Since I haven’t written about any documentaries yet I thought it would be fitting to christen my movie blog with what for me is certainly the most important story ever told. I was married to world famous wrestler Owen Hart who tragically died in the ring on May 23rd 1999. At long last this forty-four minute docuseries episode produced by Vice Media’s Dark Side of the Ring entitled ‘Owen Hart’s Final Days’ has done a phenomenal job capturing our beautiful life together, the final few days of Owen’s life, the raw tragic events surrounding his death, the shock and horror of the egregious negligence that led to his 8 story fall from the top of Kansas City’s Kemper Arena to his death, the ugliest David & Goliath lawsuit battle that followed against the WWF (now WWE – a billion dollar powerhouse wrestling mogul), my unwavering fight for justice, the betrayal and fallout experienced with the Hart family, and the wake of the aftermath that inspired the creation of The Owen Hart Foundation (OHF). Viewers hear from former WWE staffers who were present at the pay-per-view that night including commentator Jim Ross, referee Jimmy Korderas (who was in the ring when Owen fell), wrestler The Godfather (Charles Wright) Owen’s would-be opponent, wrestler colleague/friend D’Lo Brown (Accie Julius Connor), manager Jim Cornette, wrestler and narrator Chris Jericho, me and my children Oje and Athena.
This exceptional documentary effectively informs audiences how a billion-dollar company hired substandard ‘hackers’ to conduct an unsafe stunt using the most inappropriate equipment and set-up to save money while disregarding the commonsense advice of top qualified rigging experts not to do so. Equally sickening is how this company went on with the show after Owen died in the ring and paraded match after match out onto a wrestling mat stained with Owen’s blood and where the boards underneath the ring were broken from the ravaging impact of his fall, with wrestlers feeling the dip in the ring as a result. This true tale also delves into how this company sued me, a young grieving widow, for breach of Owen’s contract in Connecticut in order to try and evade punitive damages that otherwise would be awarded in a Missouri held trial where the wrongful death lawsuit was filed. Not to mention the manipulation of the Hart family, so much so that some members worked against me and even stole my legal documents – handing them over to the defense, while others remained painfully silent. This documentary is harrowing and certainly underscores a cruel side of humanity. However, as awful as some of the elements of this story are, there are also so many uplifting positive messages to take away, which is what I hope viewers do.
On this point, this story touches on many fundamental aspects of the human experience such as duty, loyalty, respect, persevering, and forgiveness. Yes, I have forgiven them all and I wish them all the absolute best in life. This story reminds us that life is not fair or easy but it’s much harder if carrying ill-will, which is why it’s important to incorporate the daily practice of wishing life treats everyone kindly. Lighter means brighter and I will take that any day of the week. But above all this story is about fighting the good fight, knowing right from wrong, being brave even if that means standing alone, true grit, and never giving up. It’s about taking the worst things this world throws at you and refusing to let it destroy you or define you. In life, we don’t really know what we’re made of until we are tested. Adversity acts like a mirror into the soul and when it strikes it reflects a person’s true character. Experiencing hardship isn’t nice but it begets growth. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes some of our most prized accomplishments occur as a result of our misfortunes. This is because motivation to transmute into a higher being generally does not happen when life is stress-free and perfect. Losing Owen shattered my heart into near irreparable shards but what I didn’t expect was that in its place a bigger one would grow. A heart of deep humility and compassion that would propel me to assist those most in-need via the OHF. Given everything said on the best and the worst moments of my mine and Owen’s life together, what then do I think is the main take-away life lesson of this extremely emotional documentary? It’s simple. No matter how difficult, how heartbreaking, how challenging, how grueling, how unpleasant, how exhausting, or how unbearable the task at hand is, do not fret – LOVE will always find the courage no matter the situation or circumstances. Destruction vs. Reconstruction – Note: when trials and tribulations find their way to your doorstep embrace them and let them be a vehicle for reform – not a vestibule for devastation.
I started dating Owen when I fifteen years old, we were betrothed by age 22, had our adorable son Oje a few years later, followed by our beautiful daughter Athena a few years after that, and the rest is history. This was an amazing chapter in my life, and I wish it had been my entire book, but life doesn’t always turn out as we plan. So, walking on we all must do. I shared Owen and our life together with the World and I was happy to do that – it was an amazing First Act that I am so grateful for. Thank you so much Owen for a wonderful life and thank you to everyone who dearly loved him, as I did. He was special and precious and funny and kind and generous and all the lovely things that every person should aspire to be. He is missed. But now my Act 2 is my own and still a work in progress… Please wish me luck and thank you so much to all the magnificent people who have supported me over the years. Bless.