POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Martha Hart responds to comments by Jerry McDevitt

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/20/pollocks-news-update-martha-hart-responds-to-comments-by-jerry-mcdevitt/

Photo courtesy: Owen Hart Foundation


**Our latest Marvel review is up on the POST Wrestling Café as we review Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jude Law. On this show, Wai Ting and I were joined by my good friend Ed Boxler, who is a film director and critic to break down the film, the complaints towards the movie, how this sets up Avengers: Endgame, and where it ranks among the MCU films. Plus, we take your feedback at the end of the show.

**Wai Ting and I are back with Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight to review the show and discuss the go-home episode heading into Double or Nothing. As always, we will give out a free shirt from the POST Wrestling Store with a draw at the start of the show for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will also go through today’s news items and take your feedback & questions at the end.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman will have a new edition of upNXT following tonight’s show.

**Davie Portman has a review of the first episode of ‘Carnyland’ that the NWA produced with various talent outside of the ring.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tonight: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: Café Hangout – LIVE at 3 pm Eastern for Café members
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
Saturday: AEW Double or Nothing POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members)
Sunday: Total Recall with Wai Ting & Pauline (Patreon)


**Our condolences go out to all those affected by the passing of Shad Gaspard, whose body was discovered today on the shore at the Venice Pier. It is a devastating story and we send our best wishes to his family and friends.

**There is a GoFundMe campaign that has been set up for Larry Csonka, who passed away earlier this week.

**David Bixenspan spoke with Martha Hart for the Daily Beast prior to the airing of Tuesday’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring. Bixenspan has done thorough reporting on this story including obtaining a copy of the police report from the Kansas City Police Department. In speaking with Hart, she responded to Jerry McDevitt’s comments earlier this week specifically stating that Martha “not even remotely interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to use it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn’t like that her husband was in, the wrestling business.” Hart’s response to the Daily Beast was:

In response to Jerry McDevitt’s recent comments I want to make it very clear, if there was one person on this planet who wanted to get to the bottom of what happened to my husband Owen it was me!,” she wrote. “The defense on the other hand was doing everything in their power to muddy the waters (as they try to continue to do) in an effort to detract from the case because they didn’t have one. I read every single affidavit taken, sat through endless face-to-face depositions, and spent over a year of my life dissecting every solitary fact of this case. To insinuate for one second that I of all people did not care about the truth behind Owen’s death, but instead was more interested in a ridiculous vendetta against the wrestling business, is beyond the pale.

Jerry McDevitt’s comments are absolutely absurd, reckless, and pathetic. I am not surprised that the WWE would trot out Mr. McDevitt to do damage control. After all, the events surrounding Owen’s death and the aftermath that followed are extremely disturbing and do not reflect well on their company.

In several interviews including the one with Bixenspan, Martha mentions Bret’s support when she filed the wrongful death lawsuit but added he was hoping to secure the rights to his WWF footage and wanted that included in the settlement agreement, which did not occur. Bret issued a brief statement to Tony Maglio of The Wrap indicating there was more to it than seeking footage but did not wish to engage in a public war of words:

While I am not interested in engaging in any more media mudslinging between Martha and myself especially in light of a global pandemic, I will say that our fallout is multifaceted. To say that it only involved being able to access and use my WWE footage and photos for future projects would merely be an oversimplification and inaccurate. I will not comment any further on the matter.

**Kenny King shared his memories of Shad Gaspard and meeting him in the line for the Tough Enough 2 tryouts in 2002.

**The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) spent two hours speaking with Bill Simmons for his podcast on The Ringer promoting the documentary. During the discussion, the Survivor Series 1997 came up with his take on the entire issue between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and how he could have been used as the go-between the avoid the screw job:

I was pissed. I was pissed about the whole thing because I was like, I could have possibly been used to get what we needed. Take Shawn out of this, let me do it and then I’ll do business on the other side and I think Bret probably would have went for that. I mean there was such disdain at that time between the two of them and Bret was leaving but I was just like, if you had come to me with this too, and it’s his company and he did what he thought what was best, but I was like ‘I think I could’ve helped this whole thing out’. I’m going to do business, but it happened, and I was really pissed. The next day, we were supposed to show up by Noon for a TV day and I think I rolled it around 5 the next day because I didn’t know because I was so pissed about the whole thing and the way it went down. I had to really gather myself because I was, my intentions when I got there was like ‘I’m going off on somebody about this’.

