’s federation, Stampede Wrestling and in England for Max Crabtree's Joint Promotions in matches that got broadcast on ITV's World of Sport.[12] He remained with Stampede for the next couple of years while honing his skills. During 1986, Hart teamed with Ben Bassarab and won the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship.[13] The success of the team and Hart's in ring skills earned him Pro Wrestling Illustrated '​s Rookie of the Year Award in 1987. After he and Bassarab lost the tag team title,[13] he feuded with Johnny Smith and Dynamite Kid.

In 1987, Hart branched out to Japan where he wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) on several tours. In NJPW, he wrestled Keiichi Yamada both unmasked[14] and later under the Jushin Liger gimmick. On May 27, 1988, Hart defeated Hiroshi Hase for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, becoming the first non-Japanese wrestler to win the title.[13] His reign would end nearly a month later, as he lost the title to Shiro Koshinaka on June 24, 1988.

World Wrestling Federation (1988–1989)[edit]

Hart's success in Japan and Stampede’s working relationship with the World Wrestling Federation led to Hart signing with the company in the summer of 1988. Instead of promoting Owen as Bret Hart's younger brother, the WWF decided to create a masked "superhero" type gimmick for him which played to his high-flying style. He originally was called The Blue Angel for a brief period before being renamed The Blue Blazer, with his early appearances seeing him defeat the likes of Terry Gibbs, Steve Lombardi and Barry Horowitz. The Blazer made his pay-per-view debut at Survivor Series '88, teaming with The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Jim Brunzell and Sam Houston against The Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine, Outlaw Ron Bass, Bad News Brown and Dangerous Danny Davis. The Blazer was eliminated by Valentine, but his team went on to win the match.[15] He continued to wrestle in the midcard, defeating enhancement talent but often falling short against other name talent; he lost to Ted DiBiase on the March 11, 1989 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event [16] and was defeated by Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania V.[17]

Return to independent circuit (1989–1991)[edit]

Shortly after WrestleMania, Hart left the WWF to tour the world both with and without the Blue Blazer gimmick. He also returned to Stampede, until it shut down in December 1989. In 1991, Hart lost the Blue Blazer mask in a mascara contra mascara match against Mexican wrestler El Canek, thus bidding farewell to the Blue Blazer gimmick.[18]

World Championship Wrestling (1991)[edit]

Owen debuted in World Championship Wrestling's self-titled TV show on March 16, 1991, the first of five TV matches he competed in, all of which were against preliminary talent. One of the bouts saw Owen team with Ricky Morton.[19]

Return to World Wrestling Federation (1991–1999)[edit]

The New Foundation (1991–1992)[edit]

Hart had been engaged in contract discussions with WCW but the deal was never struck, as Owen was not willing to move himself and his family to the company's headquarters in Atlanta.[11] Instead, he signed with the WWF for a second time. In the WWF the popular Hart Foundation, composed of his brother Bret and real-life brother-in-law Jim Neidhart, had split up; Bret set out on a singles career while Neidhart was used sparingly. When Neidhart returned from a storyline injury, he joined Owen to form a team known as The New Foundation.

Owen and Neidhart first feuded with the Beverly Brothers. They then had their only pay-per-view match at the Royal Rumble in January 1992 where they beat The Orient Express.[20] Neidhart left the WWF shortly afterward, and Hart set out on a very short run as a singles wrestler, including a match at WrestleMania VIII against Skinner.[21] Shortly after WrestleMania, Hart was teamed up with Koko B. Ware to form the duo known as High Energy. They had only one pay-per-view match as a team, at the Survivor Series where they lost to The Headshrinkers.[22] The team was quietly dropped at the start of 1993 with Hart starting a singles career.

Feud with Bret (1993–1995)[edit]

Owen's feud with his brother Bret won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Feud of the Year award and garnered praise from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for their steel cage match at SummerSlam.

