A Tribute To The Benoits

Rob Taylor

I am sad to welcome you to this edition of THT, I am loathe to call it that right now.

Reports have come in of the death of Chris Benoit and his Family, shock does not even begin to describe how the entire wrestling world is feeling. But it is absolutely the right time to talk about it, before any gruesome details sensationalise what is clearly the most tragic event to ever hit wrestling.

It is easy to dismiss this as another sick WWE work, but they could never sink so low as to do this… Whatever has gone down is real, tragic and makes me want to cry in a big way.

Chris Benoit was the greatest technical wrestler of his generation, by a very large margin. No-one could match his ability to wow the crowds through sheer skill in the ring. Precision was Benoit’s middle name. Everything had a purpose, nothing was wasted with him.

Benoit was the one man over the last 15 years whos rise was truly inspiring. After becoming a legend in Japan as Wild Pegasus, winning the Super J cup by beating his best friend Eddie Guererro AKA Black Tiger in 1994.

Soon after we saw him hit ECW and become the now legendary “Crippler” the man who broke Sabu’s neck and tore through ECW with near surgical precision. His prowess in WCW was rewarded with a spot in the 4 Horsemen and he was the standout star of WCW in 1998 and 1999 and became the first man to walk out on a “real” world title by leaving WCW for WWE.

His WWE Tenure started with a bang and when he finally won the Royal Rumble we all dared to dream that his time was coming, but few would have forseen the moment that will arguably be known as the greatest and most poigniant ever Wrestlemania moment, where he defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels and stood in the ring with Eddie in the ring as the two top men in this business… Is is so sad to realise both those men are now dead…

Benoit’s most recemt work with MVP has been outstanding and many saw ECW as his logical progression, to become the teacher to the young talent who have now been robbed of his wisdom and experience.

Let us not forget his wife, a legend of the business in her own right. Nancy “Woman” Benoit held an integral part in WCW, as valet to stars such as Ric Flair and Kevin Sullivan. She was, much like Sensational Sherri, the “Bad Girl” of the ring.

The business has been cruelly robbed of 2 of it’s most recognisable and respected legends, and of course, their young son too…

Frankly, I am not interested in the whys, the wherefores or how this happened. I am just so sad that this has occured and selfishly will miss Benoit in the ring and the joy he has brought to me in my life through watching him. It is easy to sensationalise this and the one person I feel most for right now is Vince McMahon… he has the hardest job of his life right now…

Is there a fitting tribute for Benoit? Do we need another sensless loss in the Hall Of Fame… No… WWE needs to celebrate what Benoit was all about somehow, perhaps an annual tournament for cruisers would be the most fitting tribute to a man who gave them so much?

I am not a religious man, but if there is an afterlife, you know he and Eddie will be wrestling the main event again soon…

Thank You for listening… and thank you Chris Benoit.

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