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Owen James Hart (1965-1999) was a Canadian professional and amateur wrestler. He was the youngest son of Stu Hart; and the brother of Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Having captured multiple championships over his career and won the hearts of even more co-workers, Owen was arguably one of the WWF's most-talented grapplers... Read More?


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Published by Kris on August 13th, 2017 | Articles

I have typed up and added an article, featuring Owen, from RAW Magazine, May 1999. It’s a fun read.

DENNY’S WORLD TOUR ’99
By Bill Banks

Contrary to popular belief, the World Wrestling Federation Superstars don’t live at Titan Tower in Stamford, Connecticut.

The notion that the travels of a World Wrestling Federation athlete are filled with glitz and glamour is completely misleading. The most they see is the inside of a plane, hotel room, arena or rental car. On the road between 280 and 300 days of the year, they have to learn to adapt to the routine. Whether a veteran of the game or a rookie, sooner or later each finds his or her own niche on the road—maybe it’s becoming accustomed to staying at a familiar hotel or eating at a particular restaurant. At a recent live event in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, several Federation Superstars were polled about some of their personal favorite stops.

FAVORITE HOTEL:

Besides stocking up on towels and bars of soap, it’s the little things a hotel offers that earns the appreciation of its World Wrestling Federation patrons. For newcomers to the sports-entertainment industry, one of the company perks is staying at some of the best hotels in the country.

The Hardy Boyz, for example, having developed a taste for such grandeur choose the Hilton. According to Jeff, “You feel important when you stay there, especially when we get a Titan Sports’ corporate rate.”

D’Lo and Test are more middle of the road, opting for the Marriot and Doubletree resorts, respectively. Other superstars are more cost-conscious, including Owen, who claims not to be a big advocate of the fancy hotels. For the Calgary native, any facility where he can find peace and quiet and a good weight room is tops with him.

Al Snow and the Blue Meanie prefer the Red Roof Inn, while Mick Foley never spends more than $80 for a room under any circumstances (sources say the King of Hardcore’s favorite number is Super 8). And there’s Paul Bearer, who says his preferred hotel is any one that “the office pays for.”

FAVORITE CITY:

If by some chance a giant hole was to open up in the earth swallowing every arena in the world, the superstars could certainly find work as travel agents. Toronto, Ontario, one day…Dallas, Texas, the next. For some athletes, certain cities are a welcome stop in the tour.

For example, both D’Lo and Test enjoy the night life of Los Angeles because, according to the former European Champion, “It’s completely wild out there.” The Hardy Boyz are big “alternative rock” fans, so by nature the grunge scene of Seattle, Washington, is their favorite stomping ground.

Mick Foley looks forward to Hershey, Pennsylvania, because he says, “There’s nothing like 10 hours at one of the world’s greatest amusement parks, and then walking 30 feet into the arena to work.”

As for Owen Hart, his obvious favorite is his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

FAVORITE AIRLINE:

Curiously, Quantas never came up in the survey. Both Owen and Test frequent Air Canada, while the Hardy Boyz fly Continental because, as Jeff explains, “The service was great, plus we can play on-board video games.”

Brother Matt adds, “They always give us more than a little drink and a snack…it’s total satisfaction.”

Paul Bearer prefers Delta because he’s a platinum miler who is treated like royalty. And then there’s Mick (who probably never gets asked to pass the Grey Poupon): “It’s got to be Delta. I’m a platinum medallion member—which means they have to treat me nice whether they want to or not. Plus I get to sit in First Class with people who paid extra money specifically so they wouldn’t have to sit next to people like me.”

FAVORITE AIRPORT:

The Federation athletes have a love/hate relationship with airports—they hate leaving home for them and love going through them on the way back. For that reason, Test prefers his native Toronto (Ontario) Pearson International, Foley opts for Pensacola International (nearby his new home in Navarre). Jeff Hardy picks local Raleigh-Durham and Owen welcomes the journey back to Salt Lake City airport, because he says, “It’s the closest hub to Calgary and I spend all my time flying in and out of there.”

The monotonous mantra of the 1980’s, “Take the train to the plane,” seems to have taken hold of the Meanie who says, “The coolest one I’ve ever been to is Hartsfield International in Atlanta. They have this train in the airport that takes you from the check-in area to the plane. The one in Orlando is like that, too.”

