Owen Hart’s legacy in the world of professional wrestling is rather cemented in place, and that’s for obvious reasons. He was part of the legendary Hart family and the contributions that they all made to the sport of professional wrestling are perhaps matched only by the legendary Guerrero family.
Sadly, it was in 1999 that Owen Hart would pass on, he falling to his death during a stunt for WWE at Over The Edge, a pay-per-view held in Kansas City, Missouri on the 23rd of May.
It is since that time that Owen Hart’s legacy has been shrouded in controversy, and his wife has allowed very little if no cooperation to the WWE to make contributions to books, content and whatnot, as can be understood. To this day, she blames the company for the stunt that went very wrong. He was supposed to descend to the ring by way of cable…but the cable snapped—the excuse, sub-par equipment was used that day.
Despite all of this controversy that surrounds his untimely passing and his life, there is no doubt that he is heralded in the industry, and now AEW wants to pay homage to that legacy by way of a cup, as we’ve previously reported. The Hart family is no stranger to AEW, as Bret Hart first presented the AEW World Title at its inception, and now this.
The Owen Hart Cup will be a joint venture of AEW and The Owen Hart Foundation, that concentrates on a variety of special causes for those in need the world-over.
At the time of the announcement for the Owen Hart Cup, Tony Khan issued this statement:
“AEW’s relationship with the Hart family dates back to our inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and Owen’s influence is still felt today. To extend his memory and his legacy even further through this agreement is a powerful and meaningful moment for the entire wrestling community.”via heelbynature.com
Owen’s wife, Dr. Martha Hart, said:
“The Owen Hart Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with AEW in this wonderful joint venture to honor Owen’s substantial international wrestling career and the lasting influence he and his craft has had in the sport. AEW’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament serves as a tremendous tribute to Owen and provides an incredible way for professional wrestling enthusiasts to celebrate his work in a most fitting way. We trust that Tony Khan and his amazing AEW team will do a brilliant job with this highly anticipated project. This OHF/AEW partnership is my special gift to all of Owen’s magnificent loyal fans who forever remember him and his inspiring repertoire of talents.”via heelbynature.com
Jeff Jarrett who is equally legendary in the ring and has a legacy of his own, was partnered with Owen Hart at the time of his passing, Hart playing the Blue Blazer character and partnering with Jeff at the time, they even tag team champions during their run. They continued to partner together despite their loss to Kane and X-Pac on the April 5th episode of Raw (1999), and despite his re-emergence as the Blue Blazer character at an earlier point; Hart worked both angles in tandem.
Jeff Jarrett sat down with the It’s My Wrestling Podcast and decided to speak about the AEW Owen Hart Cup and what it means for Owen and his legacy. He said:
“Kudos to everyone involved. I mean, everyone involved in the decision to bring this to light and most importantly, Martha, that now Owen Hart’s legacy is going to be known and shared with the world. Most importantly is the foundation. It’s going to continue to grow and grow and the awareness is going to continue to grow, and it’s going to be able to impact lives in a really positive way. Sure Owen Hart had great matches. He was and a fantastic family man and husband and everything we know about Owen – and rumor has it he was pretty good prankster! His legacy being able to impact lives in 2021 and 2022 moving forward, that’s something that is very inspiring to me. I could not be happier for all involved…
I was elated. I was super excited. You know at the end of the day, Martha, Oje and Athena, they absolutely know the husband, the father, the family man, that Owen was as did us that were friends and knew him personally and professionally. But there’s an entirely new generation of professional wrestling fans. I was just talking somebody recently, they asked me about this and you know, whether it’s trials or tribulations or championships or whatever it may be – those definitely just come and go but a legacy is something that lives on forever. Owen Hart’s legacy of not only the human being he was but the incredible athlete and the performer. He, like myself, grew up in this industry. His father was a promoter. My father was a promoter; that was our original connection. So you know, the family band and travelling up and down the roads and everything that goes with that.”via It’s My Wrestling Podcast /E-Wrestling News (Transcription)
Many are wondering just who the first-ever winner should be.