Martha Hart, the widow of wrestling legend Owen Hart, is not happy with recent comments made by WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, who is Owen’s older brother. Owen passed away on May 23, 1999 at WWE’s Over The Edge pay-per-view due to a stunt gone wrong. He was supposed to be lowered from a harness above the wrong, but the harness had a problem and Owen went crashing to his death that night in Kansas City at the age of 34. Owen and Martha had a son named Oje (now 26 years old) and a daughter named Athena (22 years old).
Since Owen’s death, WWE has featured him a bit in some DVDs and a documentary on WWE Network, but Owen is not in the WWE Hall of Fame where fans think he should be. Mark Henry also mentioned Owen during his speech at the WWE Hall of Fame this year, which drew a lot of support from the WWE Universe that night.
As for Bret, he was recently a guest on the CBS Sports “In This Corner” podcast where he talked openly about how his brother should be in WWE’s Hall of Fame:
“Oh yeah, I think Martha, Owen’s widow, is a very obtuse, square-headed person. I think she has done more to erase my brother Owen’s memory than she ever did to remember him. I think it really bothers me that the fans that love Owen so much don’t get a chance to remember him. You do these kind of things for the people that are here left to remember them.”
“Owen was the nicest, kindest, most adored wrestlers for his kindness. Like, he’s not remembered for his high-flying, and he may be remembered for his practical jokes, but more importantly he is remembered for the kind of guy he was and being a real friend to people when they were struggling or got depressed and were bummed out about being away from their home all the time. Owen was one of those kind of guys where it was almost like magic where he could pick your spirits up and make you smile to get through the day.
“You can leave Owen Hart out or leave Dynamite Kid out of it or some of these great wrestlers, but why are you leaving them out of it? There are a lot of great wrestlers who haven’t got their pat on the back at the Hall of Fame and it started bothering me to the point where I don’t think I will go again to any of the ceremonies until they put in proper, deserving candidates.”
Bret was also critical of some wrestlers that were recently inducted the Hall of Fame already:
“Just about anyone can be in it, and it doesn’t really matter if you were a great wrestler or what your accomplishments or contribution were to wrestling. Then you have the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, who never even made it in WWE, they are in it. Terry Gordy and the [Fabulous] Freebirds are in it when they were too drunk to make most of the towns. I was there in the dressing room when Andre the Giant fired all three of them. They were not great role models or hard workers.”
I think those guys are in for their non-WWE careers, which were pretty good.
Anyway, Bret’s comments were from last week and apparently they got back to Martha Hart.
Martha Hart issued this press release through the Owen Hart Foundation in Calgary.
Statement From Martha Hart in Response to Published Comments by Wrestler Bret Hart
CALGARY, Alberta, July 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dr. J. Martha Hart, PhD, released the following statement today in response to published comments attributed to the former WWE wrestler, Bret Hart:
The suggestion by Bret Hart that I am “erasing” the memory of my late husband, Owen Hart, is reckless, irresponsible, and clearly untrue.
Bret’s comments are rooted in the fact that I have steadfastly refused to work with the WWE to exploit Owen’s image for commercial gain. Owen was an incredible entertainer and I know that his many fans around the world enjoyed his wrestling career immensely. I encourage them to continue to do so. But I am firm in my belief that the WWE was responsible for Owen’s death. As a result, I cannot and will not support any efforts by the WWE to profit from Owen’s memory.
Instead, I, my son Oje and daughter Athena have worked tirelessly to honor Owen through the good works of The Owen Hart Foundation, which has exceeded $4 million in gift giving and contributions toward scholarships, home owner bursaries, and other special projects that have greatly improved the lives of so many in Canada and around the world. We have always believed that this is the most fitting public tribute to a man of profound integrity; a wonderful human being who just happened to wrestle. I know that Owen would be very proud of the tremendous accomplishments the Foundation has achieved in his name.
Bret Hart’s comments are disrespectful and cruel. It is disappointing that so many in the media have chosen to report them without seeking my perspective. Whatever Bret may believe, the fact is that, far from “erasing” Owen’s memory, I have devoted the last 20 years to celebrating his life in a very public way. I can think of very few people who have been remembered so glowingly by their spouse.
For more information about The Owen Hart Foundation, including the Scholarship Fund, the Owen Hart Foundation Housing Program, and other special projects, visit www.owenhartfoundation.org.
Our OHF Mandate is Education: “Helping individuals with limited resources but unlimited potential.”
TJR Thoughts: I can see both sides of it. Martha has every reason to be mad at WWE because what they did was stupid and Owen should still be with us. Instead, he was gone way too soon. Next year will be 20 years since Owen died and I really hope Martha changes her opinion by letting WWE honor him, but she seems steadfast in not allowing that to happen. With that said, those of that saw Owen and watched him wrestle will always think of him as a Hall of Fame talent whether he’s officially recognized by WWE or not.