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I'm a day late with this post, but wanted to get it out there none the less. Saturday, May 7th was Owen Hart's birthday. The former WWE Superstar would have been 46 years old. It's hard for me to believe that he's been gone nearly 12 years now.
I was fortunate enough to watch Owen wrestle at a handful of house shows, and one pay per view event I was in the crowd for. It was always a treat watching him. In the summer of 1996, Owen wrestled Savio Vega. My dad and I had floor seats for the event, we were only four rows back. Each time the wrestlers would come out to the ring, I'd get up (along with a bunch of other fans) and try to shake hands with those superstars who would come to our side.
I'll never forget it when Owen came out. He was a heel at the time. The fans booed him as he walked by and I remember him climbing the apron and looking right in my direction. He pointed his finger at us (specifically the guy next to me, as I was cheering) and Owen shouted, "Shut up, fat boy." That of course just put everyone in that section over the top and the jeers just got louder.
That fall, the WWF came to Cape Girardeau, and I headed there to see Owen and Davey Boy Smith defend the tag team titles against the Godwins, the Smoking Gunns, and the New Rockers (I think) in a fatal four way. Owen and Davey Boy made a great team, probably my favorite version of a tag team that Owen was a part of, besides his brief pairing with brother Bret.
I was able to see Owen wrestle Rocky Maivia at another house show in St. Louis, I believe this was February of 1997. Owen was going after the Intercontinental title. Rocky won that one, I think by disqualification. Then my buddy Rick and I watched as Owen regained the Intercontinental title at the Badd Blood PPV in St. Louis by pinning Faarooq.
I was "watching" Over the Edge on scrambled PPV and chatting in an AOL wrestling chat room the night Owen died. It was so hard to believe it had happened. I was stunned as I watched and listened in disbelief. The next night, I watched Raw with tears in my eyes the entire two hours before finally breaking down and crying at the end of the show. It was an emotionally exhausting night. I can only imagine who Owen's family and friends felt.
Owen won the IC title a couple of times and was a tag team champion with several different partners. I think in a different time, he would have no doubt been the WWF(E) champion. I wrote a blog back in the fall about the very subject. He's in my top five who Could've, Should've, Would've. He had the tools to do it.
I know Owen is in a better place now, but he left this world way too soon. Continue to rest in peace, "King of Harts". You are still missed today.