Remembering Owen Hart – May 23rd, 1999 – Today in Wrestling History
Owen James Hart was born on May 7th, 1965 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The world probably knows him better as Owen Hart, or The Blue Blazer, from his time in wrestling. We all know how he left this world, that is not the point of this article. This article is to remember the man, the hero, the prankster.
Wrestling was in Owen Hart’s blood
What do you do when you are the youngest of 12 children? Couple that with your family name being iconic in wrestling. Simple, you train and prepare to one day lace the boots and enter the ring. His father and mother, Stu and Helen Hart respectively, were promoters for Stampede Wrestling.
For most athletes with parents “in the business” life would be easy. Stu Hart was the proprietor of a training studio affectionately referred to as “The Hart Dungeon” though. This was where potential athletes, and Hart children, could learn new moves. Stu was known as a stern teacher.
Hart did not immediately work for his father’s promotion. He started his career in amateur wrestling in high school and college. Hart started his professional career in Stampede Wrestling after going through the Hart Dungeon. Owen Hart would branch out to New Japan Pro Wrestling and Joint Promotions out of England.
Then work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, WWE now) became available. While this first stint with the WWF was not long, he would return.
The prankster few knew
For most of us, we only knew Owen Hart via his in-ring work. Fans only really learned about the prankster side of Owen Hart after his passing.
Over on Pro Wrestling Stories.com, they cover one of the pranks that Hart played on Mr. Juji. For those that do not know, Mr. Fuji was of Asian descent and he played a straight man style character on television. Mr. Fuji is another that had a prankster side fans missed out on.
Owen apparently was very adept at changing his voice. That is exactly what he did to get Mr. Fuji up at 3 A.M. one night while on tour.
Stop us if you heard about the “Foreign Napkin Knocket” incident. This one involved recently returning athlete, Edge, versus Owen Hart. As the story goes, reported on by Sportskeeda, Owen Hart was pulling a napkin out of his trunks during their match. Edge thinking this foreign object was something else, sold like he was just hit with a ton of bricks.
Owen Hart pranking Vince McMahon
Perhaps the best one is one we will never hear Vince McMahon discuss publicly. Owen Hart apparently had been booked in a “Hog Pen” match and was not exactly happy about it. To get revenge Hart had the hogs delivered to McMahon’s office. According to The Sportster, by the time Vince McMahon returned, the office smelled like a barnyard. There are no reports on Vince’s reaction.
We have no plans to cover every single prank that Owen Hart was at the heart of. That is what Google is for. Show support for the man’s family and memory by researching his career. His life. Keep his memory alive because he was far more a hero than we knew. For more wrestling coverage keep your browser pointed at Gravis Ludus Wrestling.
Rest in peace, Owen Hart, you are missed.
This article was originally published on the Gravis Ludus Wrestling website.