Owen Hart became a part of AEW in 2022, 23-years after falling to his death in a WWE ring.
He died at Over the Edge 1999, in one of the darkest days in the history of the WWE. The show went on following his passing, one of the most disgusting promotional tactics in WWE history.
They even had Jim Ross announce his death live on air, just seconds after learning of the death of his colleague in front of him.
He was not mentioned in WWE for many years, owing to the wishes of his widow. However, in 2022 Owen Hart’s legacy was honored by AEW, joining the company to help grow the charity created in his name.
In this article, we’ll look at how AEW got Owen Hart, the origins of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and the reason why Owen Hart is not in the WWE Hall of Fame.
How Did AEW Get Owen Hart?
AEW managed to get Owen Hart as part of their company by making a deal with his widow, Dr Martha Hart.
23-years after his tragic death, Martha Hart allowed AEW to honor the legacy and career of Owen Hart, by partnering them with her “Owen Hart Foundation“.
This helped raise money for the charity, while also featuring Owen Hart in various promotional material for the company.
Since getting Owen Hart into AEW (posthumously), AEW have been able to sell merchandise of the former WWE star, and include him in things like video games.
Owen Hart was included in the AEW Fight Forever Video Game, being honored for the first time in decades in a video game. He joins the late-Brodie Lee as dead wrestlers included in the game.
AEW also sell t-shirts and other merchandise to feature the likeness of Owen Hart, with all proceeds going towards the Owen Hart Foundation. They also created the first Owen Hart action figure in decades.
Owen Hart Foundation Cup
In addition to selling Owen Hart t-shirts and action figures, AEW have honored him in a bigger way than anyone could have imagines.
In 2022, Tony Khan revealed a tournament would be set up in honor of the late-Owen Hart, culminating at AEW Double or Nothing 2022.
This was called the “Owen Hart Foundation Cup”, which saw 16 men and women wrestlers battling it out to become the winner of a new belt and a giant trophy, in the “King of Hart’s” honor.
The first tournament was won by Adam Cole, who beat Samoa Joe in the final. Britt Baker also won the women’s tournament, giving the couple huge bragging rights over the rest of the company.
In 2023, Ricky Starks beat CM Punk to win the cup, while Willow Nightingale beat Ruby Soho in the final to win the female-version of the tournament.
Why Isn’t Owen Hart In The WWE Hall of Fame?
Owen Hart isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame because his widow, Dr Martha Hart, refuses to allow WWE to honor his legacy.
She blames the WWE for Owen Hart’s death, for failing to procure the correct harness for his descent at Over the Edge 1999.
WWE changed Hart’s harness to a quick-release harness – used for sailboats, and only built to withstand 40kg of weight – for his entrance as “The Blue Blazer”.
The harness snapped in midair, causing Owen Hart to fall 70 feet to his death, landing on the turnbuckle in the ring.
Martha Hart revealed that she will never let WWE induct Owen Hart into the Hall of Fame. She doesn’t want the company that killed Owen to make money off his nae, complaining that the whole concept is “Garbage”.
“There’s always been this talk that, ‘Oh, we want to put Owen in the Hall of Fame‘.Their Hall of Fame? They don’t even have a Hallway of Fame. It doesn’t exist. There’s nothing. It’s a fake entity. There’s nothing real or tangible. It’s just an event they have to make money. They put it on TV and have a celebration, and it’s just so ridiculous. I would never even entertain it. It’s garbage.”Martha Hart on CBS Sports.
However, Owen’s brother Bret Hart (who himself was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006) wants to see his brother inducted into the Hall of Fame, noting that wrestlers like Owen Hart and Dynamite Kid deserve to go in.
Speaking on CBS Sports’ ‘In the Corner’ podcast, Bret Hart said.
“You can leave Owen Hart out or leave Dynamite Kid out of it or some of these great wrestlers, but why are you leaving them out of it? There are a lot of great wrestlers who haven’t got their pat on the back at the Hall of Fame and it started bothering me to the point where I don’t think I will go again to any of the ceremonies until they put in proper, deserving candidates.”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.