OK, it is time for me to put the Chris Benoit tragedy to rest once and for all. I am writing this primarily for myself, to give this whole damn mess some closure. (God, how I hate that expression, but I can’t think of anything better right now!) But while shows like Larry King Live, The O’Reilly Factor, and the queen of hype with regard to the Benoit horrors Nancy Grace put the spotlight on professional wrestling and the drug problems that come with it, did we really get any answers?
Certainly not from The O’Reilly Factor! They teased us with the promise that Linda McMahon herself would be on the program. Well, they did not lie with that one, but what they failed to mention was that it was an old appearance from several years back. It was the show when she was commenting on the deaths that had been linked to professional wrestling, with regard to the children who have died while imitating wrestling moves they saw on television.
Larry King Live had one of the best programs, in my opinion, when he hosted John Cena, Jericho, and Bret Hart. Hart is Hart, and did have some interesting information to add. But it was Cena and Jericho who shined through all this. Cena admitted that he only knew Benoit on a professional level, but was adamant about his character in the workplace. Jericho was pure gold as he not only made many valid points, but because he was so articulate made whatever he had to say seem more credible.
We have heard opinions from wrestlers no longer wrestling and currently wrestling, working with the WWE and wrestling with different companies. I do agree that they all had a point with what they had to say. Who could listen to Charles (Carlos) Ashenoff, aka Konnan, and not feel that he strongly believes everything that he stated? The same can be said of Marc Mero, although I do feel that Mero, as well as Hart, had their own agenda in this as well. Hell, they all probably did, to some extent.
Steve Blackman and Lance Storm were other wrestlers who came to the front and had things to say. Mero and Blackman even got into a little bit of a heated debate when trying to express their views on the subject of drugs in the wrestling profession. Writers Dave Meltzer from The Wrestling Observer and Bryan Alvarez of Figure 4 Online were also guests. I won’t even begin to list the lawyers and medical spokespersons that all had information to add, whether it clouded the issue at hand or gave us some answers.
But it was Nancy Grace who provided us with a time line of sorts, since she aired six – at least in my count, I might have missed one – shows on the subject. Starting with the eerie text messages sent from both Chris’ and Nancy’s phones, in which he gives out his entire address four times, the programs began to focus on Dr. Astin and the drugs he sold to Benoit. Little by little more names came to the forefront. Now it seemed that the Feds had been on Astin’s tail for some time.
And all the while there were the guesses – just what drugs was Benoit on? Most people imagined that there would be many in his system, and most of them illegal. Normal people just don’t do that sort of thing – well, no s**t! “Normal” people don’t! So then the only explanation had to be that this nightmare just had to be caused by ’roid rage. I would like to have a dollar for all of the times that I heard that one, between the television and from my friends. The speculations continued.
Then, the moment everyone was waiting for, the toxicology reports. For Nancy, Xanax, and hydrocodone, along with alcohol. I don’t think she was given those drugs, I feel that she was taking them on her own. For Daniel, Xanax. Why did he have Xanax? Did Chris drug his son before he murdered him? Evidence points to that, and I believe that to be so as well. And I pray that Daniel was out of it enough that he did not know of his impending fate.
As for Chris, Xanax, within therapeutic levels. Hydrocodone, within therapeutic levels. Testosterone, in very high levels. So, while most people had been throwing around names of many other drugs, and many expected to find street drugs as well, that was it.
Wait, before you start to scream when I said that was it – the testosterone was in VERY high levels. And yes folks, testosterone is an anabolic steroid. Maybe not the same name of the steroids that were being thrown around, but it doesn’t matter. Testosterone is a controlled substance, whose use may lead to mania, depression, aggression and psychosis. Sound familiar? A three-day ‘roid rage event? All of the experts say no, even though that does not make for a front page story.
The proof of that was when Nancy Grace, the day after the toxicology reports, had Storm on the program – the last 15 or so minutes of the show! What now took center stage? Michael Vick’s dog fighting charges.
Hey, I am not disagreeing with that. It is time to put this story to bed. But many things are still unanswered, and will probably always remain so. At one time it was said that Daniel had Fragile X Syndrome, then that theory was squashed. Nothing more was said. What about all of the beer cans and the empty wine bottle that was found next to Chris? Nothing in his system, so where did it go? Again, no answers.
I wasn’t going to give my theory as to what happened, but I’ve changed my mind. I think that he and Nancy had a fight and yes, I think he lost it – big time. I don’t know if he meant to kill her or just scare the hell out of her, but that doesn’t matter. Now she is dead. And inside that twisted mind he knows it’s all over. He spends a day or so, maybe looking for answers that will never come. So what is left to do? I believe he already knew. He tranquilizes Daniel and kills him. I feel that once Nancy died he had decided he was going to kill Daniel and himself. Maybe that was even the “plan” all along.
We all know that steroids and other drugs are not limited to the wresting industry. They are rampant in almost all professional sports, and on July 19th positive tests were made public in the UFC arena. Both the champion Sean Sherk and challenger Hermes Franca tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs – steroids. Sherk has hired an attorney and claims his innocence. I am not sure about Franca, but as of now both have been suspended and fined.
Will Benoit’s horrible chain of events change things in the wrestling business? I would love to say absolutely, but unfortunately I can’t. While I think it might open some eyes, this problem is too ingrained in the business to stop just like that. But just maybe things will gradually start to change. Just maybe the time will come when the athletes that entertain and sometimes amaze us with their talents will die a natural death at 90 years of age rather than found in a hotel room at 40.
God bless Nancy and Daniel and all their relatives, Chris’ other children and the rest of his family, particularly his parents. What a horrible thing for them to have to live with. The same goes out to all of their friends. Finally, yes, God bless Chris himself. We will never know what was going on in the twisted and tormented mind of Benoit, and all of the good that he did for the business has been erased in this unexplainable act – rightfully so. But certainly, in varying degrees, EVERYONE was a victim here. It is now time to move on.
Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,