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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Is He For Real"
May 29, 2006 by Jon Rosaler


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Hello, OWW columnists. My last column bombed because I made a fatal error on who people call a "sell-out". Anyway, I thought I could upgrade my potential on writing a column on "The Crippler." I may not be a wise wrestling fan and haven't watched that long, but I enjoy the in-ring abilities of any superstar, even the least technical ones like John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Boogeyman, and Chris Masters. I am writing about Chris Benoit because there are those who think he has become a jobber. What has happened to the Canadian Crippler we have come to know and love"

Chris Benoit has wrestled for 20 years in the pro-wrestling world. Although, like other former world champions such as Bret Hart, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle of course, Eddie Guerrero, and Rob Van Dam, he started off in amateur wrestling, then he moved on to the big time. He started off from the Pegasus Kid into one of the top greatest technical wrestlers today. Fans, just because he lost to Finlay once or twice does not mean he can't put on one hell of a match.

Benoit enhanced his career by moving over to ECW in the mid-90's and there, showing the extreme world exactly how extreme Christopher Michael Benoit really is, feuding with guys like RVD and New Jack. He even managed to do a German suplex through a table! Over the years, he met friends, like the late Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and he has also come across his mentor's sons, including Bret "Hitman" Hart in World Championship Wrestling, where he would feud with the likes of Jeff Jarrett, DDP, and Raven. When he was a heel in WCW, he got to feud with Malenko against Rey Misterio Jr. and Konnan. A good feud I must add.

After putting on incredible matches in WCW, it was time to step up to plate, winning the WCW World Heavyweight title in January, 2000. This one day title reign nobody, including Benoit, considered a dream come true. Chris was the first to win it over Dean, Perry and Eddie, but it was not the defining moment he was looking for. Just six days after vacating the WCW title, Saturn, Guerrero, Malenko and Benoit, all signed to the World Wrestling Federation, attacking the New Age Outlaws. Chris Benoit made a legend out of himself, having incredible matches that year against Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, The Rock, Kane, Undertaker, Edge, Christian and Rikishi. In 2001, Chris Benoit joined the Alliance. He got to team with Chris Jericho and went on to feud with Edge & Christian, The Dudleyz Boyz, The BOD, and others. 2001, in my opinion, was a dull year for Chris.

2002 got much better for Benoit. Turning heel and he got the IC title back along with being the first person to win the SD! tag team titles with Kurt Angle, even though lasting under two weeks. Benoit continued to be heel through the summer of 2003 after a 2-month feud with Team Angle (I believe he was a face) and then Eddie Guerrero over the US title. He did some mid-card tag teaming with Edge, then Rhyno after Edge got injured the next couple of months. Chris Benoit was then realized as a full time face and at Survivor Series 2003, both Benoit and Cena were the last two men in the elimination match and later on, in some ways, they started a mini-feud leading up to the Royal Rumble. Many of you don't like Cena. I don't care. Criticize me after the column is done. Like him or not, Cena and Benoit's feud was at the same level with Kane and Big Show's feud now. At the time, Cena and Benoit were face and Cena did more raps then, too. When the two made it to the top five or six at the Rumble, Cena got eliminated as if nothing had happened. I would have assumed the two men would battle it out more in the Rumble, but everyone was after the then US Champ, Big Show and coincidentally Chris and Show were the last two. The Rock eliminated Big Show last at the 2000 RR, so Chris Benoit in a way, clichéd it a bit and Chris Benoit became the third person to win the Royal Rumble at #1.

Benoit then jumped to RAW where at WrestleMania XX, he would face HBK and HHH for the World Heavyweight Championship. Eddie Guerrero won the WWE Championship at No Way Out, so Chris decided to go for his own title. It was a match that the crowd was extremely over with. One side wanted HBK to win, one wanted Benoit to win and even a few wanted the Game to win, due to his talent. It was down to Benoit and a bloodied Triple H in the crippler cross-face and after a two minute suspense, the king of kings taps out and Chris Benoit finally had that defining moment. A minute later, Eddie Guerrero showed up, raising the hand of Chris Benoit, holding both their belts, and it was a heart-breaking moment all over the Arena.

