AEW Is Partnering With Owen Hart Foundation For New Event And More, So What About Bret Hart?

Bret Hart at an AEW event in 2019

AEW has made many moves that have impressed wrestling fans as of late, though its latest partnership has won praise from wrestlers and fans alike. The wrestling organization announced it's teaming up with the Owen Hart Foundation, and has some exciting things planned to honor the late wrestler who tragically died in the ring in 1999. The deal is exciting and a fantastic gesture, but the fan in me has to wonder, does this mean the legendary Bret Hart could be working more closely with AEW over time?

First things first: Owen Hart will be honored in an annual AEW tournament called The Owen Hart Cup, in which the winning wrestler will receive a trophy named “The Owen.” Additionally, AEW announced it will be permitted to create and sell a new line of licensed toys and other merchandise with Hart's likeness, and will incorporate the "King of Harts" into its upcoming video game. The initiative is happening with the guiding blessing of Owen Hart’s wife and the Foundation's founder, Dr. Martha Hart, who said the following about the deal:

The Owen Hart Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with AEW in this wonderful joint venture to honor Owen’s substantial international wrestling career and the lasting influence he and his craft has had in the sport. AEW’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament serves as a tremendous tribute to Owen and provides an incredible way for professional wrestling enthusiasts to celebrate his work in a most fitting way. We trust that Tony Khan and his amazing AEW team will do a brilliant job with this highly anticipated project. This OHF/AEW partnership is my special gift to all of Owen’s magnificent loyal fans who forever remember him and his inspiring repertoire of talents.

AEW CEO Tony Khan stated the relationship with the Owen Hart Foundation dated back to the company’s inaugural pay-per-view back in 2019, Double or Nothing. As wrestling fans may know, that was the fated pay-per-view in which Bret Hart made a surprise cameo and unveiled the AEW World Title Belt. Fans speculated Bret Hart would be involved with the company further, but Hart hasn’t appeared in the organization since. The reason for Hart’s absence was never confirmed, though reports alleged that Hart feared angering Vince McMahon and that his relationship with AEW would negatively impact the wrestling career of his niece and WWE superstar Natalya.

With this new deal in place, one has to wonder whether or not The Owen Hart Cup could lead to another appearance from Bret Hart to introduce the trophy. While fans may assume Hart would want to honor his brother’s legacy, Owen’s wife Martha Hart has publicly mentioned (via Forbes) her fractured relationship with Bret following her husband’s death. Martha and Bret aligned against the WWE in a legal suit regarding Owen’s death, but later had a falling out when the settlement from WWE did not include Bret’s rights to his own wrestling footage. Given the unclear nature of their relationship, and Martha Hart’s position as head of the Owen Hart Foundation, we can’t assume what, if any, involvement Bret Hart may have. But we can always hope.

AEW: Dynamite airs on TNT Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET and Rampage Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET. For more on the organization, be sure to read up on our thoughts on the latest All Out PPV and what we loved about it.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.