New MP3 Tribute at bottom of page

Owen "The BlueBlazer" Hart 1966-1999

WWF Wrestler Killed in Arena Plunge
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A World Wrestling Federation wrestler was fatally injured Sunday when he fell 50 feet into the ring as he was lowered from the ceiling of the arena — stunning the sold-out crowd and pay-per-view television audience that initially thought the accident was a stunt.
Owen Hart, 33, hit his head on a turnbuckle. Hart, who wrestles under the nickname "Blue Blazer," was given CPR in the ring in front of the audience at Kemper Arena and then taken to a nearby hospital.
"We thought it was a doll at first," said 15-year-old Robert McCome. "We thought they were just playing with us. We were really shocked when we found out that it was no joke."
Michelle Hindorff, a paramedic and dispatcher for the city ambulance service, said Hart was supposed to be lowered down into the ring.
"It didn't get hooked on to him. He thought it was hooked on. We gave him CPR in the ring. He was a trauma code," she said.
Commentator Jim Ross repeated over and over to the audience that Hart's fall was not scripted, as professional wrestling matches openly are.
The event was televised live on pay-per-view and seen around the country.
Hart's fall happened in the second part of the event called "Over the Edge." The first part of the event, "Sunday Night Heat," was televised live on the USA network.
"We at the WWF are saddened by the tragic accident that occurred here tonight," Vince McMahon Sr., chairman of WWF, said at a news conference. "We don't have any answer as to why this happened ... There is an ongoing investigation."
He declined to comment further.
Shawn Gaitan, 24, who brought his 7-year-old nephew to the event, said: "I think it's really messed up that they kept on with the show. They could at least told us what was going on. We worry just like the other people worry."
Gaitan said he saw Owen flying through the air; his head hit a turnbuckle and snapped back.
Hart is the younger brother of World Championship Wrestling wrestler Bret (The Hitman) Hart.

Martha wishes to thank all family, friends, neighbors, and fans world wide for their ongoing support and comfort in this time of great sorrow.
A private family service will be held at McInnis & Holloway's "Park Memorial Chapel" on Monday, May 31, 1999 at 11:00am. Everyone is welcome to gather around the Funeral Home to pay tribute to Owen, but services inside the Chapel are private.

Bidding a great star, a great man, farewell
By Hart family friend Jason Clevett

Today it finally sunk in. Owen Hart is gone. The guy who I was lucky enough to have sat down and had dinner with, who was one of my heros and someone who was deserving of being so, has been laid to rest.
I attended the public portion of the funeral, standing outside Mcinnis and Holloway Funeral Chapel with about 2000 other fans. Two large speakers set up on each side broadcast the funeral to those of us outside.
As guests arrived, organist Jeannie Harrison's music played through the speakers, playing emotional songs such as "My heart will go on" "Wind beneath my wings" and "Unchained Melody."
3 busloads of wrestlers were brought to the home. In attendance were the mayor of Calgary, Al Duerr, the Premier of Alberta, Ralph Klien, as well as many wrestlers from the WWF and Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan of WCW.
The funeral officially began with Owen Hart's friend, country singer Collin Raye. He sang 3 songs. "One Boy, One Girl", "Love, Me", and "Amazing Grace." This started the tears flowing for many, and those few who had not yet been pushed over the brink were done so when Reverend Andrew Risby of the Standard Church of America said a prayer for Owen. Then Martha Hart took the podium for her tribute to her husband.
"I'm not worried about Owen." the said, her voice choked with tears. "Because I know he's walking with god. But I just wish he were still walking with me because I miss him so much." In the most emotional speech of the afternoon, Martha talked about her High School sweetheart. "He had one flaw.He had the weirdest toes!!!" she said, one of the many uplifting moments in a emotional event. "For a while there I didn't think it was going to work, his feet were so ugly. But he promised to keep his socks on. He did for the first 7 years, then when we got married he tossed them away."
Martha moved the audience to tears, mentioning how she and Owen had been scheduled to move into their dream home this past Friday,and that they had planned to take a train from Calgary to Vancouver for their 10th anniversary.
"Nobody I know has what we had." she said of their fairytale romance.
Taking a moment to acknowledge those of us outside in the rain, Martha said "I don't want to forget the people outside. We all know we have jobs and places to be. I want to thank them for being here, I don't want to forget them."
"I'm a very forgiving person, and I'm not bitter. But there will be a day of reckoning, and this is my final promise to Owen."
Bret Hart spoke next, admitting he wasn't sure what he was going to say. He made most of his tribute "Owen Stories." something I am sure that will be told for many years to come. Most stories, he admitted, weren't appropriate. He wracked his mind to come up with some. Included in his tribute was a story about Owen making fun of Jim Duggan over the phone from the front lobby of a hotel. When the desk clerk expressed concern about taking the blame, Owen said "Just tell him Jim Powers did it."
"Owen was the best father and husband I've ever seen, it's fitting he be remembered as that."
His anecdotes lightened up the procession as much as was possible under the circumstances, and allowed us another look at the joker Owen was.
Ross Hart also spoke in tribute to Owen, titled "Forever Young". It was a very touching finale of tributes.
Finally the reverend spoke again about Owen, God and other such things. Following this was a video tribute, which was unfortunately not viewable by those outside. At that point, the funeral ended.
The guests then departed the parlor. Owen's brothers Smith, Keith, Bret, Bruce, Wayne and Ross served as pall- bearers. Owen's hearse lead a police-lead procession away from the home to the graveside service in Queens Park Cemetery, as fans applauded Owen and remembered someone who will never, ever be forgotten.
Thanks Hart Family, for allowing us fans the chance to be a part of saying goodbye to such a incredible human being, and thank you Owen, for the memories.
A reception was held at Hart House after the funeral.
In closing, here is a poem, written on the back of this afternoons program, written by Martha Hart, that "describes Owen's wonderful spirit."

