Sunday, May 24, 2009

Owen Hart

I know I mentioned this on In This Very Ring Thursday, and the anniversary of Owen Hart's death was yesterday (I was out of town) but I did want to take a moment to remember him. He was a man who everyone in the wrestling business respected and liked - how many can say that, in an industry where even the 'good guys' can whine, politic and hold grudges? He was good at what he did - great even - and yet he wanted out; wanted to do something which allowed him to spend more time with his family, provided him more security and safety, more time at home. And yet he must have loved it somehow, to have stuck with it.

I doubt he loved the last stupid stunt he was asked to do - and it's sad that we remember a man so full of life, on the anniversary of his death. But in a decade where way too many wrestlers have left us way too young, it remains Owen for whom I feel the most strongly 'Didn't deserve to go out like that', and who, in the end, I miss the most. Eddie Guerrero might have seemed the biggest waste; Chris Benoit might have seemed the most shocking and tragic; Owen Hart's was the most pointless and the just plain saddest; robbing us of a performer, but more importantly, his family of a husband and father.

I'm not going to deter the discussion here with the politics that attend his memory to this day - the WWE and Owen's fans wanting to remember his professional contributions with a Hall of Fame recognition, and his wife's hatred of the wrestling industry and her husband's professional legacy as a member of the Hart family, preventing such an honour from occuring. As a wrestling fan, I mourn Owen as well, feel he couldn't have hated the wrestling industry as much as Martha claims to have stayed in it so long, and I feel that either way he deserves to be recognized for his life's work as a professional, in an industry where he was so loved by his peers; however I am completely understanding of Martha's feelings towards wrestling as the industry which also robbed her of her husband and her children of their daddy, and after many, many happy years together he unquestionably loved her, too; no one knew him better, and she is the keeper of his legacy and of his children's memory. She has the right to do with that as she pleases.

I would just like to say here, however, in my own private and personal way, that Owen Hart, as a human being and a wrestler both, will always be a Hall of Famer to me, and will always watch over his family, and the fans he so clearly loved to entertain. I think he would be saddest that his ultimate legacy ended up dividing the very people his wonderful personality had served to unite; and hopefully we can remember him as someone who loved both his wife and children, AND his birth family and the sport/entertainment industry he so excelled at. We are united in grief, and in his memory. On this day, let us remember that.


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