I may be the only professional wrestling fan here. When I talked about it before, it felt that way. All I know is that this is a sad day because one of the best ever, Chris Benoit, is now dead. The police are investigating the death of him and his entire family. Their suspicision is that he killed them and then himself.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. - WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and son were found dead Monday and police said they were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
Detective Bo Turner told television station WAGA that the case was being treated as a murder-suicide, but said that couldn't be confirmed until evidence was examined by a crime lab.
The station said that investigators believe the 40-year-old Benoit killed his wife, Nancy, and 7-year-old son, Daniel, over the weekend, then himself on Monday. A neighbor called police, and the bodies were found in three rooms.
Lead investigator Lt. Tommy Pope, of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department, told The Associated Press the deaths were being investigated as homicide, and that the causes of death awaited autopsy results on Tuesday. Pope said the bodies were discovered about 2:30 p.m., but refused to release details.
The house is in a secluded neighborhood set back about 60 yards off a gravel road, surrounded by stacked stone wall and a double-iron gate. On Monday night, the house was dark except for a few outside lights. There was a police car in front, along with two uniformed officers.
Benoit was a former world heavyweight and Intercontinental champion. He also held several tag-team titles during his career.
"WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Benoit family's relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy," the federation said in a statement on its Web site.
Benoit was scheduled to perform at the "Vengeance" pay-per-view event Sunday night in Houston, but was replaced at the last minute because of what announcer Jim Ross called "personal reasons."
The native of Canada maintained a home in metro Atlanta from the time he wrestled for the defunct World Championship Wrestling.
The WWE canceled its live "Monday Night RAW" card in Corpus Christi, Texas, and USA Network aired a three-hour tribute to Benoit in place of the scheduled wrestling telecast.
"My relationship with Chris has extended many years and I consider him a great friend," Carl DeMarco, the president of WWE Canada, said in a statement. "Chris was always first-class — warm, friendly, caring and professional one of the best in our business."
I don't know what to say. Reports say no evidence of gun play was found and other reports are implying carbon monoxide could have been at work, but the authorities are sticking to their story that the wife and son died on Sunday and he killed himself on Monday.
I'll be honest, he was one of my wrestling heroes. I've had little reason to follow all the storylines in wrestling these days but I've kept up with what he has been doing. He was finally moving to the ECW brand so they'd use him more effectively. He has been wrestling piss poor competitors for years and he finally was going to get better quality matches to work with.
I know a lot of people think wrestling is silly. I do too, but there is an art to the wrestling. The storytelling the wrestlers are able to do in the ring can be great. Most wrestlers are bad, but Benoit and a few others were masters. he was perfect with his moves and perfect in selling opponent's moves. In Japan, where wrestling is more serious and not inundated with bad storylines, Chris Benoit was a legend. When he performed there they always gave him the title belt and refused to allow anyone to beat him. No Western wrestler ever got such respect.
And from all reports, he was a gentleman. Everyone said he was honest and gracious. Always friendly to fans. He was also a big proponent of respect. Years ago, a new wrestler disrespected Shawn Michaels and Christ Benoit made him do a 1,000 crunches. Not forcing the kid to do it alone, Benoit did it with him to show toughness and endurance. Benoit came out fine but the next day the new guy could barely walk so Benoit made him do 500 more.
I think the sad fact about wrestling is that it is a grueling business. Drug abuse has lead to physical and emotional scarring. Too many good wrestlers are dying too young. It reminds me about the current issue in professional football about how retired players are trying to get health benefits to help them deal with bouts of depression and other things. The abuse isn't just physical.
Many wrestlers always talk about the pressure of the business. Gone almost all of the year, you are asked to be everything to both the business and your family when it's impossible. Some retired wrestlers are already saying Benoit gave into the pressure and cracked. I hope further evidence shows more in the Carbon Monoxide ideas, but if it doesnt, such a shame a man like this ended up going out this way.
I've been a fan of him for years and still will be a fan. His DVD is the only wrestling dvd besides the Undertakers' I really do care to own. I'll miss him.