Tribute to the King of Harts

Thanks to Kanike for the lovely picture of Owen

Last Sunday at the Over The Edge Pay Per View event, tragedy struck when Owen Hart*at the time playing his 'Blue Blazer'character, had attempted to make a "super hero" entrance to the ring for his match with the Godfather. Sadly, something went wrong with the device used to lower Owen to the ring. He fell 50 feet and then struck his head on one of the turnbuckles. Fans at first thought this was part of the show, but then a shocked Jim Ross came on as saying this was NOT part of the show. Hart's fall was not televised. Also, the attempts made by paramedics were also not televised.

Stunned and horrified fans looked on as CPR was administered to Hart in the ring, and then his body was wheeled out of the arena to a nearby hospital. Sadly, Jim Ross again appeared on screen with the sad duty of announcing to the world that Owen Hart had died. Wrestlers, crew and fans alike were shocked, stunned and saddened.

I myself was horrified that this happened...as I was one of the millions who ordered the ppv in the thoughts of enjoying a good show. I want to take a moment to commend ALL the WWF superstars, *hey, whether you like them or you don't* they did indeed put on one hell of a show, despite the tragic news. Before the announcement of Hart's passing, Jeff Jarrett and Debra went out for their mixed tag match, but before Jarrett made his way to the ring, he took a moment to offer his prayers for Owen's survival. At the time, all were hoping that Owen would recover. Sadly, this was not to be. Then, after that, Jesse James*Road Dogg* also offered prayers of healing for Owen.

After the announcement of Owen's death, the rest of the WWF superstars went on with the show, but with a change in attituded. Their expressions were enough to say how in shock and saddened they were by the death of one of their own. I noted that while watching The Undertaker make his way to the ring, I watched his eyes. They appeared glassy and clouded. Even the Lord of Darkness felt sorrow over the death of a fellow superstar. It could be said that we creatures of darkness mourn with our Lord. But none the less, he went through with his match and captured the title for a third time.

The next night, all the major and not so major players of the WWF roster held a special tribute to Owen, dedicating the entire Raw broadcast in his memory. Many superstars stood on the ramp while the bell was rung ten times in Owen's honor. Many wrestlers were visibly shaken and wept openly. At the forefront of the group were Vince Macmahon, his wife Linda, daugther Stephanie and son Shane. Then a video tribute was played upon the titontron giving tribute to Owen's career.

Throughout the evening several major superstars offered prayers and sentiments, sharing stories of Owen the wrestler, Owen the prankster, Owen, their friend and WWF brother. It gave fans an insight rarely seen outside the squared circle.

Speakers included, Mick Foley(aka Mankind), Test, Edge, Triple H w/Chyna, Mark Henry, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Farooq, Bradshaw, Dustin Runnles, Shane Macmahon, X-Pac, Paul Bearer, Debra, Jeff Jarrett, Jessy James, and cheif referee Earl Hebner. Some who gave sentiments on WWF weekend morning shows were Paul Wight, Boss Man, and others. These were the very real and very candid thoughts expressed by WWF superstars.

Also throughout the evening, each superstar payed tribute to Owen in their own special ways. All wore black arm bands with the name Owen or OH on them. Road Dogg, in the spirit of true sportmanship and proffesionalism decided it was a night to be friends and not foes, offering to go with the Godfather and the ho's to have a few drinks and celebrate Owen's life. Billy Gunn also gave Owen tribute by doing a version of his D-X gimic..."If you're not down with Owen Hart, I got two words for ya!"

Jeff Jarrett payed tribute to Owen by making Test submitt with the Sharp Shooter, which was Owen's signiture finishing move. Mankind, after entering the ring for his match with BABilly Gunn, said, "This one's for you Owen, WHOOO!"

The Big Show showed us his Big Heart after pinning GoldDust and the Blue Meanie as he exited the ring and touched his hand to the black arm band and raised his hand to the sky in honor of Owen. Even the woman loving, and somewhat egotistical Val Venis put the *Big Valbowski* on the backburner to say a word of tribute for Owen. The Rock dedicated the People's Elbow to Owen and said that it was his pleasure to be able to entertain Owen. Of course, the biggest pop of the night was Stone Cold Steve Austin putting his boss hating, finger swinging routine to the way side for one night and opened up two *SteveWisers* and toasted the life of Owen Hart as a picture of Owen was shown on the TitonTron.

It was truly one of the best Raws I have seen. I give credit and commend all the WWF superstars for giving such a loving tribute to one of their own who died so tragically.

Now there was a noticable abscence from all the tribute...the Undertaker..or rather, the man behind the Lord of Darkness. His abscence has gathered both praise and critisism from fans. But there is one thing all must remember, first off, an appearence from the Lord of Darkness would have been VERY out of place for that night, even if he had captured the gold for a third time. Some have said that he should have been there out of character...but you see, it's not that simple. The man who plays the Undertaker has a great deal of responcibility to keep in that character, and decidedly, most people would not have seen the man behind the Undertaker...they would have seen ONLY the Undertaker. Now why he did not speak publically, only he knows, and it is his buisness that he wants to grieve privately. The Undertaker is very much a public figure and symbol, but the man behind the man in black is indeed a private man, and his privacy should be respected, especially in this manner. To those who have stood beside him through this, thank you. To the fans who might have misunderstood his not being public that night, try to understand where he's coming from. The Undertaker is a loner, even if he is with the *Ministry* but the man behind the character has friends and family just like the rest of us, and he has close ties to the Hart family. It is not that he wanted to be calloused and cold, he simply shows his grief in his own way...and it's a private way for him. No doubt, he grieves as we all do....it is simply in the solice of the shadows, as would be appropriate for him. To the man behind the Darkness....I pray for you. My heart goes out to you as it always has.

To all of Owen's friends, Jeff, Debra, Jesse, and all of the WWF superstars who let it all hang out, and to those who didn't, my prayers are with you. I commend you all for your class and courage.

To the Hart family, my condolences, prayers, and heart felt thoughts go out to you all. We all feel the loss of Owen, but no one surely feels it more than the family who made, raised and loved Owen with all their hearts.

And to Martha, Oje, and Athena, time and life can never replace what you have lost. Always remember him and honor him in your hearts...and his memory will always live, always.

To all of you, I send my prayers, thoughts and sympathies. The world of wrestling, and the World has lost a great competitor, a young man who loved to entertain, play jokes, amaze fans, and loved his family.

Owen, I may not have known you, but I will miss seeing you every week. We will all miss you. May you look down upon us from Heaven, and may all who have lost this wonderful young man, find comfort someday.

Owen, this is for you...."WHOOO!"

Owen was only 34 years old.

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