Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow & Russ Morgan
Next week the WWE will release the much anticipated ‘Owen – Hart of Gold’ DVD set, reviewed here. To mark the release of the DVD and to act as a further preview, all the team get together to list their Top Five Owen Hart moments, matches and angles. Without further ado…
5. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart: The Slammy’s have never really meant much in wrestling. Now they celebrate such crucial staples of wrestling such as best Twitter handle and ‘lol moment of the year’. But back when Owen won a Slammy it mattered because he made them mattered and drew excellent heat by making sure the announcers stated that he was a two time slammy award winner.
4. Canadian Stampede Main Event: We’ll look at this one in more detail tomorrow but this was a barnstorming match with a crowd hot as hell cheering on the Hart Foundation against their American foes with Owen picking up the win when he pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin.
3. Owen Teams up with Yoko: I thought this was an excellent move and the term ‘excellent’ can’t really be applied to all that much at WrestleMania XI. But Owen bringing back the man that defeated his brother for the WWF title 2 years prior is a great heel move. I also quite liked this pairing. Owen more than made up for the shortcomings of his much larger partner and it eventually lead to him working with the British Bulldog – another member of Camp Cornette.
2. The 1997 Hart Foundation: I’ve said it several times on this blog but my favourite angle in WWF history was certainly the one involving The Hart Foundation in 1997 when they were booed in America but treated like Gods elsewhere. Owen was a crucial part of this mix, helping the stable add more gold to it.
1. Owen vs Bret at WrestleMania X: No list of Owen Hart moments or matches can be complete without this bout. The greatest opening match in WrestleMania history but much much more than that as it also launched Owen from underused lower midcard talent to someone that didn’t look even slightly out of place in the main event scene – eventually leading to him winning the 1994 King of the Ring tournament.
5. Owen’s Final Promo: His very last promo he cut as the Blue Blazer at the Over the Edge pay per view before he died was an absolute masterpiece. He used a lot of Hulk Hogan-isms in it but made it his own. Definitely worth checking out.
4. Owen’s WWF Debut as the Blue Angel: When Owen Hart first debuted in the WWF in 1988, he came in under a masked gimmick named the Blue Angel (Later renamed The Blue Blazer) He used such an acrobatic style never before seen by me and I was instantly a fan.
3. The King of Harts: Owen winning the King of the Ring tournament in 1994 was certainly one of his greater moments in his WWF/E career.
2. Owen Turns on Bret: The greatest booking decision of Owen Hart was turning him heel at the Royal Rumble in 1994 and feuding with his brother Bret Hart.
1. Owen defeats Bret Hart at WrestleMania X: What made this victory so sweet was #1 it was at Wrestlemania and #2 it was a clean pinfall victory. Even though Owen Hart never became world champion….this victory against his main event brother was as close to winning that belt as possible.
5. “…and that’s why I kicked your leg out of your leg!”
This blundered line is the enduring memory of Owen Hart’s promo immediately following his heel turn on Bret at the 1994 Royal Rumble. There are many performers who would have struggled to recover from fluffing their lines at such a crucial moment, but not Owen. In an odd way I can’t envisage this promo without the blunder. Even when he messed up, Owen was better than most.
4. Canadian Stampede
One of my favourite matches ever, and who went over? No, not Bret, but Owen Hart.
3. The Sole Survivor
Tied into a long term contract, Owen was the only member of the Hart Foundation left behind in the WWF after Survivor Series 1997. His subsequent serious demeanour and feud with Triple H felt all too real, and I found it fascinating. This was probably not the happiest time of Owen’s career, but my God he was interesting to watch during it.
2. Slammy Award Winner
I can’t remember anyone before or since who has displayed so much pride in winning a Slammy (or Slammys). The reason we’ve not seen anyone really incorporate a Slammy Award into their long term gimmick since Owen is simply because it will never be bettered. The image of a man holding two Slammy Awards aloft is synonymous with Owen Hart, anyone else doing it would be seen as a copycat.
1. Wrestlemania 10
Without a doubt, the best opening match in Wrestlemania history. Owen Hart defeated his brother, and top dog in WWF at the time, clean as a sheet at Wrestlemania. Even better is that Bret won the WWF Title later that night, which immediately solidified Owen as a major player and not just Bret’s most recent foe. Oh, it was one of Wrestlemania’s best ever matches too. Not too shabby.
5. Owen v Shamrock
In a pretty short feud there were two very intriguing matches. The first was a “Dungeon Match” at the Hart family house (reffed by Dan Severn) and the second being “Lion’s Den” match in a UFC Octogon style cage. Both men won a match apiece, but there was no 3rd match which could have been a belter. Both matches were a bit different from the usual, but both men complimented each other really well, it was a shame that there was no match to finish the feud.
4. Owen and Bulldog – Tag Team champs
One of my favourite Tag Teams of the 90’s. These boys were suited to tag together. Both being Camp Cornette members and then under Clarence Mason, their matches were gold in a pretty dull division.
3. The Hart Foundation
On the back of the Owen/Bulldog team, was the union between them and Bret. It lead to the formation of one of the most intriguing stables in wrestling history. With Neidhart and Brian Pillman in the mix, the anti-American’s became the most heated stable around. This culminated in some classic matches arguably the best being at Canadian Stampede. This was a 10 man tag match that I really suggest you watch if you haven’t.
2. Owen Hart Attacks Shawn Michaels at DX In Your House
In the aftermath of the Montreal Screw Job, the next PPV rolled round in the shape of DX In Your House. Shawn Michaels and DX had just cost Ken Shamrock the WWF title and was celebrating on the edge of the ring. Owen Hart comes out of the crowd, pushes Michaels off smashing him through the Spanish announce table and proceeds to assault him. This for me was a little bit of retribution for Montreal. I thought at the time this would be Owens big push to main event. Alas it didn’t happen, but being the sole member of the Hart Foundation remaining he gave Shawn a bit of a hiding on TV.
1. Owen v Bret – Wrestlemania X
What a match to start off a PPV. Owen got a clean pin over Bret to pretty much shock considering Bret was in the main event. Again this was another point where Owen could have been pushed up the card, but it didn’t happen. It was a fantastic feud though.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.