The Owen Hart YouTube Mixtape (Part 1)
Anyone who uses Dailymotion anymore knows they have constant commercial interruptions and I just don’t want to put you through that in order to enjoy this edition of the mixtape. I’m sticking with loyal YouTube that doesn’t succumb us to commercials for wrestling matches because no one can become a partner unless you own the material. Anyways!
So Owen Hart wins by a landslide. Not surprising, but no one even came close.
We will begin where it all started for Owen Hart in his father’s promotion up in western Canada better known as Stampede Wrestling. Stu ended up selling the promotion in 1984 to Vince McMahon and the WWF in exchange for giving his family jobs in his own promotion, but a year later Vince sold the company back to Stu Hart. However, Stu’s boys (except for Bruce Hart) end up staying with the WWF and Bruce revives the Stampede Wrestling promotion. With all the top stars leaving for the WWF, the Hart family needed a new star and they found him in their youngest son Owen, who made his debut in Stampede on May 30 1986. He quickly worked his way up the rankings of the promotion and won the tag team titles with Ben Bassarab (who was married to Alison Hart) just two months after his debut. After losing the belts to the Viet-Cong Express, Owen became embroiled in a feud with big man Makhan Singh. Us Americans know him best as the Bastion Booger in the WWF many years later, but this was when he wasn’t actually a bad guy to watch! Makhan Singh defeated Owen Hart in a title tournament for the North American Heavyweight belt and things started to escalate from there.
- Owen & Ross Hart vs. Dave Finlay & Rocky Moran – 2/3 Falls (UK World of Sport, 1984)
Don’t tell me Finlay doesn’t look like Kevin Steen in that opening graphic. The Hart brothers want handshakes, but the Irishmen do not. The commentator mentions something about an international tournament, but let’s not worry about that. Finlay quickly snapmares Ross over to Owen for a tag. They do some cool wristlock exchanges and escapes. Of course everything Finlay does looks like it hurts SO much. Ross gets worked over a bit before Moran whips him into the Harts corner. Tag to Owen, it looks like Moran can’t compete. Next thing you know, Moran delivers a victory roll for the 1-2-3 at 5:00. (Irish – 1 | Canada – 0) They pick where they left off with Moran in control of Owen, but he moonsaults over Moran out of the corner off a whip and hits a bridging German suplex for the quick 1-2-3 at 0:40. (Canada – 1 | Irish – 1) And now the third and deciding fall. You would think Moran would be tagging out here. Now to Finlay and Ross. Finlay misses a corner charge, but avoids a dropkick. He finds a half crab, but Ross reaches Owen for a tag before Finlay can make him give up. Finlay whips him into the corner a bunch and runs his shoulder into him before delivering a Samoan drop on Owen for the win. (7:58 shown) (Irish – 2 | Canada – 1) That was in no way 12 minutes plus, sir. Anyways, nothing too crazy here. Just cool to see Finlay v. Owen from back in the day over in the UK. **
- Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion Makhan Singh (w/Drago Zhivago & Miss Honey) vs. Owen Hart – (Stampede Wrestling, 4/10/1987)
As you see in the video, Makhan Singh and a guy by the name of “Rotten” Ron Starr do a number on Owen during an interview. They run him into the ringpost to bust him open. We skip ahead to what appears to be a forfeit loss for Owen Hart when he flies in with a dropkick and the KIP-UP. Owen is wearing a head wrap, Singh has a cast on his right arm. The crowd is losing their minds. Owen beats Singh with the title belt and SLAMS him to the mat. Suplex and an elbow drop by Owen! The beating continues as we JIP ahead Owen making a comeback with a turnbuckle smash and a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Singh uses the cast and dumps Owen to the floor. He sunset flips back inside for two. Singh delivers a NASTY backdrop and nearly sends Owen onto his throat. Another Owen comeback and he takes off Singh’s cast as if it’s that easy to take off a cast. The ref prevents Owen from using the cast once, but can’t stop a clothesline. Flying cast drop gets the 1-2-3 and Owen regains the title. (5:44 shown) You can’t discuss Owen in Stampede without bringing up Makhan Singh. What we saw was pretty cool. As you probably know, I’m not as well-versed in Stampede wrestling since I’m neither Canadian nor living in the Pacific northwest. *½
- Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion Owen Hart vs. Bad News Allen – (Stampede Wrestling, Fall 1987)
Everyone remembers Bad News Allen’s matches with Bret, but what about Owen? We JIP to Owen being in total control here on Bad News, but he just can’t get the three count with about a dozen nearfalls. Tombstone piledriver connects, but a flying splash from Owen hits knees. That goes nowhere as Bad News heads up top himself and gets slammed down to the mat. Owen delivers the Missile Dropkick and the KIP-UP! He tries a monkey flip, but Bad News pushes him off. Owen catches Bad News with a crossbody out of the corner when out comes Makhan Singh to interfere. Owen dives out on top of him and while the ref tries to stop Bad News, he takes a clothesline. Bad News helps out Singh in a two-on-one beatdown as they run him into the ringpost. Makhan interfering and running Owen into the ringpost seems to be a recurring theme in this promotion. (7:35 shown) This just appeared to be Owen wrestling himself as Bad News didn’t really get much offense at all. **
- Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion Owen Hart vs. Johnny Smith – (Stampede Wrestling, May 1988)
Ed Whalen interviews Diana Hart-Smith before the match. Apparently Davey Boy Smith’s “brother” Johnny has been a bad boy and has abandoned his family. Johnny gets a chance for a rebuttal. WHAT ABOUT ME? WHAT ABOUT JOHNNY? He says he hates the Hart family because they are like SO annoying. That brings out Owen to defend the family honor. Turns out it’s all a set up as here comes Makhan Singh with a chair. Now let’s get it on! We JIP to Owen PWNING Johnny with a headscissors followed by a monkey flip. Johnny wants a tombstone, but Owen wins that battle. He heads up top, but spots Makhan Singh coming down and FLIES down on top of him. That proves futile as Singh runs him into the ringpost allowing Johnny to take control. Where’s the DQ? Johnny delivers a shoulderbreaker and the RUNNING POWERSLAM. Still can’t put Owen away. Owen mounts a comeback starting with the Belly to Belly Suplex. He looks to defeat Johnny with a Boston crab when Singh appears on the apron for the distraction. Johnny delivers an O’Connor roll, but Owen rolls through that and gets the win. (6:10 shown) 1988 would prove to be a pretty eventful year for Owen as he would soon lose the North American belt back to Makhan Singh before going off to New Japan. After a successful tour there, he would join the WWF where he would dawn the Blue Blazer gimmick for the next year. **
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Hase vs. Owen Hart – (Sendai, Japan – 5/27/88)
One of my favorite Japanese guys against one of my favorite Canadians. Hase was a pretty well established champion by this point as he had held the title since the end of December. JIP to Hase sitting down on the Sharpshooter until Owen reaches the ropes. That serves to piss off Owen as he fights back with the Belly to Belly Suplex for two. He delivers a backbreaker and grabs a camel clutch. Hase fights up to his feet and falls back on top of Owen to break up the hold. Boston crab, but Owen escapes and catches Hase with the ENZIGURI KICK OF EXTREME DISCOMFORT! Stalling suplex gets two. Next, Hase explodes on Owen with a nasty back suplex. Why not one more. Cover, 1-2-NO! He tries a third, but Owen flips out and delivers a tombstone for 1-2-NO! Owen drills Hase with a second tombstone and comes off the top with a flying moonsault, but Hase brings up the knees! Looks like Owen hurt his knee there. Hase pulls a page out of Inoki’s playbook with the Octopus Hold. Owen falls into the ropes to get the break. Rolling Tumbleweed by Owen! That gets two. As Hase stands up all dizzy, Owen catches him with a hurracanrana for the 1-2-3! New champ. (about 5:00 shown) Meltzer called this a MOTYC at the time. The match lasted over 13 minutes so not even half the match is shown here for me to consider a fair rating. Great back and forth action though as Owen ended up having to drop Hase on his head three times (!!!) to get the win and the Jr. Heavyweight title.
