Dark Side of the Ring ‘Owen Hart’s Final Days’ (Vice Media Docuseries)

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.

Dark Side of the Ring – S02E10 – The Final Days of Owen Hart …www.dailymotion.com › video44:05Dark Side of the Ring – S02E10 – The Final Days of Owen Hart – May 19, 2020 || Dark Side of the Ring ..

At Calgary International Airport with my late great legal counsel Ed Pipella of Pipella Law LLP (OHF Proud Sponsors) on our first of many trips to Kansas City MO., and with the fabulous Vice Media Dark Side of the Ring Crew – producer Evan Husney (left) with Adam, Dan, Andy & Director Jason Eisener (missing). Thank you so much guys for having the guts to tell my story. Special thanks to my legal team Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Lawyers Casey Chisick & Stephen Henderson, all of my friends, family, OHF Committee Members, Sponsors, and supporters who always have my back. The episode ‘Owen Hart’s Final Days’ airs in North America on Vice on TV in the USA and CRAVE TV in Canada with encore showings slated to air next week. Be sure to watch as an added 4-minute clip of ‘Owen the Prankster’ is included and it’s priceless!
Vice Media’s Dark Side of the Ring ‘Owen the Prankster’ added 4 minute video clip that highlights some of Owen’s many funny ‘Ribs’.
Commemorative Owen Hart T-Shirts On The Road To #1 Best Seller !
The OHF received the news that the Owen Hart commemorative t-shirts with all proceeds going to the OHF are on the road to #1! Bless everyone for supporting the OHF and for buying these very special t-shirts. Click the link for more information: https://www.prowrestlingtees.com/owenhart

54 thoughts on “Dark Side of the Ring ‘Owen Hart’s Final Days’ (Vice Media Docuseries)

  1. Thank you so much Martha! This episode was sad yet provided me some closure since I was always a fan of Owen. I now completely not just understand, but AGREE, that Owen should not be in the WWE Hall of Fame. It was something I never understood until I listened to you and your son tonight. I love how you honor him instead with the Foundation. I think it’s truly awesome and special. I also really enjoyed your recent interview on the Talk is Jericho podcast. It was good to hear your side on everything Owen-related. I do plan on donating to the Owen Hart Foundation and even buying a new Owen shirt (THANK YOU!!!). I was 11 when Owen died so I’ve never owned any merchandise. I’ve always wanted a shirt or something so thank you! Thank you again for shedding some light and welcoming us wrestling fans into your world.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was heartbreaking but also inspiring to hear how you and your family has persevered and created the Owen Hart Foundation. I was a huge fan of Owen (still am) and didn’t like where wrestling was going. When Owen died, so did my love for the business. I am glad Owen is not in the WWE faux Hall of Fame. He is much bigger than that. His legacy lives on in our hearts, our memories, and the amazing work you and your family are doing.

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  3. Beautiful blog. I feel like I can be a stronger person when life is tough, listening to these words. Thank you Martha.

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  4. While the episode left me in tears, getting to know a little bit about the life and times of Owen Hart filled me with only joy and happiness and reiterated that the good will always outshine the bad and there is always light even in the darkest of times. I appreciate this little episode for giving us this little peak into your lives. It helps the rest of us appreciate what we have a whole lot more. Thank you.

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  5. I’ve always supported your stance since reading your book years ago, & I just watched it. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you, Oje & Athena to recollect these events, but thank you for your participation & sharing all the wonderful home videos you made. The bits with Oje playing with his trains gave me a smile.

    Hope you are all well & keep up the wonderful work with the foundation.

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  6. Talk about triumphing over tragedy. What a beautiful legacy you have built for your late husband. Words are not sufficient to say how much I admire you.