In the middle of 1993, when Bret Hart’s feud with Jerry Lawler ignited, Owen stood by his brother’s side and fought against Lawler in the United States Wrestling Association where most of the WWF talent were considered the heels. Owen won the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship from Papa Shango.[13] Owen’s participation in the WWF vs. USWA feud was cut short when he suffered a knee injury in the summer of 1993 and was forced to take some time away from the ring.

Hart returned to the WWF ring in the fall of 1993, at a time when Bret’s feud with Lawler was temporarily sidetracked. Bret, along with Owen and their brothers Bruce and Keith, were scheduled to face Lawler and his team at Survivor Series. However, Lawler was unable to make it to the show, and as a result could not appear on WWF television. Lawler was replaced with Shawn Michaels. During the match Owen and Bret inadvertently crashed into each other, causing Owen to be eliminated from the team. Owen showed up after the match and had a heated confrontation with Bret, while Keith, Bruce and Stu tried to calm things down. This confrontation resulted in Owen leaving the ring to boos while his brothers and father watched in dismay and mother Helen cried at ringside. The following night Owen adopted the pink and black tights, sunglasses and Sharpshooter finisher to send a message to his brother. Owen, angry with being in Bret's shadow, challenged his brother which Bret declined. Instead the brothers seemed to reunite by the holidays.

Owen Hart adorned his attire with the nickname The King of Harts after winning the 1994 King of the Ring.

Bret tried to make amends with Owen, teaming with him on a regular basis. Bret even secured the two a shot at the WWF Tag Team Championship. They faced the Quebecers for the title at the Royal Rumble in January 1994. Initially everything was fine between the brothers, but when Bret hurt his knee (kayfabe) and was unable to tag Owen in for a long period of time, the younger Hart got frustrated. When the referee stopped the match due to Bret's damaged knee, Owen snapped; he kicked his brother in the knee and then walked off, berating Bret on the Titantron shortly after as Bret was being helped backstage. This started his run as a heel.[23] After the act an infuriated Owen accused his brother of being selfish and holding him down. Owen admitted that it felt good to take out his brother. The two brothers faced off for the first time at WrestleMania X, where Owen cleanly pinned his older brother. Later in the evening, Bret won the WWF Title while Owen stood by and watched in jealousy as Bret celebrated in the ring.[24] Owen won the King of the Ring Tournament with Jim Neidhart’s help.[25] After the victory, Owen took the nickname “The King of Harts."

Owen and Bret feuded throughout the summer of 1994, clashing many times both in singles and later in tag team matches (with Bret joined by the returning British Bulldog). Two matches stand out in this feud: first, their Steel Cage match at SummerSlam for Bret's WWF Championship, which Bret won.[26] This match later received a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer. The second was a lumberjack match on August 17 that Owen initially won and was announced as WWF Champion; Bret won the match after it was ordered to continue due to interference.[27] At the Survivor Series, Owen struck the most damaging blow against his brother as he conned his own mother Helen to throw in the towel for Bret. The ploy cost Bret the world title to Bob Backlund.[28] Owen also prevented Bret from regaining the title at the Royal Rumble in 1995 when he interfered in the match between Bret and new champion Diesel.[29] In the weeks after the Rumble, Bret and Owen clashed again with Bret soundly defeating his brother, thus putting an end to their feud for the time being.

Owen rebounded from the loss to Bret by winning the WWF Tag Team title from The Smoking Gunns at WrestleMania XI.[13] Owen, who was joined by a "Mystery Partner", had challenged the Gunns to a title match; the partner turned out to be former world champion Yokozuna.[30][31] After the victory Owen took Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji as his managers, who already managed Yokozuna. The team defended the title for five months until they lost them to Shawn Michaels and Diesel at In Your House 3. They would briefly hold the title a second time when the belts were handed back to them[32] before the Smoking Gunns regained the title.[13] Owen and Yokozuna would continue to team off and on until the end of the year.

