WWE: Owen Hart's brother blames Vince Russo for wrestler's death in Twitter rant

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Owen Hart's eldest brother, Smith, took to Twitter Tuesday to lay the blame of his wrestler brothers tragic death squarely at the foot of Vince Russo.

Tragic death

Owen Hart fell to his death in 1999 at the WWE's Over the Edge pay-per-view when a pre-arranged stunt went catastrophically wrong. Coming onto the arena from the roof, Hart's harness malfunctioned leaving the wrestler to fall 80ft to his death.

Vince Russo as one of the WWE's top writers at the time has often drawn criticism for his perceived role in the incident. And with the controversial figure back in the news this week amidst reports of Spike TV's fall out with TNA Impact Wrestling, Smith Hart took to social media in an emotonal outburst:

"Congratulations @pyroballyhoo (Vince Russo) not only did u murder my brother but you've successfully killed 2 wrestling companies. I have a challenge for u.

"Maybe u'd like 2 try killing me on ur last failed broadcast I would donate my share 2 Owens foundation, #pleasenopolematches @pyroballyhoo," Hart continued.

Russo's WWE role

Vince Russo spent several years working in the WWE before leaving for World Championship Wrestling in 1999.

Under Vince McMahon, Russo worked his way up the pecking order in the writing stable during that time - adding creative, controversial and explosive storylines in a bid to bump up TV ratings.

He spent two years as the head writer of the then WWF between 1997-1999, and has often been cited as the man who convinced Owen Hart to take on the intro that ultimately led to his death.

Cast in a role by Russo and the WWE hierarchy as a supposedly more entertaining character, Hart was supposed to become 'entangled' in the harness before releasing himself into the ring. As we now know that did not go at all according to plan.

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Russo and TNA

Vince Russo of course has most recently been associated with TNA wrestling. The company have been in the news this week with reports suggesting that Spike TV could be set to pull the plug on their deal.

Some, including Smith Hart, have looked to blame Russo for this with some even suggesting Spike TV will pull out directly because of Russo's involvement - of which they apparently only found out about in recent weeks.

Counter reports however have suggested that Spike TV themselves have apparently made it clear to TNA employees that the rumors are false.


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