WWE WRESTLEMANIA 36 2020 DAY 1 & 2 KEPUTUSAN DAN REAKSI
WWE WRESTLEMANIA 36 2020 DAY 1 & 2 KEPUTUSAN DAN REAKSI

WWE WRESTLEMANIA 36 2020 DAY 1 & 2 KEPUTUSAN DAN REAKSI

DAY 1

single match (kick off)

Cesaro vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak cuba mencari jalan pintas untuk menaikkan momentum dengan mengalahkan Cesaro. Namun Cesaro bukan mudah untuk dikalahkan.
Cesaro men. Gulak

Rating - C

women tag team championship match


The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Pertarungan kedua beregu yang sudah semakin serasi, membuatkan penonton agak sukar untuk meneka siapa pemenang. Namun dalam pertarungan ini nampaknya berpihak pada anak emas Vince dan dua kali menjadi juara beregu .
Bliss dan Cross men. The Kabuki Warriors

Rating - B

single match

King Corbin vs. Elias
Seperti tidak percaya match ni, Elias menewaskan juara king of the ring. Bagus untuk perkembangan Elias harap momentumnya akan terus maju.
Elias men. King Corbin
Rating - B

raw women championship match

Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
Match yang bertenaga dari kedua peserta, Shayna cuba untuk mendominasi perlawanan dengan kekunci. Namun kuncian makan diri, Becky yang lebih berpengalaman menyerang balik kekunci dengan menindan pengunci dan menang.
Becky meneruskan Dominasi wanita Raw dengan mengalahkan pendatang baru yakni Shayna yang sebelum ini berada di NXT.
Becky men. Shayna
Rating - A

intercontinental championship match

Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Sami nampaknya berjaya menjadi heel yang dibenci, untuk penonton menyokong anak emas yakni si Bryan. Dengan Bantuan Nakamura dan Cesaro, memberi kelebihan kepada Sami untuk mengalahkan mamat yang asyik dapat title shot ja manjang (benci aku )
tak tahu la lepas ni si pendek tu dapat title shot apa pulak geram je rasa, untung kalah haha.
Sami men. Bryan

Rating - B

smackdown tag team championship match

John Morrison (c) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso
Perlawanan yang agak unik, dimana hanya wakil salah seorang yang kena bertarung. Dan masih berpihak pada juara bertahan yakni Morisson dan Miz.
Morisson men. Kofi dan Jimmy

Rating - B

single match

Kevin Owen vs. Seth Rollins
Pada mulanya Rollins ingin segera menghabiskan match dengan menghempuk Owen dengan loceng, dan pengadil mengumumkan DQ. Saat Rollins ingin pergi, Owen mencabar Rollins untuk perlawanan NO DQ. Rollins bersetuju dan mereka menyambung perlawanan semula. Owen bijak mengatur perlawanan dan memberi stunner kepada Roliins dan menang.
Owens men. Rollins
Rating -


uiversal championship match

Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman
Braun mendapat peluang untuk mengantikan Romen yang dikuarantin akibat disyaki virus covid-19. 4 spear dan satu jackhammer ( tak larat nak angkat hahahahahahahahaha maklumlah dah tua) dibalas dengan 4 powerslam dan Monster among men Menanggggggg!
Dah lama aku mengidam nak Braun ni menang dan akhirnya dia menang. Lantak la match teruk ke apa. asalkan bukan Romen yang menang hahaha.
Tahniah Braun!
Braun men. Goldberg

Rating - AAAAA

boneyard match

The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
Perlawanan ala ala filem horror yang membuatkan Undertaker kelihatan lebih kuat. Dan Aj and the geng sangat membantu menaikkan momentum Undertaker. Akhirnya undertaker berjaya mengalahkan Aj dengan menanam Aj.
Ok jugak match macam ni, boleh la cover stamina atuk taker, cut lawan cut lawan. baru macam macam boleh buat. kalau kat dalam ring memang tak lah nak buat macamni.
Undertaker men. Styles
Rating - A

Day 2

single match (kickoff)

