Owen Hart – The Video Game Legacy
It’s been 15 years since that fateful day on May 23rd, 1999 where one of the best professional wrestlers in the world passed away. As one of my favorite wrestlers, here’s a little tribute to Owen Hart…his history in the video game world.
1. WWF RAW [IS WAR] (1994) – Owen’s video game debut was in the WWF/E videogame that was titled after the company’s flagship Monday Night program (RAW). Owen joined a fully loaded roster (a 12-wrestler roster was kinda big back then, trust me!) which included his brother Bret Hart.
2. WWF In Your House (1996) – After not making the cut in the previous game (Wrestlemania the arcade game), The King of Harts made his triumphant return. Not only did he come back, but he had a few tricks up his sleeve. Channeling the abilities of the X-Man Gambit, he defeats his opponent with his special card attack…as well as that patented enzugiri which sent the HBK to lala land.
3. WWF Warzone (1998) – Owen, along with the rest of the Hart Foundation (sans Neidhart and the late Brian Pillman), was in this game. Ironically enough, he was the ONLY member of the faction who was in this game that was STILL in the WWE when the game went out. Let’s just say the Montreal incident had a cause for the departure of Bret Hart and the British Bulldog from the federation before Warzone was out in the market. As the lone Hart, Owen continued to be one of my favorite characters to use in this game (second to HHH that is…for some reason).
4. WWF Attitude (1999) – The final appearance of Owen Hart in a WWF videogame. Akin to the “RAW is Owen” episode, the same tribute graphic was affixed to the game before its main intro hits. As said, this was Owen’s final game in the WWF/E due to the legal battles with the company and his estate after his tragic death. That didn’t stop us from having a piece of Owen Hart in the video game world, however.
5. Legends of Wrestling II (2002) – Acclaim and Owen Hart’s estate continued its videogame relationship, but in a different avenue this time = LEGENDS OF WRESTLING. He joined his brother Bret, his in-law Davey Boy and Brian Pillman as part of the LOW II roster in 2002 as an unlockable character.
6. Showdown: Legends of Wrestling (2004) – Unless we haven’t been informed, this was the last video game appearance of Owen in a wrestling related game. The graphics have improved but sadly, the Legends of Wrestling franchise has yet to be active in the past decade.
There’s no telling if we will ever see Owen Hart in another wrestling video game. We all know the legal battle between Owen’s estate and the WWE has been settled…yet there’s no clear indication if that means we’ll see him in a future WWE game. But who knows. We saw Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior make their respective returns a few years back in certain WWE video games. If Owen were to return to the pro wrestling videogame scene, I’ll welcome it in open arms.
For now, however, we will never forget the talent, the contributions to pro wrestling and of course..the video game legacy of Owen Hart. Rest in Peace.