AEW shocked everyone when they announced a partnership with the Owen Hart Foundation and Martha Hart, which will honor and pay tribute to Owen's legacy through a new tournament in AEW called the Owen Hart Cup Tournament, but that's not all. The partnership will also allow All Elite Wrestling to develop Owen Hart action figures through Jazwares as well as apparel and other collectibles, and he will also be included in the upcoming AEW console game. In a new interview with Stephanie Chase, Chris Jericho explained how the deal came about and why Owen's legacy means so much to him and AEW.
"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," Jericho said.
Jericho also touched on why AEW is the perfect place to honor Owen. "'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 said. "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."
"AEW's relationship with the Hart family dates back to our inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and Owen's influence is still felt today," said Tony Khan, AEW CEO, GM and Head of Creative. "To extend his memory and his legacy even further through this agreement is a powerful and meaningful moment for the entire wrestling community."
We're not quite sure when the Owen Hart Cup Tournament will actually happen, but it's great to see Owen's legacy honored and celebrated.
H/T to Fightful for transcription.