Editorial: My memories of Owen Hart
By GREG OLIVER --
Owen Hart: An honest professional
In more than one interview with SLAM! Wrestling, Owen Hart talked about
getting out of wrestling and spending more time with his family, and going
fishing more often.
Now, tragically, that will not happen.
I remember one interview that I did with him, over a year ago, when he
asked to cut the phone call short so he could take one of his children to
swimming lessons. That was the kind of man he was.
It took a couple of months, but we finally hooked up to complete the
interview. He was always honest, and as revealing as he could be given the
secretive nature of pro wrestling.
I met Owen face to face on a number of occasions. My favourite
memory was a press conference at SkyDome, when the WWF announced the RAW on
TSN deal. He had just gone live on Off The Record, and was joking with the
press backstage. It was just after the whole 'Nugget' chants had begun, and
we all had a good laugh as Owen walked by the McDonalds' Chicken McNugget
He was on the plane with me from Toronto to Philadelphia for
WrestleMania XV. He had had a horrendous trip from Calgary to Toronto, and
had a four-hour lay-over waiting for the flight to Philly. Obviously bagged
and drained, he had a baseball hat drawn over his face, and tried to sleep
both in the waiting area and on the plane.
But those are personal memories.
Wrestling-wise, he was at his best in Stampede matched against the
likes of Makhan Singh (Mike Shaw) and in Japan, where he flew and flew and
The Blue Blazer character, when he first entered the WWF, annoyed
the hell out of me. I couldn't believe how the WWF was wasting this talent.
He hit his stride when he turned heel, and feuded with his older
brother Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. As far as I'm concerned, that was the
pinnacle of both men's careers.
As a tag team wrestler, he was unsurpassed. He was believable
tagging with the monstrous Yokozuna, his brother-in-laws Jim Neidhart or
Davey Boy Smith, or most recently with friend Jeff Jarrett.
Without getting preachy, let's just hope that this accident will
make ALL the wrestling promotions step back and reconsider what chaos they
have wrought. In an effort to top themselves week after week, wrestlers are
being asked to put their lives on the line.
No more, I say.
This will be a turning point, I hope. Back to a more traditional
style of wrestling, something that the former amateur star Owen Hart always