As we recently posted on Wrestling-Edge, WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart recently spoke with CBS Sports “In This Corner” podcast and was asked about his late brother Owen not being in the Hall of Fame. The response pulled no punches:
“You can leave Owen Hart out or leave Dynamite Kid out of it or some of these great wrestlers, but why are you leaving them out of it? There are a lot of great wrestlers who haven’t got their pat on the back at the Hall of Fame and it started bothering me to the point where I don’t think I will go again to any of the ceremonies until they put in proper, deserving candidates.”
”You look at the people they have in the Hall of Fame, even some of these celebrities in there, and you go: For me personally, with Owen not being in the Hall of Fame, there is a lot of people that belong in the Hall of Fame that are not in it. If it turns out that WWE is going to keep being a Hall of Fame that caters to suck ups and people that are in the company that feel they owe a favor to but never contributed to the business as wrestlers, I question the whole Hall of Fame itself, and I wonder if there will ever be a real Hall of Fame that really caters to just the wrestlers.”
Hart also discussed Owen’s widow Martha, saying that she was a big reason for his late brother’s legacy being tarnished:
“I think Martha, Owen’s widow she’s a very obtuse, square-headed person. I think she’s done more to erase my brother Owen’s memory than she ever did to remember him. I think it really bothers me that the fans that loved Owen so much didn’t get a chance to remember him.”
Martha Hart has now responded to Bret via an official press release at The Owen Hart Foundation:
“The suggestion by Bret Hart that I am “erasing” the memory of my late husband, Owen Hart, is reckless, irresponsible, and clearly untrue.
Bret’s comments are rooted in the fact that I have steadfastly refused to work with the WWE to exploit Owen’s image for commercial gain. Owen was an incredible entertainer and I know that his many fans around the world enjoyed his wrestling career immensely. I encourage them to continue to do so. But I am firm in my belief that the WWE was responsible for Owen’s death. As a result, I cannot and will not support any efforts by the WWE to profit from Owen’s memory.
Instead, I, my son Oje and daughter Athena have worked tirelessly to honor Owen through the good works of The Owen Hart Foundation, which has exceeded $4 million in gift giving and contributions toward scholarships, home owner bursaries, and other special projects that have greatly improved the lives of so many in Canada and around the world. We have always believed that this is the most fitting public tribute to a man of profound integrity; a wonderful human being who just happened to wrestle. I know that Owen would be very proud of the tremendous accomplishments the Foundation has achieved in his name.
Bret Hart’s comments are disrespectful and cruel. It is disappointing that so many in the media have chosen to report them without seeking my perspective. Whatever Bret may believe, the fact is that, far from “erasing” Owen’s memory, I have devoted the last 20 years to celebrating his life in a very public way. I can think of very few people who have been remembered so glowingly by their spouse.”