I am a lighthouse, Lonely but strong
I reach out to help people, Weather the storm
Some are lost souls, Some in dismay
My light helps to guide them, Out of harms way.

Owen is the youngest child of legendary Stu and Helen Hart. Owen was trained by his father in the Dungeon. In 1986 Owen was ready to join Stampede Wrestling, owned by his father, but at that time it was already going downhill. Owen though, used the time that was left to hone his skills and become one of the most promising rookies the sport has ever seen.
Owen showed on several occasions, that he was championship material, and together with Ben Bassarab, he became International Tag Team champion. Owen also showed his skills in singles competition by winning the British Commonwealth Mid Heavyweight title once. Owen then went after the North American Heavyweight title, which he came close to winning in a tournament final, where he lost to Makhan Singh, Owen though came back an won the title twice, the last time holding it for 13 months.
In 1988 on a tour with New Japan, Owen's skills finally paid off. Owen became the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion by defeating Hiroshi Hase, May 27, in Sendai. Owen was the first westerner to hold the title. Owen title regain lasted until, June 24 1988, when he lost the title to Shiro Koshinaka, in Osaka.
Owen returned to the States, where the WWF showed interest in him. Owen, beneath hood and cape, became the Blue Blazer - a lightweight high flyer versus the heavyweights of the WWF. Owen's skills was mostly used to put the other guys over, at WrestleMania V, he jobbed to Mr. Perfect, shortly after Owen left the WWF. Never once during his first stint in WWF was it mentioned, that Owen was Bret Hart's brother.
Owen spent the next two years on the road, showing his skills in Mexico, Canada, Japan, Europe, and he had a very short stint in the WCW.
Owen returned to the WWF, where he joined his brother-in-law, Jim Neidhart, in the New Foundation. The team didn't last long because they never got a clean break, everybody was comparing them to the original Hart Foundation, which they couldn't live up to.
Neidhart left the WWF, but Owen wasn't finished with tag team wrestling yet. Owen and Koko B. Ware formed High Energy. They didn't have much success though. Owen got a knee injury at the end of 1992, and when he returned, Koko was gone.
The Rocket Owen Hart was born. Via the working agreement with the USWA, Owen went to Memphis, where he defeated Papa Shango for the Unified World Heavyweight Title, only to drop it to Jerry Lawler after two weeks.
After the taste of gold Owen was ready to make his mark in the WWF. But it didn't happen. Owen was still on the bottom of the ladder, while Bret was on top, he had just won the 1993 edition of the King of the Ring.
At the Survivor Series 1993, where a united Hart family fought Shawn Michaels and his knights, Owen was whipped into Bret, who stood on the apron, causing Bret to hit the railing and Owen to get eliminated. The Hart family won the match, but Owen wasn't satisfied with the result, he blamed Bret for his elimination, Owen then developed an obsession, he wanted to be regarded as his brother Bret's equal, Owen would not be in the shadow of the Hitman. Owen was furious at Bret, so he wanted a match against him, so he could step out of Bret's shadow, but Bret wouldn't give it to him.
Owen and Bret talked the things through at the end of 1993, and they agreed to form a tag team. Owen and Bret got a shot at the tag team champions, the Quebecers, at the Royal Rumble 1994. The brothers lost the match, when the referee ended the match, because of Bret's injured knee. Owen totally lost it, he kicked Bret on his knee after the match, and blamed Bret for the loss. Owen also said, that it was Bret, who told him to wrestle under hood and cap, so Owen wouldn't take the limelight from Bret.
At WrestleMania X, Owen and Bret had a classic match, which went back and forth. Owen was victorious, but at the same event, Bret became WWF Heavyweight Champion for the 2. time, which made Owen even more jealous.
Owen wanted another shot at Bret, but to get that, he had to win the King of the Ring tournament. Owen qualified to the King of the Ring by beating Adam Bomb. In the first round of the tournament, Owen and Tatanka went at it, with Owen coming out on top. In the semi-final round waited the 1-2-3 Kid. Owen defeated him easily with the sharpshooter.
It was time for the final round. Jim Neidhart had secured that Bret was still the champ, by attacking Diesel, who got the DQ victory. Owen and Razor Ramon was the two finalists, it was an even match until Anvil attacked Razor, which made Owen the 1994 King of the Ring. After the victory Owen proclaimed himself the King of Harts.
With the victory at the King of the Ring, Owen showed that he was a force to be reckoned with, Owen also got what he really wanted, a match against his brother for the WWF title at SummerSlam 94. The match was a cage match, with Neidhart and the British Bulldog in the public. The match went back and forth, both wrestlers slugged it out up the cage, over the top and on the way down, when suddenly Bret slammed Owen's head against the cage. Owen got his ankles caught between the bars, Bret jumped, landing feet-first at ringside. The British Bulldog cheered, when suddenly Neidhart attacked him. Owen and Neidhart dragged Bret back into the cage and started beating on him. Bulldog got to Bret's rescue. This event was reason for some great tag team matches between Bret/Bulldog and Owen/Neidhart.
