September Classics: Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle – Unforgiven 2002

To close out September today and tomorrow, we’ll go with the brand split era and the Smackdown side of things. Benoit and Angle had the classics ***** encounter at Royal Rumble 2003, but before that at Unforgiven 2002, they paired off in another great match, this one has an ending that hearkens back to their WM X-7 encounter.


Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle – Unforgiven 2002 by puropwgwwestuff

August Classics: Edge & The Rock vs. Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero – Smackdown 8/1/02

In the beginning of the brand split, Smackdown appeared to have gotten the “wrestling” portion of the roster. It was very common for Smackdown to have awesome matches from one show to the next. Eventually, Vince and Co. determined that they would rather have RAW be both the sports entertainment AND the wrestling show, and Smackdown got the shaft in subsequent drafts

August Classics: Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit – SummerSlam 2000

Following up on yesterday’s post, SummerSlam 2000 also gave us this great match; a 2 out of 3 Falls Match between two guys who matched up well. Jericho was the smart-ass babyface and Benoit was the ruthless all-business-in-the-ring type who happened to be a Shane McMahon associate around this time, as a stable was being built with Shane at the head, leading Benoit, Kurt Angle, The Big Show and Edge & Christian. That stable would be short-lived, however. This match is a personal favorite of mine.


SummerSlam.2000 – Y2J Vs Chris Benoit – 2.Out… by dido67

David Benoit 2014 interview


Hi Scott,


Long time lurker, first time mailer.

Just came across this interview with David Benoit. He starts talking about his father around the 8 minute mark. Some interesting comments in a strange and awkward interview


All the best,

Sebastiaan

Man, that's a kid who NO ONE is going to touch with a ten-foot pole on the national scene unless he's the second coming of Ric Flair.  

Benoit Research

Hi Scott,
  I’m a researcher based at the University of East Anglia, UK, and am conducting some research into fans’ responses to Chris Benoit; I want to examine reaction to his career, his crimes, and the extent of grief shown after his death.   I wondered please whether you could help promote my website, http://benoitresearch.com/, on your blog? The site has a bit more info about the project, as well as links to a questionnaire for fans to complete. I would appreciate any referrals you could send my way!   All the best, Tom  

Benoit, Jericho and KOTR 2001

Hey, Scott! I have something to bring before the BOD crowd. I was reviewing some Raws and Smackdowns from June 2001 for my website (kingsrecaps.wordpress.com, BTW) and was wondering how frustrating it was to watch Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho during the build to King of the Ring '01. Benoit and Jerihco get the big tag title win over Austin and Triple H, making you think they were finally getting thier chance, but in the weeks they repeatedly jobbed to Austin in title matches, Jericho lost in a handicap match to a pair of midcarders (Big Show and Rhyno), Benoit lost the famed cage match to Angle that he should have won, and only got one other big win along the way, and that was the six man tag on the raw before KOTR. Plus if you watch the last three shows before the pay-per-view, you'll notice Benoit and Jericho were hardly featured, while Austin was allowed to run wild with all his wacky segments and skits. Was it worth seeing Benoit and Jericho win
 the tag titles and get to be in the KOTR main event if it meant they would get buried along the way? Just wanted to get some thoughts.

This was actually well documented in the Observer at the time, and basically it was a case of Vince pulling the trigger with the tag title switch and then changing his mind when it became obvious that Benoit and Jericho weren't going to do business on top.  And then Benoit needed the neck surgery, so they basically decided to pull the plug on the whole thing and let Austin regain some heat and then rebuild Jericho later.  That's why King of the Ring ended up structured how it was. And given Benoit's injury, they were kind of right to change it anyway.  

