WWF RAW IS OWEN By Rock Star Gary Live from St. Louis, MO Airdate: May 24, 1999 Hosted by Jim Ross (JR) and Jerry “the King” Lawler JR opens the show by pointing out that all the WWF Superstars are by the curtain and on the entrance ramp to pay tribute to the late Owen Hart. Vince, Linda, and Stephanie McMahon are shown prominently in the front. Crowd chants for Owen. Howard Finkel asks the audience to rise and join the WWF Superstars “to pay our respects to Owen Hart” for a ceremonial 10 bell salute. Tears run down the face of Mark Henry. Jarrett is also shown weeping. Finkel then directs everyone to watch the Titantron for a video tribute to Owen. Vince McMahon narrates footage that truly depicts Owen Hart as a special performer and person who will be missed greatly by everyone. JR then introduces us to “one of the most unique broadcasts ever in the genre of sports entertainment here tonight”. The show will be a 2-hour tribute to the life of Owen Hart. Along with 10 unique match-ups there will be sentiments shown between the matches of the WWF Superstars and how Owen impacted their lives and careers. Mick Foley offers his sentiments to his friend Owen. He states that Owen was his son Dewey’s favorite wrestler. The “Nugget” chant was loved by Mick’s children. Mick mentions that Owen talked about his family quite often. Bradshaw then discusses Owen’s penchant for being “cheap on the road”. Bradshaw also notes the reason he did that was because he wanted to retire early and spend time with his family. Match 1: Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra) versus Test Before Jarrett’s opponent can be introduced he lets us know that Owen never was a “nugget”. Test makes his way out and the contest starts right away. Jarrett drops his leg over the back of Test’s neck across the ropes then struts. To the corner Test hits boot on a blind charge but then Jarrett walks right into boot to the face. Test lifts Jarrett into a fireman’s carry and drops him face-first. Sidewalk slam puts Jarrett on the mat. Debra walks up the steel steps wearing a pink dress suit. The crowd begins to chant for “puppies”. Test then slams Jarrett and heads to the top rope. Unfortunately for him he jumps directly into a boot from Jarrett. Shoulder-first DDT by Jarrett takes Test down. In retaliation Test delivers a clothesline and then a powerbomb for a near fall. Debra is now up on the apron. She opens her top to reveal a sexy white bra to distract Test. Test falls for it and gets slapped. Jarrett then delivers the Stroke. Instead of going for the pin he puts Test in the sharpshooter in memory of Owen. Test taps out! Owen’s sharpshooter was an excellent gesture by Jarrett here. Test shows a lot of promise in this match. Jarrett, Test, and Debra all wore armbands in memory of Owen. Mark Henry recites a poem he wrote for Owen. He states that when Owen died it felt like “hands around my throat”. His poem supposedly was titled “Burn When You Cry”. Droz offers his thoughts. He believes that Owen lifts people’s spirits either at his own or someone else’s expense with his practical jokes. While Henry’s tone was very somber Droz’s tone is upbeat because he’ll always remember Owen as a “great guy”. Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles: X-Pac and Kane (champions) versus The Brood X-Pac wears the armband here as does Edge. JR compares The Brood to the Freebirds as a trio acting as a tag team only. Edge and X-Pac start off. Similar to last night JR notes that all the competitors in the match are in their 20s. It really was a dig at WCW for showcasing wrestlers in their 40s such as Piper and Flair. Shoulderblock by Edge leads to a spinning heel kick to put X-Pac down. Fast-paced action by both athletes sends Edge to the canvas after he receives a heel kick. X-Pac celebrates with a crotch chop and tags in Gangrel. Kane tags in but gets double-DDTed by The Brood. He no-sells and gives a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Edge and a high back bodydrop to Gangrel. Christian comes in and receives a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for his troubles. X-Pac tags in and lands a series of kicks to Edge in his