Owen Hart’s passing is still mourned throughout the pro wrestling world. He was lost far too soon as a tragic stunt at WWE Over The Edge went wrong. When the event took place, nobody knew what to think. Jonathan Coachman was there, and he can attest to how misinformation was flying everywhere.
While speaking to Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Jonathan Coachman remembered that terrible night in 1999. He said that they were doing CPR, but it didn’t come off as authentic.
When Coachman asked a WWE doctor if he thought it was real, the unnamed doctor stated that if this was an actual emergency then the CPR they were trying was the worst display of the live-saving technique he had ever seen.
“When the tragedy happened, and they were doing CPR, and JR and The King got up from their spots and started to run around, it felt like something was wrong. But you got to remember in wrestling, you always feel like it’s part of the show.”
“So as they push Owen Hart out of the building, I’m talking to the doctor, and I ask, ‘Do you think that’s real?’ And he said, ‘If that’s real, that’s the worst CPR that I’ve ever seen.'”
“They were literally straddling him and pushing him back down the aisle and back down the curtain to the back. So the show ended about 20 minutes early because that match never happened.”
In retrospect, Jonathan Coachman said that the “saving grace” in this awful situation was that the fall did not air on live television. They were playing an interview with The Godfather instead to hype his upcoming match.
“The saving grace to this day, and I believe this Chris, that The Godfather was doing this interview up on the screen, and everything was black. It was dark. And then you heard this boom, and then the lights came up, and then, unfortunately, Owen was just lying there. I believe that if the lights would have been up and we all saw it, then how much PTSD… whatever you want to call it, that I would be dealing with today, and everyone else would be dealing with today,”
Owen Hart’s death is to blame on many things including using the wrong type of equipment for such a stunt. WWE made history that night, but not in a way they ever wanted to. Sadly, the event was all too real and Jim Ross was soon forced to make a very sad announcement on live pay-per-view that Owen Hart died.