Hard Knocks

The Chris Benoit Story

Description: A well done story that gives a 5 hour overview of the beginning of Benoit's life to the culmination of the title win at Wrestlemania 20 coupled with many matches from his early years to WM 20 Triple Threat.

What can I say? As a fervent fan of Benoit, its hard to judge this accurately, but that's probably the best thing you can do for a product. It begins with a short introduction about his life at birth talking about how Benoit was one of those quiet children who tended to keep to themselves. It also talked about how Benoit always made up for his height difference by his pure strength and determination in which he began to work. It runs through his beginning by going to Stampede Wrestling as much as he could and becoming a ring side worker to actually practicing in the ring until he was offered by Stu Hart to train in the infamous dungeon. Benoit speaks a lot about how much Stu Hart meant to him and how rightfully he was a big help in his beginning wrestling career.
The dvd continues on by referring to his huge love for the Dynamite Kid and finally into Japan.

Here the dvd is broken down into main sections of wrestling. Japan, ECW, WCW, and finally WWE.

In Japan Benoit learns the meaning of real hard work even beyond what he was before and he talks about how he meets Eddie Guerrero and becomes friends with him by knocking him out with an Enzeguri Kick. It also talks about how he began as the Pegasus Kid and then becoming Wild Pegasus.

The ECW section talks about his beginning as the creation known as the Crippler after Sabu breaks his neck at his hands and his departure from the ECW due to a working visa.

In WCW, they go on length about how Benoit truly hated working there and was a low point in his life even though he was getting pushes due to the political atmosphere. The dvd goes over about his joining the 4 horsemen and him feeling that they could've done so much more. They briefly touch on the "Woman" Incident with Benoit stating that he prefers to hold back until he tells his side of the story to his other kids of the prior marriage so that they can hear a non twisted version first before he can publicly speak on it. They also touch on the death of Owen Hart.

Finally in WWE it talks about his ascension, his huge pushes, neck breaking, and finally returning to finally fulfill his "destiny" after 18 years of work.

Throughout it all you see a very unfamiliar side of Benoit, but those that know some insight into how he is know that he is a very emotional man and quite straightforward. Chris sheds and has some emotional moments regarding Stu and Owen Hart and at one point the interview is halted so he can recover.

There are moments of other people speaking such as Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and on a few occasions, Ric Flair.

The matches put on the dvd are brilliantly amazing as they are any Technical wrestling Fan's dream. They have very very good beginning matches from Japan with him and Great Sasuke and Jushin Liger. They also have amazing matches with him vs a young Al Snow (pre-head phase), william regal, and many kurt angle matches along with the very short match where sabu breaks his neck.

The dvd also holds a photo shoot for one of the Raw magazines as he is standing in a meat locker freezer which is amusing as Benoit is joking around.

If you're clever, you can mash around on the menus for a bit and find easter eggs hidden amongst the files which include some well done promos for his new Crippler Character in ECW, his Music video, and the real truth on how a Chris Benoit lost his tooth as told by his father (I ain't telling, find out for yourself, its funny.)

Over all, its more than just a decent dvd and even if you aren't interested in the story itself, the wrestling matches they put on are more than enough to tide any wrestling fan over. It shows a true appreciation towards technical wrestling. The life story was fairly well done while there are a few moments of "cheese" in there put in for sentimental tear jerking, but its done all in fairly good taste and you leave with not just knowledge about everyone's favorite rabid wolverine, but also knowledge about the industry itself. If you're a fan of Chris Benoit, its a tiny slice of wrestling heaven with a lot of respect.

Rating: 7 or 8/10.

Reviewed by Jasper Sha on February 16, 2005.

Review #2:


"This is my life... I have battled and lost, struggled and won... I have had victory and defeat, and defeat in victory... I will never be overmatched or unprepared... This is who I am and who I will always be... I am Chris Benoit!"

