In a career as an active wrestler that lasted more than two decades, recently inducted WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry definitely made a lot of friends in the business. One of the first friends he made was Owen Hart, the youngest of Canadian wrestling legend Stu Hart’s 12 children, and a fast-rising WWE Superstar at the time of his accidental death in 1999. With Hart’s widow, Martha, still holding a grudge against the company due to the controversial nature of her late husband’s passing, “The Black Hart” has yet to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but on Friday, Henry broke down in tears as he asked Martha Hart to soften her stance and allow Owen to be inducted as well.
As reported by Wrestling News, the plea was made toward the end of Henry’s speech at this year’s WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as the World’s Strongest Man directly addressed Martha Hart, stressing that his remarks were not being made at the request of WWE or his fellow wrestlers.
“This is from his other brother. He needs to be here and I hate that I haven’t kept up like I should have,” said Henry. “I love to be able to look down one day and see [Owen and Martha’s son] Oje able to be among us. It’s his birthright.”
Martha Hart’s issues with WWE date back to 1999, when Owen Hart was killed during the Over the Edge pay-per-view. As part of his Blue Blazer gimmick, Owen was supposed to descend via a harness line for a superhero-like ring entrance, but when the equipment malfunctioned, he ended up falling more than 70 feet into the ring, and was pronounced dead shortly after. Martha would file a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWE and receive an $18 million settlement a year later, and also sued the company earlier this decade for including footage from her husband’s matches in DVD releases. Her hardline stance against WWE, quite notably, has gotten her flak from Hart family members, not the least of them being Bret Hart, who had previously been on her side when she first sued WWE over its alleged role in Owen Hart's death.
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It's hard not to feel emotional while watching Mark Henry tearfully asking the widow of one of his first and best friends in the wrestling business to let go of her grudges and allow the WWE to, at the very least, induct her husband into the Hall of Fame. While he had a relatively short career, Owen Hart was one of the finest technical wrestlers WWE ever had, an entertaining onscreen character, and a well-liked person backstage who loved ribbing his colleagues, but was never malicious and always humble and family-oriented. He is certainly long overdue for an induction, and it's only Martha's request that WWE honor him by not ever bringing him up that's keeping that from happening.