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20 Years Ago Today, Owen Hart Tragically Fell To His Death At Over The Edge 1999

Posted By: Thomas Lowson on May 23, 2019

20 Years Ago Today, Owen Hart Tragically Fell To His Death At Over The Edge 1999

Over The Edge 1999 will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days in wrestling history.

In the run-up to the event, the second show under the name, the focus was on the WWF Champion Steve Austin, who was set to face off with The Undertaker during his ongoing saga with the McMahons. 

Lower on the card was the Intercontinental Championship, held by The Godfather, who was set to defend the title against the superhero Blue Blazer (Owen Hart).

During his entrance from the rafters (parodying WCW's Sting), a cable from his harness broke, causing Owen to fall over 70 feet and landing chest first on a turnbuckle.

As the show was halted for 15 minutes, the decision was made for Over The Edge to continue, as Hart was strapped to a gurney and taken to a nearby medical facility.

An hour after the show restarted, it was the unfortunate job of Jim Ross to inform fans at home that Hart had died from the fall at the age of 34. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, earlier tonight here in Kansas City, tragedy befell the World Wrestling Federation and all of us. Owen Hart was set to make an entrance from the ceiling, and he fell from the ceiling. I have the unfortunate responsibility to let everyone know that Owen Hart has died. Owen Hart has tragically died from that accident here tonight."

The WWF received strong criticism for allowing the show to continue, with Bret Hart, who had left the company almost two years earlier, blaming Vince McMahon for his brother's death, and was also critical of the RAW is Owen tribute show the next night. 

Support for the decision did come from Vince Russo, who said how both Bret and Owen performed at Bad Blood 1997 just hours after the death of Brian Pillman, and believed Owen would have wanted the show to carry on. 

The tribute show, which was entirely voluntary for Superstars to perform at, also allowed colleagues of Owen the chance to speak about him in interviews.

A week later, Owen's tag team partner Jeff Jarrett would capture the Intercontinental Title on RAW, screaming "OWEN HART!" in memory of his fallen friend. 

A lawsuit between the WWF and the Hart family concluded in November 2000, when the company agreed to pay his widow Martha $18 million.

Due to the accident, the show was never released on VHS or DVD, though an edited version exists on the WWE Network.

Source: WWE Tags: #wwe #owen hart
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