Owen Hart tragically fell to his death in Kemper Arena on May 23rd, 1999. On May 7th, 2000, WCW held Slamboree in the same arena. During the show, Mike Awesome tossed Kanyon off the Ready To Rumble cage to the ramp 20-feet below. Some fans have since expressed that doing such a stunt in the same building as the Owen Hart tragedy had taken place in less than a year earlier was in bad taste.
Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson recently discussed this on an episode of the 83 Weeks podcast.
“In hindsight, do you think that maybe this wasn’t the best idea to do in this arena given this is where the Owen Hart tragedy happened a year before?” Thompson asked Bischoff.
“No, I don’t feel that way,” Bischoff said. “I’ll try to explain why. In any other form of entertainment/sport, or sports-entertainment or sports. Let’s just take NASCAR. When someone is killed in a NASCAR event, do they stop turning left at 180 miles per hour? Do they quit racing? Do they stop for 6-months or a month or if someone is unfortunately killed at Talladega, do they not race at Talladega anymore?”
Bischoff continued to talk about wrestling being scripted violence before Thompson chimed back in.
“Well hang on now, this is a little different,” Thompson interjected. “This is the arena where he died, roughly a year later, on his actual birthday. So, there is a good chance that some of these fans in the crowd were at Over the Edge the year before and now they’re here and they see another guy flying down to the f***ing floor from up high.”
Bischoff rejected the comparison, however.
“I disagree,” Bischoff said. “You can’t draw a parallel between what happened to Owen and the stunt we created and rehearsed and felt was safe here. They’re not connected.”
The discussion between Bischoff and Thompson can be heard in the player below: