I’m going into this fully expecting to catch all sorts of hell just from the title of this article alone. I’m a big boy, I can handle it, I just hope that nobody takes what I’m saying as an endorsement of the final acts of Chris Benoit. I will NEVER forget and certainly never forgive him for what he did to his wife and child, in no way will that ever be accepted by the fans of pro wrestling, as well it shouldn’t. As a father with a three year old child I can promise if anyone were to ever harm her there would be many levels of hell to pay, and in no way could I ever harm her myself. If he had ended his own life and left the other two alone, things would have been completely different than where we stand currently.
If the Hall of Fame were a real thing instead of the made up product of Vince McMahon that it happens to be (more on what I hope from that on another day) Chris Benoit would have clearly been a first ballot (another absurd theory since there’s no real ballot) member of said Hall. I have no problem admitting I was a massive fan of Benoit, even going so far as to write a post on my old MySpace page about how a legend was dead, before we had any clue about what had actually happened in the house. Once word came out I removed it and made sure not to save a copy. He may have been a short guy, but he was one HELL of a worker in the ring. I still, to this day, see Chris Benoit as the best technical wrestler I have had the chance to see work a match. I could see a matchup between Benoit and Punk headlining WrestleMania in a barn burner, tearing the house down. Fans still admit how much they loved his work in the ring and how much of a shame it is that we have to wipe him from our memory because of his final act of insanity.
As a wrestling fan I would easily put Chris Benoit in a solid third place on my list of all-time favorite workers, just ahead of Raven and sitting only behind Undertaker and Jake Roberts. There wasn’t a prettier German Suplex in the business, his falling headbutt was a thing of beauty, and the Crippler Crossface was one of the greatest finishes I’ve ever seen in all my years watching wrestling. While he wasn’t the most exciting man on the mic, he didn’t need to be, he just got in the ring and busted his ass night in and night out, doing everything he could to entertain the fans. Very few, if any, workers could get me to sit down and watch any and every match in which they were involved. If you enjoyed seeing athleticism, precision moves, and true artwork in the ring, Chris Benoit was your man. You will never hear it mentioned on television but even the popular Daniel Bryan modeled his ring work after Chris Benoit to a degree.
We all know how his life came to an end, and I have my belief lately on what helped lead to this disgusting finale to an amazing career and the lives of his wife and his innocent child. As much as I am willing to admit that concussions had a part in what happened that night, one thing I feel also played a major part in it was the amount of steroids that he was taking at the time which had to have an effect on his brain functions just as much as the numerous blows to the head. I do honestly believe that his doctor is just as guilty as Benoit himself in the murders of Nancy and Daniel. I feel that one day we’ll find out what’s making these pro athletes snap isn’t just concussions but also the increased testosterone making them go overboard because they start to lose all touch with reality and start to lose their ability to control their emotions and process logic and reason. Putting that all together I think we should be hauling in any doctor who has put their personal gain ahead of the health of their patient and charging them with the murder because of their enabling of these addictions.
I know this is a pretty controversial topic, but I honestly am not afraid to take on any topic that comes my way. I will always remember Chris Benoit for his amazing work and the things he was able to pull off in the ring, not for the deranged monster that killed his wife, child, and then himself. I can promise you right now that people would flock to the stores and purchase a Chris Benoit DVD going over his career and all of his greatest matches in a heartbeat. You may not admit it, maybe even hide that DVD under the mattress so that nobody out there realizes that you bought it, but it would be a big mover because his work was THAT good. Admitting that Chris Benoit was one of the greatest workers to ever enter the ring is NOT endorsing what he did in his final moments, I am able to separate the two as completely individual parts of one complex and damaged human being. Bill Clinton has already proven to us that you don’t have to have the greatest moral fiber as a man in order to be seen as great. I feel the same way about Chris Benoit the wrestler, while also detesting Chris Benoit the man.