JR has posted a new blog on his official website where he remembers Owen Hart. Below are highlights:
Today, May 23, is the 10th Anniversary of the death of Owen Hart. Owen died accidentally when a faulty harness malfunctioned while he was making an entrance from the rafters of Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. The PPV event, Over the Edge, is one that I have never watched….since that night a decade ago. I have always said that if I ever write a book about my career in the wrestling biz turned sports entertainment biz turned entertainment biz that I would likely watch Over the Edge so I could adequately address what effect that day had on my life and how I truly felt during those gut wrenching hours. I do remember that I had less than a minute to prepare for an on camera to tell our viewing audience that Owen had died. That wasn’t an easy assignment. I could not repeat what I said on that evening today if you held a gun to my head. I have blocked so much of that entire day out of my memory that it all seems like a blur to me today. I do know that if I watch the show again that all those memories will rush back and at that time I will write down my thoughts but until that day comes this PPV will never be viewed in my home.
As so many have accurately stated on many occasions, Owen Hart was a wonderful human being. Not only an extremely talented, perhaps underrated wrestler, but a loving husband, father, son, and brother. Plus, he was quite the character.
As the head of WWE talent once upon a time, I had to have a “sit down” with a wrestler before a live TV show I was going to broadcast about the individual’s alleged drug use. I recall the rumor was that this person was allegedly using cocaine. Nonetheless the word of the meeting spread almost immediately amongst the wrestlers, imagine that (telephone, telegraph, tell a wrestler) and of course word got back to Owen. So later that day he purposely and literally ran into me in the hall way in the locker room area as I was walking with my head down looking at some notes for that night’s broadcast. When our bodies collided I looked up and saw it was Owen and he had taken powdered sugar off a donut and put an ample amount of it all under his nose and his eyes were barely open as if he was severely impaired. At that exact moment I did not think it was too funny, but within seconds and after he burst out laughing I easily found the humor in his stunt and it actually allowed me to release some of the stress that I was feeling from the previous “sit down.”
I also remember Owen driving a rental car from the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh across the street to the downtown Marriott in a vehicle that included Owen, Bret Hart, my wife Jan, me and someone else that I can’t recall. Bret was in a hurry to return to the hotel and Owen purposely missed every turn to get us to the Marriott and what should have been a 5 minute, or less, trip took approximately 30 minutes and at the end of the journey I thought Bret was going to assault his younger, prank playing brother. Owen would miss a turn, pass a church or something that resembled a church and then would invoke in the name of Clarke W. Griswold from the film “European Vacation”…. “Hey, look kids….Big Ben!” Owen had the ability to take a 5 minute, mundane drive and turn it into a 30 minute odyssey that was filled with laugher. At least for most of us.
Owen was also thrifty and instead of staying at hotel on the road he often times stayed with fans in their homes. He would sleep on the couch or in the spare bedroom of these fans and save the money for lodging and often times food as well. Some of those stories of “sleep overs” at the home of wrestling fans are classically hilarious. The “ribs” Owen played on is “hosts” are worthy of a movie script.
Owen and I also formed a broadcast team on a South African broadcast emanating from Sun City, South Africa in the late 90′s. I would love to watch that one again as Owen was excellent as a color analyst.
I miss you Owen and I hope that you have stayed on the good side of God with all those practical jokes that I know you are playing in Heaven.
You can read the full blog at this link.