Today, May 23rd marks 18 years since Owen Hart died of cardiac arrest after falling from the roof of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City Missouri during the
That night Owen was portraying his “Blue Blazer” masked gimmick of a bumbling superhero. He was scheduled to face the Intercontinental champion The Godfather was to make his entrances from the rafters of the arena and get caught up in the harness in a comedic bit. However, the harness’s release was triggered early and Owen fell over 70 feet before landing on the turnbuckle and falling into the ring. His fall was not shown to the TV audience as a pretaped interview was airing at the moment. The interview was replayed again as the TV audience was shown a camera angle of the audience as Jim Ross explained that what was happening was not “part of the show”. Owen passed away from cardiac arrest from blunt force trauma.
Although initially not available to fans, the Over the Edge event was later put on the WWE network in an edited form with a dedication to Owen Hart when the Network launched. The company has long been targeted for its decision to keep the show going after Owen’s death was announced to the TV audience during the show. However, the live audience were not notified with many of those attending not finding out until being approached by reporters that night in the parking area.
Since that time Owen’s wife filed charges against the company and the WWE settled for $18 million dollars. The WWE then sued the harness company. Owen’s Wife then sued the company again over royalties from using Owen’s matches and the lawsuit was settled.