The Undertaker Reflects On Owen Hart Tragedy

The Undertaker WWE

The Undertaker has questioned whether WWE made the right call.

May 23rd, 1999 is a date that will forever reside in wrestling infamy. At WWF Over The Edge, Owen Hart fell to his death in front of a packed arena after his planned entrance from the rafters went horribly wrong.

Hart — wrestling as the Blue Blazer fell over 70 feet after the apparatus used for the stunt failed. The accident wasn’t broadcast as a pre-recorded promo package was being shown at the time, although Jim Ross was quick to inform viewers watching at home that a serious incident had taken place.

Despite the accident, Vince McMahon decided that the show should continue, and was heavily criticised as a result. Hart’s death was announced to fans at home by Ross, but there was no communication with the live crowd.

Unsurprisingly, the rest of the show took place in a somber atmosphere with several wrestlers appearing distressed while trying to perform.

The Undertaker Reflects On One Of The Toughest Days Of His Life

In the main event of the show The Undertaker captured the WWF Championship for the third time, but there was little to celebrate.

Speaking on his podcast Six Feet Under, the WWE Hall of Famer recalled trying to gather himself enough to go and perform, and questioned whether McMahon made the right call in continuing with the event.

“It’s such an interesting time period. We’re all grinding, trying to do the best that we could. Trying to process the information that somebody had just passed away due to the rigging accident, a guy that you spent tons of time with and seen every day for years, and you just lose him. One minute he’s there, the next he’s not, and you have to go out, put the pieces together and try to perform.

It was probably one of the most difficult, definitely mentally, one of the toughest days I ever had. If you go back and watch the footage, you can see it on everybody’s face. There is just a huge element to the match and everything that is going on. You can tell that no one really wanted to be out there. It’s still very raw and you’re processing this information, but you’re also trying to entertain these people.

You live by the motto back then, ‘the show must go on,’ I just don’t know if that was the right thing to do. I won the World Title that night. You don’t celebrate. There was no celebrating that night. Although we had already been told, you still didn’t believe it. We were hoping that something miraculous had happened and it wasn’t true.

Hindsight being 20/20…you also have an arena full of people. I didn’t envy Vince [Vince McMahon] and having to make that decision. It was a tough call. In the heat of it, I just know it was difficult to do my job that night,” he said.

Martha Hart — Owen’s wife, later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWF which was eventually settled for $18 million.

Following Vince McMahon’s departure from WWE. Jim Ross said he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see Owen Hart in the WWE Hall of Fame.

H/t to Fightful