Title: Former WWE photographer reveals Vince McMahon’s original plan for a comedic twist in his on-screen funeral segment
Former WWE photographer, John Giamundo, recently shared in an interview on the Cheap Heat Productions Podcast how Vince McMahon had initially planned for his Mr. McMahon character’s funeral to turn into a comedy segment. However, the storyline had to be scrapped following the tragic real-life events that unfolded involving the death of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, who had committed suicide after murdering his wife and young son. Giamundo recalled the details of McMahon’s original plan and how it was abruptly changed due to the shocking news of Benoit’s demise.
On June 11, 2007, the WWE Executive Chairman’s on-screen persona, Mr. McMahon, died after his limousine was engulfed in flames. The storyline was set to continue with a funeral segment scheduled for the June 25, 2007, episode of RAW. Giamundo revealed that the comedic twist in the segment involved dropping the casket and incorporating typical wrestling humor, all at Vince’s expense. However, everything changed on the same day when news broke about Chris Benoit’s death.
The Tragic Turn of Events:
Benoit, who had failed to show up for the Vengeance: Night of Champions event the day before RAW, raised suspicions among his fellow wrestlers. Giamundo mentioned that some believed Benoit might be sick and avoiding calls. It was only later, when Vince McMahon gathered the entire WWE staff in the arena before RAW, that they learned the shocking truth. McMahon took the microphone and informed everyone about Benoit’s death, leading to an atmosphere of complete disbelief and shock among the staff.
The Immediate Cancellation of the Mr. McMahon Funeral Segment:
Upon learning about Benoit’s tragic death, Vince McMahon made the swift decision to drop the planned funeral segment and refocus the episode of RAW as a tribute to the fallen wrestler. The circumstances surrounding Benoit’s actions were yet to be revealed at the time. This abrupt change in storyline was a reflection of the gravity of Benoit’s actions and the impact they had on the WWE family.
Giamundo’s Reflection on Release from WWE:
In a separate Cheap Heat Productions Podcast interview, Giamundo took the opportunity to reflect on his own release from WWE in 2022 after serving for 21 years with the company. While not directly related to the Mr. McMahon death angle, Giamundo’s departure from WWE provides insight into the dynamic nature of the wrestling industry and the changes that occur behind the scenes.
The planned comedic twist in Vince McMahon’s on-screen Mr. McMahon character funeral segment was a significant departure from the usual somber tone associated with such storylines. However, the tragic events surrounding Chris Benoit’s death forced WWE to make a sudden change, canceling the light-hearted segment and turning the following RAW episode into a tribute for the deceased wrestler. The revelations by former WWE photographer John Giamundo shed light on WWE’s decision-making process during a difficult and unprecedented time, highlighting the delicate balance between entertainment and real-life tragedies in the world of professional wrestling.