The Death of Chris Benoit
July 2, 2007 by P. Kieran
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This is my first and probably only column for OWW, I really wish I wasn't writing it. It isn't going to be a tribute or a condemnation, I don't know what it is going to be to be honest, I didn't plan this one out.
I found out about the death of Chris Benoit and his family on Tuesday, a day late as for some reason I didn't (as I usually do) check websites for wrestling news and gossip. My friend sent me a text message while I was at the pub, slightly drunk, what I found out would sober me up pretty damn quick. The message wasn't vague; it contained all the details, which caused me to completely break down. I couldn't believe it, I didn't want to believe it, and I convinced myself it was just a storyline in the WWE or some sort of rumour. That night when I got home and checked up on the news for myself will haunt me for the rest of my life.
I had decided before I heard about this I would watch the Vengeance repeat later that night so before I got onto the computer I ordered the PPV in hope of seeing what would've been an outstanding match between Benoit and CM Punk, Chris Benoit's last ever match. I regret ordering that PPV. After finding out the details of what exactly happened during that fateful weekend at the Benoit residence I slept for an hour hoping it would clear my mind and then reluctantly watched Vengeance.
Who won the matches or even who was in them didn't matter then and it doesn't matter now, all that matters is before that PPV was filmed, Chris Benoit, in the space of two days had transformed himself from a loved and idolised icon, into a murderer. No-one at Vengeance had any idea what had happened, Benoit was possibly dead before it even aired. I wept as I saw Dean Malenko standing watching the Cruiserweight Championship match. Malenko is always a person I have associated with Benoit due to the Radicalz angle when they arrived in the WWE. I shuddered every time they mentioned the reason Benoit was not there, "personal reasons". I punched the couch in fury when Johnny Nitro won the ECW World Championship, thinking to myself, "that should've been Benoit".
Even matches that should've mildly entertained me just left me there in a daze, I didn't know what to do, should I try and enjoy these matches, or do I even care about wrestling anymore? I've been a wrestling fan my entire life and have always backed the underdog, Benoit, although up there as one of the greatest wrestlers in the world, was a true underdog. Every single wrestling fan knew Benoit could carry a world title, hell, carry a company on his back if he was just given the chance. In the WWE he could've been as big as Triple H but Vince didn't seem to have faith.
Chris Benoit was a personal role-model of mine. I have often been criticised for not being able to open up, to talk to people, Benoit has also been criticised for his limited skills on the mic. Now I know that mic skills aren't a "real life" thing and its for my entertainment and I am not trying to compare myself to Chris Benoit, but his success in the wrestling world showed to me that you don't have to be a great talker to get somewhere in life
Right now I am trying to decide if I have any reason to watch wrestling anymore, from any federation. I mean, when something this shocking and tragic happens, is there really any point to it all?
By P. Kieran (View/Submit your feedback here)
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