It was just the beginning for Benoit. He later teamed back with Edge and recaptured the World Tag Team titles. He had two matches at Bad Blood. One with Edge against La Resistance and then, he defended his World Title against Kane. He faced HHH again at Vengeance and beat him again. It was a big push for Benoit. He even managed to win the titles a third time. Two weeks after Taboo Tuesday, Edge turned heel and beat the hell out of Benoit. It was more degrading to make Benoit tap after a cheap-shot bleeding. It was the first time in years Benoit tapped. I don't mean to rub it in, I just hate seeing that image in my head. Benoit feuded with Edge onto Survivor Series, but then came up short getting eliminated first. That feud made Triple H lose his title when Benoit was pinned and Edge tapped at the exact same time. Both men went onto the Elimination Chamber. Unfortunately, he came up short again.

Chris Benoit immediately went back to mid-card. He even had the audacity to job to Hassan. He lost at both WrestleMania and Backlash. When the draft lottery occurred, he got a push getting a shot at the US title beating Orlando Jordan at Summerslam in 23.4 seconds! Then, it all went downhill from there after his feuds with Booker T and JBL.

Currently, Chris Benoit is now called a jobber. WWE gave Benoit a moment in the sun for a year and moved over to the mid-card status. He got two shots as the US Champion on SD! and then came JBL. Just like that, Chris Benoit turned into something AJ Styles, Ron Killings, Kane, Big Show, Mick Foley, Booker T, and even Sgt. Slaughter have become: "Jobbers" or "Mid-Carders Jobbing".

Even when Chris Benoit is not in a main event, he has proven himself more than anyone else that he one of the top greatest technical wrestlers out there. When we think about great technical Wrestlers like, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair, Buddy Rogers, Bobo Brazil, Ernie Ladd, Brooklyn Brawler, Bret "Hitman" Hart, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Bamm Bamm Bigelow, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, RVD and the list goes on, all of you should know, even if they are not wrestling anymore, you know that they have proven to you fans, that they are truly what the pro wrestling world is about. Benoit will step up to that plate again one day, and when he does, it will be for real!!!!

Here are his top 5 matches:

Chris Benoit vs. Bret Hart:-July 1999, Nitro --- The tribute match for Owen Hart was taken for granted , considering the WWF at the time was cautiously controversial with Owen's death. Chris back then did not use the sharpshooter as much. Benoit uses the sharpshooter more because of Stu Hart. That match was lighting up the evening with one gifted wrestler wrestling yet another gifted wrestler. Bret Hart won, but win or lose, that was a great match.

Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle-March 2001,WM17 --- The European and IC titles were on the line and three talented wrestlers put on a high flying show, and in addition, Chris Benoit was mostly in favor of the crowd, considering the popularity he has gained while working with WCW. Once again, Chris Benoit loses, but winning isn't everything, he did his best.

Chris Benoit vs. Rob Van Dam-August 2002, SD! --- RVD desperately needed to bring the IC title back on RAW. He did everything he got and he finished with a 5 Star frog splash and Chris Benoit losing.

Chris Benoit vs. Kane-Bad Blood June 2004 for the WHC --- I'm not saying it was a very technical match, but Benoit did have two matches that night, so that just proves that Benoit has all the potential in the world. If you ask me, he was a good champion.

Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero-June 2005,ECW: ONS --- Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero's final PPV

by Jon Rosaler..