Liv Morgan vs. Natalya
Natalya yang terkenal dengan pengusti teknikal akhirnya terpaksa akur dengan Morgan, kekunci makan diri.
Morgan men.Natalya.
Rating - C

nxt women championship match

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte ko memang parasit dalam WWE. makin lama makin semak. Eh sial la.
Charlotte men. Rhea

Rating - Sampah

Single match

Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
Perlawanan yang agak menarik, Lasshley mendominasi awal perlawanan, namun terpaksa akur dengan kelicikan Black. Penyudah spears Lashley berjaya dipatahkan dan penyudah Black Mars mengenai Lashley, dan Black menang. Lana sungguh marah dengan kekalahan Lashley.
Black men. Lashley
Rating - B

single match

Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
Perlawanan yang melibatkan Ziggler biasanya mempunyai moment yang menarik. Di saat Otis hampir kalah, Mandy datang membantu dengan serangan Low Blow ke arah Dolph dan Otis memberikan penyudah ulat bulu dan menang.
Moment yang indah buat Otis kerana dapat bercium dengan Mandy Damnnnnnn!
Otis men. Dolph
Rating - A

last standing match

Edge vs. Randy Orton
Pertarungan Epik antara dua pengusti berpengalaman. menjadikan pertarungan tampak sengit dan mendebarkan. Randy kali ini lebih tampak ganas dan Edge kembali mengganas. Dengan hempukan kerusi di kepala Randy akhirnya tumbang dengan kiraan 10

Perghhh padu habis match ni. memang kena dengan WM tahun ni.
Edge men. Randy

Rating - AA

raw tag team champioship match

The Street Profits (c) vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory
Perlawanan yang boleh di agak pemenang, Profits nampaknya terus mendominasi beregu Raw.
Street Profits men. Garza dan Theory
Rating - B

5 - Way Smackdown Women Championship Match

Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans vs. Tamina vs. Naomi
Tamina nampaknya tidak bernasib baik kerana dia yang pertama keluar dengan 4 orang menindannya sekaligus (kesian...) kemudian Naomi pula terkeluar dengan kekunci dari Bayley. Kesilapan Bayley terpukul Sasha membuatkan rakannya kalah akibat ditindan oleh Lacey. Dan ketika Lacey hampir menang, muncul Sasha membantu Bayley untuk mengekalkan kejuaraan.

Nampaknya Lacey masih belum dapat lagi untuk merasa kejuaraan utama wanita. ingatkan Sasha nak pukul bayley eh dia tolong pulak adehhhh.
Bayley men. Tamina, Naomi, Sasha dan Lacey.

Rating - A

Fire funhouse match

John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
Perlawanan yang agak disturbing bagi aku. takde pengadil pun boleh dikira menang.
The Fiend men. John Cena ke John Cena men. Cena aduh pening aku.
Rating - Sampah

main event wwe championship match

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
3 F5 masih tidak dapat menumbangkan Drew, Dengan cubaan yang keempat Drew menyerang balas dengan 3 claymore dan menangggggg.
Akhirnya brock kalah bersih sekali lagi, dan menjadikan momentum Drew mencanak naik. Siapakah pencabar Drew selepas ini?
Tahniah Drew!
Rating - AAAA

Rating keseluruhan - A
Nampaknya WM tanpa penonton tahun ni agak bagus, cuma ada beberapa match yang aku tak berapa suka terutama match anak flair tu! Eh sial la. berikan pendapat anda juga di sini. fuhh panjang gila aku tulis ni. Sekian dari Super DG.
.

Abang Taker pun dah boleh keluarkan KWSP. Karier pun dah hujung-hujung. Persona penggali kubur tu pun macam orang dah tak berapa cuak. Jadi elok sangat lah jika beliau kembali berimejkan penunggang motosikal berkuasa tinggi macam Roy Kapilla dalam video klip Rak Ter sambil bawa orang rumah ronda-ronda waktu petang. Jemputlah baca ye. Penat saya tulis dari tengah laut ni.
The Undertaker kembali sebagai American Badass?

Biarpun dunia kini sedang bergelut dengan krisis wabak Covid-19 dengan Amerika Syarikat sendiri menjadi negara di tangga pertama yang mencatatkan kes positif tertinggi wabak tersebut, namun WWE tetap setia menyajikan persembahan terbaik saban minggu dengan acara Wrestlemania yang berbaki kurang seminggu dari sekarang.

Di acara Raw minggu ini, WWE Universe sekali lagi terkesima apabila bintang lagenda WWE, The Undertaker muncul dengan persona berbeza apabila memberi amaran kepada lawannya di Wrestlemania iaitu AJ Styles.


Dalam klip berdurasi 2 minit dan 9 saat itu, The Deadman kelihatan tidak bersuara dengan imej kegelapan yang menjadi kelazimannya selama ini. Sebaliknya, bintang berusia 55 tahun itu menyampaikan amarannya dengan nada suara manusia biasa, sekaligus membayangkan yang dirinya akan kembali dengan karakter penunggang motosikal berkuasa tinggi yang pernah dibawanya sekitar awal tahun 2000 yang lalu.


Dalam ‘amanat’nya kepada AJ semalam, Taker mendakwa yang AJ sendiri yang mengheretnya untuk menjadi diri sendiri kerana mengetengahkan kehidupan peribadinya di luar watak Undertaker. The Phenomenal One pada beberapa minggu lalu dengan beraninya menyebut nama sebenar Undertaker iaitu Mark Callaway di kaca TV, termasuk memetik nama isteri Taker iaitu bekas Juara Diva WWE, Michelle McCool.


Memang menjadi pantang besar buat The Phenom apabila lawannya cuba mengaitkan hal keluarga dan peribadi dalam mana-mana sengketa. Lihat sahaja apa yang berlaku kepada Diamond Dallas Page yang berani-berani menjadi pengintai kepada isteri terdahulu Undertaker iaitu Sara. DDP dibenam tanpa belas kasihan menyebabkan bekas Juara Heavyweight Dunia WCW itu kurang menyinar di WWE.


Ungkapan “Try Me, I’ll Make You Famous” juga diungkapkan Taker kepada AJ di Raw semalam. Ia merupakan slogan utama yang digunapakai Taker ketika gimik penunggang motosikal berkuasa tinggi dan beberapa nama besar seperti Triple H, Rikishi, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle dan ramai lagi berjaya memasyhurkan diri masing-masing hasil ‘ehsan’ The Undertaker.


Mengimbau kembali karakter American Badass ini, Undertaker mengejutkan para peminat gusti seluruh dunia apabila buat julung kalinya, beliau tidak lagi mengenakan busana serba hitam dan berjalan dengan perlahan ibarat mayat hidup apabila membantu The Rock menyelesaikan pakatan De Generation X pimpinan Triple H dalam perlawanan Lelaki Waja di acara WWE Judgment Day pada tahun 2000.


Karakter tersebut nyata memberi keselesaan kepada The Deadman apabila beliau kekal memegang status quo sebagai abang besar di WWE ketika itu dan menggondol Kejuaraan WWE daripada Hulk Hogan pada tahun 2002. Namun Taker kembali ke alam kegelapan di acara Wrestlemania XX pada April 2004 setelah ditanam hidup-hidup oleh adiknya Kane ketika perlawanan gimik tersebut di acara WWE Survivor Series tahun sebelumnya.


Pertukaran kembali gimik Undertaker ini mungkin telah dijangka sesetengah penganalisis. Ini susulan penampilan Undertaker dalam rancangan temubual Broken Skull Session bersama Stone Cold Steve Austin pada akhir tahun lalu. Betapa seluruh WWE Universe terpempan kerana Taker muncul dalam rancangan tersebut dengan keluar daripada karakternya selama ini. Tiada suara parau, mudah tersenyum dan berpewatakan seperti sahabat dalam kawasan kejiranan.


AJ perlu berwaspada dan bersiap siaga sekiranya benar Undertaker akan kembali kepada karakter American Badass. Kerana dengan persona ini, Taker bukan lagi seorang manusia robot yang dikawal pergerakannya, malah boleh bertukar kepada seorang kaki pukul yang langsung tidak mengenal belas kasihan kepada lawannya.


