12 years ago today on May 23rd, 1999, Owen Hart tragically passed away at the young age of 34.
A lot can be said about Owen. He was a champion, a slammy award winner, a nugget, a king of the ring, a superhero, a rocket and a black hart. And according to his friends and family he was also a proud family man, loyal friend, and practical joker. His peers respected and admired him greatly for being one of the few, true and honest "good guys" from his era which says an awful lot about his overall character. The bottom line is that Owen Hart was a special man.
Wrestling fans all around the world enjoyed watching him perform in the squared circle no matter if he was a playing the role of a disgruntled babyface, rugged tweener or a cowardly heel. He made an everlasting impression in this business and left behind a legacy that will stand the test of time. Quite frankly, Owen was second to none.
The words talent and star were synonymous with his name and there is no doubt in my mind (and the minds of many others) that if Owen were alive today he would have been a former, multiple time world champion by now. And like many others I am still counting down the days until he finally gets inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Every year on this day I like to remind everyone of a tremendous performer that we lost over a decade ago so we can take a look back and honor a man who literally lost his own life unintentionally in an effort to entertain us.
Also, as a reminder of just how amazingly talented Owen Hart was in the wrestling business here is a list showing off all of his impressive championship title reigns and note worthy accomplishments. One thing is for sure though, he certainly had one hell of a Hall of Fame caliber career.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Champion
Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Champion
Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion
Stampede Wrestling Hall of Famer
USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion
WWF European Champion
WWF Intercontinental Champion (2 times)
WWF Tag Team Champion (4 times)
King of the Ring Winner (1994)
Slammy Award Winner for Squared Circle Shocker (1996)
Slammy Award Winner for Best Bow Tie (1997) (my personal favorite)
PWI Rookie of the Year (1987)
PWI ranked him #10 of the 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1994
PWI ranked him #84 of the 100 best tag teams of the PWI Years with Davey Boy Smith in 2003
And last but not least... if he were alive today this would be on his resume:
So today, in his honor, I will post the poem that Mark Henry read to Owen on Monday Night Raw the night after he tragically died. It was a very touching tribute and one that I'll never forget. Rest in Peace Owen.
"You feel the burn when you cry
It starts to come when someone dies
The pain you feel as your eyes swell and the tears will up in the wells
The burn starts to choke you up the words come out slow and shaken
You close your eyes and wonder why
There is a burn when you cry
When Owen left it felt like hands around my throat
I couldn't talk I couldn't see
The burn over whelmed me
My heart is heavy this is why
You get the burn when you cry
It digs down deep you can not sleep
You toss and turn in your sheets
Awaken with sobs and wet pillow cases
You wander aimlessly looking to the sky
You feel the burn when you cry"
Mark Henry, Monday May 24th, 1999
As always, Thanks for reading.
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