Before we go any further, I'd just like to say that I'm not getting any of this information from someone like Meltzer or anyone else, this is simply my own perception (with a tiny bit of hope thrown in) about what I have seen regarding the WWE.
It has been almost five years since the untimely death of Chris Benoit and his family. That's five years since we've heard his name being mentioned by Vince, JR, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Hunter and any other prominent face in the WWE.
We all know why, as much as we might disagree. A world class athlete, almost totally and undeniably one of the greatest technical performers of all time, perhaps even the greatest, seemingly wiped out of the history books in the blink of an eye. Until now.
In an effort to try and gear everyone up for WrestleMania as much as possible, the WWE, in conjunction with Walmart was and still is, displaying a large amount of WWE DVDs, such as: Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain, WM 19, Bash at the Beach 2009, HHH: The King Of Kings and WrestleMania XX.
Of all the DVDs that WWE would sell at the "family friendly" Walmart, why would they choose to include WrestleMania XX? Yes, they've sold the Satan's Prison DVD before, which does indeed have Chris Benoit in it, but essentially everything said about Benoit is taken out and he's really not prominently featured, unlike WM XX.
Again, why sell WM XX, which showcases the single greatest achievement in Chris Benoit's career, unless they are finally getting ready to slowly incorporate some of Benoit's performances into their programming?
To support my belief, a small quip by Michael Cole before the Royal Rumble referenced Chris Benoit as being one of only two men to win the Rumble from the No. 1 spot, the other one being of course "The Showstopper" Shawn Michaels.
While neither men were actually referred to by name, it still wasn't something that would go totally unnoticed by a knowledgeable wrestling fan. Inducting the Four Horsemen may also be another step towards a Chris Benoit reference, without actually having to refer to him.
Inducting the Four Horsemen is the coward's way out of giving Chris the spot he deserves, but as much as I dislike Chris being ignored, I totally understand why it was done.
Do I think that the WWE is truly moving towards incorporating Chris Benoit back into their product? No. I think that until Vinny passes on, and more likely longer, and most likely forever, Benoit will never be looked at in a positive, or even any light whatsoever by anyone in the WWE, at least in public, or even be shown on a WWE program.
Until those days pass, we can just spend the time watching him perform like no other could, via YouTube, and perhaps some more DVDs from Walmart.
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