DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Owen Hart (aged 34)
Canadian professional and amateur wrestler
Owen James Hart (May 7, 1965 – May 23, 1999)was a Canadian–American professional and amateur wrestler who worked for several promotions including Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling(NJPW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He received his most success in the WWF, where he wrestled under both his own name, and ring name The Blue Blazer.
DEATH: On May 23, 1999, Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri during the Over the Edge pay-per-view event. Hart was in the process of being lowered via harness and grapple line into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a booked Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather. In keeping with the Blazer’s new “buffoonish superhero” character, he was to begin a dramatic entrance, being lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would act “entangled”, then release himself from the safety harness and fall flat on his face for comedic effect—this necessitated the use of a quick releasemechanism. It was an elaboration on a Blue Blazer stunt done previously on the Sunday Night Heatbefore Survivor Series in 1998. While being lowered into the ring, Hart fell 78 feet (24 m), landing chest-first on the top rope (approximately a foot from the nearest turnbuckle), throwing him into the ring.