Undertaker dijadualkan akan menentang AJ Styles di acara WWE Wrestlemania 36 yang bakal berlangsung pada 5 dan 6 April ini dalam perlawanan khas yang diberi nama Boneyard Match. WWE Universe pastinya ternanti-nanti bagaimanakan corak perlawanan ini akan dilaksanakan kerana ia berlangsung buat pertama kalinya dalam sejarah WWE.

Mungkinkah ia menyamai perlawanan Buried Alive yang pernah disertai Taker beberapa kali sebelum ini? Atau perlawanan tanpa sebarang undang-undang di kawasan perkuburan? Semuanya akan terjawab di acara Wrestlemania 36 yang bakal dipancarkan secara langsung hujung minggu ini.

(Foto: WWE.com)

Langgani satu-satunya saluran gusti 24 jam di Malaysia, WWE Network. Saksikan acara WWE Wrestlemania  pada 5 dan 6 April ini serta kesemua acara WWE Pay-Per-View secara langsung! Tidak lupa juga kepada program-program eksklusif WWE Network, hanya di Astro, On Demand & Astro Go.


Christopher Michael Benoit was a Canadian professional wrestler. During his 22-year career, Benoit worked for numerous promotions including the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment, World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Canadian professional wrestler

Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide

Benoit murdered his wife on June 22, 2007, his son on June 23, 2007, and hanged himself on June 24, 2007. Research suggests depression and brain damage from numerous concussions are likely contributing factors leading to the crimes.

For the song by Insane Clown Posse, see Chris Benoit (song).
Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit in the Ring.jpg
Benoit at a WWE house show in 2007
Birth nameChristopher Michael Benoit
BornMay 21, 1967
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedJune 24, 2007 (aged 40)
Fayetteville, Georgia, U.S.
Cause of deathSuicide by hanging
Spouse(s)
Martina Benoit
(m. 1988; div. 1997)

Nancy Benoit
(m. 2000; died 2007)
Children3
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Chris Benoit
The Pegasus Kid
Wild Pegasus
Billed height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Billed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Billed fromAtlanta, Georgia
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Trained byBruce Hart
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
DebutNovember 22, 1985

Christopher Michael Benoit (/bənˈwɑː/; May 21, 1967 – June 24, 2007) was a Canadian professional wrestler. During his 22-year career, Benoit worked for numerous promotions including the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment (WWF/WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Industry journalist Dave Meltzer considered him "one of the top 10, maybe even the top 5, all-time greats".

Benoit held 22 championships between WWF/WWE, WCW, NJPW, and ECW. He was a two-time world champion, having been a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE;he was booked to win a third world championship at a WWE event on the night of his death. Benoit was the twelfth WWE Triple Crown Champion and seventh WCW Triple Crown Champion, and the second of four men in history to achieve both the WWE and WCW Triple Crown Championships. He was also the 2004 Royal Rumble winner, joining Shawn Michaels as the only two men to win a Royal Rumble as the number one entrant. Benoit headlined multiple pay-per-views for WWE, including a victory in the World Heavyweight Championship main event match of WrestleMania XX in 2004.

Benoit murdered his wife on June 22, 2007, his son on June 23, 2007, and hanged himself on June 24, 2007. Research suggests depression and brain damage from numerous concussions are likely contributing factors leading to the crimes.

Early life

Benoit was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Michael and Margaret Benoit. He grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, from where he was billed throughout the bulk of his career. He had a sister living near Edmonton.

During his childhood and early adolescence in Edmonton, Benoit idolized Tom "Dynamite Kid" Billington and Bret Hart; at 12 years old, he attended a local wrestling event at which the two performers "stood out above everyone else". Benoit trained to become a professional wrestler in the Hart family "Dungeon", receiving education from family patriarch Stu Hart. In-ring, Benoit emulated both Billington and Bret Hart, cultivating a high-risk style and physical appearance more reminiscent of the former (years later, he adopted Hart's trademark "Sharpshooter" hold as a finishing move).