Matt wrote:
You're right that Benoit is being misused (although now he's out for injury), and he should always be at the main event level. I also thought his feud against Booker T for the US title was decent, and he had a number of quality matches against Randy Orton in that feud. However, just because Benoit is being misused is no reason to get your facts wrong. Benoit missed the entire Invasion angle (thank goodness) because of neck surgery (which happened right after a triple threat match w/Austin and Jericho at KOTR 2001) and he also won the Intercontinental title (he got pinned by Jericho for the European title) at WrestleMania 2000 (not WrestleMania X-7).
SrA Michael V. Sears wrote:
While this column was intended to tell us all how truly awesome Chris Benoit is, it seemed rushed and lacked correct info. I'm certainly not disagreeing that Benoit is one of the best ever, but like all greats after nearly 20 years in the ring, he too needs a bit of a rest. So the writers over at SmackDown wrote him out of the story for a while. You can't expect a wrestler to be pushed to the moon then written off completely. No it has to be gradually done. We all saw it coming, whether it was due to nagging injuries or his contract situation. Now as for his five "greatest" matches, I find it odd that a majority of the one you chose had Benoit coming out the loser. If we are talking quality wrestling, with Benoit still losing, look no further than Royal Rumble 2003, in Benoit's failed bid to dethrone Kurt Angle as WWE Champion. Not only was it one of Benoit's best matches, it was one of the best of all time. Please tell me, how could you possibly leave out WrestleMania XX""" Once again one of the best matches of all time, it had everything. Good buildup in the weeks prior, the crowd was evenly divided among Shawn, Triple H, and Benoit, and there was the element of the unknown. Unlike the impending return of the Undertaker earlier in the card, it was hard to fathom a guess as to who was going to win. It didn't seem like the WWE had pushed Benoit enough to give him the World title, but when he applied the Crossface to Triple H at the end of the match, the pure energy from the crowd was unbelievable!!! They even finished the match right, having Benoit make the seemingly unbeatable champion Triple H tap out, as opposed to having him Michaels, who was NOT the champ. As for other matches, the entire best of seven series in WCW against Booker T for the TV title were classics. He had a tremendous ladder match against Chris Jericho in 2001 at the Royal Rumble. Yes he came out the loser, but the match propelled both stars closer to main event status, just like when the two tagged later in the year to defeat Triple H and Steve Austin for the World Tag Team Titles. Finally you make it sound like 2001 was disappointing because he didn't accomplish much. Let's not forget he was in a thrilling match at King of the Ring involving Jericho and Austin for the WWE Title. It was that match he became a bigger star, and also injured his neck, which required year ending surgery, and that was the ultimate reason 2001 was disappointing. So for future columns, try and do a little more research and this will allow you to better relate to your audience.
James Doscher wrote: Jon-you are an idiot.

First Summer 2003-you think he is face. He had been a face since September of 2002 in a feud/team with Kurt Angle. The feud with Team Angle started IN JANUARY 2003 and went until Wrestlemania 19. He then had a feud with the FBI. The feud with Eddie Guerrero was not until late July and was face. A feud with Cena, please they had ONE singles match against each other. Cena could have a brawl with Benoit. Cena nearly destroyed his leg when the Big Show tossed him over the top rope. Only two people have gotten the #1 Spot and still won the Royal Rumble. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit. Vince McMahan won the 1999, but he got the #2 spot, Ric Flair won the 1992 Royal Rumble From the #3 spot, and Rey Mysterio won the last Royal Rumble from the #2 spot. The info For RAW was correct

When he was drafted to Smackdown, he was pushed to a main event feud with JBL right away over the "Smackdown" Title. Then after Batista was announced as the final draft pick and he brings with him the World Heavyweight Championship. After that he started to feud with Orlando Jordan for the US Championship. Then he feuded with Booker T in which he loss and regained the US Championship. After that he jobbed the US belt over to JBL at WM22.

