July 24th 2007: A day that shook the wrestling world forever.
For those of you that don’t know that was the day Chris Benoit and his family were found dead by Chris’ hand. His crime put the WWE in a bad media light for months, but with the birth of the PG Era, they are moving past it. Many articles have been written about the incident so I’m not going to go into much detail but I will say this. His crime may have been evil and sickening, but that does not change the fact that he was an exceptional wrestler and performer.
And that, my friends, is why Chris Benoit belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame.
For fifteen years, Chris went through pain and suffering putting on a clinic every time he stepped into the ring. Every time he hit his finishing move (diving head butt) he damaged his skull and brain, all for us. He didn’t know he was doing it, but he was inching himself closer and closer to a mental breakdown, all for us.
The WWE Hall of Fame was made to showcase wrestlers, who were talented at what they do, and who gave it all to the fans. Benoit and his family ended up paying the ultimate price for Chris’ dedication to pleasing the fans. I’m not saying that I condone what he did, but he obviously wasn’t in the right state of mind that horrible weekend, and that was from doing exactly what he wanted to do, which is entertaining us.
His technical skills were fantastic. They were even compared to legends such as Bret Hart and Kurt Angle. He was phenomenal at putting over young superstars, making even M.V.P look good. He never spoke much but he didn’t need too. He had that kind of aura that gets the message across with few or no words at all. It takes a skilled actor to do that, like the Undertaker or Randy Orton.
We have no idea what is going through a wrestler’s mind every time they put themselves through physical harm. Benoit took headshots from steel chairs for 15 years doing what he loved to do. He lost his good friend Eddie Guerrero in 2004. Through all of that though, he still managed to put on a great show every time he was in a wrestling ring, whether it was in ECW, WCW or WWE. It’s a shame that he only held the Big Gold Belt 2 times, and he was poised to take the ECW title on the weekend of his death.
I guess he can be known as the best mid-carder. He reached the main-event a couple of times when he was the champion but that was it. It’s a shame really that he was doomed to mid carding, since he could have been really great. If he was still alive today, the WWE could be totally different. I’m certain that the incident contributed to Vince Mcmahon’s decision to go PG.
So don’t remember Chris for his heinous crime, remember him for his dedication in order to please the fans. Remember the phenomenal technical skills he possessed. Remember the huge crowd reaction he got whenever he locked in the Crippler Cross face. Don’t remember this man for his death, remember him for his talent, dedication and love for the sport of wrestling, since that is what the WWE Hall of Fame is supposed to show us.