WrestleBIZ: Never To View, Destroy or Duplicate – WWE’s Most Tragic Footage.
1999 was a great year for the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). TV, PPV and live attendance were through the roof and the product was phenomenal! The ‘Attitude Era’ was in full effect!!!
However, in the same year, the company had two of it’s most tragic accidents. The death of Owen Hart at their ‘Over The Edge’ pay-per-view, on May 23rd, and Darren ‘Droz’ Drozdov’s injury at a ‘Smackdown’ TV taping, against D-Lo Brown, that left him paralysed, on October 5th!!!
While it is well documented about what happened on these two occasions (Owen, dressed as The Blue Blazer, was scheduled to face The Godfather for the Intercontinental title when, whilst the Blazer’s video package played on the screen in the arena, Owen fell nearly 80 ft., from the rafters, to his death and Droz was dropped on his head after a running power bomb was botched by D-Lo that left him completely paralysed) both incidents have never been aired (thank god).
But according to, former WWE employee, Kevin Kelly during a 2013 interview, with Online World of Wrestling, both incidents are sitting in the WWE video vaults with the instruction to not ‘destroy, view or duplicate’. The obvious reason for this is due to legal reasons (Owen’s death footage, we believe, was used during Martha Hart’s wrongful death lawsuit against WWE).
With the hours, and hours, of amazing footage that WWE holds (including WCW, ECW, AWA and many more) knowing that such haunting material, of these tragic events, sit in the vaults is awful.
Some parts of these incidents have leaked over the years online. Audio of Owen’s death can be clearly heard on the Spanish announce teams commentary from the night (if you haven’t heard it don’t search for it! Hearing Owen hit the mat and the announcer saying “Oh no” over, and over, again is heartbreaking). WWE actually used the footage of Droz being taken out of the ring for their ‘Don’t Try This At Home’ video.
WWE even decided, in 2014, to release ‘Over The Edge 1999’, for the first time, on the WWE Network in order to officially state that all their PPV’s were now available on there!!! Even though this version was heavily edited (all mentions of Owen Hart were cut from this version) the event still featured talent who had just witnessed a friend, and colleague, die that night and trying to push through a show, some believe, should have been cancelled!!! Who really wants to watch that???
While the hard hitting, in your face, ‘Attitude Era’ produced great moments, for the company, the fact that these two tragedies happened, in the same calendar year, must show you just how crazy the world of sports entertainment had become and pointed out just how much in needed to change in the way it took care of it’s performers.
Of course, by 2000, WWE had gotten more wild and the stunts were even more over the top (Shane McMahon’s fall at Summerslam 2000 anyone???) so did they really learn anything from these two, terrible, accidents that occurred in there squared circle? Not really. Money talks and WWE was raking it in.
20 years later and incidents like Owen’s fall and Drozdov’s neck break still haunt fans to this day but the industry seems to have learnt from it’s past as nothing like these have ever happened again!!!
Hopefully footage of these never get leaked into the public domain, as truthfully, despite numerous Reddit threads asking if theirs any footage available, of both incidents, no one really wants to see the death of one wrestler and the paralysing of another.
R.I.P Owen Hart and best wishes to Droz!!!