As many of you know, I am a pro wrestling fan … sure, I’m not as big of a fan as I used to be, but I still follow the “sport.” You can imagine how shocked I was to find out about Chris Benoit last night whilst tuning into RAW. I’ve been a fan of Benoit’s for quite a while … in fact, I remember when he teamed with Bobby Eaton during one of the last Crocket Cup tag team title tournaments back in the NWA (yeah, I’m old).
The guy never had the “charisma” on the microphone, which, along with his lack of size, probably hindered his career … or at least prevented him from dominating the sport like Austin or the Rock did. His in-ring skills were never questioned. The guy always gave 110%, and the fans loved him for it. Which gets me to the crossroads of this post.
How will Benoit be remembered? I mean, he killed his wife and his son before killing himself. It is rumored that the guy used to beat his wife (who, by the way, I had a major crush on when she was the “Woman” character on WCW in the late 80’s and early 90’s). Does he go down as another O.J.? Of course, we probably would’ve respected O.J. more if he would’ve just had the decency to take his own life as well (Hey Barry, ya listening?).
The guy had a tremendous career, winning the world title, and numerous other titles in many wrestling organizations around the globe. He was immensely respected by everyone he wrestled against, and was one of those rare wrestlers that could wrestle a broomstick, and make the broomstick look like a seasoned professional. I wouldn’t say that I’m sick to my stomach over this, but this is very disturbing … disturbing enough to bring Vince McMahon out of character last night (he was actually in the middle of a ‘Vince McMahon is dead’ storyline, so this was a pretty big deal).
I just wonder what drove him to do it. I'm guessing it was some sort of debilitating combination of steroids, speed, and pain killers ... seems like a lot of wrestlers have run into difficulties with this. Benoit did have a severe neck injury a few years ago - one in which he needed to get some vertibrae fused together ... not trying to make excuses for the guy, I'm just trying to make sense of it.
I know most of you guys and gals aren’t wrestling fans, and that’s o.k. I just wanted to get your opinion on this. Did I waste too much of my life writing this post?