When my friends ask me on how good this DVD is, they usually end up wanting to borrow it. This is one of the best WWE produced DVD's I have ever bought. The first disc has about two hours of backstory that are in this order:

THE EARLY YEARS (How he became a fan of wrestling and especially the Dynamite Kid)

NEW JAPAN (One of the biggest parts of his career where he truly developed his craft, and met great friends Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko)

ECW (Where Chris was first noticed in America and where he developed "the Crippler" persona)

WCW (Chris ended up in WCW as he could go between Japan and WCW. Talks of Kevin Sullivan, joining the Four Horsemen, Best Of Seven Series, Tribute to Owen Hart, Souled Out 2000 and leaving for the WWF)

WWE (Wrestlemania 2000, Fully Loaded 2000, Wrestlemania X-7 are all talked about)

THE INJURY (The Cage match with Angle and working KOTR 2001 while injured, and how Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndoff convinced him to do the surgery)

THE COMEBACK (This is about his feelings when he returned to the WWE in June 2002 in his hometown)

ROYAL RUMBLE 2003 (Possibly the moment where he finally convinced the people backstage that he could deliver as Champion. Also talks of how moved he was when he was given a standing ovation.)

ROYAL RUMBLE 2004 (This is the moment that he won the chance of winning the World Championship and doing it marvelously by lasting 61:52 to win the Rumble.)

WRESTLEMANIA XX (The pinnacle of his career)

Followed by Music Video highlighting his career.


PEGASUS KID vs. JUSHIN LIGER (for the IWGP junior heavyweight title)


WILD PEGASUS vs. BLACK TIGER (in the Super J cup semi-finals)

WILD PEGASUS vs. THE GREAT SASUKE (in the Super J cup finals)

CHRIS BENOIT vs. SABU (with Paul E. Dangerously and 911)


(The blue colored ones are the ones with alternative commentary of Michael Cole & Tazz OR the "Directors Commentary" of Benoit, Malenko and Todd Grisham)



CHRIS BENOIT vs. KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) (in a falls count anywhere match)

CHRIS BENOIT vs. BOOKER T (winner of series gets a WCW television title shot at Great American Bash, match 8 of best of 7, series tied 3-3-1)

CHRIS BENOIT vs. BRET HART (in a non-title match)

CHRIS BENOIT vs. SID VICIOUS (for the WCW world heavyweight title)


CHRIS BENOIT vs. KURT ANGLE (in a cage match)

CHRIS BENOIT vs. KURT ANGLE (with Team Angle) (for the WWE title)

CHRIS BENOIT vs. SHAWN MICHAELS vs. TRIPLE H (for the world heavyweight title)




Rating: 9 OUT OF 10

Reviewed by Sam Preston on February 16, 2005.

Review #3:

This DVD is a perfect representation on why Chris Benoit is one of my favorite wrestlers past, present and future. He had to wrestle in Japan just to earn living, deal with the polluted backstage morale and the god-awful politics that nearly forced him to resent wrestling, came to the WWE which made him a huge star, only to require neck surgery, and despite all the odds in and out of the ring, he ended his 20-year journey by winning the World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania XX, a moment even Kurt Angle considers to be his "greatest WrestleMania moment". And if the powerful and passionate main feature isn't good enough for you, then there's the extra matches. And the DVD is blossomed with over a dozen matches from Japan, ECW, WCW and WWE. Every single match ranges between ***1/2-*****, featuring his 1994 Super J Cup Victory, the Owen Hart Tribute match, his ****+ matches with Booker T, Kurt Angle, Al Snow and 2 Cold Scorpio, his last WCW match with Sid where he won the title and of course, the Triple threat match which sees him win the big one. If there's any complaint, it's that his matches against/with Dean Malenko aren't included but even without it, this DVD rocks in every aspect of production, value, extra sections, picture and entertainment. Seriously, get this DVD today...your life won't be complete without it.

Reviewed by JLR on March 13, 2005.

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