Finally, D’Lo prefers the convenience of Chicago’s O’Hare, because nonstop flights are available to almost anywhere.

FAVORITE BAR:

Their rookie year in the World Wrestling Federation had to have been something of culture shock for the Hardy Boyz, who never sipped a drop of alcohol prior to attaining superstar status. Having just become of legal drinking age, Jeff prefers to stick close to home at a bar called Mars, while Matt gets his groove on at Club 2000 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mick, D’Lo, and Owen claim to shun the bar scene, while the Meanie enjoys the local music scene at Brownies outside his hometown of Philadelphia and The Barn in Salem, Pennsylvania. Where does Bearer go? “Any bar I can get my belly up to.”

FAVORITE PERSON TO SHARE A ROOM WITH:

On the road Al Snow usually gets pulled in two directions by Mick and the Meanie, but for very different reasons. The Meanie claims that after being trained by the chief of the J.O.B Squad and living with him for a year, he’s most comfortable rooming with him. On the other hand, Foley says he and Al have a running competition to see who can play the better jokes on the other guy.

“It’s a long-running practice and I’m way ahead on points. Once I’m out of the hotel room, I try to pretend I don’t even know Al,” Mick says.

For D’Lo, he finds “Sexual Chocolate’s” low maintenance ideal, while Bearer hasn’t shared a room with anyone during his eight-year career in the Federation!

FAVORITE PERSON TO HANG OUT WITH:

Are the Hardy Boyz honorary Headbangers in the making? Jeff says, “I like hanging out with Mosh and Thrasher, even though they’re pretty wild sometimes. They’ll definitely create a lot of memories for you.”

Paul Bearer and the Undertaker are longtime associates on the road, while Foley remarks, “Believe it or not, I can hang out with Edge because he will laugh at every one of my jokes no matter how bad they are.” He adds jokingly, “I think he feels by sucking up to me he can enhance his career.”

Test is the consummate loner, preferring his own company, while Owen sides with anyone possessing a sense of humor. “They have to be prepared to deal with my jokes that I do on a daily basis to entertain myself,” Hart said. “Lately, I’ve been hanging out with Jeff Jarrett and I think he’s aged a couple of years thanks to me.”

FAVORITE RESTAURANT:

What does everybody want?! Try the Grand Slam Breakfast. The official restaurant of the J.O.B. Squad is…Denny’s!

“Al and I are thinking of getting our own shirts that read ‘Denny’s World Tour ’99,” the Blue Meanie told me. One question: Does Head “foot” the bill?

For others, whatever’s open after midnight is convenient, including McDonald’s or Burger King or for Foley, the two tacos for $.99 special at Jack In The Box.

“Going in you know you’re going to pay the price,” Mick says. “It’s almost like a very difficult match. It feels good happening, but you pay for it later.” Applebee’s and Outback restaurants are high on the Hardy’s list, while Owen prefers healthier fare at the Olive Garden or Red Lobster.

FAVORITE WAYS TO PASS THE TIME:

If the athletes have a favorite pastime, it’s finding new ways to keep themselves occupied at the arenas while waiting for a match to take place. Being delayed at an airport or snowed in at a hotel is also commonplace, resulting in hours of sheer boredom. Bearer is by far the biggest fan of country singer George “Possum” Jones and he listens to the entertainer’s CDs everywhere. The Meanie locates issues of Rolling Stone and Metal Edge magazines, while Owen relaxes with a copy of USA Today and a cup of Starbucks coffee.

The “King of Hardcore” doubles as the “King of Amusement Parks,” often planning his road trips to Disney World and Hershey, Pennsylvania, in his spare time. Finally, the Headbangers and D’Lo surf the internet on their laptop computers.

FAVORITE TOURIST ATTRACTION:

In the event that the superstars might actually have some free time on the road, most of it is spent in the gym, sleeping, or checking out the local tourist hot spots.

Foley and Matt Hardy are candidates for the next Disney World commercial, while brother Jeff likes the Arch in St. Louis. The Meanie can’t wait to go back to Dan Marino’s club in Miami, while heaven is a place called the Grand Ol’ Opry for Bearer.

Owen Hart told RAW Magazine, “One of the most memorable attractions was going to the Taj Mahal in India. I was also impressed with the Grand Canyon, the London Bridge and the Wailing Wall in Israel.

Perhaps the most interesting and candid response was offered by D’Lo (who is still in search of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine): “I guess it would have to be the Statue of Liberty…because we fly over it all the damn time!”

