Posted by Steven
I have read so many things about Owen Hart being the ideal headliner for the 2014 Hall of Fame class. Many of us can still recall in vivid detail the tragic accident that occurred at Over the Edge in 1999. The words of Jim Ross that night still echo in our minds… ”This is not part of the entertainment tonight. This is as real as real can be here.”
There is no denying the fact that Owen came from a great wrestling family and had more natural ability than the vast majority of wrestlers that came before or after him. Few could match his technical wrestling skills or his high-flying maneuvers that he helped make popular long before the Lucha Libre style became popular here in the United States.
The problem with Owen Hart was that he never connected with the audience. He was just there. We didn’t order pay-per-views for the Owen Hart match. He was just there. It is not easy for most of us to admit, but he wasn’t a great entertainer. He was a great wrestler, but the WWE Hall of Fame is about simply being able to perform wrestling moves. Owen never made it to the top of the card because he did not possess the natural ability to get over with the audience. I realize that there are many who will point out his classic match with Bret at WrestleMania 10 or even how well he was respected backstage, but does that one match or his personality warrant his inclusion in the Hall of Fame?
There have been others far less worthy than Owen to be inducted. Koko B. Ware, Drew Carey, and Mike Tyson immediately come to mind of names who do not belong. The WWE Hall of Fame is for the best sports-entertainers and not simply the best wrestlers. It is important to remember that Owen was paired up with Koko in the tag team High Energy so that Owen could try to feed off his popularity with the younger fans. That experiment failed.
I am in no way intending this to bash Owen Hart or his abilities in the ring. I have little doubt that Owen will be in the Hall of Fame next year since WWE has reached a settlement with his widow. This is something the fans have been demanding for a long time now and will be a very profitable revenue stream. I am positive that many fans, myself included, will buy the dvd that will no doubt be released around the same time as he is posthumously inducted. We will watch his matches and interviews and laugh once again when the Mick Foley spot plays about his son calling Owen a “Nugget.” We will remember how it truly felt as though we had just lost a member of our family that night. Owen will be missed for as long as the people who were fans during the 80′s and 90′s are still enjoying professional wrestling, but he never built the legacy that will live on much beyond.
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