Team with The British Bulldog (1996–1997)[edit]

Hart making his entrance to the ring

In 1995, Owen's brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith turned heel and joined the Camp Cornette stable. During the summer of 1996 the two brothers in law started to team up more and more, sometimes alongside Vader who was also a member of Camp Cornette.[33] Owen was also a color commentator for the 1996 King of the Ring (exhibiting clear partisan support for Vader and Smith) and during this time wore a cast on his right forearm for several months, feigning a nagging injury to subsequently use his cast as a weapon during his matches.

In September 1996, Bulldog and Hart earned a pay-per-view shot at the tag team title at In Your House 10.[34] Owen and Bulldog left with the gold after defeating the Smoking Gunns.[13][35] They also left with a new manager as Clarence Mason had conned Jim Cornette into signing over the contracts of the new champions. Signs of dissension, however, slowly started to show. One occasion where this was evident was at the Royal Rumble when Hart accidentally eliminated Bulldog.[36] After the Rumble, they had miscommunication in matches against Doug Furnas and Philip Lafon and Bulldog fired Mason after losing a match to Crush who was also managed by Mason, something which did not sit well with Hart. Another bone of contention between the two was the newly created WWF European Championship; both men had fought their way to the finals to crown the first champion with Bulldog coming out as the victor.[13]

After retaining the tag team title against the Headbangers by disqualification on the March 24, 1997 edition of Monday Night Raw, the tension between the two bubbled over. An incensed Hart demanded a shot at Bulldog’s European title the next week.[37] The match was booked for March 31; on the night, the two went at it with such intensity that many thought the tag team champions had finally gone their separate ways. Then in a shocking moment, the recently turned heel Bret Hart appeared at ringside and stopped the match. Bret appealed to both Owen and Bulldog, talking about the importance of family.[38] They agreed to put their differences aside and join with Bret to form the new Hart Foundation, an anti-American stable that also included Hart in-law Jim Neidhart and Hart family friend Brian Pillman.

The Hart Foundation (1997)[edit]

Main article: The Hart Foundation

After forming the Hart Foundation, Owen quickly gained singles gold of his own as he pinned Rocky Maivia to win his first WWF Intercontinental Championship.[13][39] This meant that the Hart Foundation held every WWF title except the World title, cementing their dominance over the federation. It was not all success for Owen, though, as he and the British Bulldog lost their tag team title to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels on May 26, 1997.[13] He began feuding with Austin shortly thereafter.

Owen and Bulldog got a second chance at regaining the tag team titles after Michaels vacated his half of the championship due to an injury. On the July 14, 1997 edition of Raw the two entered a tournament and won to face Austin and a partner of his choice that evening for the vacant titles. That partner turned out to be Dude Love, who declared himself to be Austin's partner and helped him defeat Hart and Bulldog for the tag team championship.

Hart in 1997

At SummerSlam in August, Hart was to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Austin in a "Kiss My Ass" match, where Hart put the title up against Austin having to kiss his buttocks if he lost. During the match, Hart botched a piledriver and dropped Austin on the top of his head, injuring his neck.[40] Austin won the title from Hart that evening,[13] but due to the injury was forced to vacate the title. Although the entire situation was an accident, the WWF decided to make it part of the storyline as Owen began wearing a t-shirt patterned after Austin's that read "Owen 3:16/I Just Broke Your Neck". Hart was then entered into a tournament to crown a new champion.

