Disclaimer – I need to state that a lot of this article is about Chris Benoit, and while I understand how the majority of people feel about him, it would be impossible to write about his son David without mentioning Chris, so please bear with me and read through before going off on me.
It’s been announced that David Benoit will be making his wrestling debut on July 18th in Calgary at a Hart Legacy Wrestling event. He’s been training with David Hart Smith, and has spent some time at Lance Storm’s Wrestling School. David’s first match will be a tag match in which he will be partnering with Chavo Guerrero.
My first thoughts when I started reading about David’s debut in professional wrestling were of excitement. While Chris Benoit is no longer with us, and few people like to talk about his work in the industry because it brings up so many hard thoughts and feelings, his wrestling career is nothing to sneer at. While the WWE has done everything in their power to remove all mention of Chris in all ways possible on all shows and PPVs, they have not gone in and removed everything that he did while in ECW, WCW and WWE. With the WWE Network showing all PPVs of the aforementioned companies, there’s a lot of Chris’ work being seen, so the fans who are not skipping his matches are being reminded of just what a extraordinary wrestler he was, but also of how many head injuries he sustained. So there’s the greatness that Chris was, then the horrific cruelty he wrought on his family. There’s so many reasons that people have called on that lead to that tragic weekend in the Benoit house, including head injuries, steroid use, pain killer use, and the loss of close friends, and while none of them are excuses, none of them have anything to do with David.
David gave an interview recently, talking about the industry today, the undercard in the WWE, and some of his father’s feuds with both the big guys. He also really ripped apart Dixie and the horrible mess TNA has become, and saying that it has become “A shitty organization to work for.” He talked up MVP and his work with Chris. After his father died he stepped away and stopped watching wrestling for two years, but now has the passion to become a wrestler himself. David also talked about how Daniel Bryan followed in his father’s footsteps of being an underdog, going into a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania and then winning the big one.
Jericho has stuck by David and has been there for him through the years when others haven’t. David claims he hasn’t received any of his father’s royalties, or even his final paycheck from the WWE. Said the Bret Hart Appreciation Night show was just horrible. The wrestling wasn’t there, and there was no direction. On the other hand, he claims that if his father was still alive, that the WWE would be so much better, wouldn’t have gone PG, RAW would still be two hours. His father’s death changed the route of the company as a whole. He wasn’t wholly negative about the WWE and their shows, and has some great ideas and understanding of the industry, but also shows how young he is and how much he has to learn. The biggest problem I saw was all his negativity.
The biggest question floating around right now would be, if David’s wrestling career actually took off, would he have a spot in the WWE? I think this is a catch 22. First off, all the negativity coming from David could hurt him in the long run, just look at Dolph Ziggler! Beyond that, if David proved he could go in the ring and on mic, the WWE would look like fools if they didn’t give him a chance. They would be accused of shunning him because of his father, which he had nothing to do with. On the other hand, if they hired him, no matter what lame name they would give him to wrestle under, everyone would know he’s Chris Benoit’s son. Joe Hennig, the Fatu twins, Windham Rotunda, and so many others have been given names unlike the ones they grew up with, but we all know who they are, and who their fathers are, it’s the way of the industry today.
I know it will be a while before we know how strong David is in the ring, and what direction he wants to go as a wrestler, but the questions are already surfacing, and people are already talking. Chris Benoit is one wrestler that few want to talk about these days, but with David stepping into the ring, he will be bringing his father’s legacy with him – both the good, and the bad.
Queen of WNW