Open Season: How To Handle The Hart Dilemma

Each year when WWE Hall of Fame names begin to get discussed, Owen Hart’s name is frequently brought up. While he belongs in the conversation, and in the Hall, he is not there and odds are, he won’t be anytime soon. For a time, there was an intense Hart/WWE rift, thanks in part to Owen’s tragic death (the handling of Bret was in there too). So substantial was this rift that it took a while before even Bret was enshrined, and up until he was, it was one of those “Hell might have to freeze over” ideas. No one thought Bret would make amends, but he has, and he’s taken his rightful place in the Hall. But still, as the years pass, Owen remains on the outside. Recently, Bret Hart stoked this issue once again, blaming the whole issue on Owen’s widow Martha. Martha Hart did not take too kindly to this, and if nothing else, we all know where things sit yet again. But, what if things could be different? Put another way, here’s how to handle the Hart dilemma.

So, Martha’s biggest hang-ups? She does not want WWE to profit from putting Owen in the Hall of Fame, and she still holds a grudge against the company for Owen’s death. Frankly, I can’t blame her on either account. Unless or until you’ve been in that exact predicament, it’s virtually impossible to imagine or process all that she’s had to go through. She’s done fine enough since his death, so she’s not desperate. She has a foundation in her late husband’s name which is doing well. WWE has no leverage at this point, and Martha knows this.

So what do I suggest?

Well, there’s not much anyone in WWE can do about the grudge. But the profit concerns? That’s a different matter entirely.

WWE would love to showcase Owen Hart and his library of matches. I am sure, much like they’ve done for other inductees, that they would put him in a WWE 2K video game, have Network specials in his honor, the whole nine yards. There would be, without a doubt, some form of financial benefit. And, since Martha Hart set up a foundation in Owen’s honor, and that seems to be something she has great pride in, here’s the suggestion. WWE reaches out to Martha and offers 100 percent of profits attributed to Owen Hart related products get poured into the Owen Hart Foundation. While it may be healthy now, such a move would virtually ensure it’s long term viability.

The big question, of course, is whether or not such a move would matter to Martha Hart. I suppose it’s entirely possible that she’d see it as dirty money and decline it out of spite or pride or perhaps even principal. But I do think there’s also the chance that the money could do a world of good, and perhaps that matters more to her than anything else-an influx of new funds to help improve peoples’ lives, all in Owen’s name. I have to think that such an opportunity could sway her.

WNZ readers, what do you think? How would you work to sway Martha Hart, or would you even bother?