Hart fought his way to the finals of the tournament to crown the next Intercontinental champion and was set to face Faarooq at In Your House: Bad Blood. Owen beat Faarooq with Austin’s help.[41] Afterward, Austin explained that he wanted to beat Hart for the title when he returned and would not allow Faarooq or anyone else to beat him. After Hart retained the title twice by disqualification between Bad Blood and Survivor Series in Montreal, Austin got his wish and defeated Hart for the Intercontinental Championship again.[13][42] Later that night, the Montreal Screwjob took place. Bret left the Federation after the event and both the British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart were granted quick releases from their contracts to jump to WCW. This left Owen as the only Hart family member remaining in the WWF, due to his contractual obligations. Unlike Smith and Neidhart, Vince McMahon did not grant Owen a release from his contract and Owen remained with the company. He was skeptical about returning to WCW anyway, as he was not confident that the organization would use him correctly. Bret has said that the biggest reason Owen did not make the move was because WCW president Eric Bischoff was unwilling to match his WWF contract.[43]

The Black Hart and Nation of Domination (1997–1998)[edit]

Main article: Nation of Domination

Hart was not seen or mentioned on WWF programming until he made a surprise appearance after Shawn Michaels retained his title following a disqualification loss to Ken Shamrock at In Your House: D-Generation X where he attacked Shawn Michaels. Now a fan favorite, but with a new edgy, antisocial attitude, Hart became known as "The Lone Hart" and also "The Black Hart".[44] Owen had a feud with DX and challenged Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship on the December 29, 1997 edition of Raw: Hart had Michaels locked in the sharpshooter when Triple H interfered in order to save Michaels' title, giving Hart the victory by disqualification.[45] He later won the European title from Triple H, although not directly.[46] Goldust dressed up as Triple H in an attempt to swerve Hart, but Commissioner Slaughter considered him to be a legitimate replacement.[13][46] Hart later suffered a kayfabe ankle injury during a match against Barry Windham involving Triple H. When Hart joined the commentary at ringside, Triple H managed to draw Owen into an impromptu title match and regained the title. Chyna interfered while the referee wasn't looking and while Triple H was distracting the referee, she struck Hart behind the left knee with a baseball bat, picked him up and threw him back into the ring where Triple H put Hart in a reverse ankle lock to his injured right ankle to win the European Championship under referees discretion in controversial fashion.[13]

Four weeks after WrestleMania, during a tag team match with Ken Shamrock against D'Lo Brown and Rocky Maivia (later known as The Rock), Hart turned on Shamrock, "snapping" his ankle and "biting his ear" in the process.[47] After the attack on Shamrock, Hart became the co-leader, with The Rock, of the Nation of Domination, claiming that “Enough is enough and it’s time for a change". The Nation's first big feud after Hart joined was against DX. It was during this feud that D-Generation X parodied the Nation of Domination. The imitation was complete with an actor dressing up as Hart and uttering the phrase "I am not a nugget"; this was in response to Shawn Michaels referring to Owen as a nugget of feces in a toilet bowl, and no matter how many times Michaels flushed, it kept sticking around and he was unable to get rid of it. "Nugget" became a derisive term that followed Hart for the rest of his career. Hart's participation in the DX feud was sidetracked when Shamrock returned from injuries dead set on getting revenge on Hart. The two split a pair of specialty matches on pay-per-view,[48][49] but nothing was ever conclusively settled between them.

Teaming with Jeff Jarrett (1998–1999)[edit]

Hart remained with the Nation throughout the year until the stable slowly dissolved. After SummerSlam, he teamed with Jeff Jarrett. Hart and Jarrett had Jarrett's manager Debra in their corner. During this time a storyline was proposed that Hart was supposed to have an on-screen affair with Debra, something which Owen turned down.[11]

