Chris Benoit, a man I had the pleasure of seeing wrestle mere weeks ago, passed away today in his home in
I was introduced to Benoit when he came over to WWE as the New Radicals, with Guerreo, Saturn and Malinko, which was shortly after I started watching the show back in high school. Before then all I knew of Benoit was the blocky N64 representation that Eric would kick my ass with when I’d go over there to play games. It didn’t take long for Guerreo and Benoit to become some of my favorite wrestlers, and show up on my bedroom wall in the form of printed off internet shots.
Benoit was a technical master, a man’s man and very deserving of all he accomplished in the WWE. I don’t know anymore than the initial statement at this point, but the fact that his wife and young son were also taken is really saddening. I dread hearing the details.. seven years old.... I know that Benoit and his family were of faith, and I hope that in their passing they are at peace and that Chris may rejoin his brother in the ring Eddie Guerrero, who also passed untimely in 2005. As selfish as it is to say, I am incredibly pleased that I was able to see Benoit wrestle recently. His match took me back, and had me screaming like a madman every time his hit his signature moves. He lost the match, but clearly was a fan favorite, pausing on the entrance ramp off camera, to an impromptu standing ovation from all the fans in attendance. He represented everything that I loved about the WWE and will be sorely missed. My condolences to his surviving family members and friends. Today is a day the wrestling world will remember for a long time.
UPDATE- June 26th 2007: This whole situation has been really sad for me, for all the obvious reasons. The initial feeling of loss and sadness at a favorite wrestler passing away initially really got to me. Then the announcement that his family has also perished further emphasized the tragedy especially the young boy. Today with the whole story unfurling I am shocked, disgusted and extremely disappointed. Apparently Benoit was not the man I had idolized him as. Part of me wants to hold on to the notion that this is not how it happened, but denial wont make me feel better. This is a disgusting act, one that I’d not attribute to most men, let alone one like Benoit. Apparently I am a bad judge of character as I am left feeling as though he has died twice.