Friday, May 24, 2024


I have been thinking a lot about the year 1999 recently. For many reasons. 

Just the other day, the movie community was celebrating the fact that The Phantom Menace - the first movie in Star Wars' prequel trilogy - was twenty-five years old.

One of the many other things which reminds me of the final year of the 90s is one of the most tragic memories I encountered in my lifetime. 

Seeing as I am still writing about Owen Hart's death, all these years later, I doubt I'll ever forget.

First, with respect to time difference's, Owen's actual death took place on May 23rd. However, as I was sat watching the WWF's Over The Edge Pay-Per-View, it would have been the early hours of the following day for me.

I think back to the shock I experienced when Jim Ross told us at home that Hart had fallen from the ceiling of the arena. It was like the world stood still as JR tried to explain what was going on around him with the camera focused on him for the most part, but with brief shots of the audience added in.

Then, a few matches later, Ross had to tell the audience at home the devastating news. 

And then the show carried on.

Upon hearing the news, I woke up my mother and told her what had happened. She asked 'have they stopped the event?' and I told her 'no'. 

Then, once the show concluded, I went to bed stunned knowing I had technically seen one of my favourites die before my eyes (even though we didn't see the fall).

It was a time before I had the Internet at home. The following morning, I checked out Ceefax or Oracle - possibly both - to read the news about the fall before heading off to my lessons. 

I never talked about wrestling with anyone in my Law class, but I vividly recall them talking about it on that occasion. 

Later that day, when we finished class, I headed into town with some friends. I bought Snoop Dogg's then latest album - No Limit Top Dogg. I still think of Owen whenever any of the tracks on that CD plays on my iPhone.

As noted, I didn't have the Internet back then. I do recall booking the computer with the Internet at the college's resource centre. I cannot remember if it was on that day, or in the days following Owen's death. What does flood back, however, is that I visited the WWF website as soon as I sat at that computer and the front page had a picture of Owen. It was a recent one with his OH logo on his attire.

I've used the pic in previous tributes. It can be seen below. Whenever I come across the photograph, every few years, it's another thing which takes me back to '99.

Owen Hart

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