I always put a few wrestling dvd’s on my Christmas list each year to add to my always growing collection. This year, the only one that I put on my list was the Owen Hart dvd, something that I had been wanting since it was announced a few months ago.
For anyone who is a Canadian, maybe even more so Albertan – as I am, the Hart’s are wrestling royalty. When Stampede Wrestling was on television, or had a live event somewhere, that was the place to be. People ask me about it and I like to tell them to think of it as what the Von Erich’s and WCCW was to Texas. The Hart’s are Canadian wrestling. They seemed to have this unbreakable bond until tragedy struck on May 23rd, 1999 in Kansas City. The day that Owen Hart passed away during a tragic accident at the Over the Edge pay-per-view.
That accident tore the family apart, much of which I think was due to Martha’s lawsuit against Vince and the WWE for what had happened to Owen. I totally get it and I probably would have felt the exact same way that she had when all of that madness was going on. The family lost a husband, father, uncle, and brother; fans also suffered a loss.
Martha always came off as bitter and angry to me. It seemed as though she didn’t want to share her husband’s legacy with the people who cheered him and were entertained by him for years. Even his family spoke out about her seemingly trying to keep Owen and his legacy to herself. When he died, we all lost someone who was important to us for different reasons. 16 years after he died, wrestling fans finally got the dvd set that they always wanted.
The first part of the two disc set (I was given the Blu-ray) that I watched was the documentary. I thought that it was well-rounded and covered his career from his beginnings in Stampede, all the way up to his tragic death. A lot of people on Twitter complained (shocker!) that it wasn’t long enough and that they wanted more from it. What more could they have said in it that wasn’t already said about his life and career?
I especially enjoyed the memories that people shared of working with him and growing up with him. You can see from their faces that he really was loved as much as people say, there were so many that they even added a ‘Stories’ option on the main menu that is filled with memories. The two that really shook me were Allison’s description of what she did when it was announced that Owen had died, and Tyson kid talking about how Owen was so generous with everyone and especially with him after his best friend Matthew had passed away. Seeing the more emotional side of wrestlers is something that I always enjoy because you never get to see that human (for lack of a better word) side of them on television.
Another part of the documentary feature that I loved was the candid video of Owen, it just gives another dimension to the person I grew up watching. He influenced so many people in wrestling and in everyday life, he really was one of a kind. Kevin Owens tells the origins of his ring name and Owen was the influence, as well as who he named his son after.
My only criticism of the dvd set is that there aren’t more Stampede matches! I am just basing my opinion on the listing that comes with the dvd because I haven’t gotten to watch them yet. My dad says the one with Owen and Makkan Singh is a classic and he loves that Stampede is included on the dvd.
He was and is more loved by fans than I think he could have ever imagined and I am so incredibly thankful that, after 16 years, we finally have something like this to keep his memory alive for future fans.
Rest in peace Owen.