With the 21st anniversary of Owen Hart’s death coming up this weekend, WWE fans still clearly remember the day it happened in 1999. During Over the Edge, Hart fell to his death during a stunt entrance to the ring for his match. Former WWE commentator Jim Ross was at the announce table that night, and he remembers just how sad and awkward it was to reveal Hart’s death to the world.
Hart was playing the role of the Blue Blazer, and he was in a harness for his entrance. Tragically, something went wrong, and he fell nearly 80 feet to his death after the rigging broke in the middle of the event.
During the season finale of Dark Side of the Ring on VICE, Ross recalled that fateful night and how awful it was. It was chaos throughout the backstage area and at ringside where Ross was sitting. No one had yet told him that Hart passed away.
That was until Kevin Dunn came across his headset and gave him very short notice to advise the fans, per Wrestle Talk.
“I said, ‘Kevin, no one has told us anything. What is the update?’ And [Dunn] said, ‘He’s dead. And you’re back in 10… 9…’ On camera, what people saw was 10 seconds of preparation. I didn’t know what to say, and it wasn’t storyline. I got very numb after that night. My hands were shaking; my stomach was hurting. I was just… I was… damn, man.”
From that point on, the pay-per-view continued with a whole night of matches taking place.
Hart was to face The Godfather for the WWE Intercontinental Championship that night. The match, scheduled for the fifth spot on the card, was canceled after the tragedy occurred during Hart’s entrance.
Once the camera cut back to the arena, Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler sat there solemnly at ringside. Ross delivered the news to the world that Owen Hart was dead, and this was just moments after he learned of the news from Dunn.
Forbes reported that Dunn has been receiving a lot of negative backlash from fans on social media since the episode aired earlier this week.
After a brief delay, numerous matches went on as scheduled. To the fans at home, most of Over the Edge didn’t miss much of a beat. The superstars and announcers went on with the rest of the event, and somehow, they were able to hold everything together in a professional manner.