Owen Hart was regarded as one of the most gifted in-ring competitors to ever grace a WWE ring. Unfortunately, his life was snuffed out as he tragically lost his life at Over The Edge in 1999 as he fell to his death.
Owen Hart had doubts about the deadly Blue Blazer stunt that ultimately took his life as well. His passing led to a lot of controversy that carries on even today. Owen Hart’s wife Martha sued WWE for wrongful death, and Vince McMahon sued her back.
While speaking on Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw, former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas give a first hand account of Owen Hart’s tragic passing, which he saw while being in the ring when Hart fell to his death.
“I was in the ring. Right before that match was to take place, they had a hardcore match. I went out to the ring to help them clear some of the debris out. There were broken tables and all this sort of stuff. Myself, Timmy Rogers was in the ring sweeping with a broom, and I was holding the top rope with my left hand, kicking stuff out of the ring, and heading towards that same corner. I was walking towards that corner. There was a promo playing on the screen of Kevin Kelly interviewing Owen as The Blue Blazer. I was kind of half-watching that and half-kicking the stuff out.
I heard some screaming. Again, not knowing anything, I felt something brush against the side of my head and my shoulder. Instantaneously that top rope that I was holding snapped out of my hand and snapped back. I didn’t know what it was so my instant reaction was to duck. I didn’t know what was going on. I looked around and I saw that the rope was still there. It didn’t break, so I didn’t know what was going on. I turned and I looked in the corner, and there’s Owen laying there face up still in the Blue Blazer garb with the mask. Again, not putting two and two together, because I know he was supposed to descend, and I’m like, what the heck is going on here?
So I called Owen a couple times, and there was no response. His eyes were still wide open. There was no response. The one thing I noticed was that he had this mark on the inside of his forearm. It looked like a little scoop, like an ice cream scoop had scooped out a piece of flesh. I’m looking and I’m like, what is going on here? There was no response. That’s when I just started screaming to Mark Yeaton who was the timekeeper, ‘We need help. We need help. We need help. We need help’, but I didn’t want to touch him either. Again, not knowing what was going on. Then the ring filled up with EMTs and everybody. It was just horrifying.
Again, not putting two and two together. I didn’t find out until the next day. Still to this day, I don’t remember going from Kansas City to St. Louis for RAW the next day. I remember the day Steve Taylor had me go to the hospital to get checked out to make sure that I was ok because I followed the stretcher out to the back, watched them put Owen into the ambulance, and I was shaking. I was a mess. At the time, I used to smoke, so somebody handed me a cigarette. I was trying to calm down and have a cigarette, stuff like that. John D’Amico came out and said, ‘They want you to go get checked out.’ I said, ‘I’m ok. I just need to calm down.’ ‘No, go get checked out.’ So I went to the hospital. They just made sure I was ok, and I was fine. John stayed with me.
Again, I don’t remember how I got to St. Louis, but it wasn’t until the next day, the first person I saw was Taker when I got to the building. He asked me if I was ok, and I said, ‘I guess so.’ He said, ‘If you need anything, you come to me.’ I said, ‘Cool.’ I was running into everybody, and it wasn’t until I saw Jerry Lawler, and he said to me, ‘Are you ok?’ I said, ‘Yea.’ He said, ‘I don’t know if you know this.’ He witnessed the last 20 feet of the fall. He caught it, and he said the first thing that went through his mind was, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to fall on Jimmy.’ What I felt brush against me, apparently, was Owen. When he told me that, that’s when I just lost it. Then I started feeling guilty. It’s so weird to say this. I started feeling guilty thinking I could have been a part of this tragedy as well. Now I’m guilty for feeling that way because a family just lost a son, a husband, a father, and I’m over there feeling fortunate. Now my head is like a jumbled mess. It was tough.”
Many fans criticized WWE for carrying on the show despite Owen Hart’s tragic demise. Owen Hart’s loss to the pro wrestling world left a void that can never be filled and that is something fans must simply accept.
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