I Only Feel Bad For Owen
Hey yo! This is the 280th edition of my column. Only 20 more left to the big 300. I am very much looking forward to it. Who would have thought that Badseed's Bottomline would have lasted as long as it did? In all my editions, I don't think I have written a more controversial subject than on the one I am going to write now. I am expecting a lot of heat on this one. I thought I would get a lot of complaints when I attacked Internet reporters. In fact, no one complained! I got only praise, but this column is sure to spark some anger from die hard wrestling fans.
You see, wrestling continues to lose its heroes from the silver era. Rowdy Roddy Piper spoke about the subject, calling it the sickness and that wrestlers would die for the sickness. He was right. We have lost countless stars; Rick Rude, Curt Henning, Crash Holly, Hawk, Brian Pillman, Elizabeth and just many others; wrestlers we remember who we will never see step foot in a ring again. It is sad, but when I think about all the deaths in wrestling, all I can say is, the only one I really feel bad about is Owen Hart.
Owen Hart is the only one of those wrestlers who wasn't found lying dead in his bed from a heart attack at such a young age. Owen Hart died in the ring, performing a stunt he wasn't too sure about, but did anyway, because of his love for the business and for his love of pleasing each and every fan who paid to see him and all the other WWE stars. Owen Hart was a true world-class athlete who had so much more left in him and it was really sad to sit there and watch a PPV and hear that he plummeted to his death and then watch the show go on as if nothing happened. I thought it was all a storyline. I said; oh, watch him come back as one of Undertaker's Army of Darkness tomorrow. I guess the Blue Blazer gimmick didn't work and they were going to try something new. I don't ever think anything has been done like this before, but knowing Vince McMahon, he would try it. Then, the next day when I read the papers, I realized it was real. When I watched all these tough men and women cry on the screen the next night on Raw, I couldn't help, but feel a tear in my eyes as well. When I watch wrestling and realize that Owen Hart helped make the WWE product so great, I feel that void that could never be filled again. Owen Hart is the only wrestler who deserves my sympathy. He is the only wrestler I feel bad for. The other wrestlers killed themselves. They don't deserve my respect. They don't deserve the same feelings I will always feel for the late great Owen Hart.
You think I am being harsh. You think I am heartless. Well, you are wrong. They are the ones who didn't care. Will I miss them? Sure. I will miss seeing Hawk come down the aisle with the shoulder pads on and scream out "Oh What a Rush!!" It was one of my greatest moments in USA Pro Wrestling when I was given the opportunity to announce the one and only match they appeared in for the company, beating the Hit Squad in Mineola. I would have loved to have seen Rick Rude get another opportunity in that ring. Damn, what would have happened if Brian Pillman was given more time in the WWE? It sucks to have seen them go, but do I feel bad for them; NO!, I feel bad for the fans who looked up to them, for the families they left behind, for those friends around them that had to deal with an untimely death that most likely resulted from years of drug abuse to the body. People do not understand something. These people chose to take drugs knowing full well that marijuana, heroin, cocaine and steroids may not kill them today, but will possibly kill them in the future. They chose to continue. They chose to die. They chose to lose my respect.
It is the same reason that I am tired of people calling Tupac and B.I.G. heroes. They sold drugs and helped contribute to the death of our nation's kids and when they died, we called it a travesty. People cried. Do we cry for convicted killers who are put in the electric chair? No, so why would we cry for someone executed by their enemy when they get involved in similar crap. Why do we feel bad for Darryl Strawberry for taking drugs and not being able to stop? Why do we support Robert Downey Jr. for continuing to destroy his own life and hurting those around him, because he can't control himself?
That is why I can't sit there and feel bad for Crash Holly, who had a history of problems and sat there on a drinking binge and God knows what else, causing himself to choke on his own vomit and die. That's why I can't feel bad when Brian Pillman gets addicted to pain killers and has a heart attack. That's why I can't feel bad for Lex Luger at all, because the guy has cash and he continues to do stupid things to himself and others. It is why I can't feel bad for Elizabeth when she knows the dangers of what she does and then combines pills with alcohol. It is why I can't even feel bad for Hawk, the very first wrestler I ever saw on television; the man who captured my imagination and got me into watching wrestling, because he had a history of abuse to himself that despite cleaning up, caught up with him. When you know the dangers of what you do, there is no reason to do it anymore. It is as simple as that.
Owen Hart, Andre the Giant, Freddie Blassie; these are wrestling legends who gave all of themselves for the fans. Andre died of a condition that kills, Blassie died of old age; imagine a wrestler dying of old age and Owen's career fell short in the ring, because he was trying to entertain the fans. These are the wrestlers who I feel sorry for. I feel sorry for Animal, because he lost his partner and friend; his brother. I feel bad for Steven Richards, because his friend passed away and it hit him hard. I feel bad for Steve Austin, because he will never take that necklace off that Pillman got him and he will constantly be reminded of his friend's death while choosing to honor him in the way he did. I feel bad for Randy Savage for never really getting the opportunity to reconcile with Elizabeth, as everyone should do with the ones they loved. I feel bad for the people left behind, the living, who unfairly had to watch their brothers, fathers, friends and loved ones leave them behind too soon, because they thought alcohol and drugs were the answer. These are the people I feel bad for. Nobody else. It's a shame, but that's just the way it is. We all have our own opinions and these are mine.
That's all from me. Looking forward to what could be the best Survivor Series ever. Next week, I will discuss how the ratings system is no longer the best system to determine if people enjoy wrestling or not. Until then, remember, I am the ocean from which all rivers flow and when I am gone, none shall take my place. Peace.
For more of Badseed's Bottomline check out our Archive!