As for his best matches-The Owen Hart Tribute Match Was 10-4-99. Not July. I know for a fact, I own the Chris Benoit DVD. WM17-Benoit faced Kurt Angle 1-on-1. That match he lost. The Match you are talking about was the two fall Triple Threat at WM2000 with the Intercontinental Championship on the line in the first fall, he pinned Chris Jericho, and the European Championship on the line in the second fall, Chris Jericho pin Benoit, and Kurt Angle loses both belts. How stupid is this one-against RVD on Smackdown in August 2002. RVD was not able to be on Smackdown being a RAW superstar. That match was at Summerslam. that one you actually got the Month and the year right. The match against Kane at Bad Blood all the Information is right for a change. Finally the match against Eddie Guerrero at ECW One Night Stand. That was not Eddie Guerrero's last PPV. He wrestled Rey Mysterio at the Great American Bash and Summerslam, Ladder Match, and Batista in the main event at No Mercy for the World Heavyweight Championship.

You can't do just a top five, you need a top ten at least. Here are 5 more matches

Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle inside a Steel Cage on RAW on 6/11/01. Benoit German Suplex's Angle from top, nails the flying headbutt off the top, and nail nine straight German Suplex's in a row.

Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle, Benoit's real WM17 match. Great match-Superstars placed it tenth on Wrestlemania's greatest matches

WM XX vs. Triple H & Shawn Michaels to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Chris Benoit goes up against the Showstopper and the King of Kings at the Biggest event of all time and makes Triple H tap Out. Triple H almost never taps out.

Two months Prior to that-the Royal Rumble. Chris Benoit enters 1st, lasts 1 hour, and eliminates six of the biggest men, Bradshaw, Mark Henry, Rhyno, Matt Morgan, A-Train, and the Big Show. Randy Orton was is next on the list, but only lasts 34 minutes. Shawn Michaels is the only other person to EVER enter first and win.

Backlash 2001-Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle in a 30-minute Submission Ironman match. Chris battles back form 3-1 with only 18 minutes left and Angle on a roll and with stands the Anklelock at the end of the 30 minutes to win, 4-3, in overtime.

Please I beg of you, the next you an article, Check your facts. Outside WCW and the Ultimate Pinhead, This article is my best laugh in terms of wrestling, and I just ripped you and new one. Now if you do write another article and mess facts big time again, I will rip you an even bigger new you.

You just got served.
Steven P. wrote:
Is Chris Benoit for real" Absolutely. Benoit has an incredible move arsenal and has incredible physical and mental strength. You need to understand something. Benoit is 40 or 41 years old now. He's not a normal 40 year old, but when a person wrestles 250 days a year, your body is going to take a beating. Benoit won the title at WM 20 at the age of 38. He asked for a serious break for his new contract. He was considering working for New Japan, because they only have two or three shows a month. I understand that you believe that he has become a "jobber", but I don't believe that to be true. The man is beat up. I don't think that he's come to the end of his career, but he's slowing down. Now, I don't want to jump all over you, but you made some pretty bad mistakes that you'll probably get hit with. First, Benoit never jobbed to Muhammad Hassan. They had one match on Raw, and Benoit won it. Second, in the five best match section, the Triple Threat Match was at WrestleMania 16 in 2000, not 17 in 2001, where Benoit had a five star match with Kurt Angle. That was better than the Triple Threat, in my opinion. Third, the IC match with Rob Van Dam was at Summerslam 2002, not SmackDown. Finally, Bam Bam Bigelow is with one m, not two. Trust me, I just wrote an article on him. Benoit seems like a jobber now, but once he gets a good rest, he'll be back on top. Thanks for the time.
OfLegend wrote:
Your column is full of errors and misconceptions. For a start, Rob Van Dam did not start off in amateur wrestling and is not a former world champion. Secondly, Chris Benoit never joined The Alliance. In 2001, his neck was injured in a title match at KOTR against Steve Austin and Chris Jericho and he missed the entire ECW/WCW Invasion angle. A dull year perhaps, but since he missed most of it through injury, hardly his or the bookers' fault.

Thirdly, it wasn't cliché to eliminate the Big Show last at the Royal Rumble. It had been done once before, true, but that was because of a feud between The Rock and Show. In 2003, Show was left 'til last as a final (physical) representation of Benoit having to overcome obstacles larger than him.