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  7. Not even sure if Martha, Oje, or Athena will read this, but I’ll tell my story anyway. I was traveling in 1996 for basketball with friends in Indianapolis, Indiana. We were staying at a hotel near the airport and WWF(WWE) were in town. Owen was in the lobby seated and waiting for Bret who was calling home in his room. Owen overheard some of us talking and pointing him out. So myself and two other guys who were still huge wrestling fans approached him. Got an autograph and asked a few questions about the business. He was so kind and answered them. A few minutes later we noticed he was still there alone so we kinda waived and started to leave. He said anytime you want to talk come on back. Looks like Bret is gonna be a bit. So we went back and talked to him. We talked for a good hour about anything and everything. Then Bret finally came down and it was time for them to go. They returned later that night after their show and what was so nice is he remembered all our names and sat in the lobby for another half hour talking with us. He never had to do that and I’ve always remembered that about him. Really down to earth! He even told us his plans on how he was gonna leave wrestling to be with his family. We all jokingly said well we better soak you up now cuz we’ve never been to Canada and not sure we’d visit you there. He just laughed and casually replied well I’d come see you guys then. Such a sweet man! You guys keep up the great work with the foundation. He’s not only proud of you all, but so is God!

    Stay blessed!

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  8. Dear Mrs. Hart:

    Thank you and your family for sharing your story.

    As a kid, one of my favorite matches to watch was when The Rocket beat The Hitman at Madison Square Garden in 1994, and later that Summer he went on to become the King of Harts!

    Congratulations to you and your family on the Owen Hart Foundation and all it has accomplished, it is a wonderful way to carry on his memory. That’s the only Hall of Fame he’ll ever need. Best wishes!

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I grew up idolizing Owen Hart and Bret as a kid. I was 9 when Owen passed away and I was heartbroken. I learned so much in the Dark Side of the Ring episode that I didn’t know before. I have nothing but admiration for you and your family. I am so glad Owen’s memory will continue to be honored through the Owen Hart Foundation. God bless!

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  10. Martha, you’re an inspiration. The documentary and your interview with Dave Meltzer are simply amazing.

    I hope for nothing but the best for you and your children.

    Owen and me are similar. Work is just a way to make money. It’s not my life. My life is my family. I have a wonderful wife and baby daughter. That’s what life is all about. You were robbed of that when Owen died. But look at you today. You’re so strong and such a amazing person.

    Nothing but the best for you.

    Thank You!

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  11. I also want to say this. You mentioned in your interview with Dave Meltzer that Owen would have made a good firefighter. I work at the Fire Department here in Kitchener, Ontario, and you’re 100% correct. He would have made a pretty great firefighter. His personality is very similar.

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  12. Martha,

    After watching this episode, I have a huge amount of respect for you. It made me open my eyes more and more about what and who Vince McMahon really has done to you. I have lost 100% respect for him after watching that episode. I remember watching the movie, “Life Itself” a documentary about film critic Roger Ebert (whether you agree with him or not) he was the door opening to film criticism, and who loved movies.

    He wrote a column back when he was a student at the University of Chicago in 1963 when the Church Bombing Incident occurred in Birmingham, Alabama and wrote this column by saying “The blood is on so many hands is that history will weep in the telling. And it is not new blood, it is old, so very old, and as Lady Macbeth discovered, it will never ever wash away. It clings and it waits and in it turn it kills again.”

    That’s what I think that Vince McMahon needs to take a long cold look in the mirror to find out and asks himself “Why are some of these wrestlers dying in front of my eyes?” that’s a question he needs to ask himself, big time and find out that there’s an old rotting wound that will never, ever go away.

    Dark Side of the Ring has been one of my favorite series from VICE. Even though I don’t watch TV that much, the series has been one of my favorites since 2019. And I hope you continue to fight the good fight. I hope that one day I will make a donation to the Owen Hart foundation.

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    1. Awe. Thank you Zachary for sharing your thoughts and kind words with me. I really appreciate it. Also, thank you so much for supporting the OHF – we really care about people and your donation will definitely go to good use. Bless.

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  13. Dr. Hart,

    Thank you so much to you and your kids for sharing your story. All the home videos were so heartwarming and just reiterating Owen was the best. In some way watching the episode maybe gave some fans some closure in a way. I also enjoyed the podcasts with Chris Jericho and Dave Meltzer. I purchased one of the Owen Hart shirts in which I can’t wait to get. Thank you again. It’s almost as if you were put on this Earth to be an example of what it is to be strong in unimaginable circumstances.

