I understand the need for damage control, and thus far can't take much issue with the measures WWE has taken to distance themselves from Benoit. I don't blame them for it.
I will say, however, that internally speaking there are some very real issues that the company needs to re-address.
Look, I understand the need to paint this as simply "Chris Benoit is a murderer." It is and isn't that simple. Nothing that any of us can say, despite our attempts to rationalize what has happened, can absolve him of responsibility for this tragedy. And no, this isn't the first time by a long shot that a man murdered his wife and children. Ultimately, regardless of the circumstances, it doesn't change the bottom line.
However, there are some very hard questions that need to be asked in terms of what the industry in its current state does to a person's physical and mental well-being.
Firstly, the drug policy. I know we all loved and admired the guy's work, but whenever the issue of substance abuse (steroids or otherwise) came up, we as fans took the easy route for the most part. When talking about steroids, we looked at guys like Chris Masters. When talking about painkillers, we talked at guys like Kurt Angle and Joey Matthews.
The fact of the matter is that Chris Benoit was had a physique and did stuff physically that would have been considered unnatural for a 21-year-old, let alone a 40-year-old. Most of us, including myself, didn't want to recognize that there was no way this guy could look the way he does and do the things he does without using steroids, painkillers, and other performance enhancers/other chemical substances.
There's also the issue of concussions, of which I'm sure Benoit has suffered many over the years. The guy worked a hellacious schedule and only took time off when he was more or less broken, meaning that as bad as some of these concussions might have been, they were made even worse by him just gutting it out and going back out there.
The industry and we as wrestling fans cannot afford to simply write this off as a whacko wifebeater having a mental break and murdering his wife and child out of nowhere. There are some very real issues - specifically the failure and relaxing of WWE's drug policy and the talk of regularly doing MRIs that was forgotten about just a month after Guerrero's death - that need to be recognized and addressed here.
There are questions that come from this sort of tragedy that can never be answered. Things will never be clear-cut no matter what information we receive, and perhaps now isn't the best time to start pointing fingers or examining larger issues considering the fact that so many of us are still in mourning.
But none of that rules out the possibility that this was preventable, and we can't avoid addressing it forever.
Regarding the MRIs, I would be grateful to anyone who could provide verifiable figures on how much it would cost to do MRIs for sixty people every few months. My uneducated guess is that would push the wellness policy into an area of fiscal infeasability.
The picture is coming together. Wrestlers tell Ryder, under condition of anonymity, that Benoit has been acting weird for at least a year. Paranoia, thinking he's being followed. That was linked to here earlier, I believe. If not, http://www.1wrestling.com/news/newsline.asp?news=29059 Now we factor in little Daniel's condition, and the (assumed) prospect of someone else raising his disabled boy, and we have a messy, messy recipe here. That said, he clearly planned this out, roid rage or snapping theories seem to have been discredited by the known facts. Meanwhile, the media continues to ignore the actually much more fascinating reality of the situation to forward their anti-wrestling agenda and get the word steroids on TV more than it needs to be. And despite the grisly murders of the wife and the child, I cannot get the hideous mental image of Benoit choked to death by motherfucking weight machine cables. And in all this, someone even found a way to take a shot at the Democrats. Quite a day.
Originally posted by OliverFuck you, WWE. I had tickets for the Edmonton show. I was really looking forward to it, too.
I'm so sorry? Next tribute show is to you.
Now, I don't know what they were planning with Benoit (I read he was going to be a mentor/tutor/teacher for those involved) but was he slated to win the ECW title in his match against CM Punk?
I'm almost certain Benoit was going to win. Nitro won in part because the CM Punk title win is something (the only thing?) for ECW to build to down the line. I also read that Benoit wasn't supposed to be on ECW long-term because HHH wanted him on Raw eventually to work with after his (Hunter's) planned heel turn.
Originally posted by F'n FleaIt's an election year - this story sounds good
Hey, 1992 was an election year. I'm just thinking, when reporters are already asking questions about steroids and the headlines say ROID RAGE before that's even a working theory from real people, they could back into everything almost accidentally. The So-Called News Media is far more educated (and bloodthirsty) about steroids than they were in 1991, and when WWE started testing then they didn't get caught having a semi-transparent policy like they would now.
Then again, 1991-92 was a series of multiple, different (though far less severe) controversies that kept them in the public eye. That said, any pro wrestling controversy always carries the "it's only pro wrestling" chance of disappearing.
It's been a while since I've hung around here, but for this I've pulled myself away from the office. I first heard the news from my younger brother who called me at work during dinner break on Monday. He just said Chris and his family were found dead, and I thought, "car accident? Fire?" I was stunned. Then, a reaction came out of me that's inappropriate of course, but spur of the moment - a chuckle.
A chuckle partly out of disbelief , and partly because Vince's "tribute show" was on at the time. The irony of this was hard to ignore, I suppose. It didn't really sink in though until I got home and read the news sites, and of course the Raw recap. I am well aware of Vince's little limo "stunt", by the way, and I kept thinking reading show recaps during the whole faux memorial thing for Vince, "how would they handle it if a REAL death happened?" Then came Sherri...and now this.