Benoit is back, with a warning


It's certainly less trouble than editing out all his appearances and muting the commentary.  Between that and the music rights, it would make Monday Night Wars era shows a nightmare to present for airing.  Plus yeah, if anyone feels that watching Benoit engage in sports entertaining will warp their fragile minds, they can skip it.  

the only Benoit question that matters

Scott,
I've been reading your work for more than 15 years – frightening. I wanted to ask you something that might be a little touchy feely for your tastes, but I'm hoping you'll give it a thought. Though I'm a fan of your work and I wouldn't ask you to change your style for anything, I can say that you will hide behind your intellect and sarcasm when a question has the chance to hit a nerve. I'm asking you to just be honest.
       One of the reasons I gravitated toward your work back in the late 90s was your admiration for my favorite wrestler, Chris Benoit. There were a lot of guys on the internet who championed his ringwork, but you were a better writer, and a lot of the times your rants would seem to crystalize bits of thoughts from my head into something coherent in print about Benoit. You saw him for what he was in his strengths and weaknesses – a guy who, in my opinion, is the greatest ring worker to wrestle in North America (Shawn is an amazing entertainer, but you believed Benoit was kicking the crap out of people and getting the crap kicked out of him) but also rather out of his element in the modern era of angles, mic work, and being an accessible personality to put on t-shirts and the like. No, I'm not a delusional fan ala "Stan" of Eminem's song, but as he went along his career, I oddly felt like I'd experience his journey along with you, from all of the brilliance amidst the shit in WCW through surreal highs (the IC title win at Wrestlemania 2000, for example) through unbelievable matches (Rumble 2003 vs Angle) through periods where he was just kind of there (most of 2003 after the Rumble) through the pinnacle at WM 20 (which I consider a perfect match, even from an objective standpoint) and the reasonable success he had from 2005 on. 
So now we're six years removed from the tragedy, and I'll still watch Benoit matches, enjoying them more than most any other match I'll watch and wondering the whole time if I was always watching a monster in plain sight. Whatever the horrible chain of events that led to Benoit becoming a man who murdered his family, I'm still left just haunted by the thing. It goes beyond the "rational" stance that you shouldn't have heroes because they can only let you down. Fuck heroes, I just want to be able to look at a guy whose work I like and know he isn't the devil incarnate. I think about how when I'm hanging out with my 10 year old nephew and we watch some wrestling on YouTube, the one wrestler I'd want to show him to show him how awesome wrestling can be is Benoit – and yet I haven't, for several reasons. I don't need you to solve my dilemma over it, because I am (basically) an adult and can deal. But I want to know, aside from humor skirting bad taste (not a judgment, I'd think you'd agree), you deal with that – the guy you admired as a worker coming to an end like that. How DID you feel when you heard the news? I'd be grateful to hear your take.
   Jesse

I don't particularly seek out Benoit matches anymore, but I'm fine watching them now.  I think there's a disconnect where I don't really associate the person who did the horrible things with the person in the ring, mostly because everything suggests that he really did become a different person in those last days.  That being said, I don't really enjoy watching his matches anymore either, and I couldn't recommend using him as an example of in-ring greatness at this point.  Frankly I don't know if anyone ever came to terms 100% with what he did, because it was just so hugely monstrous.  

Chris Benoit “technically” in HOF


Hey Scott! First I'd like to say love your blog and your reviews from past wrestling shows. I think the reviews are honest and something a TRUE wrestling fan would say instead of saying the political correct answer. Now on to my question; The Four Horseman were inducted into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame and it was the stable that was  inducted with Flair, Windham, Blanchard, Dillon and Anderson were representing? But my thing is that Benoit is in because it was the stable that was inducted not the 4 wrestlers that were on stage so he is in the Hall of Fame in my mind. I mean when Metallica was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame; it was the band that was inducted which means that Dave Mustaine is in the Hall of Fame as well by association. So WWE in my view shot themselves in the foot because even though his name is not in the Hall of Fame he's in because of the group and the same can be said for guys like Luger, Malenko, Pillman and the not so great members like McMichael, Roma and Sid. What are your thoughts about that? thanks my friend carry on

I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Lou.

 They were pretty specific with inducting Flair/Windham/Arn/Tully/JJ that year.   Plus the Benoit era was a decade removed from the classic era.  And most convincing to me, no one gives a fuck about the WWE Hall of Fame anyway.  

