It’s a question POST Wrestling’s John Pollock poses at the start of his outstandingaudio documentary on Owen Hart’s last hours. The poignancy isn’t lost by those that vividly remember the moment. For those of a certain vintage, it was wrestling’s equivalent of a JFK/Elvis Presley cultural checkpoint - a timestamp in which the remaining mainstream that hadn’t hopped on wrestling’s bandwagon were at suddenly circling it to try and make sense of a supposed Sports Entertainment stunt gone very, very wrong.
It was never more challenging to try and unpick the circumstances behind Hart’s deeply tragic passing than on the night itself, but in the two decades since the awful accident that took his life, the search for deeper understanding hasn’t ever really concluded.
"Owen Hart's Final Day" is a powerful and impartial attempt at tying lots of still-raw loose ends together, but a scene-setter early in the piece captures the callous nature of the industry’s endless churn versus the occasionally-fatal human cost.
Not of Owen’s involvement but of the pay-per-view itself, Pollock notes that; “by May of 1999, business was booming, and the Over The Edge show was going to be another success in a long line of them”.
Either side of the catastrophe, WWE grew beyond wildest expectations whilst a man lost his life in Vince McMahon's ring.
It really was “the biggest story in professional wrestling history”, and 20 years on, it deserved this important re-appraisal.
Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.