If you were around in January of 2007, there was not a doubt that Chris Benoit was one of the most respected wrestlers in the WWE. A multiple time champion, and long-term veteran of the sport, Benoit had solidified his place as one of the most technical wrestlers of all time.
There may not have been a better wrestler on the roster, and while he had his fair share of injury concerns, there was still reason to believe Benoit could get down with the best of them. Dave Meltzer, one of the most respected names in the wrestling writing world, had awarded Benoit the award of best technical wrestler in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2004. Hard to deny Benoit when he would yell ""I am the greatest technical wrestler in the history of the WWF!...Prove me wrong!"
His long standing in the WWE also allowed Benoit to make several close friends. One of the most iconic moments in wrestling's history was Benoit and Eddie Guerrero holding up their respective championships at WrestleMania 20. Yet the wrestling world, and Benoit in particular, were devastated with the passing of Eddie Guerrero in 2005.
When Benoit lost his long-term friend in 2007, his sister in law Sherri Martel described it as being the final blow before everything happened.
What happened exactly, was Chris Benoit murdered his wife, Nancy, and their 7-year-old son before taking his own life.
The incident left an incredible void in the WWE. Not only was Benoit an outstanding talent, but the awful nature of such an event is hard to even begin to imagine, especially coming from someone who was so respected.
There were a lot of ups, but clearly some very real demons that plagued Chris Benoit throughout his life until he decided to take these drastic actions in June of 2007.
Here are 10 things that you might not know about the legacy, and the fallout of the life of Chris Benoit.
9 Benoit Wanted To Open A Wrestling School
Part of what made Chris Benoit such an amazing wrestler, was the success that he was able to attain throughout his career. A winner of numerous titles, including twice being the world champion (once in WCW, once in WWE), Benoit’s biggest claim to fame may have come in 2004 when he won the Royal Rumble. Benoit was the #1 entrant in the Rumble, and alongside Shawn Michaels, and the two remain the only candidates to win the Rumble under those circumstances. Benoit’s tragedy marred all of his accomplishments, including this one, as best described by the ringside announcer, JBL during the 2015 Rumble;
8 Nancy Benoit Left Another Wrestler To Be With Chris
7 No Anabolic Steroids Were Found In His Body
6 There Is A Parental Warning Before Benoit's Matches
When you do something awful like murder your wife and son, you need to understand that with that comes a black mark on your reputation. One reminder of the horrors the Benoit committed can be seen before watching his old matches. Before the start, a warning will pop up on the screen stating
"The following program is presented in its original form. It may contain some content that does not reflect WWE's corporate views and may not be suitable for all viewers. WWE characters are fictitious and do not reflect the personal lives of the actors portraying them. Viewer discretion is advised."
5 Benoit Studied Under The Hart Family
4 Benoit Was Scheduled To Fight For The ECW Championship
3 Benoit May Have A Film Coming Out
2 There Is A Song With His Name In It
One of the biggest signs that you have made it as a relevant celebrity in popular society, is when you start to hear your name in songs or other mediums. Perhaps it is fitting for a wrestler who had such an awful end to his life, that he also has an awful song out there. The song, entitled "Chris Benoit," was released in 2012 by Insane Clown Posse. While Benoit is not called out by name during the song, it does end with
1 Police Believe He Killed His Son With The Crippler Crossface
Part of what made Chris Benoit feared in the wrestling ring, was his classic finishing move "The Crippler Crossface." The submission move involved incapacitating the victim's arm/yanking it back, while choking the person over the face. When a medical examination was done on 7-year-old Daniel Benoit, there was no bruising on the neck that would indicate strangulation via hands around his throat. Police found bruising found both on Daniel's arms, as well as on his face, leading them to declare
“A choke hold was used, rather than hands. There’s no bruising consistent with strangulation by hands.” which was followed up by wrestling writer Dave Meltzer, who stated “There was bruising consistent with the Crippler Crossface on one arm and Daniel’s face."
Truly an awful last image of a man who at one point seemed to have so many amazing things in his life.
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