Sabertooth to play Benoit

I’m sure most of you have read by now, but for those that haven’t, Liev Schrieber is signed on to play Benoit in the new film Crossface.

Should be interesting. However, what I’m looking forward to the most is the actors they choose to portray people like Vince, Triple H, and Eddie. I can only imagine that the real Triple H will pitch an idea like a new age No Holds Barred where he finally, FINALLY gets his dream match: Triple H vs Triple H. Hey-O!

Chris Benoit in the HOF?

I know this subject has been beaten to death – forgive me the bad pun – but I'd like to know you're opinion on Chris Benoit and the Hall of Fame. My question isn't whether WWE is going to induct him (I'm not THAT naîve), what I want to know is if you think he SHOULD? Many Benoit marks, not only claim that he should be inducted, since the WWE HOF celebrates the talent and contributions to the biz, and shouldn't be a "trial" for people's mistakes, outside the biz; but also because people like Mike Tyson is in (because os his rapes accusations). I think this is bullshit, but I would very like to know your opinion on the subject as a general. 


Thank you and keep up with the good work!

I think he totally warrants inclusion on merit, yes.  However, it would be such a political nightmare that clearly he should never actually be inducted.  Mike Tyson's demons and Benoit's demons are in two totally different circles of hell.  

Bizarro Benoit Universe

Topic for Blog: Assuming Benoit *doesn't* go batshit crazy… what was in his future? 1 yr, 5 yrs, ..10 years? HOF? 


Immediate plans were winning the ECW title at that PPV, and then he was going to be phased into a role as a trainer and agent.  Obviously with the years of surgeries and injuries, WWE and Benoit himself had to know that his time was coming to an end one way or another.  You could make a pretty strong argument, and I recall doing so at the time, that he should have been moved into that part-timer role long before that even for his own good.  That being said, given what we know about his personality, I don't feel like he'd make that kind of transition as gracefully as someone like William Regal has done, because he was such a hyper-competitive guy.  But especially with the Wellness Policy weeding out medical problems like it was, I think his in-ring WWE career would have come to an end, whether or not by his own choice, very soon after that last title win.  I don't know whether they would have put him in the Hall, but he would have been as good a choice as anyone.

Too hard on Benoit?

Hey, 15++ year reader, first time emailer.
I'm sure you've heard about the guy who killed his wife, small child, and himself on a gravel road near Saskatoon last week. But everything I've seen from both mainstream and social media has been very sympathetic towards the whole family. The common thread is "it's too bad this guy didn't get the help he needed."
It seems that much of the IWC hasn't given Benoit that same sympathy, yourself included. Any reasons for this?


Sure, Benoit was revealed to have a serious drug addiction, and much of his problems were brought on by his own needless abuse of his body, like taking unprotected chairshots to the head and other stupid stuff like that.  Plus his murders were executed over a two day period, with Benoit killing his wife, thinking about it for a while, and then killing his own son with his bare hands.  Yes, he was sick and in need of help, but there's a world of difference between a cry for help and being a cold-blooded murderer.  If he was truly repentant for his actions, he would have faced the law like a man instead of lying to his friends while everything was going on, and then killing himself like a coward.  

But maybe that's just me.

Deleting Benoit from History

I have never bought a WWE DVD, so I have to ask: what does WWE do with matches, shows, or highlights that include Chris Benoit?  When Wrestlemania 30 comes and they release some massive box set of blu-rays to commemorate it, how do they handle Wrestlemanias 16 thru 23?  Surely they can't just completely ignore Wrestlemania 20's main event or the first Money in the Bank ladder match at #21.  At least with Eddie Guerrero, they don't completely ignore the man's existence, but obviously they have some understandable trepidation about Benoit's inclusion in their releases.

Well it's not like they're blurring the guy out of the DVDs or anything.  He was present in the Elimination Chamber DVD, for instance.  They're just not going to include matches with him where it's not absolutely necessary, like say on an Edge DVD.