    P.S. I’m glad you mentioned this blog on the podcasts, I love watching movies and I’m gonna check out The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It will be nice to discuss some movies!!

    Chris

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dr. Hart,

    I found myself incredibly inspired by you, Oje, and Athena having the courage to tell your story after all these years. I cannot even begin to comprehend the level of grief and hardship you went through, but to see you all use it as fuel for your “second life” as you called it really gave me a personal boost during a hard time of my own. I so admire your strength. I found so much comfort and wisdom in some of the things you said that I related to my own personal trials at the moment (how you can forgive someone without needing to associate with them, how when life gives you 2 paths you need to fight to stay on the better path for the sake of others who rely on you, on the importance of compassion and positivity). If you weren’t so busy as a researcher and philanthropist, then I would have told you that you missed your calling as an inspirational public speaker for schools and corporate events.

    All of the best to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe. Thank you so much Jason. This is so very kind of you to say. I really appreciate it. Bless. 🙂 Also, I just want to add how brave it was of you to share your personal thoughts about your own adversity. That was very brave of you – a great quality to have. Take care of yourself Jason and much luv and light to you!

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      1. hello martha …. if one day you visit linz austria on the trail of your past then get in touch. i will show you the most beautiful places and would be a good tour guide in my country greetings thomas

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  15. Wow! That was powerful. I just watched it and I cried. I grew up without a dad so it hit a tender nerve for me. Your courage to choose the path of reconstruction and kindness is incredible and inspiring. Thank you for revisiting what must be the hardest memories of your lives in order for others to understand better what happened to Owen.

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    1. Awe. Thank you Rick. Why am I not surprised at all that you are such a sensitive, sensible, kind guy that has been through a lot. Thank you so much for your kind words and as always please say hi to Matt for me. I’m always wishing the best for him and you. BTW I’ve still got your movie pick on my list!! 🙂

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  16. Hi Dr. Martha,

    I thought I posted a comment two days ago but I may have not clicked post. Thank you for sharing the side of this story I never got to hear. I now understand why Owen Hart can never be in the WWE Hall of Fame even though nobody would deny he had a Hall of Fame career.

    Of course Owen is worthy of the WWE Hall of Fame. The WWE Hall of Fame is just not worthy of him. It is a lie that you wanted to erase Owen’s career. You have never stopped any other wrestling group or hall of fame from honoring him. It is unfortunate that WWE owns most of his footage, but they do not own the Japan footage.

    Owen Hart could perform wrestling moves in the ring that were decades before his time and even today there really is not anyone who could keep up with him. For a lot of fans the idea of Owen not loving wrestling is confusing and hard to believe. How does anyone become so good at something they don’t love?

    It seems clear that Owen loved his craft, especially early on, and his coworkers, but not the lifestyle or the politics of the business that paid him to do that craft, and especially not in the direction the business was going. He was burnt out and loved being at home more.

    I am so glad that you did not allow this to be the end of you pr your children. Somewhere I believe Owen is looking on and he is proud.

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing this, Martha. It’s such a sad story but the way you have handled everything is so inspiring. I watched the Vice episode, along with listening to your interviews with both Chris Jericho and Dave Meltzer. I remember watching the PPV live, over here in the UK, aged 15. Owen was always one of my favourite wrestlers. I have 2 sons myself, and it’s so heartbreaking to think Owen never got to see his children grow up. I was so taken back on the episode when I saw your son and daughter . They are an absolute credit to both you and Owen. I’m so proud that you see the UK as your second home. If everyone was like you Martha, the world will be a much nicer place. The Foundation you have set up is amazing and I’ll definitely be buying a T-shirt to support the charity. It might be 20 years ago but Owen will never ever be forgotten. I can’t believe how incredibly strong you’ve been during them years. I’ll
    be sure to check this blog on a regular basis. Say strong, stay safe and all the best to you and your family x

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    1. Awe thank you so much Ray for your very kind words. All the best to you and your two sons and thank you so much for supporting the Owen Hart Foundation. It is greatly appreciated. Bless.

