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Jim Ross Reflects on Decision to Continue Over the Edge ’99 After Owen Hart’s Accident, Discusses If Owen Would’ve Wanted the Show To Continue

May 26, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Owen Hart, Dark Side of the Ring

– During the latest Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed the decision to continue the 1999 Over the Edge show after Owen Hart fell from the rafters in a fatal accident. The decision to keep going drew hefty criticism from people outside of WWE, who felt the company should have ended the show after the accident and especially after Hart died. Highlights from Ross’ comments are below:

On whether he was part of any conversation about continuing the show: “We had no time on the headsets to have long discussions. There was no real conversations taking place. I was sitting there receiving information, trying to process it, write things down. The bullet points of the matter. But I had no time to write some script, or lead-in or anything. I just kept getting new information, more information. And I don’t think we ever said, we may have, but I don’t think we ever made a point to say, ‘The show’s gonna continue [so as not] to draw attention to it.’ So that’s my take on it. I’m not sure there was ever any, at least my headset there was no conversation about not continuing the show. But I’m positive that conversation took place off-air, so to speak.”

On the decision to move ahead with the show: “It was tough man. It was really tough. How do you handle that kind of stuff? And here’s the thing, we’ve talked about things like this before. Was it a mistake to continue the show? Arguably, yes. At that time, I don’t know that I would have had the courage or the foresight to make that decision. Because of all the people that bought the show and are expecting the show. The cable companies, the issues that’s gonna cause. There’s no good reason. You can’t justify doing it. It was the right thing at that time, or at least it was thought to be. Whether it was or it wasn’t, it’s what happened. But I don’t know that I would have had the balls as to make that call. It’s a tough call. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

On what he thinks of the call to continue: “I wouldn’t have done it. I’m going home. I’m leaving, we’re gonna — we gotta do something else. We gotta figure this thing out, when this is gonna be replaced, or how we’re gonna do it, or the matches you wanted to see tonight are gonna be tomorrow night on Raw. Because that’s a luxury we had. If there’s a storyline we needed to do, it could be 24 hours post. Twenty-four hours are not gonna hurt us. But then we’re talking about the storylines [and who cares]. So I would not have done it. And look, all these years later, it’s easier to look in hindsight and say, ‘I wouldn’t have done it. By God, I would never have booked that!’ At that day, I didn’t feel like it was the wrong thing to do. Because I was in shock and what I’d just witness. And when we were told it was gonna go on, it was a numbing deal. I was nonplussed about continuing. And especially when we found out the endgame of that whole accident, and what the outcome was for Owen.”

On whether he thinks Owen would have wanted the show to continue: “I think so. Maybe not the popular answer, folks, but I can only give you guys honesty. We’ve talked about Vince’s uniqueness, and he’s not the average cat. Neither was Owen Hart. He was a wonderful guy. He loved what he did, and he loved the fans. One of the great stories about Owen is that he had fans that were his buddies in all these towns because he’d stay with them. He’d save on the hotel room. Over the years, there’s no telling how many thousands of dollars he saved by saving at a fan’s house. Literally, a fan’s house! He loved the business and loved the fans, and he loved to make them happy or excited or whatever. And I think he probably would have said, ‘Listen, we’ve got to finish the show for these people that paid their money and brought their kids here.’ But again, the other side of that coin is so prominent. It’s so easy to turn that coin over and look at the other side, and you said, ‘But it still isn’t the right thing to do.'”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Jim Ross, Owen Hart, WWE, Jeremy Thomas