The Major League Wrestling (MLW) promotion is home to the Hart Foundation 2.0 stable, led by Brian Pillman Jr., Teddy Hart and Davey Both Smith Jr., and some have been wondering how they managed to steal the name from WWE.
Well, Reddit user Slowpush found out that WWE no longer has the trademark for the Hart Foundation. Ringside News was able to indeed confirm that WWE registered the trademark in September 1992.
However, they canceled the trademark on May 31, 1999, just days after Owen Hart's untimely passing at the Over the Edge pay-per-view. It was also pointed out by Ringside News that The Hart Foundation 2.0 had previously worked in the Ring of Honor promotion 15 years ago.
The Hart Foundation first started up in 1985, and it featured Hall of Famer Bret 'The Hitman', the late Jim Neidhart (father of Natalya), Danny Davis and manager Jimmy Hart. The villainous stable put on a handful of memorable matches on the Grandest Stage of Them All, including a six-man tag match vs. The British Bulldogs and Tito Santana at WrestleMania III.
The group would break up then reform multiple times, winning two WWF Tag Team Championships together. The alliance gave rise to Hart, who became by far the biggest non-Canadian wrestler in the '90s. Had he not started out as the ultra heel for the Hart Foundation, there's no guessing where his legendary career would have taken him.
The Hart Dynasty (Natalya, Tyson Kidd, and David Hart Smith), is the most recent Hart-related alliance that performed in WWE. Their run lasted from 2008-10, and it produced a total of two Tag Team Championship reigns.
Perhaps WWE didn't expect the second generation of Harts to come into the squared circle, and that could explain why they decided to cancel the trademark in 1999. That decision turned out to be a major win for MLW.