The Stadium Stampede match from AEW's Double or Nothing PPV has been widely praised for pushing the creative boundaries of professional wrestling and cinematic-styled matches. However, one particular spot from the match has received major criticism and that was Matt Hardy 'drowning' in a pool.
The spot attracted the outrage of wrestling fans as Shad Gaspard recently passed away after he got caught in a strong rip current at Venice Beach.
Dave Meltzer revealed in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that some friends of Shad Gaspard felt uneasy when they saw the spot in which Matt Hardy was forcefully being drowned in the pool.
The comedic spot was meant to enable a character resurrection for Matt Hardy but the decision to include the spot was not welcomed by the fans, considering the unfortunate events that transpired with Shad Gaspard.
Meltzer was told by at least some of Shad Gaspard's friends that the aforementioned scene from the Stadium Stampede match did make them feel uncomfortable. Gaspard's friends were fine with all the other spots.
Meltzer noted the following:
There was a scene where they showed Hardy’s lifeless body and even though it was comedy for another resurrection, I can say that this particular scene was one that at least some friends of Gaspard did find uneasy because they told me that themselves.
Even though Meltzer understood that the spot was part of a larger skit, he stated that keeping in mind recent events, the ideal thing would have been to edit the scene out of the match.
The scene in question involved Ortiz and Santana attempting to drown Matt Hardy in a pool. Anyone who has religiously followed Matt Hardy's character evolution knows that drowning in the water is his way of resurrecting old gimmicks of himself.
Some fans opined that WWE would have been panned if they had aired the spot. However, Meltzer noted that the scene was done for comedic purposes and not violence and that there was no maliciousness involved from AEW's end.