The Midsommar May Queen (shangri__la) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
The Midsommar May Queen

Dark Side of the Ring: The Final Days of Owen Hart

The Owen Hart episode got the highest ratings ever for the series.

  • Owen's widow Martha as well as his children Oje and Athena talked in a rare interview.

  • Owen was a part of the legendary Hart family, and was considered a prodigy. All twelve Hart children either became wrestlers or married wrestlers, including Owen and Owen's brother Bret, who was arguably the most famous family member.

  • Martha and Owen began dating when she was fifteen, and she called him a gentle giant. While Owen loved the wrestling business, he ultimately wanted a normal job, and he loved being a dad.

  • Owen and Bret's match at Wrestlemania X is considered one of greatest of all time, and was when Owen came out of the shadow of his brother.

  • When Bret left the WWE, Vince McMahon was desperate to keep Owen. Owen was very uncomfortable with the changes at the WWE, not wanting to do storylines like pretending to cheat on his wife.

  • The Blue Blazer comedy character was Owen's compromise on a storyline. Jim Ross says he found it embarrassing they couldn't find anything better for such a gifted wrestler. The Blue Blazer's gimmick was flying in from the ceiling on a harness.

  • Owen's original harness team was professionals who worked at MGM and Vegas. The WWE assured Martha it was safe, but that wasn't true. The WWE hired a man who exaggerated his experience and ended up incorrectly harnessing Owen.

  • Everyone felt Owen wasn't his regular jovial self on the day of his death in 1999. Oje recalls his father telling him firmly to take care of his mother and sister before leaving. Jim Ross said he seemed serious and concerned.

  • Owen was getting ready in the rafters for a pay per view event, hanging over the ring while a video played. The referee, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler heard a scream as Owen fell 80 feet before hitting a turnbuckle into the ring. The ref began screaming for help. The news spread quickly that Owen fell and fellow wrestlers began to panic.

  • Ross knew something was bad because Lawler was pale as a ghost and he told the wrestlers "I think he's dead." Another wrestler recalled Owen being blue as he was wheeled past on a stretcher.

  • Ross described chaos backstage and the WWE didn't want to stop the show. He says he asked for an update on Owen and was told "he's dead. And you're back in ten...nine..." Ross was forced to go live on air to break the news. Wrestlers were forced to wrestle on and around Owen's blood on the mat.

  • Fans who witnessed the accident live recalled Owen yelling "look out!" as he fell.

  • Martha says she received a personal call from Vince McMahon, breaking the news of the accident to her, and she initially thought it was Owen because he loved to prank people. McMahon had the doctor call Martha, who told her of Owen's death. Martha said she began screaming and collapsed, and Oje, seven years old at the time, realized something really wrong.

  • Martha recalls being horrified at Owen's body in his casket and Bret had to hug and inch her forward when she tried to run away.

  • Owen's funeral was played through speakers to the crowd outside which gathered to say goodbye to their hero. Martha promised justice for Owen.

  • After Owen's funeral, Martha and the kids traveled to the arena where Owen died and they climbed up to the catwalk where Owen fell. Oje said his mother transformed, intent on finding out the truth. Martha knew there was negligence and the Kansas City police gave her the legal documents of their investigation, including the clip which released Owen's harness. The clip only needed six pounds of pressure to release.

  • Owen was told the day of his death that the rigging was a new set up than what he was used to. The new rigging applied a quick release of the harness, which was determined to be what killed Owen in a wrongful death lawsuit.

  • Martha filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Vince McMahon in Kansas City, where Owen died. Vince tried to have the case moved to Connecticut because then Martha would not be awarded punitive damages. He also countersued Martha and manipulated the surviving Hart family against Martha (the Harts were afraid to support Martha's lawsuit in case it ruined their careers). Several Hart members ended up working for Vince against Martha. The lawsuit was eventually settled for $18 million even though Martha had wanted to go to trial.

  • Martha refuses to allow Owen to be celebrated and glorified by the company which she felt was responsible for his death. Jim Ross feels Owen was killed before he reached his full potential.

  • The Owen Hart Foundation was founded by Martha, which focuses on charity work to help the underprivileged. His family wants that to be his legacy.

  • Martha was very happy with the Dark Side of the Ring episode.

  • The episode has reignited the feud between Martha and the WWE, who released a rebuttal last night shortly before the episode ended calling Owen's death a freak accident, as well as claiming Martha wasn't interested in facts, intent on getting revenge on an industry she hated.

  • Martha has called the WWE's damage control "absolutely absurd, reckless, and pathetic."

  • Martha has also been at odds with Owen's brother Bret. The crux of the feud has been Martha's refusal to allow Owen to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, while Bret believes Martha has erased Owen's legacy by not allowing his wrestling career to be celebrated. Bret said in a podcast “I think Martha, Owen's widow, is a very obtuse, square-headed person...I think she has done more to erase my brother Owen’s memory than she ever did to remember him." Martha has called Bret's comments "reckless, irresponsible, and clearly untrue." She also claims Bret only stood by her because he wanted the rights to his matches with the WWE.

  • Bret had stood beside Martha publicly and privately throughout the wrongful-death lawsuit, but they fell out soon after she agreed to WWE’s $18 million settlement offer. Bret has called their estrangement "multifaceted" and has chosen not to confirm, deny or elaborate on Martha's claims besides saying her side of the story is an oversimplification. Martha and her children have little contact with the Hart family.

  • Despite everything, Martha holds no ill will towards anyone, she just wants people to be held accountable.

Source, twitter: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Tags: death, sensitive content, sports / athletes - wrestling, television
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