After a match in which Hart "accidentally injured" Dan Severn, Hart seemingly quit the WWF.[50] Playing off the legitimate injury Hart had inflicted on Austin the year before, the angle blurred the lines between reality and "storyline". Yet as soon as Hart "quit", the Blue Blazer appeared in the WWF claiming to in no way be Hart despite it being very obvious who was under the mask. Unlike the first run of the character, the Blazer was now an overbearing, self-righteous heel who treated the edgy Attitude Era WWF with disdain. Hart and Jarrett ended up making the storyline comical. To prove that Hart was not the Blazer, he showed up beside the Blue Blazer, who was a masked Jarrett. In a later attempt to prove that neither Hart or Jarrett was the Blazer, they both appeared next to a man in the Blue Blazer mask; however, it was obvious that a black man was under the mask (Hart's former tag team partner Koko B. Ware).[1] On January 25, 1999, in the midst of the Blue Blazer angle Hart and Jarrett defeated Ken Shamrock and The Big Boss Man for the tag team title.[13][51] The pair successfully defended the belts against Test and D'Lo Brown at Wrestlemania XV. They lost the titles to the team of Kane and X-Pac on the (pre-taped) episode of Raw that aired on April 5, 1999. However, Hart and Jarrett continued to team together until Hart's death in May during the Over the Edge pay-per-view event.

Personal life[edit]

He met Martha Joan Patterson in 1982.[citation needed]They married on July 1, 1989, and they had two children. Oje Edward Hart was born on March 5, 1992 and Athena Christie Hart was born on September 23, 1995.[citation needed]

On May 28, 2011, Owen was inducted into the Legends Pro Wrestling "Hall of Fame" by Jack Blaze in Wheeling, West Virginia at their "LPW Hart & Soul Tour" event. The award was accepted by his brother-in-law Jim Neidhart who was also inducted that night.

Despite Owen Hart spending the majority of his WWF career portraying a cocky, obnoxious heel, he was very well liked by his fellow wrestlers backstage and was known for being easy to work with.

Hart was very frugal with his money; he had planned to save enough to retire and live comfortably with his family. When touring on the road with the WWF, he normally would stay in his hotel room while other wrestlers went out and partied on the evenings.

Hart was notorious for pulling elaborate "ribs" (pranks) on fellow wrestlers. During a shoot interview Tony Norris, who wrestled in the WWF during the mid-90's as Ahmed Johnson and faced Hart in the ring on many occasions, stated that he had received a phone call saying he was to be featured as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After spending a large amount of money on new clothes for the occasion, he was told a limousine was to pick him up and deliver him to the studio. After waiting a seemingly long time, he says that Hart appeared and asked him why he wasn't at the show yet. Norris, suspicious as to how Hart could've known about his guest appearance as he had not told anyone, said that Hart was then on the ground laughing; he then realized that Hart was behind the ruse and there was no guest spot on The Tonight Show. Despite this, Norris spoke very highly of Hart and said that he had loved working with him.

During the segments of wrestlers sharing stories about Hart during the RAW IS OWEN broadcast following his death, Shane McMahon mentions Hart and himself taking his brother Bret's wrestling boots and hiding them in a shower. Shane mentioned he was fearful of what Bret would do when he found out.

In his autobiography, his brother Bret spoke of a time when he, their father Stu, and Bret's oldest daughter Jade were in a hotel room during the WrestleMania IV weekend when Stu received a phone call apparently from former bodybuilder and wrestler Reg Park, who said that he was calling from the hotel's lobby. Having been acquaintances before, Stu was originally cordial until Park supposedly began accusing him of cowardice and challenging him to a confrontation. Bret mentions Stu becoming extremely irritated to the point of anger and was ready to meet Park face to face until he slammed the phone down, mentioning that it was Owen all along.

Death[edit]

On May 23, 1999, Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri during the Over the Edge pay-per-view event.[52] Hart was in the process of being lowered via harness and grapple line into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a booked Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather. In keeping with the Blazer's new "buffoonish superhero" character, he was to begin a dramatic entrance, being lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would act "entangled", then release himself from the safety harness and fall flat on his face for comedic effect—this necessitated the use of a quick release mechanism. It was an elaboration on a Blue Blazer stunt done previously on the Sunday Night Heat before Survivor Series in 1998.[50]

While being lowered into the ring, Hart fell 78 feet (24 m), landing chest-first on the top rope (approximately a foot from the nearest turnbuckle), throwing him into the ring.[53]

