WWE Hall of Fame Jeff Jarrett appeared on Prime Time with Sean Mooney and spoke about Owen Hart, who Jarrett noted had an incredibly mind inside the ring, which tends to get forgotten after his legendary ribbing stories and his tragic passing at the WWE Over the Edge PPV in 1999.
“Owen’s in-ring ability, he was incredibly, athletically gifted, had been around the business, [had great] timing,” Jarrett said. “At WrestleMania X against Bret [Hart], Owen was, man, just really, really super good. A lot of times that gets lost people obviously remember the tragic accident and the ribbing, but his in-ring ability was incredible.”
Jarrett was asked about what his perspective was like at that Over the Edge PPV where Owen fell from the rafters during a stunt where he was to rappel down to the ring as part of his Blue Blazer gimmick. Although multiple attempts were done to revive him, Hart was pass away due to internal bleeding from blunt force trauma.
Jarrett said after the two dressed together, he was quickly called for his segment after being notified Owen had an accident, not knowing at the time how serious it was.
“When I say ‘going through the motions’ that is something that is strictly instinct. Me and Owen dressed [together], it was a small building, every nook and cranny was filled with wrestlers or production crates, and we had found a small locker room,” Jarrett said. “I can remember him walking out of the dressing room and I was on after him. I knew that I had a good 15-20 minutes and it was literally minutes I hear someone screaming, ‘You’re up! You’re up!’ and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not.’ and they’re like, ‘yeah!’ I was essentially ready and I had no idea, I remember walking down the hall and they said he had an accident. Nothing in your wildest dreams, it’s a blown out knee or whatever, something so trivial. You get on set – and I haven’t watched it back – you get on set and all of a sudden a mass of people come through and there’s a gentleman on top of Owen doing CPR and compression.
“I knew something was wrong then, the aura, and the vibe, walking through the curtain after [my] match. The police car they had set up for me, I drove immediately to the hospital and I remember one of the ER people walking out and meeting me and giving me the news. It’s a complete tragedy – in so many ways – but I like to remember Owen on the fond days and the good days.”
Jarrett went on to talk about how he since has dealt with that night and the difficult decision Vince McMahon had to make about continuing (or stopping) the show after the accident, noting that neither was the right answer.
“I’ve been around enough things in my life to know that accidents happen. Could everybody been more careful? Absolutely. On so many levels, but it is truly a tragic situation that happened and everybody that was a part of it was dealt that hand and everybody dealt with it differently,” Jarrett responded. “I chose to deal with it with it by not discussing it, not talking about it, moving on in the most positive light. Always talking glowingly and never wanting to go to that dark side and talk about those kind of issues that happened.
“I still believe this, Vince McMahon – solely Vince – nobody else, not Linda [McMahon], not any of his inner circle at that time. It rests squarely on his shoulders and he had a decision that was wrong, regardless of the decision he made [about continuing the show]. Knowing Vince, he knew that. That’s tough, but he took it and it got into a litigated part of life, but he put his best foot forward and ‘kept on keptin’ on.’ My hats off to him and his family, because it’s truly a tragedy.”
You can hear Jarrett’s full comments in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Prime Time with Sean Mooney with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.