Professional wrestling career

Stampede Wrestling (1985–1989)

Benoit began his career in 1985, in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling promotion. From the beginning, similarities between Benoit and Billington were apparent, as Benoit adopted many of his moves such as the diving headbutt and the snap suplex; the homage was complete with his initial billing as "Dynamite" Chris Benoit. According to Benoit, in his first match, he attempted the diving headbutt before learning how to land correctly, and had the wind knocked out of him; he said he would never do the move again at that point. His debut match was a tag team match on November 22, 1985 in Calgary, Alberta, where he teamed with "The Remarkable" Rick Patterson against Butch Moffat and Mike Hammer, which Benoit's team won the match after Benoit pinned Moffat with a sunset flip.[6] The first title Benoit ever won was the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship on March 18, 1988 against Gama Singh.[22] During his tenure in Stampede, he won four International Tag Team and three more British Commonwealth titles,[23] and had a lengthy feud with Johnny Smith that lasted for over a year, which both men traded back-and-forth the British Commonwealth title. In 1989, Stampede closed its doors later that year, and with a recommendation from Bad News Allen, Benoit departed for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (1986–1994)

Upon arriving in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Benoit spent about a year training in their "New Japan Dojo" with the younger wrestlers to improve his abilities. While in the dojo, he spent months doing strenuous activities like push ups and floor sweeping before stepping into the ring. He made his Japanese debut in 1986 under his real name. In 1989, he started wearing a mask and assuming the name The Pegasus Kid. Benoit said numerous times that he originally hated the mask, but it eventually became a part of him. While with NJPW, he came into his own as a performer in critically acclaimed matches with luminaries like Jushin Thunder Liger, Shinjiro Otani, Black Tiger, and El Samurai in their junior heavyweight division.

In August 1990, he won his first major championship, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, from Jushin Thunder Liger. He eventually lost the title in November 1990 (and in July 1991 in Japan and in November 1991 in Mexico, his mask) back to Liger,[23] forcing him to reinvent himself as Wild Pegasus. Benoit spent the next couple years in Japan, winning the Best of the Super Juniors tournament twice in 1993 and 1995. He went on to win the inaugural Super J-Cup tournament in 1994, defeating Black Tiger, Gedo, and The Great Sasuke in the finals. He wrestled outside New Japan occasionally to compete in Mexico and Europe, where he won a few regional championships, including the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. He held that title for over a year, having many forty-plus minute matches with Villano III.

World Championship Wrestling (1992–1993)

Benoit first came to World Championship Wrestling in June 1992, teaming up with fellow Canadian wrestler Biff Wellington for the NWA World Tag Team Championship tournament; they were defeated by Brian Pillman and Jushin Thunder Liger in the first round at Clash of the Champions XIX.
He did not return to WCW until January 1993 at Clash of the Champions XXII, defeating Brad Armstrong. A month later, at SuperBrawl III, he lost to 2 Cold Scorpio, getting pinned with only three seconds left in the 20-minute time limit. At the same time, he formed a tag team with Bobby Eaton. After he and Eaton lost to Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell at Slamboree, Benoit headed back to Japan.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1994–1995)

In 1994, Benoit began working with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in between tours of Japan. He was booked as a dominant wrestler there, gaining notoriety as the "Crippler" after he put Rocco Rock out. In August 1994, Benoit competed in a one-night eight-man tournament for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship, losing to 2 Cold Scorpio in the quarter-finals.

At November 2 Remember, Benoit accidentally broke Sabu's neck within the opening seconds of the match. The injury came when Benoit threw Sabu with the intention that he take a face-first "pancake" bump, but Sabu attempted to turn mid-air and take a backdrop bump instead. He did not achieve full rotation and landed almost directly on his neck.

After this match Benoit returned to the locker room and broke down over the possibility that he might have paralysed someone. Paul Heyman, the head booker of ECW at the time, came up with the idea of continuing the "Crippler" moniker for Benoit. From that point until his departure from ECW, he was known as "Crippler Benoit". When he returned to WCW in October 1995, WCW modified his ring name to "Canadian Crippler Chris Benoit". In The Rise and Fall of ECW book, Heyman commented that he planned on using Benoit as a dominant heel for quite some time, before putting the company's main title, the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, on him to be the long-term champion of the company.

