Former WWE Talent Reveals What Happened Backstage After Owen Hart Passed Away

Owen Hart

Owen Hart was beloved in and out of the ring, and his tragic death in 1999 sent shockwaves throughout the world of wrestling.

At Over the Edge in May of 1999, Owen Hart was scheduled to face then-Intercontinental Champion The Godfather in a title match. He had been portraying a character called the Blue Blazer, a masked superhero who denied that he and Owen Hart were the same person. To add to the comedy of the match, Hart was supposed to repel into the ring from the ceiling of the arena, but when the carabiner malfunctioned, he tragically fell to the ring below.

Hart was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Vince McMahon was heavily criticized for his decision to continue the pay-per-view following Hart’s death, and news that he had passed away was broken on air by a devastated Jim Ross.

“It Was Such A Sad, Sad Moment” – Tony Chimel On Owen Hart’s Passing

During a recent appearance on Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda, former WWE announcer Tony Chimel recalled the fateful day and revealed that while he was not announcing that show, he was backstage in Gorilla position when the tragedy took place.

“I don’t know if I was taking jackets or maybe I was just out back there hanging out, but that’s where I was when it happened. And I just remember Jerry Lawler coming back and saying, ‘Guys, I think he’s dead, for serious.’ We were all like, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’ Then, we’re all just waiting and stuff, and then I saw when they wheeled him back and stuff, and [Owen] just looked purple to me. And it was such a sad, sad moment.”

Continuing, Chimel noted that at the time of Hart’s fall, Tim Rodgers and referee Jimmy Korderas were sweeping the ring and clearing debris from a hardcore match that had just taken place between Al Snow and Hardcore Holly. Hart narrowly avoided hitting the men when he fell.

Mike Chioda checked on Hart immediately after the fall, but he was unable to be revived and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Hart’s niece Natalya recently opened up about the fact that she believes her uncle would have become World Champion had he not died so tragically.

h/t WrestlingInc