Truth of Owen Hart’s Widow on His Tragic Death: ‘Has Always Been My Defense’
The biggest success reason for VICE TV’s pro-wrestling-themed documentary series “Dark Side of the Ring” is the amount of light it has brought to the matter covered in a given episode.
The life cycle of Gino Hernandez in “Gorgeous” would be new to those unfamiliar with ‘80s Texas wrestling. The implosion of Herb Abrams and his promotion was mostly a subset of wrestling fans who watch everything from the genre in the early ‘90s.
The season finale episode showed the 1999 death of Owen Hart in a stunt rigging accident. In the complete history of the wrestling business, Hart’s death was possibly the biggest news story. Owen’s plunge from Kansas City’s Kemper Arena became prominent from the criminal investigation and wrongful-death lawsuit.
Negligence on the part of Hart’s employers is naturally one of the critical elements of the Dark Side episode on World Wrestling Entertainment. It’s essential to his widow, Martha, who first published those findings in a 2002 book, Broken Harts.
Martha said in an interview that she honestly could not be happier with the story of Dark Side of the Ring. It is a story that she wanted to tell for a long time, and she was delighted that they were able to show the type of person that Owen was behind the curtain. To show people that he was an incredible dad and husband and his personality, this really shines through.
Martha has reignited a long-simmering public feud with WWE while telling that story. Shortly before 11:00 p.m. ET on Monday night, the article by Brent Brookhouse covering his interview with Martha was updated. It includes comments from Jerry McDevitt, who was a longtime outside counsel of WWE.
Most of the argued points by McDevitt were facts about the legal proceedings. However, the comment raised eyebrows was that they were basically trying to find out what happened on that night, he told Brookhouse. “Martha was not interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to beat up a business that her husband was in, the wrestling business, and she didn’t like it.”
Martha commented, providing her own written response. “I want to make it clear, if there was one person in this world, it was me who wanted to get to the roots of what my husband Owen went through. On the contrary, the defense was making all possible efforts in their power to detract from the case as they didn’t have one.
I read every affidavit taken, sat through all face-to-face depositions, and spent over a year dissecting every fact of this case. To insinuate for a second that I of all people, did not care about the truth behind Owen’s death is beyond the pale.”
Martha continued and said, “Comments by Jerry McDevitt’s are absolutely absurd and pathetic. I am not surprised that to do damage control, the WWE would trot out Mr. McDevitt. After all, the events are alarming and do not reflect well on their company surrounding Owen’s death.
At the time of Owen’s death, Linda McMahon was the acting CEO of the WWF (now WWE), and she does not bode well for them either. She has given her ties to President Donald Trump and his administration.”
The material that covered the incident in-depth is both past articles by this reporter and Martha’s book. It described how WWE resolved the stunt issues for pay per view event with previous contractor Joe Branam. They gave stunt to Owen with a set to rappel from the ceiling. It resolved the matter of Branam’s price and repeated refusal. The Branam’s refusal force WWE to suspend talent and stream a quick release for TV purposes.
Bobby Talbert was less honest about his qualifications and was willing to do so. Instead of employing the more standard and more qualified riggers like Branam, Talbert fashioned a line for Owen to open the clip, which has enough slack, and something getting caught in it could trigger the release like Owen’s cape. Owen fell to his death when something like that happened.
The actual story of the negligence that killed Owen Hart was not part of any mainstream narrative about his death. With no media obtaining the long police file or properly covering her wrongful-death lawsuit as it happened. Instead, the truth was mostly held by the small subset of wrestling fans.
They read her book or a handful of articles heavily reliant on it. That’s one of the things that make this particular episode of Dark Side of the Ring a big deal.
The healthy-sized audience consisting majorly of wrestling fans will know for the first time that Owen Hart didn’t die in an accident. Still, his boss, after repeatedly being warned against it, had sought out a more dangerous way to do the descended stunt.
Martha said. “Everybody is not going to read my book; therefore, visual presentation, it’s more effective. It reaches more people and has more impact. I’m just a single individual, but WWE is a powerhouse PR machine. They can kind of do everything they want to, and it will reach more people.
It’s an incident story that should have never occurred and came true. It’s about negligence, corporation’s greed, and their willingness to bulldoze me for their personal gains. Awareness among people will be there of the story of another side after watching the episode.”
The episode also provides new information about the good time spent on making his personality away from the ring. It was done by home movies and understanding the emotions of those affected by the tragedy. Something’s of Dark Side has been particularly useful in this second season. There is a point to explore why participation in WWE events was refused by Martha and her kids, even if it proves to be an “honor” for Owen.