Earlier this week, Bret Hart responded to Martha Hart on Owen Hart being “erased” by WWE. It’s a tough situation for both sides especially because of the circumstances that led to Owen’s death. It’s worth noting that you can find a ton of Owen Hart footage on YouTube and on the WWE Network so he hasn’t been “erased” by them.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was noted that Martha has never tried to prevent WWE from honoring Owen but she has been adamant about the company not profiting from his name. If WWE announced Owen then they would be profiting from his name because he would be used in the promo packages to boost ticket sales and WWE Network subscriber numbers.
In fact, she hasn’t prevented anyone from honoring Owen. She did not try to block the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall Of Fame from honoring him. She has been consistent by saying that she doesn’t want the WWE, the company she holds responsible for Owen’s death, to make money off his death. You can argue that by promoting his induction ahead of time on WWE television, they would be profiting off his name and death.
You can also understand Bret’s side because he lost one of his closest brothers and he wants Owen’s work and legacy to be honored on a big stage in front of millions of fans. Martha is still haunted by Owen’s death and it has completely changed her life. She never remarried.
WWE could put him in without her blessing but it would be a bad move from a public relations standpoint. I think there’s a couple of ways to make it work with her blessing.
One way could be not to announce Owen’s name for the 2019 Hall Of Fame ceremony and then they could do an unannounced induction. That way they won’t profit from his name and tickets would have been sold without his name attached. That would mean that he would need to be left off the replay airing on the USA Network and off of the Hall Of Fame DVD. The other thing they can do is to announce Owen’s name for the Hall Of Fame and they would send a large donation to the Owen Hart Foundation. Of course, that would all depend on Martha giving her blessing.
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