The family war died out when Neidhart left the federation in the start of 1995. Owen then aligned himself with Jim Cornette, Owen the challenged the WWF tag team champions, The Smoking Gunns, at WrestleMania XI, where he would reveal his mystery partner. The mystery partner was none other than the mighty Yokuzuna. Owen and Yokuzuna defeated the Gunns with relatively ease, and became WWF tag team champions. Owen had won his first title in the WWF.
Owen and Yoko held on to the titles for almost a half year, before dropping them to the Smoking Gunns, actually Owen and Yoku lost the titles to Diesel and Shawn Michaels at In Your House III, but since the Bulldog replaced Owen, and it was Owen who got pinned, the titles was handed back. After the defeat both Yoku and Owen wanted to use more time on their singles career, which split the team.
The rest of 1995 and until the summer of 1996, Owen was jobbed to almost every WWF superstar. Owen did have some success though, on an instalment of Monday Night Raw, in a match against Shawn Michaels, Owen hit Michaels with a kick to the back of the head, which made the lights go out for Michaels, who laid flat on his back. At the Slammy Awards 1996, Owen won a Slammy for the incident, after the event he billed himself the Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart.
During the summer of 1996 The British Bulldog, who had joined Camp Cornette in the end of 1995, and Owen decided to use their combined forces to win the WWF tag team titles from the Smoking Gunns. The title changed happened at In Your House X, where a manager change also happened. Clarence Mason became the new manager for the new champions, when he got a groggy Jim Cornette to sign the papers.
With a new manager and the titles on their waist, you should think everything was good. But it wasn't, Bulldog got more and more popular among the fans, while Owen got more unpopular, it seemed like a team split was unavoidable.
At the Royal Rumble 97, Owen "accidentally" eliminated the British Bulldog from the battle royal. But it got worse, Bulldog fired Clarence Mason when he lost a match to Crush, also managed by Mason. Owen tried to convince Bulldog that it was wrong, but he couldn't.
In February of 1997, the first ever WWF European Champion should be crowned via a tournament in Germany. The final saw the tag team partners Owen and Bulldog go at it. It was a tough match, but in the end it was Bulldog, who stood triumphant with the new belt. After the match Owen launched a post-match tirade about Bulldog's lack of respect for him. Owen has been in another tournament final in 1997, it was in Kuwait, where he lost to Tiger Ali Singh.
At the Slammy Awards 1997, Owen "won" another Slammy. The tag team champions continued to fight of all comers, but you could feel the tension between them. At Raw is War after WrestleMania 13, Owen and Bulldog had to fight the Headbangers for the titles. Bulldog and Owen got in a fight at the end of the match, Owen said that he demanded a shot at the Bulldog's European title at the following Raw is War, Bulldog gladly accepted.
The following Raw is War it was time for the match for the European title between Owen and Bulldog. It was a brutal match, where Bulldog was going to use a chair on Owen, when Bret entered the ring. Bret got the two combatants separated, he then told them, that the WWF and the American wrestling fans were doing everything in their power to destroy them. Bret also told Owen and Bulldog that he needed and loved them, and that he wanted them to join forces with him against Steve Austin, WWF and the American wrestling fans. They accepted, the Hart Foundation was founded.
The following weeks Owen and Bulldog watched out for Bret, by attacking Austin and Michaels. Pillman and Neidhart also joined the Hart Foundation. 2 weeks after joining the Hart Foundation, Owen won the Intercontinental Title, cleanly, from Rocky Maivia at Raw is War. Owen had finally won a singles title, which he has deserved.
Owen and Bulldog's constant attacks on Austin and Michaels lead to a challenge from the Tag Team Champions. On an instalment of Raw is War Austin and Michaels won the titles from Owen and Bulldog, who had held on to the titles for 8 months.
With only the Intercontinental Title at his waist, Owen will go back to singles wrestling, a place where he fits much better. Owen proved that he is one of the best, by beating Golddust and Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a Three Way Dance on Raw is War.
At Summer Slam Owen had to defend his Intercontinental Title against Steve Austin. As expected Owen lost the title to Austin, but injured Austin in the match. Since the match, Owen has been very proud of himself, because he injured Austin, this has lead to Austin attacking Owen at every opportunity.
Owen then got a restraining order on Austin, but this hasn't stopped Austin, who continues to attack Owen. In my opinion it looks like Owen will win the Intercontinental Title only to loose it to Austin, when he returns.
Owen did win the IC Title at Badd Blood, with the help of Austin, who smacked Faarooq in the head with the Title. Now Owen prepares for Survivor Series and the next time he and Austin will tangle in the ring.
Owen met up with Austin at the Survivor Series and dropped the IC Title to the Rattlesnake, but the events with his brother Bret had an effect on the younger Hart. As a result, Owen left the WWF for a while to think about his future, but he didn't stay away long.
At In Your House, Degeneration X, Owen returned to take out his anger on the man responsible for his brother's departure, Shawn Michaels. During the ruckus, Owen threw HBK through a table and broke Shawn's nose.

