Tagged with "hart"
We celebrate the life of the King of the Ring - Owen Hart Tags: owen hart king ring word life production honoring those lost word life production new

Owen Hart was born on May 7, 1965, in Calgary, Canada, into a large family with 12 children. His father, a professional wrestler, trained him in a basement studio. Hart, a champion college wrestler, joined his father's professional team in 1986 and 1988 entered the World Wrestling Federation. He died on May 23, 1999, when he fell 90 feet during a pre-match publicity stunt.

Professional wrestler Owen Hart was born on May 7, 1965, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The youngest of 12 children, Hart was one of six brothers and four brothers-in-law in the Hart family to become professional wrestlers. The Hart boys studied wrestling from an early age in a basement studio under the watchful eye of their father, Stu, himself a talented wrestler.

Successful Wrestling Career

Owen wrestled at the amateur level and became a Canadian college champion before making his professional debut in 1986 as part of his father's Stampede Wrestling tour. After touring in Europe, Japan, Mexico and Canada, Hart entered the World Wrestling Federation in 1988.

As "the Rocket" or "the Blue Blazer," Hart became a popular fixture in the WWF. His fierce, although staged, rivalry with his older brother, the five-time WWF champion Bret "the Hitman" Hart, attracted viewers, as did their teaming up to form "the Hart Foundation" in 1993. Individually, Owen won the King of the Ring title in 1994 and the Intercontinental title in 1997. After Bret unofficially retired in late 1997, Owen was the only remaining Hart on the professional wrestling scene.

Untimely Death

Over the years, Hart became disenchanted with the outrageous character of the WWF and especially with federation owner Vince McMahon. In early 1999, he was reportedly preparing to retire and spend more time with his family—he had a son, Oje, and a daughter, Athena, with his wife Martha. He thought of beginning a teaching career.

An accident during a pre-match publicity stunt on May 23, 1999, at Kansas City's Kemper Arena put an abrupt and tragic end to those hopes. In front of more than 16,000 fans, most of them totally unaware of the chilling reality of what they were watching, Hart fell some 90 feet when a release mechanism disengaged on a cable affixed to the ceiling from the safety vest he was wearing, hitting his head on one of the wrestling ring's padded turnbuckles. He was later pronounced dead of internal bleeding.

Aftermath

The circumstances surrounding Hart's death sparked much discussion about the increasingly dangerous nature of the WWF's publicity tactics and provoked calls for some action to be taken by the federation to protect its wrestlers. A wrongful death lawsuit filed against the WWF by Hart's family, who accused the wrestling organization of making dangerous demands on Hart in pursuit of money and television ratings. They reached an out-of-court settlement in late 2000. The WWF is pursuing its own lawsuit against the company that manufactured the equipment used during the deadly stunt.

© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

This week’s celebrity pick is the incredibly talented Kevin Hart
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: kevin hart celebrity pick word life production feature weekly blog

Kevin Hart was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1980. Raised by his mother, Hart began working as a stand-up comedian shortly after graduating from high school, eventually migrating to bigger clubs in New York and Los Angeles. In 2006, he released his first stand-up album, I'm a Grown Little Man. His 2011 tour, Laugh at My Pain (also the name of a subsequent documentary), grossed $15 million, making it one of the biggest tours of the year.

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart was born on July 3, 1980, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The youngest of two boys, Hart was raised by his mother, Nancy, who took on the role of single parent as a result of her husband's chronic battles with cocaine and the law.

Throughout much of Kevin Hart's childhood, Henry Hart was in and out of jail, and rarely around. As a coping mechanism, the young Hart found humor to battle back the pain of his childhood. Henry has since cleaned up his life, and father and son have reconnected.

The experience of those tough years would later provide a source for much of Hart's comedy. "The jokes," he has said of his stand-up, "come from a real experience." As a boy, Hart was obsessed with stand-up comedy and comedians in general. He has listed Chris Tucker and J.B. Smoove as some important influences.

After graduating from high school, Hart moved to New York City, and later to Brockton, Massachusetts. But it was back in his hometown of Philadelphia, while working as a shoe salesman, that Hart's stand-up career began to blossom.

It was a rough start. For a time, Hart pounded the pavement at a variety of small comedy clubs, working under the stage name of Lil' Kev the Bastard. Few saw Hart, and few of those who did found him funny. "I was trying to be everybody," he once said. "I was so confused, I didn't know what to do."

Under the guidance of Keith Robinson, a veteran comedian who began to mentor the younger stand-up, Hart began performing under his own name and creating material drawn from real-life experiences. Success eventually followed. After winning several amateur stand-up performances, he began performing regularly in clubs around the country.

