OK I know I will get some backstage heat for writing this, but I miss Chris Benoit. Honestly I miss the whole pack of those guys when they were in the peak of their careers. Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera, Eddie Guerrero (RIP), Chris Jericho, and Benoit. These guys put some of the best wrestling product on TV that I have ever seen. It may not always be as memorable as the attitude antics of the Rock or Stone Cold or DX, but not as big of a budget was put these guys either. They were solid performers, maybe not as eccentric on the character side sans maybe Jericho. But during 2 hours of Nitro every night and then on into Monday Night Raw. These guys night after night continued to put on the best matches of the night. They knew the art of telling a story in the ring and they worked so well together.
Benoit was a stiff wrestler there’s no doubt. You better be ready for a beating when you step in the ring with him, but he was as tough as they come. The clips are a little too gruesome to show here but i can recall two matches when Benoit had to finish the match in agonizing pain due to an injury. The first time was a dislocated shoulder that he still performed with. Taking massive bumps and even performing his diving headbutt off an 8 foot ladder. Without the shoulder strength to break his fall he hit his head pretty bad on that one. The other match was one where he was removed on a stretcher for a legitimate reason but was scheduled to actually go over that day. He came back in and found out later he walked back in with two bulging disks in his back, still went through a table, still took chair shots, and went on to win almost convulsing on the ground from the amount of pain surging through his body.
I know Benoit’s amazing wrestling career unfortunately ended on a bad note, and for that reason he will never be able to be remembered through a Hall of Fame induction, and is barely remembered now as he should be. A dark cloud was placed over his name to the point where he is not allowed to be mentioned ever in reference on WWE television. Which is a sad thing to me given what he accomplished for the sport. Though I understand that a man that apparently killed his whole family is not to be glorified. But as a fan it still makes me sad.