Cody Rhodes posted a winking emoji on Thursday, a day before WWE SmackDown, leading to fans speculating about if it’s regarding a surprise return, or WWE going back to TV-14 as announced today.
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) July 14, 2022
Cody Rhodes is one of WWE’s most beloved stars residing in Atlanta, while Chris Benoit sadly was part of a tragedy in Atlanta. Chris Benoit is a controversial figure in the pro wrestling industry. It was back in 2007, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion had murdered his wife Nancy and son Daniel before taking his own life that weekend. An episode of WWE RAW was held in his honor mere hours before the true details of the event were revealed to the public. He has since been removed from the history of the company as well as his references are not made publicly.
When content was added to the WWE Network, fans were still able to find matches featuring Chris Benoit, such as the main event of WrestleMania 20 in which Benoit won the World Heavyweight Championship. However, searching his name didn’t produce many results and he was never mentioned in the descriptions of WWE events on the platform.
WWE removed Chris Benoit from the WWE Network
John Carlan, who worked in video-on-demand content for six years with WWE, recently sat down with Wrestlenomics to discuss a wide variety of subjects. He was asked about how the company handled Benoit before and after the launch of the WWE Network. Carlan then came up with a very interesting response.
Here is what he said:
“For Classics, he was a ‘no go.’ Matches were removed, mentions of him were removed, graphics were removed,” John Carlan said. “That was a tough cut, like blurring the WWF logo. You would have to make notes of it and they would say, ‘scratch logo, massive cursing, Benoit,’ it would have to be noted. It was more when we got to the Network, he was allowed. We didn’t want to lose any integrity of any shows. I guess, he did a lot of good wrestling. He did. Things changed. Legally, it changed. Feelings changed. We just followed direction. It was never something I made any calls on. I just did what I was told.”
John Carlan tells us how he and his team that worked on WWE Network content took on the arduous task of preparing New Jack’s ECW matches, which played copyrighted song “Natural Born Killaz” throughout.
— Wrestlenomics (@wrestlenomics) July 13, 2022