corner. However, he gets knocked to the outside where Gangrel and Christian double-team him. They throw him back in. Edge misses a blind corner splash and receives an enziguri to send him into the middle of next week. Tags are made by both teams. Kane hits Gangrel with a flying clothesline from the top rope! He then boots Edge and Gangrel to the face. Clothesline to Edge leads to X-Pac’s Bronco Buster! In the meantime Kane chokeslams Gangrel. Kane then lifts X-Pac up and splashes Gangrel for the pin! While the finish was their own the heel kicks and enziguri were nice nods to Owen. The tandem double-team finish was entertaining as well. HHH and Chyna take their turns to discuss Owen. Chyna remembers Owen for making people laugh. HHH appears to be very heartbroken. He states: “In a business where you often see the worst..in people’s personalites we’re like a family…Owen was always one that was at his best.” HHH tells us at the Royal Rumble Owen was the only guy tough enough to schoolboy and backslide him and not allow him to get free. Owen will always have a place in HHH’s heart and be his friend. He loves and will never forget Owen. Dave Hebner joins us and tells us that Owen always wanted to make sure everyone had a great day. Owen was a caring and giving man to others. According to Dave as a gag “He’d (Owen) tie my shoes together when I went down for the count.” Match 3: The Hardy Boyz (with Michael Hayes) versus Taka Michinoku and Sho Funaki I’ll try my best to keep up with this since it’s definitely going to be fast-paced. All four competitors are wearing the Owen black armband as well as Michael Hayes. Matt starts the match off with a suplex to Funaki. After a missed clothesline Matt receives a flying forearm. Taka tags in. He delivers a spinebuster to Matt. Funaki holds Matt in a camel clutch while Taka dropkicks Matt directly in the face! A tornado DDT is telegraphed by Taka. Jeff tags in and hits a senton to Taka on the floor! The Hardyz then deliver a Whisper in the Wind to Taka. A double-team maneuver lands Taka on his face. Jeff then misses a corkscrew moonsault off the top. Taka applies the Michinoku Driver to Jeff. Both teams tag out. Funaki hits each Hardy with a dropkick. Clothesline by Matt sends both men outside. Hayes grabs Funaki and whips him into a Jeff Hardy dropkick! Taka also seeks some frequent flyer miles and leaps from the top rope onto everyone! Funaki and Matt re-enter the ring. Matt delivers the Twist of Fate to Funaki for the pin! The Hardy Boyz were definitely on the upswing of their careers here. If only they could keep their heads on straight. Bruce Pritchard gives us his thoughts on Owen. He refers to Owen as a “great practical joker and a tremendous performer in the ring.” Dustin Runnels credits Owen as a great family man. He relates a funny story about Harley Race. Owen put an entire bottle of hot sauce in Harley’s chili when he wasn’t looking. Harley gets so mad that he broke out his stun gun for Owen. Match 4: Hardcore Holly versus Ken Shamrock Add Holly to the list of wrestlers wearing an Owen armband. Shamrock and Holly start off with some mat wrestling which leads to a very nice Northern Lights suplex from Shamrock! He hits a heel kick and then a huracanrana to Holly! Shamrock immediately takes him down and applies the anklelock. Holly taps out! Very quick match. Shamrock showcased himself well here. Faarooq says that he’ll miss Owen a lot. Test relates a story about the boys in Chicago a few months ago doing a double-shot . The first show was cancelled due to bad weather so the guys had to wait at the hotel to find out if they had to work the second show. Test receives a phone call from the local promoter. By the end of the call the promoter says “he’ll tell them that Test said to cancel the show”. Test didn’t find out about it until this morning that it was Owen who had called him. Great prank. Horrible timing on the discovery however. Match 5: “Mr. Ass” versus Mankind Chalk up Billy Gunn as an armband wearer. Billy incites the crowd by saying: “If you’re not down with Owen Hart, I got two words for ya!” The crowd obliges with the normal response. JR relates a story where Owen stole his