"We will go on, and we will not speak of this matter again."---Vince McMahon on the deaths of Chris, Nancy and Daniel Benoit
These eery words echoed through the ECW Broadcast just two days after police discovered the bodies of The Benoit Family. Since the day that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that Benoit and his family were found slain in their home in Georgia, everyone has been either somber or insulted.
But I'm not here to talk about Chris Benoit, the coward. I'm here to talk about Chris Benoit, the wrestler.
That's the man who belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame.
I'm not saying forget about what he did in those final hours prior to his death. I'm not saying forget about Nancy and Daniel. I'm not even saying forget about the mysterious text messages and the anarchy that followed for months after their deaths.
But whatever you do, don't forget about what he did in the ring.
Chris Benoit was arguably the greatest technical wrestler in professional wrestling history. No disrespect to the other graduates of The Dungeon, but Benoit perfected the art of technical wrestling in his illustrious career. Benoit has several championships that solidified his place in history. From WCW's Television Championship to ECW's Tag Team Championships to WWE's United States Championship.
But Benoit's biggest moment of glory came at Wrestlemania XX when he realized a lifelong dream. At the sports cathedral known as Madison Square Garden, Benoit outlasted both Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a Triple Threat Match to win his first and only World Heavyweight Championship. Though he lost the strap to Randy Orton at Summerslam of that year, Benoit went on to continue his illustrious career by claiming the United States Championship several years later.
But it was Benoit's draft to ECW that led him back to the top of the mountain. A week after he was drafted to the brand, Benoit went on to win a spot in the main event for Night of Champions the following weekend. He was scheduled to face CM Punk for the vacated ECW Championship at that Sunday's pay per view. Unfortunately, Benoit missed the flight and John Morrison was placed in his spot.
So instead of talking about arguably one of the greatest technical showdowns since Benoit vs. Hart after Owen's death, we had to deal with a string of lame rivalry moments between Morrison and Punk.
But what none of the superstars knew was that on the night that all of them were battling for gold, their in-ring comrade was killing his family in their Fayetteville, Georgia home. A sad story nonetheless, Benoit has been completely wiped off the slate in regards to the WWE.
But what he did and what he left still remains today. Benoit's patented Crippler Crossface is still used by both Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Team 3D, formerly the Dudley Boyz, still use the Flying Headbutt (in their own special way). And to say that WWE should just forget what Benoit brought to the table would be an insult to his family, the fans and even to the wrestler known as Chris Benoit.
This is why I say it is time for all of us to move past that fateful day in June of 2007. Almost two years after the double homicide-suicide, we all are trying to move on from the incident. However, it is still a harsh and touchy subject to tackle. But after the tragedies of Hollywood over the last few years, we all try to find something good in every single one.
No matter what Chris Benoit did outside of the ring, he deserves an induction.
I'm not condoning his actions, but I am accepting what he did while he was with us. Benoit was a great wrestler, something that we haven't had in a long time. He has earned his spot in the Hall of Fame by performing for all of us for over two decades. And after the fact that Stephanie McMahon openly admitted that he would have been ECW Champion after Night of Champions, he would have earned the strap that eluded him while in the original ECW.
So even though Vince McMahon has openly said that he, as well as the company, has moved on from the situation with Chris Benoit, it's clear that they should give the man the stripes he deserves.
But we all know that he will not be in the WWE Hall of Fame because of what he has done personally. But professionally, he deserves a spot among those immortals. His family didn't cause this tragedy to happen...he did. But when they look back at the alums of professional wrestling, Benoit's name will not be omitted or blocked out of the record books.
So World Wrestling Entertainment, do what you did for Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero was also using steroids. Even though he didn't commit an act of Roid Rage, he did die via heart attack several years ago. But you honored him anyway. Why not show the same courtesy for Benoit's family? How about Nancy Benoit's family? Even better, why not induct Nancy and Daniel Benoit instead of Chris?
Whatever you do, don't forget what Chris Benoit did for you...and for all you greedy mofos, don't forget how much money he brought in during his stint with you.
Because we haven't forgotten Chris Benoit...and we never will forget what he did for us.