Ongoing coverage, reviews, grades, and analysis of this weekend’s Starrcast 2 shows and events from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Panelists: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Mark Henry, Davey Boy Smith Jr, Tony Schiavone
Starrcast 2 weekend kicked off on a very sad, but celebratory note. Twenty years ago on May 23rd, the world tragically lost Owen Hart. The stars and personalities assembled on the Pro Wrestling Tees stage to honor and remember him were emotional, but used laughter and smiles to talk about their friend.
Outside of Owen himself, Mark Henry was the star of the panel and a major reason to go out of your way to see this event in its entirety. Henry discussed Owen’s reputation as being a leader backstage, but also as a mentor to him personally. He then proceeded to tell two different stories that detailed the backstage pranks Owen was known for. The first involved copious amounts of soap in windshield wiper fluid tanks while on the road and the second detailed a prank in which Owen led a line of farm animals into Vince McMahon’s office. Henry laughed hard with the audience as he told both stories and showed just how good of a storyteller he is. His natural charisma flowed from him every time he picked up the microphone.
Others told stories, but the conversation also detailed Owen’s in-ring work. Jim Ross spoke on the Bret vs. Owen match from WrestleMania 10 and said that in that match, “Owen proved he was just as good as Bret.” Ross went on to say that his fondest memory of Owen was doing commentary with him on a tour in South Africa. He called Owen the “best first-timer he’d ever seen.” To cap off discussion on his ring work, Davey Boy Smith Jr. discussed Owen vs. Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Chris Jericho as dream matches that were on the table for the world to see had he not passed away.
The event capped off with questions from the audience including a special appearance by the Blue Meanie. Meanie told two stories about Owen pranking him and others throughout the years. Like Mark Henry, Meanie spoke proudly about Owen and conveyed a tremendous sense of respect and honor in talking about him. The fan questions led to two key points that the panel discussed. Would Owen Hart have become world champion and will he be in the WWE Hall Of Fame someday. To a “T” each panelist surmised that he would have been the world champion. Ross said that “great work overcomes a lot” and such would have been the case with Owen.
As far as the WWE Hall Of Fame goes, Ross, Henry, and Smith were firm in their position that Owen belongs there. Smith believed Owen and his father would both be in the Hall Of Fame someday, while Ross said the WWE Hall Of Fame “simply wouldn’t be complete without Owen Hart.”
Based on how this panel spoke, it’s clear that Owen Hart had a considerable and positive impact on the culture of WWE. To a man, the panelists spoke glowingly and smiled onstage like they must have when he was alive twenty years ago. Remembering Owen was a somber affair at times, but ultimately a fun celebration of his life by his peers and his fans.
GRADE – A
NOW CHECK OUT SEAN RADICAN’S DOUBLE OR NOTHING PREVIEW: RADICAN’S AEW “DOUBLE OR NOTHING” PREVIEW – overview and predictions for entire card headlined by Jericho vs. Omega, Young Bucks vs. Lucha Bros.