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  #21  
Old 02-01-2016, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mustang Sally View Post
I should have expressed it better. I wasn't referring directly to the Austin incident, but rather in the interests of political correctness, people have been reluctant to criticize Owen Hart about anything since his death. Obviously, although this thread mentions Owen in the title, the subject actually was about Steve Austin's neck injury.
Okay; so the most sense I can make out of all that is that you're wondering what our theories are in regard to what Austin's career may have become without the neck injury, and that we should be forewarned that there may be Owen Hart criticisms thrown around in that he was involved in that fateful spot.

I don't think that arbitrary political correctness is to blame for a lack of negative criticisms being thrown at Owen Hart, especially if we're focused on Austin's injury. I think that Owen was a genuinely great guy and that he understood the seriousness of that unfortunate spot second only to Austin himself.
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2016, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack-Hammer View Post
I'd say that it affected his longevity and his style but, obviously, it didn't seem to have any effect on his popularity.

I like Owen Hart as much as the next guy but, since his death, his level of greatness has been heavily exaggerated. When you take away the aspect of his untimely death and the fact that he's Bret Hart's little brother, Owen Hart was almost exclusively a mid-card & tag team wrestler; he was talented and entertaining but he was still ultimately someone who spent the vast majority of his career in WWE as a mid-carder.

I know that sometimes we toss around the word "mid-carder" as if someone has gotten bubonic plague or something, but just because someone is a mid-carder doesn't mean that they can't have or haven't had a great career. Could Owen have possibly risen to bigger things? Sure, he was only 34 years old when he died so he still had time to potentially rise further up the card. However, the fact remains that he didn't and while talented, he's not someone that I see as being this huge, all time great that many fans since his death have attempted to build him up as.
Oh, all knowing JackHammer! Owen Hart was never ever overrated alive or dead. Had he lived, his legacy would be comparable to Chris Jericho today He proved to be a fantastic wrestler/performer during his legendary feud with Bret. He even beat Bret in one of the best ever Wrestlemania matches. He continued to develop as must see TV for the next 5 years. He was a mid-carder with a ton more charisma than today's main eventers. He really should have won his first title around the time Triple H did. Owen could have held, just like Triple H, two or three titles without being shit on..I always hoped he had a title coming to him before he tragically died. And being 34 years old when he died meant nothing. Savage won his first WWE world title when he was 35. And he went on to be the greatest wrestler in the history of wrestling. And, no, just because he's dead doesn't mean he is overrated. There are at least 50 WWE wrestlers, present, retired or dead, standing between Savage and Triple H when it comes to best overall entertainer. And Owen Hart would be one of them.
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  #23  
Old 02-02-2016, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ilapierre View Post
Oh, all knowing JackHammer! Owen Hart was never ever overrated alive or dead. Had he lived, his legacy would be comparable to Chris Jericho today He proved to be a fantastic wrestler/performer during his legendary feud with Bret. He even beat Bret in one of the best ever Wrestlemania matches. He continued to develop as must see TV for the next 5 years. He was a mid-carder with a ton more charisma than today's main eventers. He really should have won his first title around the time Triple H did. Owen could have held, just like Triple H, two or three titles without being shit on..I always hoped he had a title coming to him before he tragically died. And being 34 years old when he died meant nothing. Savage won his first WWE world title when he was 35. And he went on to be the greatest wrestler in the history of wrestling. And, no, just because he's dead doesn't mean he is overrated. There are at least 50 WWE wrestlers, present, retired or dead, standing between Savage and Triple H when it comes to best overall entertainer. And Owen Hart would be one of them.

That's the thing..HAD HE LIVED. But tragically, he didn't and that's why it's impossible to class Owen as an all-time great on the level of a Triple H. Could he have reached main event status in WWE? Of course he could, he was only 34 when he passed and had time to break into the upper echelon of the card. You're right in saying he could have had a legacy comparable to Chris Jericho's, they were similar in a way and Owen could quite easily have developed into the Jericho role of swapping between main even and upper mid card feuds.

However, he will always remain a big "what if?", someone who was never able to fulfil their undoubted potential. He had a very good career as it is though, it's just a damn shame he passed before you could call him a "great".
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2016, 12:50 AM
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Its hard to say with Austin, on the one hand it definitely helped him character wise, but a neck injury of any kind is rough, its just like any other severe injury, even after its fixed, your still going to feel it. So night after night of getting beat on and pounded on still takes its toll. Plus if I remember right Austin was fairly injury prone prior to that incident, and for some reason, and I may be wrong about this, i think he was having neck issues before the match which was why he didnt want to take the piledriver in the first place. Regardless, I don't think Austin would have stuck around too much longer than he did, he stated numerous times how miserable he was with the product.
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2016, 03:56 AM
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Going back to Sally's original question about whether the damaged neck from the Hart piledriver shortened Austin's career...of course it did. Austin lost a lot of in-ring time while at his peak as a result of the botched piledriver, and retired only a few years later. Yeah, you could say he was "disillusioned with the product" as he's stated before, but you can't tell me that we wouldn't have seen Stone Cold back in the ring again after 2003 had his neck been ok. Vince would have offered him HUGE amounts of money to return, and I think it's almost certain Austin would have returned for the odd match, or even for short runs like Jericho/RVD have done. Who knows, maybe he'd even have had a HBK-esque resurrection and gone one for years more.