Now that I've read the details on what actually transpired, I really have no words. None. Nancy (Woman) was a classy lady, and I remember seeing a pic of Daniel, and he was very handsome. I really don't know what to think. All I can say is that I've always been taught by my mom to stay level headed and calm even through the roughest of times. But in days like these and in a society like this, it feels as if everyone on Earth's doing the opposite, and I sometimes wonder if it's even worth "fighting against the tide" anymore.... I'm really feeling for Chris' extended family, and of course Canadian wrestling fans, I know that they are majorly, majorly hit hard.
This is going to be difficult for me to accept for a very, very long time. I've gone through a little cycle of doing something else for awhile to forget about what happened, then going to his Wikipedia page (as if I'm actually expecting for this whole thing to be some kind of a bad dream).
It is a bad dream, though. It's a nightmare that we, as wrestling fans, will never, ever wake up from. I can't help but think that somehow Chris was messed up in the head from the years of abuse his body had gone through, but that could just be me trying to find some way to justify the unjustifiable. (On the other hand, the information about his paranoia over the last year certainly makes that a reasonable hypothesis).
Is the high-impact style of modern professional wrestling partially responsible for Chris's breakdown, if breakdown it was? And if so, what can be done to correct the problem? Is an off-season the answer, or a moratorium on chair shots and ladder matches? And how much safer could professional wrestling be made before we're back to the 1930s style of a spinning toe hold thought of as a painful submission finisher?
What role, if any, did substance abuse play in this incident, and how could WWE's Wellness Policy be improved?
I'm just... looking for answers, even if they're not going to be forthcoming anytime soon.
But I'll pray for the Benoit family-- survivors and deceased-- and the WWE family, especially those who knew Chris well like Dean Malenko and Chavo Guerrero. God, I can just imagine how Chavo must be feeling right now. God bless him and keep him from despair.
"Finally, finally, my God finally, Chris Benoit is the Heavyweight Champion of this World!" --Jim Ross, WrestleMania XX
Remembering Chris Benoit (1967-2007) and Eddie Guerrero (1967-2005)
Fan of the Indianapolis Colts-- Super Bowl XLI Champions
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!
I finally got things sorted in my head. I will always love Chris Benoit, the performer. Right now I don't think I need to see his matches though. It hurts too much.
Chris Benoit, the human being that killed his wife and child? Not sure if I hate him. I just feel emptiness. Empty because I cannot fathom what must be wrong with someone that kills his family and then himself. Whenever I read those stories, I feel both anger and confusion. What does it take for you to do that?
I believe something happened, causing him to snap and murdering Nancy. Perhaps after that he saw no way out and figured it was best to take the life of his son and then finally himself? Perhaps it was anger that fueled him, perhaps grief. I dunno. It's insane. I think I do not hate him. I do not think he was intentionally evil. Just very disturbed at the end. Being quiet and distant doesn't have to mean something was wrong with him. Though maybe there was. Maybe we'll never find out, and I think I am okay with that.
1. benoit musta been in a dark place to cause him to do this (steroids, depression etc)
2. he killed his family cause he is a bad guy
now, while group 2's argument is that the former just wants to justify the unjustifiable or make excuses for Chris, I see the latter's stance as an oversimplification of an extremely complicated situation.
Everything we do is for a reason. Even when we ourselves dont know what that reason is.
Wat im trying to say (maybe failing by rambling a bit) is that NOBODY knows what happened now.
I know most people on the internet are atheist cause that's cool now but i dont know how else to put this other than "only God can judge him".
anyway, I had to get this off my chest because this whole situation makes my stomach turn every time it crosses my mind. So R.I.P. the memory that so much people had of Chris, I really hope he finds peace.
Debra Williams, the ex-wife of Stone Cold Steve Austin, felt compelled to speak out about the murder of Nancy and Daniel Benoit on the FOX 31 web site. Domestic and drug abuse is out of hand in the WWE and something needs to be done about it, said Williams, who claimed she saw Austin personally use steroids. If only I had spoken up sooner, maybe Nancy and her little boy would be alive today ... That's why I'm going public now. Something has to change! The victim of domestic violence by Austin in 2002 which is the last year she worked for WWE -- Williams said she filed for a restraining order after a third incident between the two. Williams said Austin later forced her to write a letter to the courts asking the order be repealed. In turn, she consented to a gag order about the situation. The link to the story can be found here: http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=3607731&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
I think there is going to be a whole lot of this sort of thing coming out soon. Here's a person that worked side by side with Nancy and Chris for sometime in WCW. Unless something else happens to take the attention away from this story 1992 might seem like a walk in the park for the WWE.
Originally posted by RYDER FAKINF'N SHAPRIO: WWE.com going into self-preservation mode calling Benoit a pre-meditated killer is creepy. In a sense I'm not sure they have much of a choice because this is shaping up to be a "shit storm" that will make 1990-92 pale in comparison. At the same time it's stunningly cold.
