Welcome, readers, to the first volume of a series of at least five articles on what if something had never happened, or if it had happened differently. This first article will focus on what could have happened regarding storylines and WWE altogether if the Chris Benoit tragedy had never happened, and if he were still alive today.
The story of Benoit’s double-murder suicide is well known around the world. On the weekend of his death, he was slated to win the ECW championship at Vengeance. He told WWE officials that he had to attend to a family emergency at his home. Instead, WWE put Johnny Nitro (now John Morrison) in the match, which Nitro ended up winning.
The Nitro title reign is the first thing that would have changed. Nitro held the title for 2.5 months. He changed his name during that time to John Morrison, and he held feuds with CM Punk and the Miz. The thing is, if he hadn’t won the title, he wouldn’t have feuded with the Miz, which led to him and the Miz teaming up and winning World Tag Team titles. The team was split up when Miz attacked Morrison after Morrison was drafted by Raw. This started an on-and-off feud between the two and helped them reach the upper mid-card status they are at today.
So where would Morrison be if Benoit had won the title? I think he would have gotten his chance to make it to where he is today, I just think it would have taken him longer, and he would probably be in an Evan Bourne position right now.
Where would Benoit be in terms of storylines right now if he were alive today? He was set to win the ECW championship at Vengeance, and he probably would have feuded with CM Punk in the following months, but what about after that? Would he have been a main-eventer, or would he still be upper mid-card?
He would have maybe stayed on ECW for the rest of 2007, before losing his title sometime in late 2007. He might have done well in the future years, probably winning a WWE championship or two. Today, he would be in the main event, maybe on Cena’s team for the Summerslam match against Nexus.
He had a good career before the tragedy. If he were alive today, he would have a great career with his dominating presence. His skills will be missed for a long time to come.
Stay tuned for "What If? Volume Two: Eddie Guerrero."