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  18. Hi Martha,

    First of all thank you for doing these interviews, and doing the VICE episode.
    It really was amazing to see you and Oje and Athena with so much unseen footage and I’m so glad you can appreciate how loved Owen was by his fans. I’m so glad you have not hidden away and are able to talk about his amazing history and I hope you all will do more. We are all craving for more Owen, given he was taken from us all those years ago.

    I love your movie blog too, I am an actor from Dublin, Ireland so it was nice to read your comments on our Colin Farrell.

    Keep up the great work, Bless ya! x

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    1. Awe thank you David for your lovely comments. Much appreciated. Also, it’s so interesting to hear about your acting career too. Definitely some very good actors have come from Ireland including Colin Farrell – and he was very nice – as are you. Bless.

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      1. Hy Martha If you ever come back to linz austria, get in touch with me from the past. I’ll show you the most beautiful treasures and places of linz and vienna. What do you think? Have you considered a vacation in austria? greetings thomas

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  19. Hello Martha,

     

    thank you so much for your e mail. for now im sorry that i answere here. i hope you want get any problems.

    you can give me an email where i can reach you so that i can write you there. thank you so much.

     

    i woke up this morning and told my wife about your mail and was very excited.

    Yesterday on may 23rd i watched videos from owen. you can be proud he was a great person, entertainer and for me one of the best

    wrestler in the world. when i see your son in the documentary i see owen he has an incredible resemblance to his father.

    as i said i live in linz in a nice house and would like to know where you were in linz with owen back then.maybe you can still remember.

    who i had with my father for the first time in linzer danube park. he was so good and young.

     

    yes, austria is so beautiful with his mountains, rivers, wounderful cities.In a power wrestling notebook i have read that :

    owen brought martha to linz with his first fee.i could never believe that the linz in austria was meant.

    i thank you from the bottom of my heart for your answer and time. maybe you will find time to answer me again. 

    in this pandemic, i would like to say god protect your children and family. 

     

    many thanks and sunny greetings from linz

    thomas 🙂 

    Please answer in my email thomaswallenboeck@gmx.at

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  20. Hi Martha,

    Thank you very much for giving us a glimpse into the wonderful footage of your time with Owen, it really was heartwarming to see and great to hear from you. It is also fantastic to see that you and your family are happy and healthy.

    I bought your book many years ago and I rooted it out this week to read again. Personally I found reading it again years later as a 35 year old Husband, Dad and firefighter it really has given me a humbling appreciation for my own life situation and I am definitely hugging my loved ones tighter.

    From hearing you talk recently on numerous platforms and learning how far you have come since shows you’re such a remarkable person and your strength is truly inspirational.

    I genuinely wish you and your family all the health and happiness for the future.

    Ken
    Ireland

    Like

    1. Awe. Thank you so much Ken for your very kind words and for sharing. BTW I love Ireland. I visited Cork, Killarney, drove the Circle of Kerry and ended up in Dublin. Get memories I have in your lovely country. Bless and stay safe in your job and otherwise.

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  21. Awe. That’s so sweet. I go to Austria on occasion for work but usually to Salzburg or Vienna. But you never know. I really loved Linz and have so many wonderful memories there. It was the very first place I visited (and lived) when I first went to Europe so it’s special to me for sure. Bless and thank you for your very kind offer.

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  22. hy martha .. thanks for your answers … I am very happy …. calgary should be about 11 hours away and it is unbelievable that you were in (my) linz for the first time was a big fan of owen and will always stay, I will fulfill my dream and visit owen’s grave in the near future and have a look at Calgary. I made a firm decision because unfortunately, despite the large owen fan collection, I was never able to get an autograph from owen.he is my hero.bless thomas from linz

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hy martha .. thanks for your answers … I am very happy …. calgary should be about 11 hours away and it is unbelievable that you were in (my) linz for the first time was a big fan of owen and will always stay, I will fulfill my dream and visit owen’s grave in the near future and have a look at Calgary. I made a firm decision because unfortunately, despite the large owen fan collection, I was never able to get an autograph from owen.he is my hero.bless thomas from linz

    Liked by 1 person

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