Hart had performed the stunt only a few times before. Hart's widow Martha has suggested that, by moving around to get comfortable with both the harness and his cape on, Hart unintentionally triggered an early release. Television viewers did not see the incident. During the fall, a pre-taped vignette was being shown on the pay-per-view broadcast as well as on the monitors in the darkened arena. Afterward, while Hart was being worked on by medical personnel inside the ring, the live event's broadcast showed only the audience. Meanwhile, WWF television announcer Jim Ross repeatedly told those watching live on pay-per-view that what had just transpired was not a wrestling angle or storyline and that Hart was hurt badly, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.[54]

Hart was transported to Truman Medical Center in Kansas City. While several attempts to revive him were made, he died from his injuries; some believe he died in the ring.[55] The cause of death was later revealed to be internal bleeding from blunt force trauma.[56]

Controversy[edit]

The WWF management controversially chose to continue the event.[57] Later, Jim Ross announced the death of Hart to the home viewers during the pay-per-view, but not to the crowd in the arena.[58] While the show did go on, it has never been released commercially by WWF Home Video. In 2014, fifteen years after his death, the WWE Network aired the event for the first time. A small photo tribute is shown before the start informing fans that Hart passed away during the original broadcast. All footage of Hart was edited out of the event, although Hart's blood is visible during the match Jeff Jarrett and Val Venis, the first to occur after the incident.

In the weeks that followed Hart's death, much attention was focused on the harness Hart used that night, especially on the "quick release" trigger and safety latches. When someone is lowered from the rafters in a harness, there are backup latches that must be latched for safety purposes.

Four weeks after the event, the Hart family sued the WWF over how dangerous and poorly planned the stunt was, and that the harness system was defective.[59] After over a year and a half into the case, a settlement was reached on November 2, 2000, which saw the WWF give the Hart family $18 million.[60][61][62] The manufacturer of the harness system was also a defendant against the Hart family, but they were dismissed from the case after the settlement was reached.[59][60] Martha used millions of the settlement to establish the Owen Hart Foundation.[63] Martha wrote a book about Hart's life in 2002 called Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart.[11]

In his DVD set Bret "Hit Man" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, Bret said that he wishes he had been with the WWF the night Owen's accident happened, as he would have discouraged Owen from performing the stunt.[64]

Triple H has stated in several interviews that "The Game" nickname that he would adopt months after Owen's death was originally intended for Owen. Triple H would adopt the nickname himself in honor of Owen.[65]

Raw is Owen[edit]

Raw is Owen is the name given to a special live episode of WWF Raw is War that aired on May 24, 1999, the night after Hart's death. It was broadcast live from the Kiel Center in St. Louis.[9] It featured shoot interviews from his fellow wrestlers.[9][66] According to Raw Exposed (a special that aired before the first Raw airing on its return to USA Network on October 3, 2005), all storylines and rivalries were put aside, and WWF management gave all wrestlers on the roster the option of working or not. Nevertheless, ten matches were booked with no angles.

The show began with all the wrestlers, managers, referees and agents of the WWF (except WWF Champion The Undertaker and Kane) standing on the entrance ramp; Vince, Linda, and Stephanie McMahon were at the front of the ramp. Howard Finkel called for a ten-bell salute. Hart's former Nation of Domination comrades were emotional, most notably Mark Henry, who read a poem that he wrote in memory of Hart. A tribute video narrated by Vince then played on the Titan Tron.[67] Throughout the broadcast, personal thoughts on Hart in the form of shoot interviews with various WWF Superstars were played. Before the first commercial break, such thoughts were aired from Mick Foley and Bradshaw. Foley noted that Hart was his son's favorite wrestler and had proudly gotten a haircut like Owen's, although he also said his son did not quite understand that "nugget" was not a term of endearment.[68] Bradshaw talked about how Hart spent less money on the road than most wrestlers because he wanted to retire early and spend time with his family. Owen's friend and Nation of Domination partner The Rock also made a short speech before engaging in a short match against Val Venis. The broadcast ended with Steve Austin coming out for a special salute to Hart by climbing the turnbuckle and performing his famous "beer-bash" routine, ending with him giving a toast to Owen, whose picture was displayed on the TitanTron throughout the entire show. The only notable absence from this show was The Undertaker as he decided to visit his real-life good friend, Bret Hart.

