wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Potential Winners of AEW’s First Owen Hart Cup Tournament

September 22, 2021 | Posted by Steve Cook
Owen Hart, WWE, Kevin Dunn, AEW

The most recent Dark Side Of The Ring episode led to some bad things for people that many of us know & either love or tolerate. It would be easy to paint Dark Side as bad news based off of that, except that there were prior episodes. One of which told the story of Owen Hart, a man that you can’t find anybody to say a bad word about. A rare thing in the wrestling business, or any other business, for that matter.

Part of the fallout from the Owen episode of Dark Side was Owen’s family realizing that wrestling fans still loved & respected Owen. It’s easy to understand why Owen’s immediate family would have a negative view on the wrestling business, as he died due to a needless stunt on a WWF show. A large percentage of the Hart family forgave since they needed the money, but Owen’s immediate family never crossed that bridge. I could never blame them for that.

My hat is off to everybody involved with this announcement. The honoring of Owen’s memory at this level is long overdue, but wouldn’t have been appropriate until now. My apologies to those with bad takes on social media about Owen being a “WWE guy”, but everybody that knew Owen would agree he was a “family guy” first. He was only in the WWF during 1999 due to contractual obligations anyway. Dude had other plans he wanted to get to, but never had the chance.

There’s a lot to unpack here. Today, we’re going to talk about who should win that tournament mentioned in the press release. It’s going to be a big deal, and the winner will definitely have an impact on AEW’s future. Who should it be?

Let’s run down some of the most magnificent options…

7. Sammy Guevara

I kind of feel bad for only putting Sammy at #7. He needs a big win in AEW to get him to that next level. A win here would work. Then again, beating Miro for the TNT Championship would get the job done as well. I think that might be Sammy’s path due to Miro making mincemeat out of Fuego del Sol. TNT would surely love having a pretty young thing like Sammy as their champion. Miro may not be ready to give that title up yet, so Sammy may need another path. This would be one.

6. Adam Cole BAY BAY

To be honest, Adam Cole is already established with most of AEW’s audience. For those that aren’t buying in, what better way than to have him win a major tournament? It would also accelrate the angle where Adam Cole might be better than Kenny Omega, which would cause some dissention in the Elite.

5. Chris Jericho

It’s not like Jericho needs any accolades to add to his resume. He’s already got more than most. People get greedy though, and we know how much Jericho values the legacy of Owen Hart. Owen was that guy that Jericho always wanted to wrestle while he was growing up, and never got the chance to. He sent money to Martha Hart after Owen passed, and this was long before he had way too much money in his bank account.

Jericho is an interesting cat. I won’t pretend to agree with everything he does, but he does do some really good stuff. I have no doubt he was right in the middle of this agreement with AEW & the Owen Hart Foundation. I also have no doubt he will be in this tournament, and cutting promos that make everybody buy into whatever is going on.

4. Brian Pillman Jr.

We know how much Brian’s father was valued by the Harts. They trained Flyin’ Brian, they included him in the Hart Foundation stable as a member of the family. One could see Brian Jr. as the rightful heir to the Hart family throne in this day & age, even if there isn’t any blood relation.

The question is if he’s ready for this big of a win yet. I think we’ll find out pretty soon as he gets put through the fire. I’ll be honest. I’m probably underrating him here due to my bias towards him as a fellow Northern Kentuckian.

3. Jungle Boy

“Jungle” Jack Perry, as Jim Ross calls him, is one big win away from being a big deal. He’s got almost everything going for him and should be the future top star of AEW or wherever else he might end up. The one question we have is his promo ability, but that’s something he can grow into.

I could definitely see him winning this tournament vaulting him to the next level. He lost to Kenny Omega, and he lost in a tag team match to the Young Bucks. He was close in each match, and a big win would put him right back in contention for the major titles. Also, since most AEW fans know he’s dating Anna Jay, they know he’s a Jungle Man. Might as well put him all the way over, am I right?

2. MJF

I didn’t like Owen Hart for a good portion of the time I watched him wrestle. The feud with Owen & Bret came along when I was still a complete mark and thought everything was a shoot. How dare Owen turn his back on his older brother Bret, who had done everything for him, right? What an asshole!

Is there a bigger asshole in AEW than MJF? I mean, if you want to get heat, what better way than to have MJF win the first “Owen”? People would get so mad, while people like me that remember Owen’s character during most of his WWF career would realize that MJF would be a proper successor. I thought Owen was a mfin sob in 1994, and MJF does better than anybody to be a mfin sob in 2021.

1. Rey Fenix

Fenix is the younger brother of Pentagon Jr. If you go back to late 1980s wrestling newsletters, you’ll read a lot about how Owen was a superior worker to his older brother Bret. That kind of quieted down once Bret hit another level in the early 1990s & became the best there is, was & ever will be, but it was definitely a talking point amongst those that had seen Owen’s early work.

Pentagon Jr. gets a lot of hype due to his charisma that transcends language barriers. I’ve been a huge fan since the first time I saw Penta. “Zero Miedo” is a very over catchphrase. That being said, most tend to agree that Fenix is a better worker than Penta. Fenix might be better off as a babyface working singles, but he loves working with Penta, and they’re a pretty awesome tag team, so I’m not going to tell anybody what to do. If the Lucha Brothers want to work as a tag team for the next ten years, I am here for it.

However, if I was booking a tournament in honor of Owen Hart, I would want to highlight a younger brother considered to be a better worker than his older brothers. Whether we can put Owen over Bret or not is certainly debatable, but we can definitely put him over the rest of the Hart brothers, right? Unless there’s a ton of great Bruce Hart matches I haven’t seen. `

article topics :

AEW, Owen Hart, Steve Cook