Benoit and Dean Malenko won the ECW World Tag Team Championship from Sabu and The Tazmaniac in February 1995, Benoit's first American title.[23] After winning, they were initiated into the Triple Threat stable, led by ECW World Heavyweight Champion, Shane Douglas, as Douglas's attempt to recreate the Four Horsemen, as the three-man contingency held all three of the ECW championships at the time (Malenko also held the ECW World Television Championship at the time). The team lost the championship to The Public Enemy that April at ECW Three Way Dance. Benoit spent some time in ECW feuding with The Steiner Brothers and rekindling the feud with 2 Cold Scorpio. He was forced to leave ECW after his work visa expired; Heyman was supposed to renew it, but he failed to make it on time, so Benoit left as a matter of job security and the ability to enter the United States. He toured Japan until WCW called.

Return to WCW (1995–2000)

New Japan Pro-Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had a working relationship, and because of their "talent exchange" program, Benoit signed with WCW in late 1995 along with a number of talent working in New Japan to be a part of the angle. Like the majority of those who came to WCW in the exchange, he started out in as a member of the cruiserweight division, having lengthy matches against many of his former rivals in Japan on almost every single broadcast. At the end of 1995, Benoit went back to Japan as a part of the "talent exchange" to wrestle as a representative for New Japan in the Super J-Cup: 2nd Stage, defeating Lionheart in the quarterfinals (he received a bye to the quarterfinals for his work in 1995, similar to the way he advanced in the 1994 edition) and losing to Gedo in the semifinals.


Benoit with a fan during his time in WCW

After impressing higher-ups with his work, he was approached by Ric Flair and the WCW booking staff to become a member of the reformed Four Horsemen in 1995, alongside Flair, Arn Anderson, and Brian Pillman; he was introduced by Pillman as a gruff, no-nonsense heel similar to his ECW persona, "The Crippler". He was brought in to add a new dynamic for Anderson and Flair's tormenting of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage in their "Alliance to End Hulkamania", which saw the Horsemen team up with The Dungeon of Doom, but that alliance ended with Dungeon leader and WCW booker, Kevin Sullivan feuding with Pillman. When Pillman abruptly left the company for the WWF, Benoit was placed into his ongoing feud with Sullivan. This came to fruition through a dissension between the two in a tag team match with the two reluctantly teaming with each other against The Public Enemy, and Benoit being attacked by Sullivan at Slamboree. This led to the two having violent confrontations at pay-per-views, which led to Sullivan booking a feud in which Benoit was having an affair with Sullivan's real life wife and onscreen valet, Nancy (also known as Woman). Benoit and Nancy were forced to spend time together to make the affair look real, (hold hands in public, share hotel rooms, etc.).

This onscreen relationship developed into a real-life affair offscreen. As a result, Sullivan and Benoit had a contentious backstage relationship at best. Benoit did, however, admit having a certain amount of respect for Sullivan, saying on the DVD Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story that Sullivan never took undue liberties in the ring during their feud, even though he blamed Benoit for breaking up his marriage. This continued for over the course of a year with Sullivan having his enforcers apprehend Benoit in a multitude of matches. This culminated in a retirement match at the Bash at the Beach, where Benoit defeated Sullivan; this was used to explain Sullivan going to a behind-the-scenes role, where he could focus on his initial job of booking.

In 1998, Benoit had a long feud with Booker T. They fought over the WCW World Television Championship until Booker lost the title to Fit Finlay. Booker won a "Best-of-Seven" series which was held between the two to determine a number one contender. Benoit went up 3 to 1 before Booker caught up, forcing the 7th and final match on Monday Nitro. During the match, Bret Hart interjected himself, interfering on behalf of Benoit in an attempt to get him to join the New World Order. Benoit refused to win that way and told the referee what happened, getting himself disqualified. Booker refused that victory, instead opting for an eighth match at the Great American Bash to see who would fight Finlay later that night. Booker won the final match and went on to beat Finlay for the title.[23] This feud significantly elevated both men's careers as singles competitors, and both remained at the top of the midcard afterward.

