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Vice: Dark Side of the Ring

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Yeah, “If only there was a way to celebrate him” when there’s an actual foundation in his name is quite something.

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Is the fascination with wrestlers being in the WWE Hall of Fame some sort of 'highest honour' they can achieve? Most people, in life, not just wresting are extremely egotistical, so I can see that if they think that it is the highest honour they can achieve, it is the highest honour that everyone can achieve.

Bret and his entire family are so wrestling orientated and will let anything go for the recognition they can receive out of it. Quite rightly Martha is having none of it.

I can imagine this program being a tough watch, I'll always remember Mark Henry and I think Mick Foley saying how much Owen loved his family and was such a family man. It's still fairly crushing now. 

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36 minutes ago, Rapey Eyes said:

Is the fascination with wrestlers being in the WWE Hall of Fame some sort of 'highest honour' they can achieve?

It's been marketed as such yes - and think about it, you get the opportunity to have a large crowd listen to you tell stories of you career/life and hang out with old friends while getting a decent pay day and a flattering video package. In theory, why WOULDN'T a performer want that?
I think the message that 'Owen loved his family = Owen hated wrestling' is often referenced and that's wrong too in my opinion. He loved both. It's just he loved his family far more. His job was a means to an end. He did it while he could but it wasn't his world. He had his priorities right. 

Also, have just heard that the only reason there has never been any Owen Hart merch was because Martha assumed it would all be WWE related.
Jericho and Dark Side of the Ring hooked her up with a company that have produced Owen Hart shirts with all proceeds going to the foundation so, yeah, Martha is certainly NOT doing anything to erase his wrestling legacy it's just that she, naturally, is limited in what she CAN do because so much of his stuff is owned/trademarked by WWE.

Edited by Snitsky's back acne

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Just on the subject of most of his work being owed by the WWE. I've no idea if it would work in the same way with wrestling, but in the US there is a law that means any work that has been produced for a production company/distributor(in the movies and music for sure) can be claimed back by the contents creator after 35 years. Two high profile cases that have been set in motion fairly recently is the rights to the first Friday the 13th film, where writer Victor Miller has won his case to take back the rights to the title and characters, and the family of Wes Craven trying the same with the Elm St franchise. 

Could this apply to wrestlers and their work too(as is, could they get the rights to their matches back after 35)? I know the WWE would claim the matches were on a "work for hire" basis, but as we know they only sign talent as Independent Contractors(the same argument Miller successfully made regarding his work on Friday the 13th). It's not important in the grand scheme of things, but I was thinking on the lines of Martha Hart claiming the rights to sell and market Owens body of work in benefit of the Owen Hart Foundation?

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I think part of the reason for the Hall Of Fame becoming over-important in a lot of people's minds is the people WWE wouldn't honour.

They've avoided people that either might reflect negatively on them or who weren't very pro-WWE. And because, for so many fans, they only knew WWE, that meant they were effectively being wiped from official history.Look at Chyna, for example - being HHH's ex and doing porn meant she was effectively cast out of canon. 

So, for a lot of cases, having WWE actually acknowledge some people (often after enough time had passed that it'd no longer be any issue) was quite a big deal. And there was an element of fan support helping that, so the response was basically 'yes, thank you - finally acknowledging that these people were important and that they meant something to you and us'.

I think that's led to it being seen as more of an honour than it is, but it's become part of what's tied up in the Owen Hart story. It's not as if WWE are anxious to do a bunch of Owen Hart stuff, but they'd clearly like to be able to present it as 'hey, look, long time ago and everyone's friends now'.

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1 hour ago, Cod Eye said:

Just on the subject of most of his work being owed by the WWE. I've no idea if it would work in the same way with wrestling, but in the US there is a law that means any work that has been produced for a production company/distributor(in the movies and music for sure) can be claimed back by the contents creator after 35 years. Two high profile cases that have been set in motion fairly recently is the rights to the first Friday the 13th film, where writer Victor Miller has won his case to take back the rights to the title and characters, and the family of Wes Craven trying the same with the Elm St franchise. 

Could this apply to wrestlers and their work too(as is, could they get the rights to their matches back after 35)? I know the WWE would claim the matches were on a "work for hire" basis, but as we know they only sign talent as Independent Contractors(the same argument Miller successfully made regarding his work on Friday the 13th). It's not important in the grand scheme of things, but I was thinking on the lines of Martha Hart claiming the rights to sell and market Owens body of work in benefit of the Owen Hart Foundation?

Victor Miller hasn’t won the distribution rights for the existing film, presumably? There’s a world of difference between owning a script you wrote and owning footage of a wrestling match that features your likeness and that of at least two other people (the opponent and the ref), music produced by someone else entirely, the creative direction of the performance being at least partly dictated by other people, and was filmed by one or more other people. There’s nothing/very little in Owen Hart’s wrestling career that could be seriously considered an authored work by Owen Hart.

Even if we pretend that WWE broadcasts fall out of their ownership after 35 years, why would the WrestleMania 5 Blue Blazer vs Mr Perfect match become the property of Owen Hart’s estate rather than Curt Hennig’s?

Edited by King Pitcos

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6 minutes ago, King Pitcos said:

Victor Miller hasn’t won the distribution rights for the existing film, presumably? There’s a world of difference between owning a script you wrote and owning footage of a wrestling match that features your likeness and that of at least two other people (the opponent and the ref), music produced by someone else entirely, the creative direction of the performance being at least partly dictated by other people, and was filmed by one or more other people.