hat before a TV taping. Crowd chants for Foley. After some fists are exchanged Mankind backdrops Gunn and clotheslines him out of the ring. Mankind follows him and introduces Gunn’s face to the steel steps. Back in the ring Gunn dropkicks Mankind on the knee. He works the knee on the ropes then clips Mankind. Next he grabs a chair from ringside, but in the ring Mankind preps Mr. Socko. Gunn gets on the apron and is forced to eat Mr. Socko. Gunn gets counted out! Mick then gives a “Whoo!” for Owen after the match. While the slow burn for “Mr. Ass” continues the star of the match really was Mick. Jeff Jarrett mentions that in this business there are a lot of acquaintances but very few friends. On the verge of tears he calls Owen his friend. When he thinks of Owen he thinks of integrity. He calls Owen a “man’s man”. Owen made coming to work fun for Jeff. In a feature taped earlier today at an undetermined outdoor location Michael Cole talks about the matchup between The Rock and HHH at Over The Edge last night. After some highlights Cole discusses the WWF title match. Highlights of that match are then shown. Considering there was no replay to sell showing highlights of the two main matches including the finishes was a kind gesture to the WWF audience. Edge offers his feelings on Owen. He refers to Owen as the “leader of a Canadian mafia” when it came to the boys. He felt honored that he wrestled Owen in his last match in Chicago. Match 6: D’Lo Brown and Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry (w/ Ivory) versus The Acolytes Everyone in the match, including Ivory, wears the Owen armband. Faarooq and Henry start off. To try to take Henry off his feet Faarooq tries a standing shoulderblock, leg kicks, and then a running shoulderblock. He charges Henry but gets caught with a powerslam. D’Lo tags in but immediately gets a jawbreaker. Bradshaw tags in and works over D’Lo with kicks, right hands, and chops along with a corner clothesline. He tosses D’Lo to the outside where Faarooq introduces D’Lo to the steel steps face-first. Back in Bradshaw delivers a Russian legsweep. Faarooq tags in, but D’Lo takes over to give Faarooq his patented standing legdrop. Farooq gives D’Lo the DDT. After a tag Bradshaw levels D’Lo with a running shoulderblock. Another tag-in by Faarooq but D’Lo delivers a heel kick to him. Tags are exchanged on both sides. Henry takes over with a shoulderblock and two clotheslines! Double team shoulderblock by the Acolytes puts Henry down again. However, D’Lo got the blind tag. The Acolytes then double-team D’Lo with a belly-to-back suplex neckbreaker combo. Henry makes the save. In a unique twist heel miscommunication by the Acolytes leads to a rollup by D’Lo on Bradshaw for the pin! Upset victory here, but Faarooq and Bradshaw truly carried this match. Pat Patterson thanks Owen for being a great person. Hardcore Holly relates that in Mobile, AL Owen kindly put Holly over in a match. Match 7: Road Dogg versus WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather (w/ ho’s) Road Dogg enters the ring wearing the Owen armband and welcomes the crowd with his catchphrases and his spiel the crowd knows well. According to Road Dogg “You know who I am. It ain’t about me. It’s about the King of Harts this evening.” Godfather brings out some of St. Louis’ “finest”. Godfather hits his catchphrases to the crowd’s approval. JR reveals an embarassing pool prank that Owen pulled on him on the WWF Wrestle Vessel. Godfather grabs the mic and offers Road Dogg to join him and the ho’s to “light it up all night long”. Crowd voices their approval. Road Dogg replies “Why don’t you and I go burn one and tell some Owen stories?” They leave the ring simultaneously after that. Paul Bearer in his normal non-high-pitched voice wishes farewell to Owen. X-Pac calls Owen “the funniest guy I’ve ever met”. He then offers a prayer to his wife and 2 children. Match 8: WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow (w/ Head) versus HHH (w/ Chyna) Considering what HHH did to the Rock last night I wouldn’t want to be Al Snow this evening. Both men and Chyna wear the armband. They hit the ropes and Snow gives HHH a spinning heel