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Owen Hart vs. Keiichi Yamada – (Hiroshima, Japan – 6/10/88)
Owen had two title defenses and one of them is against the future Jushin Liger almost a year before he would dawn the mask. On a side note, this match takes place in the same building where the legendary Mitsuharu Misawa passed away in 2009. Yamada comes out to “Gonna Fly Now” from the Rocky movies. Awesome. We JIP to Yamada clamping on a kneebar to play off what appeared to be a knee injury near the end of Owen defeating Hase two weeks earlier. Owen finds the ropes, but Yamada kicks at the knee and delivers a shinbreaker to set up the figure-four. WOO! A surfboard does further damage to the knee. Owen fights back with a sunset flip out of the corner. He dropkicks Yamada to the floor for a tope suicida, but then Yamada returns the favor. AWESOME! Owen tries a flying bodypress back inside, but he flies right down onto a knee! Yamada hits a tombstone and heads up top for a Senton Bomb for 1-2-NO! Brainbuster gets two. A series of kicks followed by a Rolling Koppou Kick gets 1-2-NO! Fallaway slam with a bridge gets two! Owen fights back with a German suplex, but puts the kibosh on a victory roll for the 1-2-3! (5:30 shown) Another MOTYC according to Meltzer. Great stuff and even more fun than Owen v. Hase. This one also went just over 13 minutes so there’s not enough that aired on TV to fairly give it a rating. It’s worth checking out though.
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Owen Hart vs. Shiro Koshinaka – (Osaka, Japan – 6/24/88)
Most US wrestling fans I’m sure have no idea who Shiro Koshinaka. He’s one of the best pre-Liger days and had a great feud with a guy by the name of Nobuhiko Takada. If these Puroresu matches interest you, look around for their series of matches in 1986 and 87. Much like in the last match, Koshinaka works on the knee. Owen makes him pay with a gutwrench suplex. He can’t get the surfboard, but explodes on Koshinaka with the snap suplex. Nice exchange as Owen flips out of a backdrop. He hits a dropkick, but then Koshinaka gives Owen an enziguri. He follows up with a flying butt bump and nearly KILLS Owen dead with a side slam. Cover, 1-2-NO! Owen comes back with the Belly to Belly Suplex for two. ENZIGURI KICK OF EXTREME DISCOMFORT sets up the bridging German suplex for 1-2-NO! Owen blocks a monkey flip in the corner and delivers a Flying Headbutt for 1-2-NO! They go to the floor where Owen dishes out the tope suicida. The suplex back inside can’t get the win. Tombstone followed by the Flying Moonsault gets 1-2-NO! Koshinaka slips out of a slam and delivers the Rolling Clutch Pin for the 1-2-3. (6:00 shown) Thought they would factor the knee injury into the finish, but this works too I guess. Koshinaka regains the championship for his third and final time run. He would hold onto the strap until of all people Hiroshi Hase dethrones him in March 1989. Two months later, Jushin Liger would defeat Hiroshi Hase to win the gold and changed everything.
Next up, Owen Hart heads to New York City to join the WWF. And what do they do? They didn’t want him to be seen as one of the Hart family since he looked like a babyface, so they gave him a strange gimmick, put a mask over his face, and changed his name to the Blue Blazer (actually he was originally called the Blue Angel). He had several good matches with Ted DiBiase, Terry Taylor and Mr. Perfect, but here’s one you kind of have to already know about.
- The Blue Angel vs. Barry Horowitz – (Los Angeles, CA – 8/13/88)
Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham join us for commentary. We JIP about five minutes into this match as Horowitz is stalling a bit after Owen has worked on his arm from pretty much the get-go. Owen stays on the arm, but then Horowitz escapes and pops Angel in the mouth with a superkick! Never seen someone get tied up in the ropes like that after taking a catapult onto the bottom rope. Knee lift and a legdrop gets two. Owen catches a kick, but somehow Horowitz pokes THRU his mask and into his eye. Horowitz whips Owen in for the chest-first corner bump popularized by Bret. Horowitz cuts off a comeback with a high knee, but can’t stop a flying bodypress out of the corner for 1-2-NO! Russian legsweep by Horowitz, but Owen slams him off the top rope. Owen follows up with the missile dropkick and the KIP-UP! Suplex sets up a flying knee drop for 1-2-NO! Then he delivers the Flying Moonsault and gets the 1-2-3. (9:11 shown) Above and beyond what you would see in a typical WWF match at the time. No wait, forget just the WWF. You didn’t see moonsaults like that in AMERICA. ***¼
He loves to fly high, but there’s only one thing that brings him down.