Put simply, a fucked up neck will cut short your career, as it did for plenty of other wrestlers. You don't mess around with a neck injury.
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2016, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ilapierre View Post
He proved to be a fantastic wrestler/performer during his legendary feud with Bret. He even beat Bret in one of the best ever Wrestlemania matches. He continued to develop as must see TV for the next 5 years. He was a mid-carder with a ton more charisma than today's main eventers. He really should have won his first title around the time Triple H did. Owen could have held, just like Triple H, two or three titles without being shit on..
When was that? When he was a lackey for the Nation of Domination? His career had dwindled down, and his high point was the feud with Bret.

Quote:
I always hoped he had a title coming to him before he tragically died. And being 34 years old when he died meant nothing. Savage won his first WWE world title when he was 35. And he went on to be the greatest wrestler in the history of wrestling. And, no, just because he's dead doesn't mean he is overrated. There are at least 50 WWE wrestlers, present, retired or dead, standing between Savage and Triple H when it comes to best overall entertainer. And Owen Hart would be one of them.
He was a career mid-carder who people remember fondly because of his tragic death. You say Chris Jericho, I say Cody Rhodes.

Owen's piledriver did affect Austin's career. His career was tragically cut short, and Owen never apologized for that move. Don't see what's so wrong about saying that.
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2016, 05:46 PM
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No question it affected his longevity but it may have actually helped his popularity. When the piledriver happened he didn't wrestle for 3 months and that's really when the "Summer of Stunners" started where he was stunning the entire roster which culminated with the stunner on Vince. In a lot of ways his injury forced WWE to get more creative with his character because he had to tone down his in ring style and get over in new and different ways. Granted, he was already perfectly capable of getting over outside of his in ring work and often did before the neck injury but when that happened it forced WWE's hand to think outside the box with Austin.

By Summerslam '97 it was apparent Austin was their next big guy, by that point it wasn't decided Bret was leaving yet so if the injury didn't happen there's a pretty good chances are he would've kept feuding with the Hart Foundation and be more focused on having matches, probably ending with him finally getting that clean victory over Bret and taking down the Hart Foundation which he never got to do because of the injury (by the time he did wrestle again it was Bret's last night with the company after all).

That neck injury definitely didn't help Austin when it came to longevity and health and no question ended his career probably a good 4-5 years before it would've ended but there's a real possibility he wouldn't have hit the heights he did either. Although Austin was on Raw pretty much every week as champ he wrestled maybe every 2-3 weeks on television during that time and there's probably a good chance that had something to do with the injury he sustained. WWE was quite aware of the health concern and did everything they could to protect him because of how valuable he was and although I don't doubt WWE would've come up with some awesome stuff for Austin to do outside the ring with or without the neck injury I can't imagine Austin would've done as much outside of the ring as he did and really that's the stuff that really pushed Austin through the glass ceiling.
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  #28  
Old 02-04-2016, 02:51 AM
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It was an accident.... they happen in sports and they happen in wrestling.

However its understandable that Austin was angry about it and vowed to never work with owen again (the piledriver was 2 years before Owens death).
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2016, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Goldie View Post
It was an accident.... they happen in sports and they happen in wrestling.

However its understandable that Austin was angry about it and vowed to never work with owen again (the piledriver was 2 years before Owens death).
No-one is disputing the fact it was an accident.

The fact is that Austin had requested Owen not to use the sit down piledriver, and Owen went ahead and did it anyway, and never apologised afterwards for the injury. That's why Stone Cold was so angry about the injury.

This isn't a thread to bash Owen, although people are disputing his "legendary" status, but whether the injury caused by Hart shortened Austin's career, which it almost certainly did.
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  #30  
Old 02-04-2016, 05:07 PM
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As odd as this is to say...

the neck injury Owen gave Austin was probably the best thing that ever happened to him.

A lot of why's already been mentioned here. Being forced to change his style to the brawling one that fit his character to a tee. McMahon being forced to get creative with Austin outside of the ring while he was hurt, which ended up adding so much more to his character.

But for me, the big one is just looking at the guy today.

He's healthy. He's happy. He's got a great quality of life. He is so far ahead of the game compared to most other ex-wrestlers of his age.

Does any of that happen if he doesn't retire before he's 40, and then NEVER wrestle again?

Probably not. The guys knees were already bad. If he kept competing on a regular schedule beyond then... he's probably barely mobile today.

He also didn't actually wrestle a lot in his heyday. He'd work TV and PPV's of course, but he had a pretty light road schedule otherwise, and maybe fought half as much as the rest of the roster. All because of being protected over the injury.

If he works a normal schedule like everyone else? Again, he's probably barely mobile today.

Instead, he's healthy. He's happy. He's got absolutely nothing to complain about. He's got a great life. And probably a better life today than he would have if Owen Hart didn't try the sit out piledriver back in 1997.
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