– Once a Wrestler, Forever a Murderer –
[Editor’s Warning – This article reads more like True Crime than typical WWE Fanfare. Read at your own discretion.]
Christopher Michael Benoit was born on May 21st, 1967 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Up until June 25th, 2007, Chris was regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the business. I don’t say that lightly. This is a business that has played host to names like Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, Bret The Hitman Hart, and so on, and so forth. Chris Benoit earned his acclaim among them. He was a masterfully technical wrestler, who knew all about in-ring psychology and physicality. Then, on that hot June day in Fayetteville, Georgia, he ended it all after murdering both his wife Nancy Benoit, and his son, Daniel Benoit.
I’ve been running into the same problem for weeks now: I’ll go to cover a historic WWE Pay-per-view event and find Chris Benoit on it. Now, after what he did; I don’t feel comfortable really reviewing his work. I don’t see it as appropriate. This man sedated his young son with Xanax and then choked him to death. A large butcher’s knife was found underneath Daniel’s bed, but it wasn’t used in either murder. Thank God. Not for me. If he had used that butcher’s knife, my job would be easier. You don’t have to cover someone who doesn’t exist, and if he had used that knife, Vince McMahon and the WWE would’ve erased him from existence.
That “thank God” is for his victims alone. A butcher’s knife would’ve… This all took place over a three-day period, from June 22nd-25th in 2007. First, on the 22nd, Nancy was killed in an upstairs office. Her limbs were bound, and her body was wrapped in a towel. A copy of the Bible was left by her body. Injuries indicated that Benoit had pressed a knee into her back while pulling on a cord around her neck, causing strangulation. Blood was also found under her head, suggesting she may have tried to fend off Chris.
After Nancy, Chris moved on to Daniel. He also left a copy of the Bible next to Daniel. In between the murders, Benoit called Chavo Guerrero. At about 3:30 on the 23rd of June, Chavito got an odd call from The Canadian Crippler, who was claiming that he was going to have to miss the house show the WWE was scheduled for in Beaumont, Texas.
Chavo, concerned about his long time friend’s demeanor and tone, called Chris back twelve minutes later, but Benoit didn’t answer. Another couple minutes later, however, The Rabid Wolverine called Guerrero back and said he couldn’t answer because he was changing his flight info. It was such a mess. I remember a friend of mine crying when he got the news. A little much? Yeah, probably.
Chris Benoit had a lot of fans. It came as a surprise to all of us that not only had he taken his own life by way of a weight machine, but he also murdered his wife and son. It was the violence with which it was done – the premeditation. He put a lot of thought into his actions. How can I cover the work of someone who committed such an act? How can I ever look at his matches the same way?
Sure, there are a lot of possible reasons for Benoit snapping. The biggest one would be the mangling that his brain had to endure over years of Professional Wrestling. Julian Bales, the head of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, claimed that his brain was so mangled it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient. Others claim it was because of steroid abuse that he snapped and killed them. Hardcore Bob Holly claims that it was alcohol abuse and not steroids. That’s the thing about this case. There is no possible way to determine what caused Chris to snap. There is only the aftermath. There is not being able to search the name Chris Benoit on the WWE Network. There is not being able to create Chris Benoit in WWE 2k15. They will suspend your online account for whichever game console you possess.
Christopher Michael Benoit is persona non grata in the WWE Universe, and with good reason. As great a wrestler as he was, he ended his life among the muck and mire of the worst of mankind. I believe that entirely. I know there are things that could have caused it, and he may not be entirely at fault, but he ended his life by hanging himself on a weight machine after killing his son and wife. It doesn’t get much worse than that. So this is it. Unless I have a genuine reason to write about Benoit, which is pretty much just his Main Event Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania 20 with HBK and Triple H, I will be glossing over the man and his work.
I will acknowledge him having a match on a card, but I will not be covering it. If you have a problem with that, I don’t know what to tell you.