Wrestling fans from all walks of life are well aware of the tragedy that took the life of Owen Hart over 16 years ago. On December 8th, WWE is scheduled to release a DVD looking back on his life and career titled Owen – Hart of Gold.
This is a compilation that fans have wanted for a long time. However, years of messy (and that’s putting it nicely) legal proceedings between WWE and Owen’s widow, Martha Hart, stalled movement on the project.
It irks me when people say that fans only care about Owen Hart because of how he died. While it raised his notoriety, Owen’s mid-card status on the roster was hardly an accurate barometer of his talents.
In the ring, Owen Hart entertained millions as the wrestler you loved to hate. Outside the ring, he was a family man who touched a lot of lives.
Owen Hart was one of my favorite wrestlers growing up, and his feud with Bret Hart was fantastic. Most people saw Owen as the jealous little brother. What I saw, however, was a great wrestler who was expected to kiss the ring because his older brother is the almighty “Hitman.”
Their classic encounters at WrestleMania 10, along with their thrilling steel cage showdown at SummerSlam 1994, were the only times I wanted Bret Hart to lose, and he is my favorite wrestler.
Owen’s match with the British Bulldog in Germany to crown the inaugural European Champion is one of my all-time favorite matches. The rarity of two heels facing each other in the main event told a great story that produced the perfect example of professional wrestling as an art form.
With all that being said, I’m not buying the upcoming DVD. This is not an attempt to convince anyone to either buy or not buy the DVD. I’m just sharing my thoughts on the matter.
Martha Hart has publicly stated that she and her family do not support the project as they feel it is “another attempt to exploit Owen’s memory, and his tragic death, for commercial gain.” Not to get all spiritual, but if I were looking down from above and saw my family reeling over a project in my name, I wouldn’t want it to come to fruition.
Owen Hart was first and foremost a family man. If he had a say in the matter, he wouldn’t want the DVD to be released, considering the pain his family has suffered through and continues to endure.
WWE owns the footage, and they have every legal right to release it. Creating one definitive collection and a documentary will make for a great career retrospective, and I look forward to hearing all of the feedback.
Will not making this one purchase change anything? No, and nor is that my intention. I’m just choosing to honor Owen Hart in my own way by helping respect his family’s wishes.