In 1999, Benoit teamed with Dean Malenko once again and defeated Curt Hennig and Barry Windham to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.[23] This led to a reformation of the Four Horsemen with the tag team champions, Anderson, and Steve "Mongo" McMichael. The two hunted after the tag team championship for several months, feuding with teams like Raven and Perry Saturn or Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio, Jr. After a falling out with Anderson and McMichael, Benoit and Malenko left the Horsemen; he won the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship[23] before bringing together Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Shane Douglas to form "The Revolution".
The Revolution was a heel stable of younger wrestlers who felt slighted (both kayfabe and legitimate) by WCW management, believing they never gave them the chance to be stars, pushing older, more established wrestlers instead, despite their then-current questionable worthiness of their pushes. This led to the Revolution seceding from WCW, and forming their own nation, complete with a flag. This led to some friction being created between Benoit and leader, Douglas, who called into question Benoit's heart in the group, causing Benoit to quit the group, thus turning face, and having his own crusade against the top stars, winning the Television title one more time and the United States title from Jeff Jarrett in a ladder match. In October 1999 on Nitro in Kansas City, Missouri, Benoit wrestled Bret Hart as a tribute to Owen Hart, who had recently died due to an equipment malfunction. Hart defeated Benoit by submission, and the two received a standing ovation, and an embrace from guest ring announcer, Harley Race.

Benoit was unhappy working for WCW. One last attempt in January 2000 was made to try to keep him with WCW, by putting the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship on him by defeating Sid Vicious at Souled Out. However, due to disagreements with management and to protest the promotion of Kevin Sullivan to head booker, Benoit left the company the next day alongside his friends Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn, forfeiting his title in the process. WCW then refused to acknowledge Benoit's victory as an official title reign, and Benoit's title reign was not listed in the title lineage at WCW.com. However, the WWF recognized Benoit's title win, and Benoit's title reign is still listed in the title lineage at WWE.com. Benoit spent the next few weeks in Japan before heading to the WWF, who acknowledged his WCW World Heavyweight Championship win and presented him as a former world champion.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

The Radicalz and teaming with Chris Jericho (2000–2001)

Benoit was disqualified from the 2000 King of the Ring for using a chair against Rikishi

Along with Guerrero, Saturn, and Malenko, Benoit debuted in the WWF as a stable that became known as The Radicalz. After losing their "tryout matches" upon entry, The Radicalz aligned themselves with WWF Champion Triple H and became a heel faction. Benoit quickly won his first title in the WWF just over a month later at WrestleMania 2000, pinning Chris Jericho in a triple threat match to win Kurt Angle's Intercontinental Championship. It was also in this time period that Benoit wrestled in his first WWF pay-per-view main events, challenging The Rock for the WWF Championship at Fully Loaded in July and as part of a fatal four way title match at Unforgiven in September. On both occasions Benoit appeared to have won the title, only to have the decision reversed by then-WWF commissioner Mick Foley due to cheating on Benoit's part. Benoit simultaneously entered into a long-running feud with Jericho for the Intercontinental title, with the two meeting at Backlash, Judgment Day and SummerSlam; Benoit winning all three matches. The feud finally culminated in Jericho defeating Benoit in a ladder match at the Royal Rumble in January 2001. Benoit won the Intercontinental title three times between April 2000 and January 2001.

