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 - Arnold Schwartz

May 23rd 1999.  I was on the phone with my girlfriend Martha (now my wife). My mom came running up the stairs, telling me a wrestler just died on pay per view. Stunned out of my mind, I wondered who and how. Had some psychotic fan jumped the rail and done the unthinkable? Had a wrestler suffered a heart attack in the ring? And finally who? I knew it was a WWF wrestler but who?

After we hung up, I turned on the TV wondering if there was any news about it. My body went cold and I quickly sat down as Owen Hart’s photo was shown on all the Canadian channels as the newspeople reported the story.

I cried. Deal with it.
I phoned Martha back upset and she listened confused as to who I was talking about. "Who is Owen Hart?" she asked. "He's Bret's little brother and one of my wrestling heroes", I replied. The irony in all this was that up until this tragic moment Owen was always known as Bret's little brother in the wrestling world. The next day the title was reversed as in news story after story with Bret Hart the captions ran "Owen Hart’s brother". I spent the next day at work watching crowds gather around the TV’s in my store watching the news clips of Owen's death. I spent the day listening as fans and non-fans expressed opinions back and forth. Newspapers nationwide carried the story on the front page. Owen unmasked in the ring attended to by EMT's. I personally spent the last two years trying to bring closure to my feelings in all this. I have struggled on whether to remain a wrestling fan or not. Struggling to understand something that
just isn't supposed to happen.  But none of that is what this month’s Stampede memories is about. It's not about Owen's death. Nor is it about the controversy that continues about wrestling going extreme. It's not about my self-righteous opinions either. I'll spare y'all it this month and this month only!! HAHA!!

This month’s thoughts are about an Owen Hart I saw shine for a very brief time in Stampede Wrestling. Owen’s career there was short… just 1986-1989. He never won dozens of titles like his brothers did. In a way he was completely opposite and removed from his Hart brothers legends that proceeded him. While Bruce, Bret, and Keith spent years and years building reputations and feuding in years long feuds, Owen broke into the area faster then all before. He was gone just as fast.  More...

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