Adam Cole On The Appreciation AEW Has For Owen Hart

The years of legal battles between Dr. Martha Hart and WWE over the use of the late Owen Hart's name and likeness meant that WWE fans — and wrestling fans in general — could not truly reminisce over the life and legacy of "The King of Harts." Even the wrestlers, many of whom grew up idolizing Hart, were unable to show him their appreciation save for a few subtle references and callbacks. All that changed in September 2021 when the Owen Hart Foundation announced a partnership with AEW, with the sole purpose of honoring Hart's legacy — through initiatives such as the ongoing Owen Hart Cup tournament, as well as a line of merchandise and Hart's long-awaited return to video games.

The partnership has allowed AEW stars to detail Hart's everlasting influence on their careers, and why it's important for them to pay homage to Hart at every possible opportunity. Adam Cole — the winner of the inaugural Owen Hart Cup — touched upon his adulation for Hart on a recent "AEW Unrestricted."

"The appreciation and love the entire AEW roster and AEW family has for Owen and his family — Martha, as, well — is very, very real," Cole said. "The love and appreciation of getting to, whether [it] be the Owen Hart tournament we did, or Owen being showcased in Fight Forever, is just so important to us and to so many pro-wrestling fans — to continue to showcase his legacy, and how important he's been to so many different people. So, again, it's so, so cool that he gets to be in this game, and [be] showcased the way he deserves to."

'Maybe Owen Hart got a little extra love'

Meanwhile, AEW's SVP of video games, Nik Sobic, admitted it was a challenging task to "try and capture the spirit of Owen Hart" in AEW's first console video game, but his team and the rest of the AEW roster were ultimately satisfied with their efforts. In fact, Sobic revealed that his team understandably prioritized the Owen Hart character over every other AEW wrestler. 

"Every character in this game was treated equally, but I would say there's a standard — maybe Owen Hart got a little extra love," Sobic said. "But that's okay, because Dr. Hart and the team — everyone's a wrestling fan and an Owen Hart fan, and it was like a labor of love type [of] thing." Sobic would go on to detail Dr. Hart's involvement in the creation of the "Fight Forever" character.  "It's been a pleasure to work with Dr. Martha Hart, and how involved she's been in this game, and how involved she's been in acclimating to the AEW family," Sobic stressed. 

In conclusion, Sobic described Hart's character as "very well balanced" and urged gamers to give Hart a look if they were "trying to figure out" their person. "It's worth a shot. I hope the fans enjoy it." AEW Fight Forever officially hit video game consoles and PCs on June 29.