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Martha Hart on How Owen Was Affected By the Montreal Screwjob, WWE Not Letting Him Out of His Contract

May 19, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Owen Hart, Dark Side of the Ring

On the latest Talk is Jericho, Martha Hart, the widow of the late Owen Hart, recalled how affected her husband Owen Hart was by the Montreal Screwjob and how it left him very torn in terms of what to do. Owen’s brother Bret was of course the target of the Screwjob and while Bret was already on his way out, Owen was still under WWE contract. Martha recalled how hard the situation was on Owen and said Owen asked to be let out of his contract but WWE wouldn’t allow it, though they did “sweeten the pot” by giving him a pay raise.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full audio, are below:

Martha Hart on how Owen was affected by the Montreal Screwjob: “That was a really difficult time for Owen. Because even though he didn’t sort of share the same philosophy as Bret as far as wrestling would go, he knew that that was really crushing for Bret — what had happened with Vince and everything. And he felt bad for his brother of course, but he was also beholden to a contract at that time. WWE — well, [WW]F then — they just had introduced a few years before that — you know, contracts actually were where you were locked in for five years. And that’s where Owen was, he was locked into his contract. So he requested that he be let go to when everything happened with his brother. And they said, ‘No,’ that they weren’t going to let him go. They just weren’t.”

On WWE contracts at the time: “So the way the contract worked was that, you know, if you don’t work, you can’t work for somebody else. You don’t necessarily have to work, but you’re not making any money and you can’t work somewhere else. And it was a very onerous contract where it really benefited only the company, not the wrestler. And so Owen was really in a tough situation. So he really — he didn’t have a choice. It was like, you either stay here, or you go nowhere. So that’s your choice. But it was hard, you know. Emotionally it was difficult for him to see his brother so upset and betrayed, and yet have to stay and just fulfill his commitment that he’d made to the company. So it was a hard time. I mean, he preferred to leave, but they wouldn’t let him go.”

On Owen getting a raise at that time: “They did. Yeah, they did, they sweetened the pot, I guess. Because I guess that they were worried that he might just sit it out and then just say, ‘Forget it’ … I would say Owen was always in the mind frame of looking for an exit. But at that point in time, it was kind of like, we decided that he would stay in at least maybe until he was 40 or something. Because he really needed to build up financially so that he could leave.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.