World Wrestling Entertainment is a global enterprise. An enterprise always looks to keep the image of the company clean, and thus protect the brand from any harmful events that take place. Recently, for Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign, all offending WWE YouTube videos have been removed, and the product has taken a considerably low dip, yet she lost. But that’s not the topic at hand today. WWE has the power to make a man famous, and build their reputation, but it can also bring down a man’s reputation and make the said man’s identity vanish. That’s the case with Chris Benoit.
One of WWE’s finest wrestlers, Chris Benoit was on the top of the company. Winning championships, participating in excellent feuds, and showing off his best work were some of the things Benoit was proud off. He would compete every night, with nothing to lose, and would put on an excellent show for the crowd, yet it was surprising to see the events that took place later.
Multiple superstars said that Chris Benoit had been taking pills, and his finishing move affected his physical condition immensely. Yet, he used to perform in the ring with a smile on his face, and no worries troubling him at all. No one understood his condition at that particular moment.
When he was drafted to ECW, he was supposed to win the title from the Second City Saint, CM Punk, yet days before the event, he did not show up, stating his wife and son were vomiting repeatedly, due to food poisoning. Johnny Nitro replaced Benoit, and he won the ECW Championship. Stephanie McMahon later did confirm that Benoit would have won the gold if he would have been present at the event. But the major question was, where was Benoit?
On June 25, 2007, the police checked Benoit’s house, since he had missed a lot of shows, and everyone was extremely worried. The officers then discovered the bodies of the wife Nancy, the 7-yr old son Daniel, and Chris Benoit himself, around 2:30 PM. It was determined that Chris Benoit had committed the murders. Since Benoit’s suicide, numerous explanations for his actions have been proposed, including brain damage, steroid abuse, and a failing marriage.
Over a three-day period, Benoit had killed his wife and son before he hanged himself. His wife was bound before the killing. Benoit’s son was drugged and likely unconscious before Benoit strangled him. Benoit then committed suicide with a weight machine.
On June 25th, however, instead of the regular Monday Night RAW, WWE and Vince McMahon changed the show to a Chris Benoit tribute event, where numerous clips of his matches were shown. That was short-lived, since the news about the murder started arriving, Vince announced that except for Benoit’s comments, he will not be mentioned on any of the shows. WWE began distancing itself from Benoit and his legacy. Merchandise sales were stopped, and there was no mention of him ever again. At the present moment, WWE still functions as its own company, and Chris Benoit is seemingly forgotten in the company.
Therefore, I ask you this question: does Chris Benoit deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Let me analyze the situation, and let you, the readers, be the judge.
Chris Benoit Should Be in the Hall of Fame
The second ‘W’ in the WWE has always stood for wrestling, and Chris Benoit was one of the greatest wrestlers ever. He could be a technical grappler, showing off his mat skills and he could also be a high flyer, in the same match! It’s often said that Benoit was one of the best guys backstage, and was always ready to offer advice to any young star trying to make it big in this business. Benoit has never backed down from a challenge, and he certainly isn’t a coward.
Vince had always been a big supporter of the face of the Ruthless Aggression era, and Benoit was one of the superstars who had the ability to go out in the ring and provide a great match. Also, we should not ignore the moments Benoit has provided us with in wrestling. Simply put, while the WWE is trying their best to ignore Benoit, most of the fans remember him, and want him in the Hall of Fame.
The fans need to realize that the WWE Hall of Fame is based on Vince McMahon, not wrestling. Vince has repeatedly tried to distance himself from this situation, and has advised any employee to never talk about this incident again. Yet, in other sports, the Hall of Fame jury decides a candidate on their efforts in the ring, not outside. Do you all feel the same should be done in this situation? Chris was always determined to put on a good show in the ring, and most of the times, he was successful. He was a nice person backstage, and in the ring, he was a fierce animal. He might have committed a murder outside the ring, but inside the ring, his accomplishments are noteworthy, and to say that he was a great wrestler is an understatement.
Chris Benoit Should Not Be in the Hall of Fame
While the article above stated why Benoit should be inducted in the Hall of Fame, this part of the article informs us all why Benoit should not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The murder affected WWE a lot. WWE was bashed by many media sources, and was also called a “killer” by multiple websites. Committing a murder is a huge punishable offense, and Chris Benoit, just like anyone else, would have been punished. WWE had no other choice than to eradicate the name “Chris Benoit” from their brand. Was it really possible? No. But the WWE have tried their best.
This incident not only shocked the million viewers, it also shocked the WWE, as a whole. After their tribute show, the WWE quickly removed any instance of Benoit from their company. Nowadays, a simple mention of Benoit causes fear in the hearts of WWE. Politicians bashed the WWE because of this event, and sometimes used this as leverage against Linda McMahon. While Benoit was excellent in the ring, sometimes, the outside events just catch up with the legacy, and completely tarnish it. Chris Benoit is no longer known as the man who was the best grappler we have ever seen, but was rather known as the murdered of his family. Does he deserve to have such a reputation? Maybe, and eve though his ring skills can solely make him a Hall-of-Famer, his actions outside the ring cannot be ignored.
It took a lot of time for the WWE to regain their popularity after this incident, since many people quit watching the product after this incident. Vince, or any person for that matter, would not forgive Benoit for this deed, and the harm caused to their relatives, mentally and physically. It has also been said that Benoit was a loving father who had a great family, and they usually loved each other, therefore, it was proved that Benoit was not in his real state of mind when he committed the crime, but yet, it affected the wrestling world as a whole, and to some people, Benoit still cannot be forgiven for this heinous act.
Now, I pose this question to you, and after reading these two parts, in your opinion, do you think Chris Benoit deserves his Hall of Fame spot, or does he deserve to be forgotten from WWE history? Sound off in the comments section!
I think WWE, Vince McMahon will never acknowledge him because of their quote, unquote family PG status right now. They just won’t do it. To them it’s a black eye. Vince, he denies everything and he’ll just sweep it under the rug and only let the good be seen. He’ll get rid of the bad, pretend it didn’t exist. He does that with everything and everybody and always has. It’s unfortunate.
-Scotty Riggs on the Chris Benoit incident
Originally posted on WrestleEnigma.com: