Remembering the Hart brothers, Calgary’s wrestling royalty

Written By Guest User, Posted on May 27, 2020

On May 23, 1999, Calgary born wrestler Owen Hart died violently and tragically after falling eight stories from the top of Kemper Arena in Kansas City.

This was not scripted into the show and was the result of a wrestling stunt gone horribly wrong. Hart’s death made headlines throughout the wrestling world. 

Prior to Owen’s death, Owen’s older brother Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart, had left following the Montreal Screwjob that happened at the Survivor Series in November 1997 as Shawn Michaels defeated Owen’s brother Bret Hart for the WWF World Title.

Due to the release a new documentary called Dark Side of the Ring, which featured both of the Hart brothers, TNT decided to interview Michael Finney, one of the Hart’s family friends, to get his perspective on the Hart’s, their legacy, and what they mean to wrestling fans. 

What comes to mind when you hear the names Bret Hart, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith?  

Wrestling royalty. And the first family of wrestling. It was watching Bret “Hitman” Hart that made me into a wrestling fan followed then by Owen and Davey Boy Smith and the rest of the Hart family. Just like Owen and Bret is in Canada, Davey Boy Smith was larger than life superstar in the United Kingdom. 

How has the Hart family affected fans worldwide?  

In my honest opinion, the Hart family represents everything good in professional wrestling. They put that definite stamp in wrestling. For example, if it weren’t for Bret the Hitman Hart, I wouldn’t be a wrestling fan. They help to bring in a new generation and help to create new Talents under Stu Hart’s watch.  

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What is your connection to the Hart Family?  

I’ve been connected with members of the Hart family since 2013 since I launched the British Bulldog WWE Hall of Fame campaign. We’ve been friends ever since. I loved hanging out with Davey Boy Smith Jr and his sister Georgia Smith. Diana Hart is such a wonderful lady, and I considered the family close and personal friends 

Have you done any advocacy for wrestlers?  

I started the British Bulldog WWE Hall of Fame campaign. The campaign was supported by the likes of Diana Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr, Georgia Smith and Bret Hitman Hart and more members of the Hart family. 

Vice has a documentary series that is currently airing, and two episodes featured Bret Hart and Owen Hart. Would you say the depiction of this documentary is accurate?  

I don’t know if I can answer that. I’ve watched both documentaries. I don’t know what to believe in them. But, they are interesting, but I can’t judge the screw job because I wasn’t there and I wasn’t part of it, and I wasn’t there when Owen died. But, I do feel bad for the Hart family in both real-life stories. 

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What can mega-corporations like WWE do better to help with wrestlers’ safety in the ring?  

I think all the big corporations’ wrestling companies are doing fantastic to keep talents as safe as possible. I do get a little worried from time to time with some of the headshots or anything to do with the brain. But the wrestlers are professionals, and they know what they are doing.

Wrestlers like Hawk from Legion of Doom struggled with addiction. Should the governing bodies look into starting a union for the wrestlers? 

Yes, I think the wrestlers have every right to speak up about any struggles. We see them as superstars and superheroes. But in reality, they are humans and just like any humans, and they laugh, they cry, they get hurt. They become addicted. They are real-life humans. I remember meeting Hawk when I was a little boy, and he treated me very well. And I remember him bending over to me to shake my hand and had a friendly chat with me. Wrestlers are the nicest people in the world.   

For more information on the Owen Hart Foundation, click here.

Guest User

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