I tried so hard to forget about this. This past week marks the 9 year death of Chris Benoit. I remember Vince Mcmahon setting up an angle where he set himself up to die on television and then this happened. It was a major shock to me, my family and the WWE universe. My father wanted nothing to do with wrestling after this event occurred. I couldn’t blame him. I stopped watching until they created the WWE network. 7 years later.
To this day, I don’t think anyone could fully understand why Benoit would murder his wife and child in a 48 hr timeframe. Steroids? Concussions and CTE? PTSD over deaths of many of his friends in the wrestling community? There’s no legitimate answer. Even if there was, it doesn’t explain a murder-suicide.
I remember the first time I saw Benoit. It was at a live show in 2000. He was in a six man tag match. Can’t recall who team he was on. Included in this match was The Rock, Undertaker, Kane, Y2J and Triple H (I think). About three years after that, I remember how he was becoming a fan favorite on Smackdown. In 2004, he won the Rumble then the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 20 (hence the photograph for the post.) I can’t even look at that pay-per-view without shedding a tear. That was the first pay-per-view I ever watched in my life. As I age, that one moment is the most special to me.
This is also an example of toxic masculinity. In my early adolescence, when I realized this was not a promo…man. As men, we are expected to fight to the death. Provide for your family at all costs. When things go haywire, we don’t have that emotional outlet women do. The minute we talk about our issues, we get scruitinized. We are babies. Girls. Not men. I’m not giving this man an excuse for what he did. I’m saying we should have a better outlet for men to express their feelings, their views, their anger.
The lyrics to his theme song are errie; foreshadowing: There’s no holding me back, I’m not driven by fear I’m just driven by anger..you’re under attack…I choose to remember Chris, the wrestler who left it all in the ring every single night. Everyone should too.