Owen Hart passed away during a tragic accident on live pay-per-view. His death during Over The Edge on May 23rd, 1999 resulted in an out of court settlement with WWE for approximately $18 million on November 2nd, 2000. Owen's widow Martha Hart has been adamant about not associating her husband's name with WWE since.
Davey Boy Smith, Jr. recently joined X-Pac 12360 and opened up about Owen's absence from the WWE Hall Of Fame.
"I wish Owen could get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame but unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's gonna happen. The only way I could see it happening... is like Martha [Hart], her deal is that she doesn't want WWE to make a profit off of it.
"I can't speak for Martha, but if WWE were to say, 'okay we're gonna induct Owen Hart into the Hall of Fame and earnings or whatever profits we make will be donated to the Owen Hart Foundation,' I think she might be more willing to do something like that. But even then I don't think she's gonna let that happen. I understand where she's coming from, she was Owen's wife, that's fair, I can't really argue that. I do think it would be great for him to be inducted."
Owen was recently inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame and many members of the Hart Family including Smith Jr. were present although Martha and Bret Hart were unable to attend.
Bret Hart recently spoke about Martha's unwillingness to allow Owen's place in the WWE Hall Of Fame during a July interview with CBS' In This Corner. Mark Henry made a plea for Owen's WWE Hall Of Fame induction during his own induction speech during this year's ceremony and Hart echoed that sentiment.
"I think Martha, Owen's widow she's a very obtuse, square-headed person," Hart said. "I think she's done more to erase my brother Owen's memory than she ever did to remember him. I think it really bothers me that the fans that loved Owen so much didn't get a chance to remember him. You do these kind of things for people are here, left to remember them.
"I mean Owen, it would never matter to him if he was in the Hall Of Fame but I think that you know it would mean a lot to different family members in my family. I know Mark Henry as an example gave a strong speech or talk this year about getting Owen into the Hall Of Fame and I totally agree."
Martha replied to Bret via a press release saying The Hitman's comments were "reckless, irresponsible, and clearly untrue."
"Bret's comments are rooted in the fact that I have steadfastly refused to work with the WWE to exploit Owen's image for commercial gain," Martha continued. "Owen was an incredible entertainer and I know that his many fans around the world enjoyed his wrestling career immensely. I encourage them to continue to do so. But I am firm in my belief that the WWE was responsible for Owen's death. As a result, I cannot and will not support any efforts by the WWE to profit from Owen's memory.
"Bret Hart's comments are disrespectful and cruel. It is disappointing that so many in the media have chosen to report them without seeking my perspective. Whatever Bret may believe, the fact is that, far from "erasing" Owen's memory, I have devoted the last 20 years to celebrating his life in a very public way. I can think of very few people who have been remembered so glowingly by their spouse."
Bret followed-up his previous stance via a Facebook post explaining why he wants to see his brother take a place in the WWE Hall Of Fame, but he gave a glowing endorsement to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame, an honor Bret received in 2006 as well. He once again brought up Henry's request for Owen's WWE Hall Of Fame induction while noting that the professional wrestling fans Martha sat next to during all of the Stampede Wrestling shows they used to attend are some of the same people who desperately want to see Owen's induction as well.
"Earlier this year, Mark Henry took time during his WWE Hall of Fame induction to specifically address Martha. With tears in his eyes, Henry pleaded with her to allow Owen to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. My nieces and nephews were in the audience with tears in their eyes as he expressed how much he deserved to be there with his peers. Fans have told me they had tears in their eyes when they watched the moment on television. Those same fans Martha sat side-by-side with at Stampede Wrestling and WWE events. Those same fans that donate to the Owen Hart Foundation and helped make it what it is today because they remember the joy he brought to their lives and not by how he died. Those royalty checks she receives from the company she says she doesn't want any part of? Those are also from those same fans. To her, their tears do not matter. To me, that is cruel and hurtful.
"It is true that Martha and I were close at one time. I was right by her side after Owen's death until she received her settlement from WWE and proclaimed me a "pest". Martha later declared herself and her children Harts in name only, called us all "black sheep", and ceased contact with the rest of the Hart family. She further isolated from us when we all came together in 2010 to honour our father Stu being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and participated in a DVD that celebrated our family (Hart & Soul). Owen's children do not have a relationship with his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins. One of my nieces, in fact, named her son Owen after him. I do not know Oje and I wouldn't know Athena if she walked passed me on the street. Owen's children only know of their father's family by what is told by their mother, whatever that may be, painting us all with one broad brush. To block Owen's children from knowing their father's family, to me, is cruel, reckless, and irresponsible."