ViRTUE's RAGE: Benoit Tragedy 10 Years Later
Submitted by Virtue on 12/03/2017 at 11:01 PM

December 3, 2017

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

Chris Benoit

RIP Nancy & Daniel Benoit

As I sit here on this Sunday evening thinking about my own life and family, I cannot even fathom what it would be like to have any of them get sick or be harmed. It’s funny how the holidays are a viable excuse for what brings families and friends together. But why does that have to be the case? Families should spend more time together than just this time of year, as should friends. Unfortunately, many relationships are now held through social media and texting, and for the most part, people are content with that. I probably spend too much time myself, writing and talking about professional wrestling or playing video games. In reality, I should be using most of my extra time spending it with family and friends. We are all guilty of being selfish and sometimes lazy, but we can be so much more if we give just a little bit of effort. I challenge myself (and you) to start thinking of others more often. It is perfectly fine to give people second chances because in the end, even if things do not go as you planned, you will feel more gratitude and satisfaction.

I like to use this forum to discuss my take on professional wrestling (as a fan). Sure, I have studied the business more than an average fan and have even dabbled in some small-time local independent feds; however, I am really no more an expert than YOU are. With that said, I want to take this time to finally discuss my thoughts on Chris Benoit, not the man who did the unthinkable and murdered his family and then himself in late June 2007, but the wrestler who was well on his way to a Hall of Fame worthy career. As you can see in the picture above, I refer to Benoit as “The One We Do Not Speak Of”. However, this is not the Harry Potter universe, and he is not a fictional character like Lord Voldemort. The fact is before Benoit committed his despicable crimes, he was a husband and a father to the victims. However, we will never really know exactly what happened personally in his life that led to such a horrific chain of events. All we have to go by is speculation. The fact the happenings of that weekend in late June 2007 were so sudden, we have to highly consider that Benoit was a sick man, most likely caused by brain trauma he sustained over his wrestling career. If his brain damage was medically identified while he was still alive, rather than during the toxicology examination after he was deceased, then perhaps at the very least, Nancy and Daniel would still be alive today.

Benoit was also a friend to many people, but if he was indeed a sick man who needed help because of brain damage sustained from head injuries over the course of his career, it truly is unfortunate that nobody really foreshadowed such a tragedy to happen. There have been many write ups and discussions about Benoit over the past decade, so there are obviously many spins on how he acted the last year of his life and if any of it could have been prevented. Perhaps the same can even be said for former New England Patriots’ tight end, Aaron Hernandez. Is brain damage and CTE fully to blame? Or do people like Benoit and Hernandez have an evil seed in them all along that cannot be prevented, ultimately making them commit such heinous acts? Again, even the medical “experts” do not always have an exact answer for how things happen when it comes to human psychology and rage. I imagine being a professional psychiatrist has to be a very taxing field. Based on the more facts and evidence that comes out each year about brain trauma and how it affects psychology and well-being, we have to conclude it is a very strong possibility to be a major factor in tragic outcomes, like in the Benoit family’s case. We can also bring steroids into the equation and if they affected Benoit’s well-being in any way. What I will not entertain is the conspiracy theorists who claim Benoit was setup to take the fall in mob-like style. Until there is 100% proof of such an outlandish take on the situation, then it is pure fiction.

Finally, the elephant in the room for the entire NoDQ Galaxy: Does Chris Benoit deserve to be recognized for his professional wrestling career and accomplishments? The answer is YES! Not only should Benoit’s wrestling career be acknowledged by us fans, but WWE should also stop treating him like Lord Voldemort. While none of us condone his actions from that fateful weekend in late June 2007, the fact remains that from 1985 to 2007, Chris Benoit had a storied professional wrestling career. In a field where it is hard to make it to the big dance, Benoit accomplished it all. He worked for companies such as Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, ECW, WCW, and WWE. He won the 2004 Royal Rumble and then headlined WrestleMania 20, where he went on last when he was booked to win the World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Remember folks, the Mania Main Event spot (going on last) is something that everyone in the business clamors to be in, and some never even get there like CM Punk, Owen Hart, etc. He held multiple championships in various promotions, such as the WWE World Heavyweight title as previously mentioned, WCW World Heavyweight title, the Intercontinental title, the United States title in both WWE and WCW, Tag Team titles in WWE/WCW/ECW, the WCW Television title, and the NJPW Junior Heavyweight title. Again, so many accomplishments in so many companies simply cannot be ignored and forgotten. Benoit had many great matches during his career, but for some reason I vividly remember his Ladder Match against Chris Jericho at the 2001 Royal Rumble event. Wow!

Yes, it is indeed very sad what transpired, and we can only imagine what else could have been if none of the awful events happened in 2007. Many times a majority of society gets caught up with being politically correct to save face. But can we really ignore history? We will never forget how it all ended for Benoit and his family, but erasing his wrestling career from the history books makes no sense. I strongly urge all wrestling fans and companies to slowly and steadily once again acknowledge Benoit’s wrestling career. I know it is a delicate and touchy subject, but a slow process might be the best approach. Even if he never gets into any Hall of Fames, many of us were entertained by what he did in and near a wrestling ring. We can continue to have empathy, to mourn, and to grieve for his family, but let’s also consider doing the same for him because in the end, Chris Benoit gave his body (his brain) for the business he loved, and it cost him everything!

If you have any questions about concussions, CTE, etc, and how they affect actual professional wrestlers that worked years in business, Big Vito LoGrasso is probably more than willing to answer any of them on social media. Search Vito Lo Grasso on Facebook or @TheBigVitoBrand on Twitter.

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

PPV Grades for 2017
NXT TakeOver: San Antonio = B++
WWE Royal Rumble = B
WWE Elimination Chamber = B
WWE FastLane = C++
NXT TakeOver: Orlando = B++
WWE WrestleMania 33 = B+
WWE Payback = B
NXT TakeOver Chicago = A-
WWE Backlash = B-
WWE Extreme Rules = B
WWE Money in the Bank = B-
WWE Great Balls of Fire = A-
WWE Battleground = C
NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III = A-
WWE SummerSlam = C++
WWE No Mercy = B+
WWE Hell in a Cell = B+
NXT TakeOver War Games = B++
WWE Survivor Series = C++

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