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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Matter Of Respect
March 15, 2006 by Adam "The Adaman" Heap


Hello Obsessees! Great to see you all again. I thought I'd start off my own series of columns over the next few months about Superstars who put in their time and effort and yet get very little in return either from the company or the internet fans. And so who better to start with than the epitome of respect, the man who has given almost twenty years of his life to wrestling. That's right - the honor of my first 'Respect' column goes to the Rabid Wolverine, Chris Benoit.

Chris' humble beginnings were in Alberta, Canada. He first wrestled for Stampede, owned by Stu Hart. He soon left for Japanese wrestling, under the name 'The Pegasus Kid' and later 'The Wild Pegasus'. Eventually, Benoit returned to America where he tried for WCW but left after getting no attention and no momentum. This led him to the place where he made his name - ECW.

He dropped his 'Pegasus' gimmick and became 'The Crippler' in reference to a match where he accidentally broke Sabu's neck. Benoit had a successful run in ECW but left a while later, signing for WCW in the latter half of 1995. He joined the reformed Four Horsemen but when Brian Pillman left, he went into feuds elsewhere. People for some reason gave Chris no big opportunities and some labeled him as 'The best wrestler never to win the WCW Championship'. In 1999, Benoit did win the aforementioned Championship, but he forfeited it the next day when he left for the WWF with Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko.

Benoit won the Intercontinental Championship not long after joining the WWF, and he often defended it with vigor and, as always, superb wrestling skills. This way of wrestling earned him another nickname as 'The fightingest IC Champ in history'. Benoit then started one of the best technical wrestling feuds ever, with Kurt Angle. Every time they wrestled, the two put on great matches and this earned the two great respect in the back. He lost the title a while later and went on to be a successful mid-carder until King Of The Ring 2001, where he suffered an injury that now features on the 'Don't try this at home' vignette that airs before each and every wrestling show.

During the first WWE draft, Benoit was picked to go to SmackDown!, but he kept wrestling for RAW for a few months before winning the IC Title and leaving for SmackDown! three nights later. From here, Benoit fought low card matches for a while, against newcomer John Cena and others. But Benoit's biggest break was to come during the start of 2004. The writers finally noticed Chris' hard work and he won the 2004 Royal Rumble, becoming one of a few people who have won it from the first entry.

Benoit then became the first person to jump to the other brand after the Rumble, finding a loophole in his contract and going on to face Shawn Michaels and Triple H at WrestleMania 20. Chris then achieved one of his lifelong dreams, winning the World Heavyweight Championship in the first ever Triple Threat match for the title at a Wrestlemania. Chris would lose the title at Vengeance to Randy Orton and from then until now, he has done nothing close to the glory of WrestleMania 20.

Now, seeing as I'm trying to keep the above brief, consider it a list of all Chris' achievements. He is one of the best wrestlers alive today along with Kurt Angle and a lot more from TNA. He rarely needs to speak but when he does, he does it with exactly the right words. When he wrestles, he gives 100%, no matter the occasion. And this is one occasion where it's the WWE's fault for giving him no respect. The fans know he has it in him, even at 39. But the E just doesn't get the point.

Well, there's my two cents. I'd like to plug my new blog at www.adamaniacattack.blogspot.com, which contains many of my thoughts and a few bits and pieces of my life outside wrestling (which is hardly anything compared to what I write about wrestling on there). Enjoy 'Mania, folks. Oh, and one last note for the E - it's not a matter of size or corporate champions. It's a matter of respect.

by Adam "The Adaman" Heap ..


Jose Aguirre wrote:
I completely agree with your column except that Chris Benoit lost his title at Summer Slam not Vengeance.
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