Even if we pretend that WWE broadcasts fall out of their ownership after 35 years, why would the WrestleMania 5 Blue Blazer vs Mr Perfect match become the property of Owen Hart’s estate rather than Curt Hennig’s?

He's won the distribution rights to the original film in the US. Cunningham still owns the rights to the rest of the series, and the world wide rights to the original. It's gone to appeal, but it looks like the same result will be reached. It's why there is no more F13th projects being made now(there was talk of a new film and updates for the console game that have been scrapped), as Cunningham would need to sign a licensing deal with Miller to sell them in the US(as he owns IP such as the name and likeness of Jason and Deberah Voorhees, Camp Crystal Lake etc). It a massive mess, and it's looking like Nightmare on Elm Street is going down the same route.

As for the wrestling part, I have no idea how it would work if it was under the same law. Are the wrestlers the one who "write the script" of the match, under the guidance of a  producer(as the judge found to be the case with the Miller/Cunningham lawsuit)? I have no idea, I was just thinking out loud.

Edited by Cod Eye

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The Hall Of Fame debate isn't black and white and never has been. It isn't hugely important. It's dictated by politics and favouritism as much as ability. Some dire workers are in because they are well liked. Some great ones aren't because they aren't. It's why, as fans, we shouldn't take it seriously either way.

However, it is more meaningful for the guys themselves. It's validation that they're rated, appreciated or both. It's a pay day, it's a bit of bling, it's an opportunity to be relevant one more time and it's an opportunity to make some cash off the back of it. 

I've no problem with anyone who treats it seriously and is honoured by it. I've no problem with anyone who doesn't give a shit. Live and let live.

That's all irrelevant to this. It could be the greatest honour known to man and Martha is still right to tell them to go fuck themselves. 

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I’m absolutely baffled by anyone who can’t understand Martha and her kids’ desire to distance Owen from the Hall of Fame. Imagine a grafter being mangled in a huge machine because someone put a skipping rope across the gears to keep it going. Bloke clocks in to do his job. Bloke gets killed.

’We can do you a bench with his name on? Everyone will love sitting on it!’

I’ve watched it twice now and it’s just so horrible. One of the few positives, aside from the foundation they’ve setup, is that his kids are in careers that are in no way involved in this hellish industry us lot can’t drag ourselves away from. Good on them. I hope more of the extended Hart family are following suit, because if they want to stay involved with this industry after all their family has been through then they might as well walk into a firework factory with a gallon of Castrol GTX.

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19 minutes ago, Frankie Crisp said:

One of the few positives, aside from the foundation they’ve setup, is that his kids are in careers that are in no way involved in this hellish industry us lot can’t drag ourselves away from. Good on them. 

Indeed.

That warped way of thinking from that moronic post earlier in the thread i just can't get my head around. How anyone can look at Martha - not backing down and fighting a big company all the way to get some measure of justice for Owen, all the while bringing up two kids on her own to be seemingly well rounded people, going into and making success of careers and living their lives away from wrestling and then look at Benoits kid, his situation and mindset now. How anyone can look at both set of circumstances, condemn the former and feel good about the latter because David Benoit is still completely attached to and obsessed with wrestling. What in the fuck.

The kids were 7 and 3 at the time. Man. I was unaware of that until i watched this. All the respect in the world to Martha for how she handled things, frankly.

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I just think it's because some Fans assume if Bruno, Bret and Warrior can kiss and make up with Vince/WWE to accept a Hall of Fame induction so should Martha/Owens' kids. Most Fans wont know the details of all the courtroom drama surrounding Owen's death. They see the Hall of Fame as a way to honor Owen and know it's not the WWE who is keeping him out. And lets be honest, for a lot of Fans WWE just can't do wrong.

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3 hours ago, Marc Ambush Solo said:

And lets be honest, for a lot of Fans WWE just can't do wrong.

A lot of fans seem to take attacks on WWE as personal attacks on them. When you've spent so long defending something like being a wrestling fan, or feeling attacked for it, you can end up in this weird place where you feel like a corporation is an important part of who you are as a person. 

I'm not just talking in a 'getting a band tattoo' or even getting the ECW logo - that can be more about what something represents to you. I mean more the amount of time and energy someone has devoted to something becoming inflated out of proportion, to the point where a criticism of it becomes a criticism of the person.

Edited by Chris B

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Am I remembering it wrong or was Over The Edge 1999 available on the Network at one point, with all the Owen stuff edited out?

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3 minutes ago, Supremo said:

Am I remembering it wrong or was Over The Edge 1999 available on the Network at one point, with all the Owen stuff edited out?

It’s on there now, I checked after the episode (I didn’t watch it, just curious)

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Fucking hell. Absolute scumbags. Decades later the same company goes, “yeah, we’re still going to make the show your dad died on available, it’s really important that our fans get to see The Union vs. The Corporate Ministry.”

That was the biggest takeaway for me. It’s no wonder Martha and the kids are public enemy number one to the rest of the Hart Family and everyone in WWE. They’re normal, well-adjusted people who see this shit for what it really is, rather than being the usual oddball weirdos this business attracts.

Edited by Supremo

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