Owen Hart was scheduled to face The Godfather for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. At that time, Hart performed under the name Blue Blazer, a superhero gimmick who parodied various wrestlers. At the Over the Edge show, Owen had to repeat the exit of the wrestler of the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) federation Sting – to go down from the rafters to the ring. On November 15, 1998, during the Sunday Night Heat, his exit was successfully tested, but during the descent to the pay-per-view show, the safety cable disconnected from the protective vest and Owen Hart fell from a great height into the ring. Falling, he hit his chest on the stretch marks. The moment of the fall itself was not shown on television. As Hart began his descent, a pre-recorded video of the interview was shown, and when the broadcast returned to live, the cameras were turned away from the ring and pointed at the audience. Soon, one of the show’s commentators, Jim Ross, informed viewers that Hart had fallen from a great height and that this incident was not part of the storyline, but happened for real. Paramedics entered the ring and tried to provide Owen with first aid, but he showed no signs of life. After that, he was taken to the nearest hospital in Kansas City.
Following the incident, the show was put on hold for 15 minutes while Vince McMahon and other WWF executives made a decision whether or not to continue the show. An hour after the show was resumed, Jim Ross told viewers that Hart had died in the hospital. Viewers on the show were not told what happened to Hart, nor did they hear the announcement of his death.
Ladies and gentlemen, earlier here in Kansas City, tragedy befell the World Wrestling Federation and all of us. Owen Hart was supposed to make an exit by climbing down from the rafters and he fell. It has been a heavy duty for me to inform you that Owen Hart has died. Owen Hart tragically died in an accident here today.
— Jim Ross, show commentator.
After the show
Due to the death of Owen Hart, WWF has canceled pay-per-view reruns of Over the Edge, and canceled four shows in Canada and one in Illinois. The company also decided not to release the show on VHS or DVD. On May 24, 1999, the day after Over the Edge, Hart’s memory of Raw is War was held in St. Louis. In this regard, it was renamed Raw is Owen. All storylines and feuds between wrestlers were suspended, and all WWF employees were given the opportunity to choose whether to participate in the show or not. In addition to fights, the show included interviews and memoirs of Owen’s workmates, as well as a video presentation of the highlights of his professional career. A memorial service for Owen was held on May 31, 1999 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, attended by family members, friends, and over 300 wrestlers. Owen Hart was buried in Calgary at Queens Park Cemetery the next day. Three weeks after the show, the Hart family filed a lawsuit against the WWF, accusing the company that Owen’s death was due to a poorly planned stunt; they also claimed that the suspension system was defective. The court case lasted more than a year and a half, and on November 2, 2000, a deal was concluded, according to which the Hart family received $ 18 million. The manufacturer of the harness was also one of the defendants in the case and, according to the agreement, paid 7 million. In 2010, Martha Hart filed several more lawsuits against World Wrestling Entertainment, objecting to the company’s use of photographs and records with Owen. The judge dismissed the claims because the recordings were made while Owen was under contract with WWE.
After Over the Edge, a feud began between The Rock and The Undertaker for the WWF Championship. This led to a duel between the wrestlers at the next pay-per-view show, King of the Ring. At this show, The Undertaker defeated The Rock to retain the championship title. After Steve Austin lost the title, he started a feud with Vince and Shane McMahon for interfering with his fight at Over the Edge. To rectify the situation, Vince and Shane scheduled a bout between Austin and The Undertaker for June 28, in which Austin emerged victorious to claim the title.