I have not written a wrestling column in a long time. So long that some of you might have forgotten who I am. I have chastised myself – hell, everyone is busy with a lot to do, just sit down and write. But I didn’t, and I can’t even say this is a column at all. It has taken a tragedy to sit my sorry ass down, and it is through tears that I sadly acknowledge the death of 40-year-old Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy, and son Daniel.
This is still very fresh. It has only been a few hours since the police in Fayette County, Georgia found their bodies, and I’m sure it will be several days before any concrete answers will be given.
Raw was slated to be a three-hour show tonight. You don’t know how relieved I was to hear that the “deceased” Mr. McMahon will open the show standing in the middle of the ring in an empty arena. This is no time to stay with the script, and tonight they won’t. Instead, Raw will honor “The Rabid Wolverine” with a three-hour tribute to his great career, which spanned 22 years.
I’m sure we all have a favorite Chris Benoit moment. For me, it was Wrestlemania XX. That year, Benoit’s good friend Eddie Guerrero lied, cheated, and stole his way to the WWE Championship, defeating Kurt Angle. In his own match, Chris applied the Crippler Crossface to Triple H, causing him to tap out. Underdog Benoit became the World Heavyweight Champion. I will never forget those two friends, Benoit and Guerrero, as they celebrated together in the middle of the ring, confetti raining down upon them. Now, sadly, they are together again. For both of them, too young, too soon.
Time for Raw – I’ll be back later.
The tribute to Chris Benoit has just ended, and I think they did a good job on such a very short notice. It was obvious that the superstars who spoke were still in a bit of shock, and all of the announcers seemed to be going through the motions. Who can blame them?
Some information came up on the Internet under the news a few minutes ago. While there were not a lot of details, what little that was written is ugly and sad, and I don’t want to even touch on it. I am still remembering the show, and the way Benoit was honored. His intensity, his devotion to the business, his tremendous ability – this was a man who was the consummate professional, and his absence will be felt for a long, long time.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family, and those close to Chris, who have to endure this difficult time.
Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,