Next, "audacity" is not a word that fairly describes Benoit's jobbing to Hassan, unless you are using it in a sarcastic sense (if so, then put it in inverted commas, as I have done). The WWE misread Hassan's crowd reactions at the time and were actually pushing him towards a title feud before the network stepped in. It was not Benoit's choice to job to the man, it was the booking committee's decision, and they thought it was the best decision to make for business. If you're pushing someone to the top of the card, they have to beat people like Benoit.

Also, your list of technical wrestlers is frankly a joke. Steamboat and Flair you could make cases for (though Flair is pushing it), but certainly not Roddy Piper, Rob Van Dam or the Brooklyn Brawler. I'd even be hesitant to consider Bret Hart a great technical wrestler: while he undoubtedly had skill on the mat, his offence was primarily built around limb psychology.

Your top five is also amusing. Benoit faced Jericho and Angle at WrestleMania 2000, not X-7. In this match, he certainly didn't lose as you suggested: he got the first pinfall, thus winning the Intercontinental Championship. And why, in a topic where you are singing Benoit's praises, are you pointing out that the crowd cheered him" Benoit was a heel at this point, and by saying he got cheered, you are effectively saying that he failed at doing his job. And I don't remember the crowd being exactly ecstatic for The Crippler in that particular contest. Additionally, while Van Dam/Benoit was one of RVD's better matches, it is far from one of Benoit's. The way I recall, there were blown spots and mistakes made, and frankly I could list twenty better Chris Benoit WWE matches off the top of my head (he had a better match against the bloody A-Train, for god's sake). Likewise with Kane/Benoit, the inclusion of which is frankly farcical, as is claiming that Benoit has "all the potential in the world". He's a veteren in his late 30s, not a sodding green as grass up-and-comer. And as for Eddie/Benoit at One Night Stand, this was possibly their worst match together, Guerrero (if you believe backstage talk) deliberately entering in an average performance in order to protest doing a clean job just a few weeks into his big heel turn (a questionable booking decision, in my view).

You also claimed Benoit used the Sharpshooter in the match against Bret "because of Stu Hart". Eh" The Sharpshooter was not Stu Hart's finishing hold, the Sugar Hold was (a seated full-nelson). To my knowledge, he never even used it, unlike Bret and Owen.

I did read your other article, incidentally, and you fully deserved the negative reaction, it being even worse than this one. I advise you to brush up on history, check your facts and watch a bit more wrestling to get a more informed opinion before you come out with well-intentioned but lacking junk like this one.
Kamil wrote:
This column was terrible. So many of your facts are messed up, it's horrific. Also, you cannot just go out and say that those certain matches are his top five. He has had many great matches out of his long career.

It really does show you have not been watching wrestling wrong. Chris Benoit has been a big picture in WWE the past couple of years. Also, I have NEVER heard anyone call him a jobber. NEVER! You are the only person.

Once again, your facts are truly messed up with your facts! November 22nd of this year will mark the date of Chris Benoit's debut as a professional wrestler. That will be 21 years. You are talking about him stepping up to the plate again. The man has been stepping up to the plate for nearly 21 years, and he has proven himself for as long as he has been wrestling. The man has held 29 different titles in his career. Look at his profile page on here. A career does not just consist of what you see on T.V.! Chris Benoit has gone through so much wear and tear, it is time he started settling down, not keep putting all of that stress on his body. That is why he is taking an indefinite sabbatical. Because he has stepped up to the plate for nearly 21 years.

