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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Owen ready for Blackman


By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling
  The collect call came in from the mysterious Blue Blazer.

Should the call be accepted? The quandary!

Turns out it wasn't Steve Blackman on the line, but Owen Hart fresh out of retirement, and ready to talk about his match with Blackman at this Sunday's Rock Bottom PPV.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Hart from his Calgary home. "It's been building up for a while now. Blackman's not all that experienced. He's still fairly green. I think it will be good for him to have a good ass-kicking from me."

When reminded that Blackman got his good wrestling schooling at the ol' Stampede corral, Hart 'fessed up.

"I'm the one that got him hired in Calgary. I met him in Japan. He had a good body and some martial arts skills, but needed to be honed on his wrestling ability," he said. "[Blackman] was here for a while, and then he went down and lived in Pennsylvania as a jail guard and just recently got a break. He came down to one of the shows, and someone brought him into the locker room and they hired him back."

The 14-year-vet Owen Hart definitely has the advantage over Blackman. "For the many years that he's been in the business, he doesn't have that much ring experience.

"He's been wrestling ten years, but for actual ring experience, he's probably got less than two years."
Owen Hart
Steve Blackman


Hart's one-up on The Lethal Weapon in retirements too.

Why retire, Owen?

"It was just a twist in the character of Owen Hart. It came at a convenient time because I had a very bad torn groin, my abdomen right through my legs. I was finding it really hard to get in the ring and run around and function at a decent rate. Then they had the idea that it might be better to do a retirement thing, which is kindof like the character of Owen Hart to always something up his sleeve. Anger the fans. 'Yeah, I'm retiring, I'm out of the wrestling ring.' Then miraculously the Blue Blazer happens to show up at same time as Owen Hart retires.

"It messed with people's minds when the Blue Blazer kept coming around. They thought for sure it was me, then all of a sudden when I showed up, it's like 'wait a minute, who's the Blue Blazer?'

"And then the rumours started flying that it was Double J (Jeff Jarrett). And then Double J and Owen Hart were there at the same time. Then the Blue Blazer still showed up. Nobody really knows for sure who the Blue Blazer is, but like I said in my interview, there's a little bit of the Blue Blazer in each and everyone of us."

Hart feels a definite kinship with Jeff Jarrett, and has come to his friend's defence on more than one occasion.

"He's a second generation wrestler, he's young, he's well-trained," said Hart about Double J. "He's more technical, not relying on his big size. We're similar in size, we're similar in age, we're similar in experience. I think if we hooked up, we could be a formidable team. We get along well inside the ring and outside the ring. We've got a little bit of a discrepency having that fembot Debra McMichael hanging around. Jeff's going to have to deal with that."

For Hart, wrestling in Canada is always a highlight, and this Sunday's show at Vancouver's GM Place will be no exception.

"I love working in Canada. The ovation is great. It makes me feel like I'm the top dog."

The flipside, however, also exists.

"It's more stressful for me too because I've got expectations from fans, [who are] very patriotic in Canada, and think 'all right, he's Canadian! He's one of us!' So I want to go out and show my pride and make sure that I fulfil their desires for what they expect from me."

And so SLAM! Wrestling FINALLY finished the Owen Hart interview that was started back in March 1998. Expect the Q&A to be posted in the near future.

August 1, 1998 talk with Owen Hart

More on Owen Hart