All Elite Wrestling has announced a special tournament and partnership that will honour the late, great wrestling legend Owen Hart. The deal will lead to merchandise, video game involvement, action figures and more to pay tribute to the Canadian wrestling legend that passed away in 1999.
AEW announced its new partnership with The Owen Hart Foundation via a press release. The company announced the upcoming Owen Hart Cup Tournament in AEW where the winner will capture a cup/trophy called The Owen that is named after Owen Hart.
The initial part of the press release can be seen below:
“All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and The Owen Hart Foundation (OHF), a nonprofit charity which provides a vast range of assistance and opportunities to individuals in-
need across the world, are collaborating to honor the legacy of late wrestler Owen Hart, a beloved figure in the professional wrestling community and beyond. This collaboration includes launching the annual Owen Hart Cup Tournament within AEW, which will see the winner receive a Cup known as “The Owen,” as well as the production and distribution of unique and original Owen Hart merchandise, including specified retail goods as well as the upcoming AEW console video game.”
“This alliance incorporates opportunities to develop Owen Hart action figures via AEW’s partnership with Jazwares, apparel, posters, and additional collectable merchandise. Owen Hart is survived by his wife, Dr. Martha Hart, who spearheads The Owen Hart Foundation with a mission of providing global aid to at-risk communities (e.g., scholarships, housing, various forms international assistance, food drives, backpack giveaways and Christmas projects). “
Owen Hart was an incredible wrestler that was the son of the great Stu Hart and his wife Helen. Owen was the youngest of 12 Hart children with his brother Bret being the most famous member of the family. Owen succeeded in the family’s Stampede Wrestling promotion before moving on to the much larger World Wrestling Federation (now named WWE).
During Owen’s WWE career, he went on to have a lot of success as two-time Intercontinental Champion, four-time Tag Team Champion, one-time European Champion, 1994 King of the Ring and we all know he loved his Slammy Awards. Owen’s breakout feud in WWE happened in 1994 when he beat his brother Bret in all-time classic match at WrestleMania 10. The rivalry continued after that leading to an epic Steel Cage match at SummerSlam 1994. Even though Owen didn’t become a WWE Champion, he became a top heel in the company.
The death of Owen Hart is one of the most tragic things that has ever happened in professional wrestling. During a stunt gone wrong at the WWE Over The Edge pay-per-view on May 23, 1999, Owen was supposed to lower from the top of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, but a mishap occurred, the harness was released early and Owen landed in the ring where he died upon impact. It was a terrible accident. After his death, his wife Martha sued WWE as well as the company that rigged the harness, and a settlement was reached.
Owen’s widow Martha has gone on to create the Owen Hart Foundation in honour of her late husband.
The AEW press release also referenced when Owen’s brother Bret appeared at the first AEW PPV, Double or Nothing 2019:
“AEW’s relationship with the Hart family dates back to our inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and Owen’s influence is still felt today. To extend his memory and his legacy even further through this agreement is a powerful and meaningful moment for the entire wrestling community.”
Owen’s widow Martha, who is pictured above, also commented on coming to an agreement with AEW:
“The Owen Hart Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with AEW in this wonderful joint venture to honor Owen’s substantial international wrestling career and the lasting influence he and his craft has had in the sport. AEW’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament serves as a tremendous tribute to Owen and provides an incredible way for professional wrestling enthusiasts to celebrate his work in a most fitting way. We trust that Tony Khan and his amazing AEW team will do a brilliant job with this highly anticipated project. This OHF/AEW partnership is my special gift to all of Owen’s magnificent loyal fans who forever remember him and his inspiring repertoire of talents.”
The family of Owen Hart was featured in “The Final Days of Owen Hart” episode of “Dark Side of the Ring” from May 2020. It featured Martha as well as Owen’s son Oje and daughter Athena. The family made it clear that they would love to honor Owen’s legacy for wrestling fans and now they will have that chance with AEW.
Wrestling fans have wondered if Owen would be inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame, but Martha has said “no” and “never” in the past, so it’s likely never going to happen.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 20, 2021
For more information on The Owen Hart Foundation, click here.