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June 7, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Fallout from the death of Owen Hart

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In a funeral described by onlookers as overwhelming, the Calgary community, the pro wrestling fraternity and wrestling fans paid their final respects to Owen Hart at his funeral on 5/31.

The funeral, which was front page news in both Calgary newspapers, saw both Alberta Premiere Ralph Klein and Calgary Mayor Al Duerr attend along with current and former wrestlers from around North America.

Various press estimates were that between 1,500 and 3,000 people (CNN reported 3,000 but most reports were closer to the former figure) attended the most publicized wrestling funeral in North America of the modern era. Although funerals for wrestlers who became national heroes like Giant Baba and El Santo were larger, due to the circumstances of the death and the current popularity of wrestling, this was the most publicized in recent memory in North America. In some ways it was similar to the large throng of wrestling fans in 1984 at the funeral of David Von Erich, estimated by various local reports as between 3,500 and 7,000 although that funeral was far more publicized in regards to attempting to draw a large crowd of wrestling fans while the location of this was almost secretive to not draw that kind of element.

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