Watching Spring Stampede ’99, I was pretty shocked; I completely forgot WCW was still able to occasionally churn out a thoroughly enjoyable PPV. As someone whose favorite wrestler used to be Benoit, I usually try to find a reason to be busy with something else when his matches are on. However, the crowd was going berserk for Raven/Saturn v. Benoit/Malenko and I couldn’t help but get sucked in as well.
To end the match, Double-A lays a chair on Raven’s head and Benoit does a completely unprotected diving headbutt…onto the chair. Maybe you can argue his shoulder took some of the brunt, but it is as gratuitous as possible. Granted, this is well covered bullshit and certainly long before concussion awareness. What I want to know: who actually comes up with that? Does Benoit just volunteer to do something completely ridiculous? Why doesn’t he jump off the top and do a foot-stomp? Was he already out of his fucking mind at this point?
I can see someone on the indies or ECW doing this, but why pull this shit on the big stage (even in the mindset of ’99).
It was part of the same macho bullshit that did in Dynamite Kid, and we know how badly Benoit wanted to emulate him. That move (and others like it) are just terrifying to watch now, especially because Benoit in particular would make sure to absorb the brunt of the move with his head and shoulders directly, rather than channeling the force into the mat like Randy Savage used to do with the elbow. And yeah, Benoit would be the guy to volunteer to do it himself. Harley Race used to do similar stuff and he fucked his neck six ways from Sunday too. And look what happened to Daniel Bryan! I really wish they'd retire that move for good, even more than the piledrivers and spears. Gravity isn't just a good idea, it's the law.