Stand-Up Stardom

Hart's comedy has been compared to the four "Kings of Comedy," incorporating elements of Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Bernie Mac.

As Hart's stand-up career began to take off, ABC handed the young comic his own sitcom, The Big House. Hart played himself on the show, a successful young man who is forced to leave his home in Hawaii and move in with some distant relatives Philadelphia after getting ensnared in an embezzlement scheme. The outlandish storyline never caught on with audiences, however, and was canceled after just six episodes.

Hart rebounded quickly. In 2006, he released his first stand-up album; I'm a Little Grown Man, which further cemented his status as one of comedy's best young performers. His second album, Seriously Funny, released four years later, proved to be even bigger.

However, it was 2011's Laugh at My Pain tour, later turned into a concert documentary, that turned Hart into a full-fledged star. As the title suggests, Hart delved deep into his own personal history for material, from his mother's death from cancer to the strange behavior of his relatives. His recurring line, "All right, all right, all right," quickly became a favorite catch phrase among audiences. In all, Laugh at My Pain encompassed 90 cities and grossed $15 million, making it one of the year's most successful comedy tours.

Film and Other Roles

Hart's career has spanned a varying list of films, including Scary Movie 3 (2002), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2004), Soul Plane (2004), Little Fockers (2010) and The Five-Year Engagement (2011).

In 2012, Hart hosted the MTV Music Awards. Around the same time, he began a reccurring role on the ABC comedy Modern Family.

Personal Life

Hart married comedian Torrie Hart in 2003. The couple, now divorced, has two children together, Heaven Leigh and Hendrix.

© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

Wrestling's Greatest Rivalries: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, Part 1
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: shawn michaels bret hart wwe greatest rivalries word life production features

They say the greatest stories cannot be written, they must be lived.

In the beginning, it was a dream that inspired two boys to dedicate themselves to becoming professional wrestlers. Then, as they grew into young men, they realized they were fully capable of achieving this dream through hours of training and hard work.

Finally, they achieved that dream. They achieved greatness and changed what a WWE Superstar was supposed to be in the process. Their paths would cross each step of the way up the ladder, until finally, a once friendly rivalry became one of bitter hatred both on and off television.

Welcome to Wrestling’s Greatest Rivalries. This is part one of the story of Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels. Enjoy.

This two-part article is derived from the WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart DVD that was released by the WWE in 2011. All the matches—sans the 1997 Survivor Series match—as well as the quotes, can be found on the DVD. 

Climbing The Ranks: Tag Team Division

In 1988, a young tag team called The Rockers—consisting of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty—debuted in the WWE. Though WWE’s tag team division was stacked at the time, The Rockers were different from those teams. They weren’t big wrestlers who predicated their style off raw power or even a team that prided themselves on technical ability, although that technical ability did exist. No, they were small. They were fast. They were high-flyers.

The Rockers climbed their way through the tag team ranks, even with the system working against them. Everybody told them they were just too small, but they didn’t care. They had grown a backstage reputation of being partiers, but they were so good inside the ring, that they were given a break.

Shawn Michaels on The Rockers Backstage Reputation:

Marty and I were two young guys having the greatest thing in the world happen to us; coming to the WWE and even prior to that. I mean gosh we were two young guys enjoying life and being in this line of work. It was certainly a reputation that was well-earned, but the one thing that was our saving grace was that Marty and I were pretty darn good in the ring.

They wanted to reach the top, and challenge the then-WWE Tag Team Champions, The Hart Foundation; Bret Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.

The Hart Foundation was managed by Jimmy Hart—no relation to the Hart family—until the Hart Foundation’s face turn in 1987.

Hart was the son of Stu Hart, the founder of Stampede Wrestling and the trainer behind the legendary Hart Dungeon. Hart was a fiery, young technical wrestler—perhaps the best at the time.

Meanwhile, Neidhart was a former Dallas Cowboy who went to train under Stu after his release. Soon, he married Stu’s daughter Ellie and got his first break in the professional wrestling business after the purchase of Stampede Wrestling with the WWE. The Anvil was the powerhouse and talker of the team.

Bret Hart on Shawn and Marty's arrival:

I looked at Shawn and Marty and thought they’re good workers and good wrestlers. And I was interested in them coming in because being a tag team—me and Neidhart were the tag champs when they arrived—we really needed a new, fresh team. And when I saw them, I was really keen on them coming in, and getting a chance to work with us.