- Owen Hart vs. Dynamite Kid – Street Fight (Stampede Wrestling, Summer 1989)
This is during the final sad days of Stampede. Ed Whalen and Bulldog Bob Brown are on commentary. We JIP to Owen making a comeback on Dynamite and takes him to the floor for a piledriver to bust him open. Back in, Owen hits a flying fist drop for two. There’s a double-KO and here comes Johnny Smith to attack Owen. He leaves Owen laying with a tombstone piledriver and walks out. Dynamite wakes up and so does the ref. Cover, 1-2-NO! DYNAMITE HEADBUTT gets 1-2-NO! Owen wins a slugfest and delivers a flying elbow drop for another nearfall. Dynamite holds Owen as Johnny Smith heads back out, but Owen moves at the last second and Dynamite gets nailed. Owen dropkicks Johnny out and gets Dynamite with a small package for the 1-2-3. (5:52 shown) What a mess this was and what a terrible time for the promotion as they would close its doors again at the end of the year. Not sure how long the match was so I can’t rate it fairly.
- Owen Hart vs. The Pegasus Kid – (NJPW, 6/26/90)
In case you are unaware, the Pegasus Kid is in fact Chris Benoit under a mask. He would defeat Jushin Liger in August 1990 for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title (a match which is on WWE’s Chris Benoit DVD), but would lose the belt back to Liger in November and then lose his mask to Liger in a match in Mexico in the summer of 1991. Pegasus attacks before the bell, which lets you know who’s the bad guy here. PK presses Owen over the top to the floor and then whips him into the guardrail, followed by a snap suplex. Back in, Owen runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Pegasus wants a superplex, but Owen headbutts him down and delivers the missile dropkick. Owen notches up the violence as he sends Pegasus to the floor for a tope suicida! Back in, a backbreaker gets two. PK makes the ropes during a Boston crab. He hiptosses out of an ab stretch and wrenches the arm, but that leads to Owen flipping and flopping all over the ropes to escape and hiptoss Pegasus over. VINTAGE OWEN~! Hurracanrana gets two. More arm wrenching, but Owen comes back with a gutwrench suplex. Owen escapes a headscissors on the mat and delivers a belly to belly suplex. PK comes out of a chinlock to give Owen a NASTY back suplex. PK makes Owen eat a dropkick that takes him to the floor for a pescado. Owen winds up STUCK in the guardrail. He makes it back inside though. Owen makes a fancy back flip escape to screw with Pegasus and surprises him with the ENZIGURI KICK OF EXTREME DISCOMFORT. Cover, 1-2-NO! Owen delivers the MOONSAULT for 1-2-NO! Nobody kicks out of that! He heads up again, but Pegasus crotches Owen and gives him the BACK SUPERPLEX for 1-2-3! (10:08) Huge win for Pegasus Kid and I don’t know for sure, but I would assume this match gave him the title shot against Jushin Liger. A win over a former champ has to mean something. Just a great *dream* match for many people. ***½
Final Thoughts: Don’t fret. There’s a part two coming!
Posted on October 10, 2011, in NJPW, Stampede, World of Sport, WWE and tagged Bad News Brown, Barry Horowitz, Blue Blazer, Chris Benoit, Drago Zhivago, Dynamite Kid, Finlay, Hiroshi Hase, Johnny Smith, Keiichi Yamada, Makhan Singh, Miss Honey, Owen Hart, Rocky Moran, Ron Starr, Ross Hart, Shiro Koshinaka. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.