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The W - Pro Wrestling - Question about the day Benoit died and the RAW episode
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PaulKTF
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Since: 26.5.06

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
I don't mean to re-hash the "Should they or shouldn't they have done RAW" debate when I ask this question- I think we went through enough of that here when it happened.

I just want to know the facts regarding the timeline of events. If a mod wants to delete this; I'll understand.

Do we know for sure if anyone in the WWE knew that it was a double murder/suicide in time for them to cancel the planned tribute; or was it simply too late to do so even if they wanted to? I assume that within 3 or 4 hours before RAW's airtime it's already too late for them to change the show even if they wanted to?

I honestly don't remember at what time of day the news broke to the media/online that it wasn't an accident- it might have been as late as when RAW was already on the air (?). Did the WWE know before we knew via the media/internet?

I'd like to assume that they wouldn't have done the tribute if they'd known in time to put together a "Plan B". Either way; since I'm not in the business of putting a TV show together; I can't blame them for what they did or didn't do in this situation.
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geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.27
Irv Muchnick has done a ton of research on this, and has even written a book. I would look up his blog and see if there are archives where he talks about this, or even get his book. The short version, in his opinion: WWE knew about it, or knew Benoit was very likely the guilty party, when they went on with the show. As for what I think...I'm still not 100% sure.
samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.34
From my own memories of following the whole thing online, I didn't see any mention of Benoit's role until the show had already began, and even then it was still speculation. I'd imagine higher ups in WWE would have had access to information more quickly than the general public, but it still would have been cutting it close.



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TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.59
Muchnick's blog is here:

http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/

I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on its contents. But I remember things the same way samoflange does: The news that Benoit was believed to have murdered his wife and son and then committed suicide was not reported publicly until RAW had already begun, or perhaps immediately before it was to start. The question then is, and I assume this is the core issue in the book, how much sooner than the rest of us did WWE brass know?

I can't imagine why they would go ahead with the show if they knew he was believed to have committed murder. What would they be hoping to achieve? Perhaps geemoney or someone else who has read the book or other materials on it can offer a theory there?



GodEatGod
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Since: 28.2.02

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.44
I imagine that, even if they'd begun to hear any rumors or preliminary reports to that effect, they, as people who knew Chris and many of whom were friendly with him, would've been much less likely to put any credence to such reports than a mainstream news outlet or uninterested party. It was, and still is, an incredibly shocking, horrible event, and I don't think there's much to be gained from playing Monday morning quarterback about it. It's not as if the tribute RAW in some way burnished Benoit's legacy or made him look better once the details actually emerged. I just don't see what benefit WWE would have supposedly gotten from running the tribute if they knew what had actually happened. Ratings? Even I don't think they're -that- shallow. I'm not sure they handled all the aftermath perfectly, but, honestly, who would? It was an unprecedented situation (and hopefully never to be duplicated).



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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I forget the exact timetable and will try to find it, but Dave Meltzer says someone in WWE upper management told him before the show started that they knew Benoit did it, although the wrestlers didn't find out until it came out officially.
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
I recently read the Muchnick book, and he makes a very compelling case that WWE knew they were putting on a show honoring a multiple murderer.



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PaulKTF
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Since: 26.5.06

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
    Originally posted by spf
    I recently read the Muchnick book, and he makes a very compelling case that WWE knew they were putting on a show honoring a multiple murderer.


Is it possible that some in the company knew; but didn't want to tell Vince for some reason?
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.92
    Originally posted by spf
    I recently read the Muchnick book, and he makes a very compelling case that WWE knew they were putting on a show honoring a multiple murderer.








Now, I'm guessing they knew by air time, because it started to break on the news within the first 2 hours of the 3 hour broadcast. However, did they know by the time they decided to cancel the Houston show and had already committed themselves?
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.54

Didn't they still air the West Coast feed of the show, even after everyone pretty much knew by 11 ET?



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spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
      Originally posted by spf
      I recently read the Muchnick book, and he makes a very compelling case that WWE knew they were putting on a show honoring a multiple murderer.








    Now, I'm guessing they knew by air time, because it started to break on the news within the first 2 hours of the 3 hour broadcast. However, did they know by the time they decided to cancel the Houston show and had already committed themselves?

I believe that according to Muchnick's timeline this information was known to members of WWE management on Sunday. I lost the damn book or I'd go back and confirm.



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Loukanika








Since: 7.5.06
From: The outer reaches of your mind

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
I can confirm that they still aired the West Coast feed -- I watched it in California.