Calaway spoke about his numerous surgeries including the need to address an issue with the right knee currently. On his hip surgeries, he said the reason his career continued was because of something called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, which he had in 2011 for the left hip and 2017 on the right hip. If he had the traditional hip replacement surgery where they cut out the femur off and insert a metal prosthesis and that would have ended his career. He noted that after facing the prospect of the regular hip replacement in 2011, he concluded his career was over and cut off his hair before learning of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing option that extended his career and returned at WrestleMania 28 in April 2012 for the Hell in a Cell match with Triple H.

**AEW has a live episode of Dynamite tonight from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida that will serve as the go-home show for this Saturday’s Double or Nothing event. They have announced the following for tonight’s show at 8 pm Eastern on TNT and TSN2 in Canada:
*Jon Moxley vs. 10
*Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara
*Nyla Rose & Dr. Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander
*Rey Fenix vs. Orange Cassidy
*MJF vs. Marko Stunt

**NXT’s episode tonight was taped last week and airs at 8 pm Eastern on the USA Network with the following announced:
*Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley
*Roderick Strong vs. Dexter Lumis
*Drake Maverick (1-1) vs. KUSHIDA (2-0) in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament
*El Hijo del Fantasma (1-1) vs. Akira Tozawa (2-0) in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament
*Karrion Kross in action

**Stardom announced Wednesday that Arisa Hoshiki is retiring due to head and neck issues. Hoshiki, 24, was the promotion’s Wonder of Stardom champion, which they stated was vacated as a result of this news. Hoshiki was part of Stardom’s original roster when it launched in 2011. She took a hiatus before in 2012 and competed in Shoot Boxing with two fights in 2014 against Maki Goto and Akari Nakamura. In 2018, she returned to Stardom as part of the STARS group. In April 2019, she won the annual Cinderella tournament defeating Saki Kashima, Natsuko Tora, and Konami in the open-night tournament. This led to her winning the Wonder of Stardom title on May 16, 2019, from Momo Watanabe.

**Daniel Kaplan at The Athletic reports that creditors for the XFL suspect that the league may not be dead with Vince McMahon potentially buying it out of bankruptcy. The Athletic notes that through its sources, XFL president Jeffrey Pollack has spoken with the venues in Seattle and St. Louis about reinstating the lease agreements. The unsecured creditors have taken issue with a proposal for Alpha Entertainment to repay $3.5 million for season ticket holders calling it an “unnecessary expenditure” and also questioning why the XFL’s headquarters remains open and executives such as Pollack are being paid as examples of unnecessary spending. The XFL shut down last month and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 13th. Former commissioner Oliver Luck is suing Vince McMahon for wrongful termination and is seeking $23.8 million.

**Anthony Carelli and Jimmy Korderas share their memories of Shad Gaspard from this week’s Aftermath TV.

**AXS TV is adding more Impact Wrestling content to its Tuesday night schedule. A series called “Impact in 60” will premiere on the network Tuesday, June 2nd at 10 pm Eastern following Impact Wrestling’s flagship program. The series will feature content from their archives with the following themed episodes:
*June 2nd – The Asylum Years
*June 9th – X Division title matches involving Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels
*June 16th – Greatest Impact title matches
*June 23rd – Aces and Eights
*June 30th – Mick Foley

**ESPN’s Ariel Helwani speaks with Jim Ross about attending the UFC event this past Saturday in Jacksonville along with Tony Khan and Jon Moxley. Ross arrived in the city on May 4th and will be there until May 29th. He promoted the Double or Nothing card, tonight’s Dynamite, the differences between the empty arena shows for MMA and pro wrestling, and the Dark Side of the Ring episode on Owen Hart that aired last night.

**The WWE stock was up more than 5% on Wednesday closing at $45.75.

**Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) passed away on this date in 2011 at the age of 58. Savage was driving with his wife and suffered a heart attack while behind the wheel in Seminole, Florida. It was a major mainstream story when he died due to his cultural connection from the exposure with the WWF throughout the ’80s on NBC and being one of the industry’s most recognizable characters during a major popular peak.

**Digital Void interviewed David Starr on ways the industry can improve for workers and the impact that the pandemic has had on the industry.

**After Tuesday’s airing of Impact Wrestling, the semi-finals of the #1 contender tournament will air next week with Michael Elgin vs. Trey and Hernandez vs. Ace Austin. Davie Portman has a full review of Tuesday’s edition of Impact Wrestling on the site.

**In Canada, Crave is currently offering a free 30-day free trial that includes all the episodes from both seasons of Dark Side of the Ring.