kick. He knocks HHH out of the ring then executes a baseball slide. Back in the ring Snow flips over HHH but gets a high knee for his troubles. HHH works him over and when Snow gets close to the ropes Chyna wallops him! HHH delivers a vertical suplex and drops the knee to the forehead. Snow gets whipped to the turnbuckle, applies the brakes, and clotheslines HHH. Snow then headbutts HHH while holding his arms. HHH flops face-first. Even JR has to give the nod to Flair on that one although not by name. Snow then backdrops HHH coming off the ropes. After a body slam Snow mounts the top turnbuckle but misses the moonsault. A Pedigree finishes Al’s night. While Snow was over with the crowd HHH continues his push although less violent than last night. Road Dogg is having a tough time expressing himself but offers his prayers to Owen’s family. Gerald Brisco empathizes with Owen as the younger brother of a superstar. He thanks Owen for being a consummate professional and all the great memories. Match 9: Big Show versus Goldust (w/ Blue Meanie) A svelte Big Show (w/ ponytail and armband) leaps over the top rope. Goldust pushes Blue Meanie (also with an armband) into Big Show. Meanie tries to make a dent in the giant to no avail. Big Show attempts to give Meanie the showstopper but Goldust lowblows him. Double team clothesline misses and Big Show launches himself to clothesline both Meanie and Goldust. He then hoists Goldust high in the air and gives him the showstopper! Meanie gets one of his own as well! Big Show covers both men for the pin! Boiled squash with a side of fried squash, anyone? Physically Big Show looked really good as well as agile. Debra states that “the world has lost a really great person”. Owen “touched my life and brightened my day”. She begins to blubber and expresses denial about Owen. She felt honored to work with him. Shane McMahon relates a story about pulling a prank on Owen in Chicago with Bret. They tackle him after he’s already gone to sleep. Subsequently Bret’s boots are missing in the morning while Shane’s stuff ends up in the shower. He wishes Godspeed to his family. Match 10: Val Venis versus The Rock Val joins the list of Owen armband wearers. The Rock gets a big pop upon his entrance. The Rock sports another cast on his left arm. “Finally The Rock has come back to St. Louis!” After a brief mention of Owen the Rock hits his catchphrases with the crowd completing his sentence. “Owen, this is your night. And, damn it, you know The Rock loved you like no other.” He dedicates The People’s Elbow to Owen. Val starts working on the arm; however, Rock delivers the Rock Bottom in an instant thereafter. The People’s Elbow gets the pin! Very short match proving that The Rock truly was a superstar. Also wearing an armband JR gives his farewell to Owen stating he wishes he “could be as good a man as him so that I can see him again someday”. Even I choked up on that one. Lawler then mentions holding Owen’s head last night and learns to “never leave home without telling the people you love what you think of them”. JR is truly choked up. The glass breaks and here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin! The crowd ERUPTS! Steve receives a couple of Steveweisers from ringside. A picture of Owen is on the Titantron stating “In Memory of Owen Hart 1965-1999”. Austin toasts and salutes Owen with his beer. Purposefully he leaves a cold one for Owen in the center of the ring. Well, if people thought the WWF was heartless last night for continuing the show they got a whole lot of heart from the WWF tonight. Overall 23 WWF Superstars including managers and valets wore the Owen armband. This was truly an epic night in remembrance of Owen. Ten matches with no DQs in an era where DQs were the norm was a breath of fresh air. But it was all in Owen’s honor. Although this show is extremely sad in its tone I would recommend it to each and every wrestling fan that hasn’t seen it. Show biz isn’t always pretty, but when a man like Owen Hart touches all the people around him like this you must be thankful and remember him always. Grab your loved ones and a box of tissues and enjoy this one, folks. You won’t regret it.