The Owen Hart tape (lost death footage; 1999)


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THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN TAGGED AS NSFL DUE TO ITS DISTURBING SUBJECT MATTER.

A photo of the EMT's carrying Owen from the arena.
Image displayed in the WWE Network version of the event.

On May 23, 1999, professional wrestler Owen Hart fell from the rafters of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, MO during a Pay-Per-View taping of WWF Over The Edge 1999.

The fatal accident occurred while doing a stunt where he was to be lowered into the ring by harness (in his "Blue Blazer" persona) before his Intercontinental Championship match against fellow wrestler The Godfather. He was suppose to unlatch his harness when he was a few feet above the ring, causing him to fall flat on his face for comedic effect (as his wrestling persona was a bumbling superhero). The harness was accidently unlatched prematurely, causing Hart to fall 24 meters, chest-first onto the top rope, flinging violently into the ring. The impact of the fall severely wounded him, and he later died at the hospital from blunt force trauma to the chest.

The fall did not occur on live Pay-Per-View. An interview with Hart as The Blue Blazer that was recorded in the backstage area earlier in the day was playing as the tragedy occurred. Once the cameras cut back to the arena, ring announcers Jerry Lawler (who left the announcer's table to check on Hart's condition) and Jim Ross explained to the audience what was happening, and the arena's cameras were pointed away from the ring in respect to the paramedics working to stabilize his condition.

A YouTube user by the name of Chris Breseman said that he was in attendance and witnessed the fall, who said that Hart's "body folded like a f**king accordion."

The event was postponed for 15 minutes before WWF CEO Vince McMahon made the decision to continue the event. One hour after the event resumed, Lawler and Ross appeared on camera once more to deliver the news that Hart had passed away from his injuries.

Since WWF cameras were rolling at the time of the accident, footage of Hart's fatal fall exists on tape. This was confirmed in a column written by former WWF announcer Kevin Kelly in May 2013.[1] According to Kelly, the tape sits in the WWE Archive in Stanford, CT with instructions "never to destroy, view or duplicate". Footage from the 1999 match where Darren "Droz" Drozdov got paralyzed accidentally is apparently in the archive with the same instructions.

The remainder of the event was only available online in the form of bootleg VHS recordings made during the event until the launch of the WWE Network in February 2014[2]. While the PPV is available on the service although edited to not include the aftermath of the fall and the announcement of Hart's death by Jim Ross.


WWF announcement on Hart's death.

References

  1. 2013 column on Owen Hart, written by former WWF announcer Kevin Kelly on the 14th anniversary of Hart's death. Retrieved 23 May '13.
  2. http://www.wwe.com/inside/every-pay-per-view-on-wwe-network-26179147 Retrieved 4 February. '14

Comments


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Anonymous user #1

8 months ago
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Uh oh, something tells me that wasn´t an incident
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Anonymous user #2

7 months ago
Score 1++
Stop using youtube, almost every video on this site it's down
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Blameitonjorge29

5 months ago
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Too bad for Owen Hart
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Anonymous user #3

4 months ago
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Tragic and inforUltimate what happened to Owen Hart! I for one don't believe it was an accident. Something don't seem right about the way it happened. Sting often in WCW came down from the rafters yet never had a mishap so how comes it happens to Owen? Interesting though that Owen dropped Stone Cold on his neck recklessly nearly breaking hid neck however stone cold had to retire. Goldberg super kicks Bret Hart to hard in head causing concussion ending Harts career! Harts are bad lucked?
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SilenceEnigma

3 months ago
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In an Owen Hart documentary I saw before, Harley Race said that he bumped into Owen when he was on his way to the rafters and Owen apparently told him that they gave him new rigging and he didn't feel comfortable using it.
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Davidbix

3 months ago
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Signed up since apparently The Last Battle of Atlanta is showing up on WWE Network Tuesday, so hey, why not?

I dunno how many people here know LordSmurf, but he's the guy behind the NoMoreCoasters.com site about blank DVDs. He's also something of a collector/lost media buff, and he posted this at his own TVPast forum several years ago: http://www.t...art-wwf.html

On one hand, I've known him on and off for years online (he even bought a VCR I was getting rid of), and he's a stand-up guy. But I've never been sure what to think of this, as the online wrestling scene was MUCH more insular back then, and I've never heard from anyone else who had seen that video. I totally buy that he thinks he saw legit videos...but wouldn't legit videos from the major shock sites have crossed over to the wrestling sites?

Thoughts?
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