Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25, 2009

About 15 years ago, I used to head back to Guelph every month or so to go to Colin's house and watch WWE (then WWF) and WCW pay-per-views with my wrestling friends. It was always a fun night gathering together and watching the matches with Norm, Fred, Brian, Mary, Allan, and even Jeff. It became a tradition for years and years that we would always do it each month.

I remember one time we were watching a pay-per-view, and when the announcers came on the screen, you could see that something was terribly wrong. Jim Ross was as white as a ghost, and Jerry Lawler was visibly shaken and unable to take his eyes off of the ring. They explained to the viewers that there had been an accident and that Owen Hart fell from the rafters while doing a stunt entrance as The Blue Blazer. We all knew it was really bad by the looks on their faces. The show went on, and we found out shortly thereafter that Owen Hart had died from his injuries.

That was 10 years ago this past weekend.

I was pretty shaken, and I remember telling myself that the shock I felt when I watched the show was something that I probably wouldn't forget for the rest of my life, and sure enough, here I am ten years later, and I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was horrible.

At the time I was disgusted that the show went on, and looking back now, I'm still just as offended. We all assumed it wasn't 'critical' since the next match came out, but when they made the announcement, we were all proven wrong.

I'll always remember Owen Hart as one of the fun characters, when in character and not. Some of my favourite memories from old-school wrestling back then was when Owen would put on his surly face and tell some ridiculous story, and you could tell that he was trying not to laugh his ass off as he was doing it. And you knew that the second the camera stopped rolling, he burst out laughing.

I also remember surprising my younger cousins Mike and Matt one day back in the late 90's, and taking them to Brantford to see the WWF. It was a surprise and they were thrilled. We got to see all of the big stars of the day, and the main event was Bret Hart and The Undertaker taking on Owen Hart and Yokozuna. It was one of only times I got to see Owen wrestle live, and to see him take on his brother, arguably the greatest ever, was pretty amazing looking back in retrospect.

I don't really follow wrestling that closely anymore, but that day in May 1999 is widely regarded as 'The worst day in the history of professional wrestling'...and I couldn't agree more.


Anonymous said...

For all those guys who think wrestling is fake, here's proof of what those guys put on the line night after night. Sure the outcome may be predetermined but the shots the body takes are real! I'll never forget that night either, my twin cousins were over and they thought it was part of the storyline...if only it were true. Vince lost a lot of respectability with me that night. The show doesn't have to go on.

Any2crds said...

I never really watched a lot of Wrestling nor do I consider wrestling anything more than entertainment (no disrespect to any fans). True, tragedy struck the Heart family and all Owens fans that night, will never be forgotten and sorely missed.The question remains, was "The show must go on" really a morally misguided decision by Vince. Ask yourself this, if you were Own Heart, would you want them to stop the rest of the matches due to an unfortunate accident? The man loved his work and his fans. I believe he would have wanted the fans to continue enjoying the rest of the nights entertainment as all good entertainers would. For all we know he might have taken solace in knowing his accident did not ruin the night for some of the most important people to him, his fans. Just a thought :)