This Chris Benoit double murder/suicide is just beginning. I stated in my previous issue about this subject, that this is easily the biggest story since Owen Hart and I am starting to believe it will be even bigger. It's really a nightmare for a wrestling fan. This story is shedding such bad light on the "sport." It somewhat irrates me that uneducated people are writing about this and are extremely biased against wrestling. Yeah, it has a lot of bad things about it, but let's wait to hear the whole story. We all know the guy went crazy, but we still have no idea what the cause really was.
It gets harder and harder to look at Chris Benoit as this story progresses. I read today that he possibly used the crippler crossface (his finishing move) on his son to kill him. That's fucked up, period. It shows that this guy was simply not mentally stable at the time. Any professional wrestler knows that you don't try moves on people and kids it's even worse. Some people might not believe this, but some wrestling moves really do hurt and are dangerous. There's a reason why they put a disclaimer saying, "Don't try this at home."
I never really liked Benoit that much. I did think he was a damn good wrestler though. One of the best matches I ever saw live was Benoit vs. WWE Champion, Kurt Angle at the 2003 Royal Rumble in Boston. Chris lost the match, but the Fleet Center gave him a standing ovation. It was actually a really nice moment. People respected this guy and wanted him to win the title (He won it a year later at WrestleMania XX.). A little more than four years later, he would be lucky to get anyone to clap sitting down.
His career now has a huge black cloud over it. DVDs with his matches are being pulled off the shelf and your only hope to watch some of his classics, will be probably be bootlegs on ebay. Although, I will say that it will be tough to watch one of his matches without thinking of what happened to the guy. I think any time someone dies prematurely, regardless of cause, you always look at them differently. At least I do. I can't help, but listen to John Lennon's or Jimi Hendrix's music and think, "What if..." Or watch James Dean and think how many great films he would have made or even Steve Prefontaine and think how many records and gold medals the guy would have won.
The biggest difference between all those people I just listed of course is that they didn't go crazy and kill people. That is what will ruin Benoit's legacy instantly for many and most people. It is extremely difficult to distinguish between Benoit, the wrestler, and Benoit, the man. You want to respect the wrestler, but the man keeps getting in the way. He's fallen into O.J. and Pete Rose territory, but even worse.
The sad part is we will never know why he did it.