AEW was reportedly blocked from using the “King of Harts” name for their upcoming tournament in memory of the late Owen Hart.
As noted, it was announced earlier this week that AEW is partnering with The Owen Hart Foundation, ran by Owen’s widow Martha Hart, for a new working relationship that will include the annual Owen Hart Cup Tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a Cup known as “The Owen” to hold.
In an update, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that AEW wanted to name the Cup the “King of Harts” but they have been blocked from using that name.
Owen began using the “King of Harts” gimmick in WWE after winning the 1994 King of the Ring tournament.
There’s no word on who is preventing AEW from using the “King of Harts” name, but WWE does not currently have a trademark for that name. While WWE does not have a trademark for the name, AEW filed to trademark “King of Harts” back on July 28. The following use description was included with AEW’s USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) filing:
“IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Educational and entertainment services, namely, a continuing program about wrestling accessible by radio, television, satellite, audio, video and computer networks; Entertainment services in the nature of development, creation, production, distribution, and post-production of wrestling programs and wrestling multimedia entertainment event content; Entertainment services in the nature of live wrestling performances; Entertainment services in the nature of production of wrestling programs and wrestling multimedia entertainment event content; Entertainment services, namely, live appearances by a wrestler or group of wrestlers; Entertainment services, namely, production and distribution of ongoing television programs in the field of wrestling; Entertainment services, namely, providing ongoing webisodes featuring wrestling via a global computer network; Entertainment services, namely, televised appearances by a wrestler or group of wrestlers; Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing multimedia program featuring wrestling distributed via various platforms across multiple forms of transmission media; Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing series featuring wrestling provided through a global computer network; Providing a website featuring entertainment information in the fields of wrestling; Providing an Internet website portal featuring entertainment news and information specifically in the field of wrestling; Entertainment in the nature of wrestling contests; Entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibits and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer; Providing wrestling news and information via a global computer network”
There is a “King of Harts” clothing company founded by actress Melissa Joan Hart and her husband Mark Wilkerson. The brand creates “hip casual boyswear” and has been around since 2015.
There is an official Owen “King of Harts” t-shirt being sold on Owen’s official Pro Wrestling Tees store.
Regarding the new working relationship between AEW and The Owen Hart Foundation, the Observer reports that the deal was two years in the making, largely stemming from Martha and Chris Jericho working together for Vice TV’s “Dark Side of the Ring” episode on Owen that aired in the second season, and Martha appearing on Jericho’s podcast.
The deal will also see AEW produce and distribute unique & original Owen merchandise, which includes Owen being featured in the upcoming AEW console video game. Merchandise to be released includes action figures, apparel, posters, and collectable items.
“AEW’s relationship with the Hart family dates back to our inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and Owen’s influence is still felt today,” said AEW CEO, General Manager and Head of Creative Tony Khan in a press release issued this week. “To extend his memory and his legacy even further through this agreement is a powerful and meaningful moment for the entire wrestling community.”
Martha added, “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.”
There is no word on when AEW’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament will be held, but we will keep you updated.