AEW star Mark Henry has given his thoughts on AEW’s Owen Hart Cup tournaments and spoken about how much Hart meant to him.
AEW announced they had formed a partnership with The Owen Hart Foundation in September 2021. The partnership includes an Owen Hart Cup Tournament which will see the winner awarded a cup called ‘The Owen’ – honouring a man rarely seen without iconic trophies in his hands. The deal also includes merchandise/video game involvement.
In December, the company provided further details, announcing on social media that there will be both a men’s and a women’s tournament to honour The King Of Harts. The finals of each tournament will take place at Double Or Nothing in May – the month that would mark the 57th birthday of Hart.
Speaking to WrestleZone about the Cup, Mark Henry noted that one tournament wouldn’t have been enough to honour a man he regards as a mentor.
“One tournament wouldn’t have been enough. Owen was a special guy, he added a levity and education to pro wrestling and was a really good wrestler. I’ve never heard anybody say anything bad about him. Never. He said, ‘Mark, that’s who you want to be.’ He mentored me, he rode with me and he taught me because he saw potential in me and that’s why I do what I do. I see potential in people and I try to bring it out because that’s what I was taught, and Owen is very responsible for that. If it weren’t for him, I probably would’ve gotten kicked out of the business because I was not having a good go before Owen [mentored me].”
Henry went on to talk about how happy he was for the Hart family and Tony Khan to come together for the partnership, adding that it was a big plus for him when he joined AEW in May 2021.
“This tournament is blessed by his wife, Martha, and his family. She did not want Owen’s name to be marred or to be minimalized just to make money. If there’s money that’s going to be raised for charitable things, it should go where the family deems it go. I’m very happy that the family found Tony Khan and that Tony Khan found the Hart family because it’s near and dear to my heart and it’s an even bigger plus for me, joining the company and knowing that that was a possibility.”
Owen Hart is regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers to never hold a world championship but held many titles throughout his career – including the Intercontinental Championship on two occasions, the European Championship once, and the Tag Team Championships on several occasions.
More fittingly, though, is that the Owen Hart Cup showcases one of Hart’s greatest accolades. A tournament specialist, Hart won three knockout tournaments, including the 1994 King of the Ring.