Anyone who grew up in the 80’s/90’s and had a love for wrestling knew the name Owen Hart. Owen wasn’t just a character on the screen he was that guy who captured your attention and would not let it go. He always seemed to have unlimited energy and passion for what he did and even at the age of eight that always came across to me.
In an age where wrestlers had to be larger than life, Owen came in and flew above them all, bringing with him a new style of wrestling that was fresh to the then WWF. Randy Savage may have been dropping the big elbow and the Rockers (Marty Janetty and Shawn Michaels) may have been picking up the pace, but it was Owen that was truly showing the mainstream audiences something new (even if it was under the guise of the Blue Blazer).
We start off with a look back at Owens Canadian stampede days, as the youngest of the Hart children amazed crowds back in his home country, making it clear even at a young age that he had pure talent for the business he was born into.
It was around this time his older brother Bret “Hitman” Hart and his uncle Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart were WWF tag team champions as the Hart Foundation. Soon Owen would come into the WWF under a mask which was a piece of advice Bret had given him just in case things didn’t work out there.
For a short time the Blue Blazer gimmick proved to be successful as Owen once again amazed crowds, but it wasn’t too long that the big guys (There were a lot of them back then) were soon beating the blazer on a regular basis.
Leaving WWE for fear of becoming a “Job Guy” Owen had a brief stint in WCW. It’s amazing to think that in an era where big men dominated and cartoon like characters were all the rage that neither company could see the potential that was Owen Hart. He was fluid like in the ring, each move (What a maneuver!) perfectly timed and performed with precision.
Owen found himself back in the WWF this time under his own name and teaming with his uncle and for whatever reason wearing MC Hammer pants as the duo had a brief tag team run. The team would not last due to Neidherts “personal reasons” which are very quickly skimmed past when mentioned on this documentary which was the right thing to do, after all this is all about remembering Owen, not dwelling on whatever mistakes the Harts made along the way.
Owen was paired up once again as he and WWE hall of famer (I’m not sure why either) Ko Ko Beware formed the team known as high energy, but the team simply wasn’t to be anything more than a novelty act as they soon parted ways.
1993 was the year Owen stared to finally come into his own in the WWF namely at survivor series as the Hart Family (Bret, Owen, Bruce and Keith) faced off against Shawn Michaels who was replacing Jerry “the King” Lawler (Don’t ask!) and his knights (Red, Blue and black knights if you wanted to really know).
It was here the seeds of jealousy were planted as Owen turned heel against Bret declaring that Bret had always stolen the spotlight away from him (Note how good Bobby Heenan was here as he also planted the seeds, dubbing Owen “the shadow” of Bret).
In an era where the company was caught in transition of having larger than life “cartoon” like characters and crossing the line slightly into more realistic personas Owen would become the WWF’s most notable heel for the majority of 1994.
I could go on detailing the journey of Owen hart’s career but honestly the documentary does such a good job of that for you, nothing feels rushed as we hear from his friends, family and those who Owen inspired to become the WWE stars we know today.
From Bret Hart to Mark Henry, everyone who is interviewed here has one thing in common, they all smile when speaking of Owen and they all truly enjoy telling stories about him which goes to show just how likable and respected Owen was.
Described as not only as the King of Harts, but also the King of practical jokes, Owen made everyone around him smile and over the course of the documentary you can’t help but smile too.
May 23rd 1999
The documentary is so fun and uplifting it was hard to see this date appear on the screen, I just wasn’t done hearing about his antics and accomplishments, but the reality was that tragic night would have be to reflected upon.
We hear various peoples thoughts on that night with a few tears shed along the way, but its perhaps Bret who sums it up best buy simply saying “it was a tragic accident”. So if you’re looking for looking for anger and fingers pointed you won’t find any of that here, Instead and rightfully so we have people remembering Owen and the legacy he left behind.
It has been sixteen years since Owen Hart passed away and in the countless interviews that have taken place since that day I can’t recall a bad Owen Hart story, I have never heard of Owen in a bad mood, having a bad day or being off with the fans, He was simply doing what he loved for a living and making people smile every step of the way.
Perhaps it’s the nostalgia in me that loved this, but after watching this it wasn’t just a case of knowing more about Owen, but feeling like you almost knew him. His zest for life and his antics are the kind that will no doubt stay with you forever, a childhood hero that will always remain in your Hart.
Any regular readers of mine will know I usually rate with a total of up to five stars, but on this occasion it seems appropriate to rate by hearts.
So out of a possible five Hearts, Hart of Gold earns:
This is a long overdue and fitting tribute to the Rocket, the King of Harts, the two time (Yes two time!) Slammy award winner, Owen Hart.
With a great collection of stories and an even better collection of matches this is a must watch for any fan.
What did you think of the Hart of Gold Documentary?
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