WWE: Former Referee Says Memory of Owen Hart's Death 14 Years Ago Is Still Vivid

Bill AtkinsonAnalyst IApril 18, 2013

(WWE.com photo)
(WWE.com photo)

The referee assigned to the match where Owen Hart lost his life says that moment is something that he has tried to get out of his head but knows he will never outrun.

In an interview with Kayfabe Wrestling Radio (and reported by F4WOnline.com), Jimmy Korderas recalls that he dedicated an entire chapter of his new book, The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee, to Hart’s death in the hope that talking about it would help him deal with the memory that still haunts him 14 years later.

Part of the process of writing the book too, when I was writing the chapter on Owen, I was hoping that it would be a little cathartic, maybe ease part of the pain for lack of a better word, that still lives with me today because, like you said, six inches to my right and I may not be here talking to you today. It did help a little bit (writing the book), ease some of that pain, but not completely. It’s going to be one of those unfortunate things that I won’t forget, but that I have to live with, I guess.

Hart, the younger brother of WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart, was killed in 1999 while making an entrance from the rafters into the ring at the Over the Edge pay-per-view in Kansas City.

Dressed as the superhero Blue Blazer, Hart was being lowered on a cable when the harness he was wearing malfunctioned, and he slipped out. He fell more than 75 feet onto the top rope and was sling-shotted back into the ring. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died.

Hart’s death aside, Korderas says in the interview that the book also includes many happier memories of his 22 years with WWF/E. He calls himself “blessed” to have been witness to so many eras in the company’s growth.

[T]he Golden Era with the Andre the Giant’s and the Hulk Hogan’s and the Randy Savage’s, and then Next Generation with Bret Hart and the Shawn Michaels and that era and the Kliq, and then the Attitude Era, which people to this day still talk about and living through that, and moving onto the next generation with John Cena, Batista and probably my favorite of all time in The Undertaker.

Now 51, Korderas works as a wrestling commentator and was asked last year to referee a match for Ring of Honor Wrestling.

During the interview, Korderas was asked his opinion of the crowd’s behavior during the post-WrestleMania 29 Raw show, which has gotten more than its share of buzz. He says he appreciates the fact that the fans pay to cheer and boo whomever they want, but that crowd “got a little bit crazy and overboard where they did it to amuse themselves as opposed to being entertained with what was going on inside the ring.”

Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.