 

Hart Foundation vs. The Rockers

On November 25, 1989, The Rockers and The Hart Foundation finally crossed paths. Inside the legendary Madison Square Garden, these two teams finally met inside the squared circle.

The crowd seemed very split about who they were rooting for between the two face teams, with the veteran Hart Foundation probably with a little bit of an edge.

The Rockers had the advantage throughout the early portion of the match, showcasing some nice technical prowess they hadn’t often shown and also utilized many double-team maneuvers. You could tell they had been working together for quite a while.

As the match wore on however, The Hart Foundation began to roll. Frequent tags would not allow Michaels to get to Jannetty, which he desperately needed to do.

When he finally did, Jannetty would regain momentum for his team. From this point on, the action would go back and forth with near fall after near fall.

Eventually, Anvil got into the face of Jannetty and things began to get ugly. The four would engage in a brawl before the bell sounded and they were broken up.

The official decision from referee Earl Hebner was that the match was a draw.

This was a superb tag team match with nice psychology and pacing. The contrasting styles of The Rockers, Hart and Neidhart really meshed well, which would show itself in their later matches as well.

 In October of 1990, The Rockers defeated The Hart Foundation in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match. However, the top rope broke during the match, making the match so bad that it never aired, and the belts would be returned to The Hart Foundation.

Though there was no real storyline, this match was the beginning of a pretty solid tag team rivalry and succeeded in its attempt to make the two teams look evenly matched.

Though they wrestled on numerous other occasions, the other most noteworthy match between the two teams took place in 1991 inside the Tokyo Dome.

Given that it was in Japan, the crowd was obviously much different from the normal crowd of a WWE match. These fans were more silent and respectful, with occasional applauses to the particularly impressive stuff. Japanese fans, perhaps more than fans of any other nationality, understand the art of wrestling.

The other thing noticeably different was the commentary; it was in Japanese.

 

 

The match very much resembled the one from Madison Square Garden two years earlier. The Rockers had the early control thanks to an impressive arsenal of mat-based and double-team moves. Although this time, The Rockers implemented a more frequent tag strategy to keep each other fresh while keeping their opponents off balance.

Bret Hart gained control for The Hart Foundation with a tough, physical style centered towards Michaels. Then, The Anvil came in to wear down the significantly smaller man.

Continuing with the similarities, Michaels would be isolated from his tag partner by both Hart and Neidhart in the minutes to follow.  In a bit of a contrast to the MSG match, the crowd appeared to be firmly behind The Rockers, thanks in part to The Hart Foundation’s more aggressive style.

A missed elbow drop would again allow Michaels the opportunity to tag Jannetty in. Jannetty would pick up some momentum for his team before tagging Michaels back in, which is where this became more fast-paced without either team holding a distinct upper hand over the other for long.

However, Hart would gain a quick and somewhat unexpected pinfall to pick up the victory over The Rockers. Despite the clean finish, this shorter match wasn’t quite as good as the MSG match, but did feel fresh due to it taking place in the Tokyo Dome. The Hart Foundation worked a more gritty style, especially the usually technical Hart. Meanwhile, The Rockers growth as a team was evident. Also evident was the fact that all four of these Superstars were ready to break into singles competition.

 Singles Stardom

A little over a year after their tag team battle inside the Tokyo Dome, the careers of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had begun to skyrocket. They had broken loose from their respective tag team partners and began to shine as singles wrestlers.

Michaels had kicked Marty Jannetty through Brutus Beefcake’s barbershop window to effectively end The Rockers. He would adopt the "Heartbreak Kid" moniker at the suggestion of Curt Hennig and begin an on-screen relationship with Sensational Sherri. During this time, Michaels debuted his "Sexy Boy" theme song that would last him through the rest of his illustrious career in many different variations.

Meanwhile, Hart would breakaway from The Anvil after their loss to the Nasty Boys at WrestleMania VII. Soon afterwards, he’d capture his first Intercontinental Championship by defeating Mr. Perfect at 1991′s SummerSlam.

Hart would defend that same Intercontinental Championship against Michaels on two occasions.

The first was a chain wrestling and counter-heavy match that showcased the technical skills of both young Superstars that ended in Michaels winning by countout thanks to some assistance by Sensational Sherri. The second was on a show called Wrestling Challenge in the WWE’s first ever ladder match. Could Michaels beat Hart with a decisive finish and finally capture the elusive Intercontinental Championship? Or would Hart regroup since their last bout and retain his gold?