I don't know if
A. Anyone has that episode of RAW on tape somewhere and
B. Is willing to watch it again,

and I don't want to cause any rumors or speculation due to my spotty memory of the show, but as I recall, a couple of the wrestler's statements towards the end of the show definitely seemed to be of a different tone than those at the start of the show.
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Yeah, Regal gave a memorably uneasy testimonial, but according to the Observer, it wasn't because they found out about the murders during the show but because JBL said to Regal right before he recorded his, "You don't think he could've killed that boy, did you?" and Regal was weirded out.

Irv is a conspiracy theorizing loon but he's also done a good job at aggregating the facts. I haven't read the book.

(edited by JustinShapiro on 16.12.10 1930)
SEADAWG
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Since: 5.7.03

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
    Originally posted by PaulKTF
    Is it possible that some in the company knew; but didn't want to tell Vince for some reason?


I would think the reverse is more likely. Vince already told everyone he was dead, maybe he didn't want to double down on it by breaking the murderer news too.
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.60
I think once Chavo got that cryptic text, they probably knew he killed them. Yet, Irv has a giant axe to grind with Vince and wrestling in general, so I'd skeptical on anything he prints. Personally, I think Vince knew something was wrong and the crew probably didn't want to go out there after they learned that Benoit was dead, so they scrapped the show. They found Benoit that afternoon, so its different from Eddie where the crew had a day or so to take it in. In hindsight they probably should have thrown something out there even if they were 35% sure Benoit did it, yet I could see being a train wreck with someone cutting a promo and just breaking down in the center of the ring or people just stunned so much that it leads to major injuries. It might have been one of those times where it would have been better to go dark or replay that year's Mania without Benoit in it.
Reverend J Shaft
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Since: 25.6.03
From: Home of The Big House

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.29
It would be odd if Vince knew it was a murder/suicide before the show.

Considering there are no laws preventing Vince from mentioning Benoit in WWE programming or home video releases (and I doubt anyone would consider him crass or unethical for doing so), it would seem curious that Vince allows absolutely no reference to Benoit now, but would allow the tribute show to go on if he also known that at the time.
PaulKTF
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Since: 26.5.06

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
    Originally posted by Reverend J Shaft
    It would be odd if Vince knew it was a murder/suicide before the show.

    Considering there are no laws preventing Vince from mentioning Benoit in WWE programming or home video releases (and I doubt anyone would consider him crass or unethical for doing so), it would seem curious that Vince allows absolutely no reference to Benoit now, but would allow the tribute show to go on if he also known that at the time.


Maybe Vince knew that for the moment he could get away with putting the show on as planned and not get heat for it (assuming he knew, that is).

If he didn't air the tribute show; what were his other options? Air 2 hours of the previous RAW and an hour of random matches on top of that? Throw together some random matches out there live? I don't even know which is why I'm trying not to judge the decision they went with.

I'd really like to think that nobody in the WWE knew for sure what happened before it was too late. I don't think that just suspecting he did anything would be enough reason to alter the show as planned.
Reverend J Shaft
Liverwurst








Since: 25.6.03
From: Home of The Big House

Since last post: 49 days
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.29
    Originally posted by PaulKTF
    Maybe Vince knew that for the moment he could get away with putting the show on as planned and not get heat for it (assuming he knew, that is).


I think that's kinda my point. I doubt he'd get much heat today for putting out a Benoit "greatest of" DVD or, at the very least, include some of his matches on other themed-DVDs. And yet, Vince treats Benoit's very mention like the plague, suggesting he's even more sore about what happened than the general public. That leads me to believe he didn't know what the real story was until after airing began (or at least until it was too late to viably alter the program).

I dunno. Vince is capable of making some weird decisions, so I suppose anything is possible.
InVerse
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Since: 26.8.02

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.17
It seems pretty obvious to me... Even if Vince had a clue as to what might have happened, it certainly wasn't confirmed at the time Raw went on the air. So which looks worse, doing a tribute and then having to apologize for it later, or not doing a tribute, finding out that Benoit didn't kill anyone and then looking like a total asshole for failing to memorialize him? It's much easier to save face after the former than the latter.
cenamark21
Weisswurst








Since: 27.10.10

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.24
For the record, Dave Lagana was on f4w ages ago and talked about that day and what the writers' response was.

I don't think he knew. But, in a moment that shocked me for how cold and ruthless it was, he admitted that they did a tribute show, instead of showing a rerun which would have been easier for everyone, mainly because of ratings and they wanted to get in USA's good graces. They also wanted to get ahead of CNN and some of the other news channels. I assume the Owen and Eddie's shows happened for similar reasons.

So, yeah, the people who did know, possibly went ahead with the show because they wanted a good rating that night.
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