I think everyone's probably heard about the tragedy at the WWF Pay-Per-View last night. In case any reader hasn't, Owen Hart, getting lowered to the ring from the ceiling of the arena as The Blue Blazer, was involved in an accident where he fell to the ring from a great height and died, apparently of a broken neck. CNN has a story on the accident here.
Far more eloquent people than I will surely try to make sense of this tragedy, with little success, so I'm not even going to attempt to. A freak accident like this can only leave people shocked and saddened. When a pro wrestler, who has arguably one of the most dangerous jobs around, dies not from an errant move or a mis-timed chairshot, but from a stunt that you could find on any Hollywood set or TV studio lot, it only serves to underscore the fragile nature of life. You can't even find solace in something like "Well, he had a dangerous job, and that was one of the risks." All you can do is sit there, stunned, with a queasy feeling in your gut.
Not having any special insight into the meaning of life or death, all I can offer is a moment from my own past, if I may. I was friends with a guy back at William and Mary. Worked on the school paper together, lived in the same dorms a few times. One ordinary spring weekend, he and some friends went down to the beach for a weekend. They were out in the ocean when he was caught in a tide, sucked underwater, and drowned. Just like that. One minute he was there, performing an action that shouldn't have carried any significant risk of danger, the next he was gone. All those who knew him could do was search for some sort of answer as to why such a random accident could have claimed someone we cared about. I'm sure everyone who ever watched an Owen Hart match is doing the same now.
So, to close, all I and everyone else at DDT Digest can do is offer our condolences to Owen's wife and kids, the Hart family, and the family of pro wrestlers in general. We, the people for whom you risk so much, offer our support and our prayers. If anything is to be gained from this tragedy, let it be the knowledge that life is indeed precious, and can be taken at any time when we least expect it, and as such we should not take it for granted.
I've seen two good suggestions going around the net for fitting memorials to Hart. One is that the WWF should declare Hart an Honorary World Heavyweight Champion. The other is to rename the King of the Ring tournament the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament. If either of those ideas appeal to you, you can email the WWF at WWFfans@wwf.com.
I attended Nitro at the Bilo Center and thought I would tell of what everyone didn't see. I arrived about 4:36 that afternoon and was able to see a lot of wrestlers arriving/lounging in the parking lot behind the building. Hak,Erik Watts,and Mike Enos were standing around a car talking, Raven(who was already in wrestling gear) and Saturn came out to join them. Mark Curtis was back there walking around looking for something. The doors opened at 6:33 to let us in and I went straight for the merchandise table for my Horseman shirt. I was seated in the lower bowl, near the tunnel where Sting came out of through the crowd.
At 7:33, Penzer came out to speak to us (btw ,whatever happened to the old ring annoucer Gary Cappeta(sp?)?). He wanted to see all of our signs, just so the sign nazis could see which ones to take away later. There was only one dark match, Lash Leroux and Johnny Swinger defeated Two Jobbers (I didn't catch there names).
Nothing much happened during the breaks other than Hennig standing up and complaining about rap music. DJ Ran was playing Beastie Boys, Queen, and Metallica at some points of the show.
There was actually two people inside the monster truck, Luger and the driver (who hid himself when Luger stuck his head out).
When DDP was coming out for the main event, Bigelow almost got blasted by the "BANG" pyro because he didn't come out fast enough (that is why he was a little late). The fan who rushed in the ring was actually a guy who calls himself "Fred the Freak" and usually is on our local rock station the 93.3FM The Planet, incidently he only got a $200 citation for disturbing the peace and was released.
After the cameras went off, someone nailed Piper in the back with a cup and he casually turns around and gives a thumbs up to the guy. Someone threw a drink at Heenan and Fat Tony after the show, too.
I thought it was a good show for my first Nitro ever, unfortunately Hak, Kanyon, and Jericho didn't come out.
Remember that there is a little Blue Blazer in all of us.