Hello once again, and welcome to the newest edition of the Edgeucation.
This week I wanted to talk about Stu Hart. Last week I wished him my best. Sadly he passed away. In an industry where the term icon is thrown around way too much, Stu was the epitome of that word. Today's wrestling fan may not be able to fully grasp the effect Stu had on our business. He started Stampede Wrestling. The birthplace for the careers of wrestlers like his sons Bret and Owen Hart, the Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, Chris Benoit, Brian Pillman, Jushin Liger, Hiroshi Hase, Bad News Allen, and Johnny Smith, just to name a few. It was the first place where I saw a very Japanese influenced style of wrestling, and it blew me away. It was the home of the ladder match. It greatly influenced every Canadian wrestler in the industry today. But more than the promotion, Stu the man made an even bigger impression. He trail-blazed his way into wrestling's consciousness. Chris Jericho put it best to me this week. He said how many guys have every one of the boys trying to do an impersonation of you. And everyone does. To a man, every one of us has given Stu's distinctive voice a try.
I fondly remember visiting Stu's while I did some training out in Calgary. Christian and I entered into the hallowed Dungeon. I swear you could almost hear the screams that bounced off of those wall throughout the years. Thankfully we escaped before Stu made it down. Christian however did not escape completely unscathed. We made it all the way to the front porch and that's when Stu took his opportunity to slowly work his way closer and closer to Christian, all the while complimenting us on how athletic we looked. He lulled into his trap and Christian got hooked. For me, it was hilarious. I had enough distance and got to witness Stu show me all kinds of great holds...on Christian. It was on the front porch, but Stu didn't care, he had a hold of a new young buck, and that's what he loved. I'll never forget the sight of Stu jamming his chin in Christian's eyeball, while stretching his arms uncomfortably behind his head. It sounds physically impossible, but trust me, it's not.
I also remember Stu sitting in the front row for one of my favorite matches. My cage match vs. Kurt Angle on Smackdown!
I have to admit I felt honored to know that Stu Hart was sitting in the front row while I wrestled in the main event in Calgary.
For those looking for an interesting read on our industry you should pick up Stu Hart: Lord of the Ring. It gives you even more respect for the man.
Canada has truly lost one of its best loved sons, but he joins Helen, Owen, Dean, and Davey in that big ol' ring in the sky.
Just as I was about to send in this column I found out that Road Warrior Hawk had passed away. A very sad week, and another fallen comrade in arms, who revolutionized what tag team wrestling is today. Nice to see today's most dominant tag team, the Dudleys, give him his deserved accolades.
Until next week, you have been Edgeucated.