The tribute show scored a Nielsen ratings score of 7.2, making it the highest-rated special episode in Raw history and the third highest-rated show overall.[69] Shawn Michaels, in his Heartbreak and Triumph autobiography, notes that "Owen is the only guy you could have a two-hour show for, and no-one would say a bad word about him." The next day, WWF taped the episode of Raw for May 31, 1999. During that show, Jeff Jarrett defeated The Godfather to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship,[13] the title Hart was booked to win for a third time at Over the Edge. Jarrett screamed Hart's name as the belt was handed to him.

Lawsuits[edit]

In June 2010, Hart's widow (Martha Hart) filed a lawsuit against the WWE over WWE’s use of Owen Hart’s name and likeness as well as personal photos of Hart’s family in the ‘Hart & Soul’ WWE DVD, as well as the failure to make royalty payments. The matter was scheduled to go to trial in June 2013 before the settlement was reached in April 2013 for an undisclosed amount.[70]

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • "The Rocket"[1]
    • "The King of Harts"[1]
    • "The Black Hart"[1]
    • "The Lone Hart"[1]
    • "The Two-Time Slammy Award Winner"[1]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Hart won every major championship in the WWF, except for the WWF Championship he is seen holding here.

1 Awarded to Shawn Michaels for collapsing but Hart accepted the award for himself.

2 After he presented the Award, Hart never awarded it to any of the possible candidates and instead stole it for himself.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Owen Hart Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  2. ^ http://www.woswrestling.com/tvmatches/1984
  3. ^ http://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=277&name=Owen+Hart
  4. ^ See: In Your House 9: International Incident, In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede and No Way Out of Texas: In Your House.
  5. ^ "SummerSlam 1994: Main Event". WWE. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Top Rated Matches of All Time". Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Remembering Owen", Bret Hart, Calgary Sun, May 31, 1999 (archived at Slam Sports)
  8. ^ Statements on Owen Hart at wrestlingfever.de[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ a b c "Raw is Owen". Fortune City. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  10. ^ 411 Video Review: The Life & Death Of Owen Hart, 411mania.com
  11. ^ a b c d Hart, Martha (2004). Broken Harts: the Life and Death of Owen Hart. M. Evans and Company, Inc. ISBN 978-1-59077-036-8. 
  12. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ldDJ4X9SJ4
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  14. ^ "Junior 1988". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  15. ^ "WWF Survivor Series Results (1988)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  16. ^ "WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event Results (#20)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  17. ^ "WWF WrestleMania Results (V)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  18. ^ Lourdes Grobet, Alfonso Morales, Gustavo Fuentes, and Jose Manuel Aurrecoechea (2005). Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Trilce. ISBN 978-1-933045-05-4. 
  19. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WCW Show Results". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  20. ^ "WWE Royal Rumble results (1992)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  21. ^ "WWF WrestleMania Results (VIII)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  22. ^ "WWF Survivor Series Results (1992)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  23. ^ "WWE Royal Rumble results (1994)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  24. ^ "WWF WrestleMania Results (X)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  25. ^ "WWF King of the Ring Results (1994)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  26. ^ "WWF SummerSlam Results (1994)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  27. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "1994 WWF Ring Results". Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  28. ^ "WWF Survivor Series Results (1994)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  29. ^ "WWE Royal Rumble results (1995)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  30. ^ "WWF WrestleMania Results (XI)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  31. ^ a b "History of the World Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and Yokozuna(1)". WWE. 1995-04-02. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  32. ^ a b "History of the World Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and Yokozuna(2)". WWE. 1995-09-25. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  33. ^ "WWE PPV results (International Incident)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  34. ^ "WWE PPV results (Mind Games)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  35. ^ a b "History of the World Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith". WWE. 1996-09-22. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  36. ^ "WWE Royal Rumble Results (Elimination Info 1997)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  37. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WWE Ring Results 1997". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  38. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WWE Ring Results 1997". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  39. ^ a b "History Of The Intercontinental Championship – Owen Hart(1)". WWE. 1997-04-27. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  40. ^ Powell, John (1997-08-04). "WWF Summerslam '97 results". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  41. ^ a b "History Of The Intercontinental Championship – Owen Hart (2)". WWE. 1997-10-05. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  42. ^ Powell, John (1997-11-10). "Survivor Series screws the fans". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  43. ^ Glicksman, Gavin. "Hart: I wish Owen was still here". The Sun. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  44. ^ "WWF PPV Results (Degeneration-X)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  45. ^ Raw results: December 29, 1997. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  46. ^ a b c "History Of The European Championship – Owen Hart". WWE. 1998-01-22. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  47. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WWF Show Results 1998". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  48. ^ "WWF Fully Loaded Results (1998)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  49. ^ "WWF SummerSlam Results (1998)". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  50. ^ a b Cawthon, Graham. "WWF Ring Results 1998". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  51. ^ a b "History of the World Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett". WWE. 1999-01-25. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  52. ^ "Over the Edge 1999 results". Hoffco. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  53. ^ "Owen Hart Biography". Biography. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  54. ^ "Owen Hart Tragedy". Wrestling Gone Wrong. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  55. ^ Jerry "The King" Lawler claimed this was the case at the end of the "Raw is Owen" special the night after the accident.[better source needed]]]
  56. ^ "Owen Hart". Mahalo.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  57. ^ Powell, John. "Hart tragedy overshadows Taker's win". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  58. ^ "Over the Edge 1999 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  59. ^ a b Margolies, Dan (2000-11-11). "Deal approved in WWF case". The Kansas City star. Robb & Robb. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  60. ^ a b Skinner, Stephanie (2000-11-27). "Record $18M settlement for Wrestler's family". Robb & Robb. Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  61. ^ "Owen Hart Family awarded $18 million US". CTV. 2000-11-08. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  62. ^ "WWE Entertainment, Inc. Announces Settlement in Owen Hart Case". WWE Corporate. 2000-11-02. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  63. ^ "Hart family feud With WWF suit settled, dead wrestler's widow lashes out at in-laws". 
  64. ^ Bret Hart (2005-11-15). Bret Hart: The Best there is, was and ever will be (DVD). USA: WWE Home Video. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  65. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0366464/bio
  66. ^ Zimmerman, Christopher. "Raw is OWEN results". The Other Arena. Archived from the original on 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  67. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WWE Show Results 1999". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  68. ^ Foley, Mick (1999). Have a Nice Day!: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-039299-1. 
  69. ^ http://www.2xzone.com/ratings/rawhistory.shtml
  70. ^ http://www.inquisitr.com/602812/wwe-lawsuit-over-owen-harts-image-gets-settled/
  71. ^ a b "WWF 1993 results (do a page text search for "Owen Hart")". Graham Cawthon. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  72. ^ a b "WWF 1988 results (Do a page text search for "Blue Blazer")". Graham Cawthon. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  73. ^ "Jim Cornette profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  74. ^ IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  75. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Editor's Award". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  76. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Feud of the Year". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  77. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  78. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 1994". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  79. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  80. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archiv. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. 
  81. ^ British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  82. ^ Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  83. ^ Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  84. ^ "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948–1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. 
  85. ^ USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  86. ^ "WWE Slammy Awards". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 

External links[edit]