Chris Jericho has given more details on how AEW’s partnership with the Owen Hart Foundation came together, saying he wanted Hart’s legacy to be something positive.
AEW announced the partnership on September 20th. It will see the company honour the late Owen Hart with a new tournament, as well as potential merchandise, gaming involvement and even action figures possible for the Canadian fan-favourite who tragically passed away over 20 years ago.
Speaking to Stephanie Chase, Jericho said the deal took a year and a half to put together, and it was a “passion project” for not only him, but also Tony Khan and Owen Hart’s widow, Martha.
“It was a passion project for me and obviously for Martha and Tony. We worked on it for a long time, about a year and a half, to put the deal together and figure out what we wanted to do. I just knew I wanted Owen’s legacy to be something positive and something great as far as wrestling goes, rather than just be dwelling on his death. That’s the main reason why we all wanted this to happen, so we can celebrate Owen Hart’s career and the contributions that he made. He was a pioneer.”
“‘What’s his connection to AEW?’ some people are saying. Well, one of the connections is that he’s specifically the reason I got into wrestling. Owen Hart was the guy. To an extent, Shawn Michaels and Ricky Steamboat, but Owen Hart, to me, I thought, ‘I want to be like that guy.’ There is your connection to AEW. The original AEW face of the company is an Owen Hart fanatic and disciple. That’s the reason we wanted to do this.
Jericho explained how the partnership aims to do something positive for Owen Hart’s legacy.
We’ll do the Owen Hart Cup and tournament and make people feel good about Owen rather than sad. We know what happened, but that was over 20 years ago. Let’s move forward remembering his amazing contributions and legacy in the ring that still resonate to this day. I’m really excited about it and very happy about it and really happy the deal got done. We put a lot of time and work to make it happen, but it did and now we can move forward and have great times with Owen involved, which I’m sure he would love as well.”
The Owen Hart Foundation, spearheaded by Martha Hart, provides global aid to at-risk communities in the form of scholarships, housing, various forms of international assistance, food drives, backpack giveaways and Christmas projects.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.