The thing is! I VERY MUCH DISLIKE CHRIS BENOIT! But even I'm smart enough to know what he has gone through, and what he has done in his illustrious career. You need to get your facts straight dude.
Rob Powell wrote:
The Rabid Wolverine is a phenomenal wrestler, and it's sad the way WWE has reduced him to mid-card status. As much I love Rey Mysterio, I would like to see Benoit take the title from him when he comes back.
Spiro K (Queens NY) wrote:
You much not have been a Chris Benoit fan for that long. You have to understand something about Chris Benoit, HE IS AN AMAZING WRESTLER i know because i am a huge fan of his. AMAZING TECHNICAL WRESTLERS DONT SALE TICKETS. there are exception to the rule ofcourse but look at the guys that were and are on top of the promotions over the years. Most of them do 5 wrestling moves in a match no more no less and you know what, they dont need to do more cause they sale tickets.

you could of named some WAY better matches then the ones you did. buy his dvd if you dont have it already and you'll see what i'm talking about. other than that, great article.
Chi Chi Cardiel wrote:
...Jon, your article...was....well, kinda fake...but "ok"...it seems you just went into the oww information index for wrestler's and started writing....no offense...and uhh..it seems you named some old school wrestler's just to appeal to the older readers..as i doubt you have ever watched a BOBO BRAZIL match or brooklyn brawler or ernie ladd,steamboat, or buddy rogers...u state bobo brazil was a great wrestler but...have you ever seen one of his matches" wasnt it back like in ...1920's or 30's" was there even wrestling in TV or TV PERIOD"""" television was invented in 1926 and i highly doubt there were RAW fans as you watching hahahaha...but...NICE TRY :). And it seems you picked a technical wrestler to further make it seem...oh forget it...waste of breath and time....NICE try jon...but this one kind of flopped like your john cena one.
Jon Rosaler (Original Author) wrote:
Once again, I have made inaccurate statements and I apologize. Chris Benoit had a lot better matches with Kurt Angle and RVD. And The guy who owns the Chris Benoit DVD, I have the Bret Hart DVD and I was certain it was earlier than October, I will re-check the DVD and Right back here.

I promise, everyone I will do better on my next peace and get every single one of my facts right.

As for my greatest Rival, Chichi. Chichi, I don't like you that much, but I respect you. And Bobo Brazil Wrestled in the 1940s-50s not the 20's. And yes I have Seen a Ricky Steamboat Match, one against Bret Hart in the 80's. Ricky's pretty old now, huh"
Jon Rosaler wrote:
This is my last chance to say anything else. James Dotcher, I was sure Austin won as the Number 1 entry, but I could be wrong and Rey Mysterio won at #2. Chi Chi, what the hell, I wrote a column on The Rock, not Cena. My next column won't be a parody either, I decided to change the Name.
PtrcTe wrote:
When I started watching wrestling back in 1996 I was 8 years old and the first promotion I watched was WCW. The first wrestler I became a fan of was Chris Benoit one of my favorite matches I can remember in 1996 from Benoit was when he fought Kevin Sullivan at the Great American Bash. But on a serious note, this article is a disgrace to Benoit fans everywhere. You named some technical wrestlers that are not even technical. For example: Bam Bam Bigelow in my opinion was really a power-speed wrestler. But I do have to agree Benoit should stay in the main event picture and not face talent-less hacks like Hassan. And one more thing I have to agree on The infamous match Benoit had with Bret Hart is one of Benoit's greatest losses.On another note not to offend you but did you even sit down and watch a Benoit match" A lot of facts that are well known about Benoit that you left out. But at least someone did write an article on Chris. And to answer your question of "Is He For Real"" You bet your ass he is for real!!!
The David wrote:
This is why I am in love with Chris Beniot. He and Kurt Angle are my current favorite wrestler, maybe the greatest techincal wrestler of this generation. I have more respect towards him after seeing his "Hardknocks..." DVD, I hope there will be a Kurt Angle DVD in the works, but anyway, Beniot had some really good matches with Austin when Austin was Champion back in 2001 before the invasion angle and Beniot's neck injury occured. Beniot vs. Angle, I will pay to see that again, anytime, anywhere! Beniot has been over-worked and over-looked in the WWE when it comes to being in the main-event. He was a great World Champion in 2004, the most deserved champion in a long time, not sure about Mysterio and Cena as champs right now.
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