Chris Benoit: Lived And Died By The Sword

By Korbid Thompson
Updated: July 3, 2007

SHAWNEE, Pa. — As I sit here on vacation in the Pocono Mountains, I have a week to reflect back on the shocking events of Monday, June 25th. That was the day when I tuned in to “Monday Night Raw” for their three-hour special (I almost forgot it started at 8:00), and the first image I saw was Chris Benoit’s picture, along with his name and life span.

It was the first time in a long time that I was truly shocked by something I saw on WWE television. After all, Chris Benoit was one of the top 10 technical wrestlers in the history of the business that is sports entertainment.

His accomplishments rank right up there with almost anyone you can name. He held a WCW title (either singles or tag team) on eight occasions, including the WCW Championship, and 12 different WWE title reigns, including the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

To list Benoit’s accomplishments one-by-one, would take a long time. He trained in the infamous Stu Hart dungeon, and climbed his way up. His in-ring history is a blueprint for others for others to follow.

If you watched “Raw” on that aforementioned June 25th, you heard from his fellow wrestlers on what he was about in and out of the ring. Having said that, I know from being married 18 months now, that you can never really know a person. Even his wife didn’t know him as she may have thought.

After all, his wife Nancy filed for a divorce and restraining order in 2003, but would later drop both. Apparently, the signs were there. Benoit was given prescription steroids (according to the WWE), but his personal physician, Dr. Gary Wadler was arrested for giving Benoit a 10-month supply of steroids every three to four weeks.

I suppose the amazing part is that if something had not gone terribly wrong, nobody would have known that Chris Benoit was something other than a “good guy”.

Pro wrestling has survived many black eyes in the past, and will survive this one, as well. This is not the last time that Vince McMahon — or his talented employees — will come under the microscope after a tragic event.

There will surely be more to follow. It’s just a matter of whom and when. When the time does come for the steroid police, or any other police to investigate the WWE — again — you have to wonder when a shutdown of operations will come into play.

Will Vince McMahon be able to slide by the federal government again, as he did in 1994, when he was acquitted of distributing steroids to wrestlers? Apparently, history comes in cycles, and you have to wonder when the wheel will come up Vince’s way again.

Apparently, there is more to the story of Chris Benoit, and apparently, there is moe going on in the ranks of pro wrestling than what we see on television — apparently.