The Way I See Earl Oliver
To say that what happened last night at Over the Edge was a tragedy is to understate the obvious. Not only was it a tragedy for the Hart family, his parents, siblings, wife and children - but it was a tragedy for the wrestling business and millions of fans throughout the world.
Needless to say I received a lot of comments on the subject and several of them (including my wife's) expressed the sentiment that the WWF should have stopped the show after the accident. I can understand this attitude and I can respect it...
...but I can't agree with it.
Owen was in show business. He was an athlete, a wrestler, a warrior...but first and foremost, he was a showman. Owen knew that, and his family knew it as well.
There is a maxim in show business. In fact, it is the first rule of show business.
As a former actor and a professional musician, I can tell you that every person in show business lives by that rule. I would liken it to the situation in which a circus acrobat plunges to his or her death from the high wire or off the trapeze.
I read an account of this happen once at a performance of the Clyde Beatty Circus in Chicago around 1965. A high wire performer, who made it a point to work "without a net", had cause to regret that decision when he over balanced on his bicycle and fell over 70 feet to the sawdust below. The crowd did not know until they saw the paper the next day that he had died due to his injuries. At the time of the accident, an emergency team came to his aid as the band struck up a loud, up-tempo march and he was whisked away as fast as his condition would permit. The audience's attention was drawn toward another ring and the show continued.
The people who worked with Owen (and make no mistake about, they were all his friends) live by the above stated rule, and so did Owen.
Jeff Jarrett and Debra McMichael were interviewed shortly after the incident and Jarrett found it impossible to not comment, offering a prayer for his fallen partner's recovery (at that point it was not yet known that he was dying). Debra sobbed visibly as they left the scene after Jarrett had sucked it up and went on with his threats against his opponents in the next match. The Road Dogg also stepped out of character to offer his best to Owen but then he went on with the show.
As did everyone else. During his usual "grab the headset and do commentary" bit, Rocky Maivia ended his tirade with, "Owen, the Rock loves you."
In a CNN interview afterward, a visibly shaken Vince McMahon expressed condolences to the Hart family and implied that an investigation was underway. There have had many instances in which I have expressed my disapproval of McMahon's business practices and values. In this case I can neither second guess him nor disapprove of his decision to continue the show.
It took great courage to do so, and I think he did the right thing...
At least that's the way I see it...
Earl Oliver...Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

