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Owen Hart’s Incredible Career & Why He’s Long Overdue For The WWE Hall Of Fame

Owen Hart had quite a storied career, one that was sadly affected by both underutilization and his untimely, tragic death. Many wonder if Owen Hart started being praised more by fans because he died, but to deny Owen Hart’s talent and the potential he had would be a grave injustice to the once-called “King of Harts”.

He had his big start at Stampede Wrestling, run by Stu Hart. His potential was noticed early on and he was named as Rookie of the year in 1987. Since Stampede Wrestling had connections with promotions abroad, Owen Hart got early opportunities to work in countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom, experiences that would greatly benefit him later on.

Of course, being a hot young talent meant that Vince McMahon‘s WWF would come knocking on his door sooner rather than later. However, instead of working as himself, he chose to go with the Blue Blazer gimmick, the one that would also be used at the very end of his life. The truth is that even though it was an era of gimmicks, The Blue Blazer was never really anything more than a lower midcard talent, and while he would squash enhancement talent, the ceiling for him wasn’t very high, and he would often lose himself to other mid-carders.

It culminated at WrestleMania V, where he would face Mr Perfect and be handily defeated. It simply wasn’t his time, because McMahon clearly saw a bigger star in Perfect than he did Hart. Owen Hart would then depart and go on another world tour in an attempt to prove himself.

He would officially end the Blue Blazer gimmick after losing a mask vs mask match to El Canek in Mexico. He had a very brief run with WCW before rejoining WWF in the turn of the 90s. At this juncture, Bret Hart was beginning his run as a singles star, finding serious success. Jim Neidhart, on the other hand, couldn’t say the same about himself. He teamed with Bret Hart’s brother Owen to form “The New Foundation”.

They weren’t meant to last long, and Neidhart soon left the company. Owen Hart jumped into another alliance, this time with future Hall Of Famer Koko B. Ware in what would be called High Energy. This too, wouldn’t last long at all, and they had all but one PPV match at Survivor Series before parting ways in the turn of 1993.

It was mid-1993 when he began to associate with his brother Bret Hart. Around Survivor Series that year, they had teamed up, but inadvertently crashed into each other, allowing Owen to get eliminated. After the match, Owen Hart had an extremely tense confrontation with Bret, planting the seeds for their feud later in the year.

Though the Hart family tried being the voice of reason, a hot-headed Owen stormed off to a chorus of boos, later challenging his brother to a match. Bret Hart, not wanting to tear his family apart, refused to fight him, and reason would soon prevail, allowing them to team together once more.

In early 1994, they secured a tag team title match against the Quebecers at the Royal Rumble, where Bret Hart suffered a kayfabe knee injury, forcing the referee to stop the contest. Owen Hart would then turn on his brother, kicking his legs from underneath and turning heel. This didn’t stop Bret Hart from winning the Royal Rumble (along with Lex Luger) later in the night.

So the stage was set for WrestleMania X, where Owen Hart would officially face his brother in the WrestleMania opener. They would have the greatest WrestleMania opening match of all time, where Owen ended up winning the contest. Despite this, his brother would end up winning the WWF Championship from Yokozuna.

Owen Hart’s success would continue, and his next major triumph was King of the Ring that year, before he got right back into the mix with his brother in the summer of ’94. This time, the WWF title was on the line and it was in a steel cage match. In an all-time classic, Bret Hart would gain his vengeance.

The next couple of years for Owen Hart would see him first have tag team title success with Yokozuna, and then with The British Bulldog.  He would find success with both, but the most notable run in his final stretch was with The New Hart Foundation. Though the faction only lasted for months before the Montreal Screwjob, their run was absolutely incredible and they were the most dominant force in the company.

They had great moments before disbanding, and Owen Hart would find some moderate success in between that period before his tragic death. It’s a shame that he has yet to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and the reason why is because his widow Martha refuses to let it happen, for reasons unknown.

Bret Hart has been very vocal about Owen Hart being inducted into the Hall of Fame and you won’t find a single wrestling fan disagreeing with you. Owen Hart had an incredible career filled with multiple accolades. Though he never reached the world championship level, there’s a big argument that he definitely could have done so. He was truly one of the greats.