Dammit - you beat me to it - the Shep Fox News hit piece led with this and included that statement / position. I don't think you are correct re: the "shit storm", but I'll get back to that in a sec. "Cold" is right. Hang on
I have to disagree that this will make 1990-92 look like the good old days. Benoit hanging himself might get Vince off the hook for this one. If Benoit was a fugitive of the law or sitting in a Georgia jail, then the cable networks would have their salacious murder trial for 2008 all lined up, and they could keep coming back to this. With the murderer dead, this becomes a 48-72 hour story in the mainstream press and just fades away. As for the markets FLEA, do you see Bear Stearns being the Enron of the financial sector that really causes the economy to go into the shitter in a manner not seen since the 1970's?
'Ric Flair wishes he was Paul Roma.' Congratulations Paul on winning the Idiotic Comment of the Decade Award.
i agree with the way this is heading ( and that is straight down hill) I really don't see this ending with WWE. Sooner rather then latter the whole Wrestling world is going to be in for one hell of a fight. now they are saying that the WWE knew or guessed that Chris did it all along and still did the tribute show.
I really, really want to try and separate the character from the man so I can still respect his work ethic and the years he's stuck it out and entertained me, but whenever I try to defend him in my head or see others defend him I get the image of OJ on his way to his trial and I see the people who camp out for days to support him no matter what the facts. And I don't want that to be me and I don't want other people doing it but I just don't want to accept this so I don't know how to deal.
I think that things like cutting the schedule down drastically to pretty much TV and PPV with a house show a week is certainly more than sufficient instead of rotating rosters every quarter.
I dunno. Sounds good in theory, but then you have to realize house shows are a big part of the business. For example: 1) TV + 1 house show = 4 shows a week over 3 brands. WWE would be losing a lot of money, not to mention the wrestlers earning less (especially guys that don't regularly make it on TV). 2) house shows sell a ton of merchandise. Cutting back means reduction in merch. sales, which means the company & the wrestlers make less money. 3) house shows serve to give younger guys & recent call-ups more experience in working matches & the crowd. Also can be used to monitor newer guys who might be in line for a big push, and for guys to work on their gimmicks/characters. 4) house shows are used to give guys heading into PPV's a chance to work out matches/spots ahead of time, and to give guys who are feuding time to get familiar w/ each other in the ring. 5) the more fan interactions the company/wrestlers have, the better.
I wouldn't be holding my breath for the company to cut back on house shows.
I can't imagine that his "demotion" to ECW had anything to do with this. It seemed as if he was poised to take the belt, and help put over Punk. Just as he did with MVP. And he hardly looked weak in his feud with MVP, he did beat him in their first 3-4 matches. This after holding the belt for like 8-9 months. That is one of the longer reigns of anyone in recent memory. I know that belt is not what it once was, but it was more of a prestigious reign than the ones by Kendrick/London and Helms, due to more air time and PPV time.
Chris had reached the top, and proved that he could. I imagine that he was financially secure for the future, and would not have been around much longer now that he was forty. He seemed like the kind of guy that would want to go out of the business that way, by putting other guys over.
This is the most horrific event in the history of the biz, and it will take a while for us to wrap out minds around it. What many of us consider the greatest clip in history of he and Eddie celebrating at the end of WM XX will never be seen on WWE TV again, and will never be the same when we might see it on DVD. It's tarnished forever.
This will be worse that the shitstorm in 91-92 due to the Internet, and nothing being swept under the rug in this day and age.
Dean! Have you been shooting dope into your scrotum? You can tell me! I'm hip!
How do house shows work? Do both the Raw and Smackdown rosters have completely full schedules or is it a full schedule between the two combined? If both are working full schedules couldn't they cut back at least a few shows for each brand and still be doing as many shows as before the brand split only with half Raw and half Smackdown? I know they'd be making less than they are now but it's not like they'd be hurting for money.
Originally posted by Big GTorch is reporting that Daniel had Fragile X syndrome which may explain the hormone injections
That does explain why his facial features looked so odd in the pictures used on RAW. It also explains some of the stress Benoit might have been experiencing - and keeping inside (a support network would have been of tremendous value).
It still doesn't excuse what happened, though.
Nothing can excuse what happened, but I think we're all gropping for ANYTHING that could provide a semblance of logic.
The information about Benoit's disabled child definitely caught my eye. My law school professor who killed himself & killed his child last year... his son was Autistic. I don't know if that's purely coincidental, but I doubt it. One of those "experts" on TV was saying that in most cases involving a man killing his family, he's usually deeply depressed, completely convinced that all hope is lost, and has decided that his family would be better off in heaven than here on earth. It doesn't seem unreasonable to conclude that watching your son struggle so much now -- and destined to struggle so much in the future -- could lead Benoit to decide that the afterlife was a better destination for his family than the harshness of earth. (And I guess this mentality ties in to the Bibles being left with the bodies.)
Again, nothing can justify what Benoit did -- ever. But if a profile of high risk candidates for this sort of behavior can better be established & understood, maybe the rest of us will be better able to recognize some of the warning signs.
IWS Bloodstream for Know Your Enemies: http://www.syndicatewrestling.com/images/multimedia/bloodstream_march_06.wmv My latest When We Were Marks Column is called Call Me Cassandra and is a profile of the IWS' Hardcore Hero, the Green Phantom.