**Road Dogg (Brian James) turns 51 years old today.


The Final Days of Owen Hart

The season finale of Dark Side of the Ring revisited the tragic death from May 1999 in one of the worst stories in the history of the industry.

The episode focused heavily on those left reeling from a tragedy, which has been a theme throughout these episodes with the ripple effect of a terrible incident. In this instance, hearing from Martha Hart and the for the first time, children Oje and Athena. The children were seven and three-years-old respectively when Owen died. Both children came off very well and spoke with a calmness and understanding of the story and impressed me a lot with their maturity towards a story that would be very easy to react angrily and emotional towards.

A lot of the facts from the case are out there but many were likely learning of key issues during this episode. Martha Hart’s book ‘Broken Hearts’ that was released in 2002 in the best resource when it comes to a sense of what the plaintiff’s case would have resembled had it gone to trial when they filed the wrongful death lawsuit. Hart’s book relies on depositions conducted at the time along with Martha’s vigorous search for the elements of what led to her husband’s passing.

Where Dark Side dove into was the rigging of the stunt and the shortcomings. The ‘Over the Edge’ stunt was not the first time Owen repelled as they did a similar stunt in October 1998 for Sunday Night Heat, which aired during Dark Side of the Ring, where Randy Beckman was the stunt coordinator. Beckman was the righthand man to Joe Branam, who from all accounts was the top-tier of stunt coordinators and had worked with the WWF on similar stunts in the past. In Martha’s book, it outlines the aversion from the WWF for the locking carabiner set-up, which required the unhooking of the carabiner when the subject landed and they wanted to speed things up with a quick-release snap shackle, a method that Branam was adamantly opposed to.

In the Kansas City Police Department’s report, there are notes from an interview with Donna Maryanski, who represented AMSPEC where the stunt equipment was purchased from:

She stated that she believes that Branam was originally contacted by the WWF to rig the stunt in Kansas City, but that the WWF had turned him down due to him apparently wanting too much money to complete the job. She believes that is when WWF contacted and hired Bobby Talbert for the job. She stated that after Branam thought about it, he told his wife, who works for his company to re-contact the WWF and tell them he would od the job and for whatever they wanted to pay him. Maryanski stated that Branam reported that he was no re-contacted by the WWF and later found out the WWF had hired another person for the job.

Bobby Talbert was the rigger the WWF used, who worked alongside a local union worker in Kansas City named Jim Vinzant. According to the testimony of WCW stunt coordinator Ellis Edwards from May 2002, Talbert had worked on three of Sting’s stunts but was not the main person in charge.

The documentary includes Jimmy Korderas, who was inside the ring when Hart fell and brushed back Korderas. As awful as the tragedy was, it could have been worse had Korderas been hit or if Hart had repelled while strapped to Max Mini, which was the original plan.

But, the most emotional points of the episode come from the home videos provided by the Hart family with Hart interacting with his young children including Oje describing his love of trainsets and Athena speaking of memories of her father taking her to the zoo. It’s an emotional show to watch with a father taken from his family at age 34.

The relationship with other members of the Harts and the WWE is addressed near the end with Martha bringing up the in-fighting among the family when the wrongful death suit was filed. It was an ugly chapter in the family’s history with the members fractured into camps that were on Martha’s side, the WWF’s side, and others attempting to stay neutral. During the suit, an allocation agreement was drawn up for the Hart children to sign that ensured if Stu and Helen Hart were to pass away before the suit was settled, their share would be dispersed among the children. Ellie Hart sent a fax of the agreement to Jerry McDevitt, who was representing WWF in the case and argued that this disqualified from the children from testifying due to their financial interest of a favorable judgment. Martha has since noted that she holds no ill will towards the family but what was done is unforgivable and indicated those relationships cannot be rehabilitated.

The Hall of Fame topic is a dizzying one and almost seems like a waste of time to even debate. How anyone can read Martha’s book, watch this documentary, or take the most basic facts from this story and not understand the aversion to working with WWE is beyond me. Martha and her family are the victims left without a husband and father and owe nothing to the company that greenlit the stunt in the fashion they did and sued her.

In the end, a settlement was reached in November 2000 for a reported $18 million split among Martha, the children, and Stu & Helen Hart.


**The UFC is poised to return to Las Vegas for their next event scheduled for Saturday, May 30th. UFC president Dana White informed Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that “We are a go on the 30th”. This past weekend, White had indicated that Arizona would be the location if they didn’t receive clearance to run in the state that they are headquartered in. POST Wrestling has reached out to the Nevada Athletic Commission for confirmation on the event as well as the testing measures that will be in place.

**Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, has been put into a medically induced coma. The news was relayed by Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz to ESPN. Earlier this week, Khabib issued a statement noting his father has tested positive for COVID-19 and has led to complications with his heart, which he had surgery on recently.

**The main event for the UFC’s Fight Night card on May 30th will be a welterweight fight between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns. Burns stated he signed the bout agreement and the fight was reported by Ariel Helwani at ESPN. The former welterweight champion Woodley was scheduled to fight Leon Edwards in March in London, England, which was the first event canceled by the UFC due to the pandemic. Woodley has not fought since March 2019 when he lost the title to Kamaru Usman in a one-sided affair. Burns is 18-3 and won his last five fights including a TKO over Demian Maia this past March in Brasilia, which was an event closed to the public.

**The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Joe Rogan will be moving exclusively to Spotify. Rogan released a video announcing the move that would begin September 1st with the audio and video content he produces running on Spotify along with all other platforms. Around the end of the year, his shows will be exclusive to Spotify. Rogan noted it is a multi-year agreement but won’t be an employee of Spotify and the show will remain free. The WSJ reports that the deal is worth over $100 million. Rogan began his podcast in December 2009 and has produced almost 1,500 shows. Spotify has made its intentions known that they see a lucrative area in the podcast space as this deal follows the purchase of The Ringer, Gimlet Media, and Anchor.

**The MMAJA (Mixed Martial Arts Journalists Association) issued a statement regarding changes the UFC has made to its waiver it had people sign ahead of UFC 249:

The officers of the MMA Journalists Association are aware of an update to the agreement that the UFC has asked media members to sign in order to cover live events in person. While we are encouraged by the UFC’s willingness to adjust the wording of the agreement in response to concerns brought by the MMAJA and others, we still cannot advise members to sign this agreement, which we still regard as unnecessarily restrictive. For any further questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the MMAJA officers individually or collectively.

**Marc Raimondi and Brett Okamoto have a report on the process of the UFC’s three cards in Jacksonville last week with interviews and notes from the fighters, teams, and staff involved. Of note was that there was a concern with an unnamed coach, who had to be quarantined during the week. The coach was with fighter Calvin Kattar and had the nasal swab and antibody tests administered on Tuesday, May 5th. The antibody test came back positive indicating a previous infection but doesn’t indicate if the active virus is present. The antibody test results come back in 15 minutes while the nasal swap, which does indicate the active virus being present or not, takes longer. The coach quarantined for two days alone in his hotel room until the nasal swab came back negative. There was also an item in the story that after Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza tested positive for the virus and was pulled from the card, Donald Cerrone informed Uriah Hall he would be willing to fight him at middleweight later that week on Wednesday or Saturday following Cerrone’s fight with Anthony Pettis.

**This past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card averaged 1,198,000 viewers for the main card on ESPN and 690,000 for the prelims. The main card did a 0.50 (652,000) in the 18-49 placing them second overall for the night behind Live PD on A&E. The prelims ranked fifth for the night among cable programs with 0.26. When comparing the main card to this week’s episode of Raw among the key demos – Raw won with 18-49s, women 12-34, 25-54, and 50+ while UFC won with adults 18-34 and males 12-34.

**Anthony Smith spoke with RJ Clifford on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation about last week’s fight with Glover Teixeira. He gave a revealing look to the mindset possessed by many fighters regarding their corner’s stopping a fight. Smith provided the following answer regarding his corner allowing the fight to continue, which he has instructed them to allow:

I have a rule. If you want to sit in my corner, you don’t stop fights. That’s the rule they know that. If you throw the towel in or stop the fight without participating in, you can walk back to the locker room by yourself and I’ll never stand with you again. They know it, anyone close to me knows it. I don’t need any liabilities in my corner, someone who’s willing to stop the fight without tapping is a liability and I don’t need any liabilities. I don’t need to be in the shit, in a bad spot trying to battle my way out of it worried that someone in the corner can’t handle the heat. If you don’t like it then don’t sit there.

So, I feel terrible that my corner is taking so much heat for one of my rules.

**The Olympic Channel has released a feature on legendary Greco-Roman wrestler Aleksandr Karelin, who won Olympic gold medals at the summer games in 1988, 1992, and 1996.



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REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 5//15/20: IC Tournament, Martha Hart, Road Warriors
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Not sure why McDevitt is even commenting, he’s in a no win situation. If he’s lying he’s just an asshole, if he’s telling the truth he’s still going after the window of a man that died on WWE’s watch which is PR suicide.