While the Last Man Standing match between Edge and Randy Orton has been widely praised, it’s also had its fair share of criticism, and not just because it took three days to finish.
At one point in the match, Randy put Edge’s head and neck through some weight lifting equipment, something that offended a lot of people watching. The reason for this is that using a weight machine to asphyxiate is the reported way in which former WWE star and murderer Chris Benoit used to commit suicide in 2007.
Following the show, Dave Meltzer spoke on Wrestling Observer Radio, and said:
“I know some people who go, ‘ah oh well it didn’t offend me.’ I know people in the company it offended. I know when I saw it I couldn’t not see [Benoit]. It’s impossible unless you’re brand new, I know. Here’s the other thing too. It probably affects the talent more than the fans because while you can say that some fans are new and some didn’t see it, there’s not one wrestler there who doesn’t know the Chris Benoit story, not one.”
According to Meltzer, no-one who edited the match together is to blame for the spot, as it was the decision of “someone at the top who overruled other people”.
We don’t know for sure that the person at the top is Vince, but you don’t get more “at the top” than him.
It was a tasteless spot, particularly given the recent Dark Side of the Ring documentary about the Benoit murder/suicide. It’s unfortunate that it has damaged the way people looked at the match, as seeing Edge at WrestleMania again should have been the story.