FAVORITE ARENA:

A popular choice among the Federation locker rooms is Madison Square Garden, which is always a memorable experience for every superstar. D’Lo and Test both agree, calling it “The Mecca.”

Other answers included the Philadelphia Spectrum for the Meanie—who grew up watching the Federation in his hometown arena. Long Island native Mick Foley prefers his childhood favorite, the Nassau Coliseum, to which his wife and children often travel to watch his matches. Hardymania runs wild at the Crown Arena in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Matt and Jeff are hometown favorites, while Owen prefers the star treatment he receives at the Saddledome in Calgary (site of the July ’97 In Your House).

“I know everyone there. I can drive my own car in. I can walk to the door and they treat me nice,” Hart says. “And after I’m done with the show, I can drive home and spend some time with my family.”

And rarely do you get a superstar whose favorite arena is one that has yet to be built! According to Bearer, he’s already scoping out the soon-to-be constructed arena at the University of Alabama.

FAVORITE PRE-MATCH RITUALS:

I once read somewhere that baseball legend Wade Boggs had to eat chicken before every game and that prior to a NHL hockey game, each team whacks the goalie’s pads for good luck. The Federation Superstars aren’t as superstitious, but they each have their own particular ritual before parting the curtain and going out to entertain the fans. The majority—including D’Lo, Test, and the Blue Meanie—say a prayer for friends, relatives or fellow superstars that everyone will make it back from the ring safely. Jeff Hardy says he and his brother always argue about what attire to go with, while Owen says he wets his hair back and does 50 pushups to get warmed up.

Foley, on the other hand, has more monetary concerns: “I look at the attendance and try to guess my payoff for the night…and that’s when I become Mankind.”

FAVORITE GYM/PERSON TO WORK OUT WITH ON THE ROAD:

According to Owen, the superstars are given V.I.P. passes to work out at any Gold’s Gym across North America, which Hart takes full advantage of.

Mick Foley says he frequents a gym called Flex Appeal in Navarre, Florida, but not to work on his already chiseled frame: “I’d really love to nail the chick that owns that place,” he said. [Editor’s note: Mick is not cheating on his wife—he IS married to the owner!]

And then there’s Bearer, whose favorite is, “the one I drop the Undertaker off at.”

What would a good workout be without a partner? D’Lo hooks up with Mark Henry, while Jeff Hardy hits the weights with Christian and Edge. Test and Owen prefer to train alone. Oddly enough, the Meanie and Bearer credit each other for a dramatic increase in muscular definition!

“I love working out with the Meanie,” the manager said, “Because he’s on the same diet I am.”

The Meanie adds, “Thanks to Paul, I’ve discovered that those five-pound weights aren’t beer coasters!”

WHO HAS THE BEST STORIES:

Another favorite pastime not only of the superstars but every personality who has ever worked in this business is the fine are of storytelling. Whether true or complete and utter fabrication, it’s not the story but the way it’s explained.

“Ron Simmons can tell a pretty mean story when he wants to,” D’Lo claims. “It’s not just what he says, but how he says it that entertains the hell out of me.”

Bradshaw gets the vote from the Hardys, while Foley is popular with Test and the Meanie.

“Cactus has some great road stories, and I’m a sucker for those,” the Meanie tells us. “I’m like a deer caught in headlights. Al Snow and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tommy Rich are great too, because they’ve been everywhere and done everything.”

And from whom does Mick draw his vast storytelling ability? “Probably the Funker—Terry Funk,” he says. “Even though he’s not working for us right now, he tells the best damn stories in this business….but you have to keep the radio down in the car because he talks so damn low.”

FAVORITE OPPONENT:

Chemistry is an important factor when it comes to creating a blockbuster match. For this reason, many superstars enjoy working against certain opponents. D’Lo credits X-Pac for bringing out the best in him, while both the Hardy Boyz and the Meanie choose Edge and Christian.

“I wrestled them plenty of times before coming to the Federation,” according to the Meanie. “We all came up in the independents together.”

Owen prefers a great technical bout, which he says comes from his brother Bret, Shawn Michaels, X-Pac, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

“I like working with two guys,” Foley tells RAW Magazine. “One of them is the Undertaker, because of all the history between us. The other is Stone Cold, because every time we get in there it’s like an emotional roller coaster.”

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