 

This match saw the WWE exploring the vast possibilities for the ladder match with perhaps its two best in-ring competitors of all-time. It was nothing fancy, really, but it employed a nice, simple strategy and psychology to put on a pretty good match.

Each man attempted to wear the other down before bringing the ladder into the match. After all, to win the match, you had to have the other beaten down substantially enough to allow you time to climb the ladder and grab the title.

Shawn optimistically strolled down the ramp to grab the ladder after he had downed Hart. However, on his way back, Hart would meet him halfway with a punch to the face.

Hart would take advantage then begin to put the ladder in the ring, however, Sensational Sherri pulled it away from him. With his opponent distracted, Shawn would pull the ladder in and set it up. He’d start to climb, but Bret yanked him down to save his championship.

They’d go back-and-forth, with Shawn being the first to use the ladder as a weapon. He’d position Hart in the corner then simply use the steel as a battering ram into the gut of The Hitman. Continuing minutes later, he’d whip Hart shoulder-first into the ladder that was resting on the turnbuckle.

In the end, this absolute struggle for the upper hand would be won by the defending champion, Bret Hart.  He’d drop kick the ladder, sending Michaels crashing to the outside, buying himself enough time to climb the ladder and retain his title. Although it was a good match, it’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to see this match after these two had fully developed as performers and after the ladder match had reached its maximum potential.

 Reaching the Top: 1992 Survivor Series

By the time Hart and Michaels met again at 1992′s Survivor Series, they had reached the apex of their profession. Hart was the WWE Champion and Michaels was the Intercontinental Champion—making them the top two Superstars in the company.

Bret Hart talked about his relationship with HBK in 1992:

Shawn and I always got along. Right from the start. I can remember having a lot of fun with Shawn and Perfect. I considered Shawn one of my better friends. We were tight back then. I can honestly say I went to bat for Shawn. I always said Shawn was one of the better athletes I ever saw.

 

The match got off to a feisty start. Bret Hart was an aggressive, fighting champion while Shawn Michaels was a youngster with nothing to lose. His Intercontinental Championship belt wasn’t on the line, yet he could walk away with the WWE Championship around his waist.

Michaels' early strategy of trying to outwrestle the Excellence of Execution wasn’t wise. Hart was in his prime and on top of his technical game while Michaels, though he grew into the greatest in-ring performer ever, wasn’t quite on Hart’s level technically just yet. Hart would school the Intercontinental Champion through the early portion of the match, until Michaels changed his game plan.

Michaels would use more of a physical, brawling style to combat the unmatched technical ability of The Hitman. He used any part of the ring he could as a weapon, including the ropes, turnbuckles and ringposts. Once he grounded him, Michaels would revert to headlocks and other similar moves to zap Hart of his remaining energy.

Despite his best efforts, Michaels just couldn’t quite put Hart away. Just when he thought he had him, Hart would power out of a submission, or reverse a move.

The resilient champion would get in his groove late. He’d overcome one final offensive surge from his aggressive and tenacious young challenger by locking in The Sharpshooter for a submission victory.

 A Sizzling Rivalry Boiling Over

The rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart was beginning to sizzle out of control. Although their friendship outside the squared circle had yet to deteriorate, the bad blood on-screen was boiling. They had reached a point to where the ring couldn’t contain them. No, they needed the confines of a steel cage to settle the score.

 

 

Learning his lesson from their previous encounters, Shawn Michaels didn’t allow Bret Hart the time to even step inside the cage. He immediately attacked, using vicious offense in hopes of not allowing him to ever get settled in.

The match would consist of the two taking turns trying to escape both through the door and by climbing the cage, but neither would work. Just when one of them seemed to be out of it, they’d recover and thwart the other’s attempt to win.

In the end, it would come down to a race to climb down the outside of the cage. Hart would slam Michaels’ head into the remorseless steel, causing him to fall back and get his feet caught in the structure. Hart would drop with both of his feet touching the floor, therefore giving him the win.

This match was on the short side for these two, especially given that it was a steel cage match. It felt like more of a race to escape the cage than anything, but nonetheless, Hart and Michaels would go in different directions following the match.

Hart would stay atop the WWE, while Michaels continued to climb his way into the upper echelon of the company to solidify himself as a main eventer. At WrestleMania 12, he would do just that, at the expense of one Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

Thanks for reading part one of Wrestling’s Greatest Rivalries: Hart vs. Michaels, A Hitman vs. A Heartbreak Kid. Part two will be coming to Bleacher Report soon. Thanks

Source Bleach Report

 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1688492-wrestlings-greatest-rivalries-bret-hart-vs-shawn-michaels-part-1

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