Jonathan Coachman was in attendance live the night of Owen Hart's death.
Coachman reflected on his memories of that night in a recent appearance on Eric Bischoff's podcast, Bischoff On Wrestling.
Hart suffered fatal injuries in a fall while preparing to make his ring entrance as the Blue Blazer at the Over The Edge 1999 pay-per-view in Kansas City. At the time, Coachman was working as a sports reporter for a Kansas City TV station.
Coachman recalled that WWE had given him seventh-row tickets to the event:
“So, I go in to the show. We were having a good time and thank goodness there was an interview up on the screen. It all went black and all of a sudden you hear this, 'Wham!”'The floor kind of shakes and the lights come up and Owen Hart is laying there. All of a sudden this chaos happens and there was a doctor in front of me and I said, 'What do you think is going on?' He said, 'I have no idea.' None of us knew what had happened.”
Coachman noted that, at the time, he did not have a cell phone.
"I gave my briefcase to my photographer," he recalled. "Keep in mind, this is at a time when sports guys did not have cell phones yet. We didn’t have pagers yet. They just didn’t think we were important enough. News reporters were just starting to get cell phones in their cars. We are only talking seventeen years ago. People act like cell phones have been around for decades.”
As a result, Coachman did not learn the exact details of what had happened until he returned to his station.
“That night I get back to my station to pick up the briefcase that I had given to the photographer. I walked in and I said, 'Guys, I’m not sure but I think something may have happened out there tonight.' They looked at me like, 'Are you kidding me right now? Where have you been?' I had no knowledge. I had no way of knowing. I ended up staying at work all night and all of these shows started calling, 'Do you have any footage? Do you know what is going on?' I did my own local show in the morning. Told everyone what I knew. Just like I am telling you right now. Good Morning America calls two seconds later. So I on Good Morning America and then Larry King calls me maybe an hour later. I ended up doing 15-16 radio interviews and that night I was Larry King Live with you and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.”
Coachman signed on with WWE later in 1999.
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