No matter how much time passes by following the untimely death of a family member; movie star, music artist, or professional athlete that you are a fan of it never seems to get any easier processing those emotions. That feeling of hopelessness randomly appears like some leak underneath your kitchen sink leaving you shaken up regardless of how long you’ve had to sort through everything.
Anything can set off the waterworks and before you know it you’re swimming in a pool of your own tears trying to keep it together at your cubicle at work or canoeing in-between aisles at the supermarket. It gets even harder to conquer the sensation of grief when you torture yourself and wonder; what if?
Today’s squared circle nostalgia pays tribute to the technical wizard known as Mr. Owen James Hart who left this blue and green circle over two decades ago. What if Owen was still around today? Just imagine the matches he could have woven alongside Edge, Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar. Or, meshed wicked cool storylines with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and Rey Mysterio.
The Slammy award recipient was born on May 7th, 1965, had eleven siblings, was part of pro-wrestling royalty and his older brother, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, was arguably one of the greatest wrestlers of any generation. I mean come on, a guy nicknamed “Hitman” got away with rocking a pink and black singlet, the grapefruits it takes to pull that off is insane especially in the mid-90s.
Owen bounced a few stage names around throughout his career ultimately landing on simplicity because as Detroit rapper Obie Trice would say, “real name – no gimmicks”. Why go by anything other than Hart when you’re a member of the established and respected Hart Foundation?
The Canada-born star held his own against anyone in the ring no matter their size, agility, and in-ring prowess. Initially, his gimmicks did not resonate with fans but that man’s wit oozed out of him and when he finally latched on to the, “I’ve had enough-I’m fed up” attitude people stuck to him like Velcro around the turnbuckles. He was the total package, world to Lex Luger, as he effortlessly blended with any style; technical, submission, high-impact or whatever, this man knew it all and was just a step behind Bret.
Sadly, there is always a disparity in siblings when it comes to the big leagues in many sports. One is noticeably better than the other for example in boxing with Rafael Marquez and Juan Manuel Marquez or, Bobby Pacquiao and Manny Pacquiao but, Owen Hart was constantly on the heels of “The Hitman”. Owen Hart legitimized the WWE tag-team titles and gave prestige to the Intercontinental World Title. You knew if said straps of leather peppered with golden metal plates rested peacefully on Owen’s shoulders that truly meant something.
His untimely death due to a malfunction during his ring entrance came at the Over The Edge PPV on May 23rd of 1999 therefore we mourn him this and every May. However, his work will carry on forever throughout countless home VHS tapes, event DVDs, YouTube videos and the WWE Network’s massive digital library.
Rest In Peace champ.
The Hart Foundation legacy shines just a little brighter thanks to you and your excellence of execution.