This is the last pic ever taken of Owen:(

"Real Audio of JR announcing the tragedy"

"Owen's Midi-(opens this page) Donated by HIT_BOY"

"Owen's Entrance Music (zipped)"

"Article In the Kansas City Star concerning investigation"

Owen "The BlueBlazer" Hart 1966-1999


Owen Hart Tribute

Click for the MP3

Owen, We Miss You:(

We still need you Owen
Met you down by the parking lot
Way back down in '91
Told security, I was good to go
Then he sat back in the sun
3 hours to showtime, getting near...
This wasn't starting to feel fun
Climb through those ropes
He did so many nights
His smile could stretch across the sun... :)
We still need you Owen
Reporter said "Wrestler died"...
They say the fans their hearts just fell
Once stood a man, who stood for pride
Best match in heaven, ring the bell...
We still need you Owen

Written by Greg Fishman

It was May 23, 1999. I was at a relative's home and we were all watching TV. I guess we were watching something funny, because everyone was laughing. Suddenly, a news bulletin announced, "Tragic accident--Wrestler died during live pay-per-view show." Then the laughter stopped.
Now, I don't follow wrestling anymore, like I did when I was growing up or even when I got somewhat involved in it years ago on the smaller circuit. However, wrestling has gotten so tremendously popular that it's almost impossible not to come across it when you're flipping channels.
I've seen the shows recently, and I've noticed especially what Mick Foley has done to himself, so as sad as it sounds, I thought the bulletin was about him. When the reporter came back on and said it was Owen Hart, I really couldn't believe it. Sometimes I still can't believe it. I mean, with as much history as I know about the Hart family, and what those guys had to endure in their training to prepare them for the hardest job in the world! Owen Hart dies because a cable snapped? Suspended above an arena 50 feet in the air? Vince, have you lost your mind? How much is enough? Isn't it bad enough the WWF continues to poison kids' minds with smut every time they air a show these days?
In the 1980's, I had the utmost respect for what Vince McMahon did to wrestling. There were the allegations and problems, but he had a lot to be proud of from what he took over from his father. I just don't understand why he doesn't realize the impact his shows will have on young minds if they keep going in that direction. I especially can't understand why he didn't realize this when he cost Owen Hart his life; his children, a father; his wife; a husband; and his family, a brother and a son. Their lives are forever ruined because of greed and a guy who just doesn't know when to stop.
I met Owen in 1991 at a WWF TV taping in Binghampton, New York. As I walked out of the arena to get something I'd forgotten in the car, the security guard didn't recognize me, and Owen was sitting on a car by himself, catching some sun and reading a magazine. He told the guard that he saw me in the locker room earlier and I was "good to go." I only met him that one time but thought he was a really nice guy who was always smiling.
As I said, pro-wrestling will always be a part of me, and I was especially sad about this tragic event. I feel for his family and for his fans all over the world. To me, the look on their faces a few days after his death said that they still needed a guy like him in their world. As I sat with my guitar a few days later, still thinking about Owen's death and his family and fans, the sadness I felt inspired the song, "We Still Need You Owen." To his family and to his fans--This is my tribute to the late, great Owen Hart…

Greg Fishman
Lead Vocals, Guitar

Credit for this article to the author, Greg Fishman