In early 2001, Benoit broke away from The Radicalz (who had recently reformed three months earlier) and turned face, feuding first with his former stablemates and then with Kurt Angle, whom he wrestled and lost to at WrestleMania X-Seven.[34] He gained some amount of revenge after beating Angle in a "Ultimiate Submission" match at Backlash. The feud continued after Benoit stole Angle's cherished Olympic Gold Medal. This culminated in a match at Judgment Day where Angle won a two out of three falls match with the help of Edge and Christian. In response, Benoit teamed up with his former rival Jericho to defeat Edge and Christian in that night's Tag Team Turmoil match.
The next night on Raw Is War, Benoit and Jericho defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H for their title. The pair used the win as a springboard to challenge Austin for his WWF Championship. Benoit got two title matches the following week, first losing in a manner similar to the Montreal Screwjob in Calgary and then losing in a close match in Benoit's hometown of Edmonton. However, Benoit suffered a neck injury in a four-way TLC match that required surgery with Dr. Lloyd Youngblood. Despite this, he continued to wrestle until the King of the Ring, where he was pinned in a triple threat match versus Austin and Jericho. Benoit missed the next year due to his neck injury, missing the entire Invasion storyline.

Championship pursuits and reigns (2002–2003)


Benoit at the Tribute to the Troops in 2003

During the first WWE draft, he was the third wrestler picked by Vince McMahon to be part of the new SmackDown! roster, although still on the injured list. However, when he returned, he did so as a member of the Raw roster. On his first night back, he turned heel again and aligned himself with Eddie Guerrero, and he feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin briefly.  He and Guerrero were then moved to SmackDown during a storyline "open season" on wrestler contracts, with Benoit taking his newly won Intercontinental championship with him. Rob Van Dam defeated Benoit at SummerSlam and returned the title to Raw.

After returning to SmackDown!, he embarked on a feud with Kurt Angle in which he defeated him at Unforgiven. On October 20, 2002, at No Mercy, he teamed with Angle to win a tournament to crown the first-ever WWE Tag Team Champions.[39][41] They became tweeners after betraying Los Guerreros. At Rebellion, Benoit and Angle made their successful title defence, defeating Los Guerreros. They lost the championships to Edge and Rey Mysterio on the November 7 episode of SmackDown in a two-out-of-three falls match. They received a rematch at Survivor Series in a triple threat elimination match against Edge and Mysterio and Los Guerreros, but failed to win the titles after being the first team eliminated.[42] The team split up shortly afterward and Benoit became a face.

Angle won his third WWE Championship from Big Show at Armageddon,[43] and Benoit faced him for the title at the 2003 Royal Rumble. The match was highly praised from fans and critics. Although Benoit lost the match, he received a standing ovation for his efforts.[44] Benoit returned to the tag team ranks, teaming with the returning Rhyno.[45]
At WrestleMania XIX, the WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Angle (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin), put their titles on the line against Benoit and his partner Rhyno and Los Guerreros in a triple threat tag team match. Team Angle retained when Benjamin pinned Chavo.[46]
In April 2003, following WrestleMania XIX, Benoit then feuded with John Cena (wearing a shirt saying "Toothless Aggression") and The Full Blooded Italians,[47][48] teaming with Rhyno occasionally.

In June 2003, the WCW United States Championship was reactivated and renamed the WWE United States Championship, and Benoit participated in the tournament for the title. He lost in the final match to Eddie Guerrero at Vengeance.[49] The two feuded over the title for the next month,[50] and Benoit went on to defeat the likes of A-Train,[51] Big Show, and eliminating Brock Lesnar by submission at Survivor Series as part of a Survivor Series elimination tag team match between Team Angle against Team Lesnar. As a result, Benoit challenged Lesnar for the WWE Championship on the December 4 episode of SmackDown, but lost after passing out to Lesnar's debuting Brock Lock submission hold.[51] General Manager Paul Heyman had a vendetta against Benoit along with Lesnar, preventing him from gaining a shot at Lesnar's WWE title.

World Heavyweight Champion (2004–2005)

When Benoit won a qualifying match for the 2004 Royal Rumble against the Full Blooded Italians in a handicap match with John Cena, Heyman named him as the number one entry. On January 25, 2004, he won the Royal Rumble by last eliminating Big Show, and thus earned a world title shot at WrestleMania XX. He became only the second WWE performer to win the Royal Rumble as the number one entrant along with Shawn Michaels. With Benoit being on the SmackDown! brand at the time, it was assumed that he was going to compete for his brand's championship, the WWE Championship. However, Benoit exploited a "loophole" in the rules and was traded on Raw the following night to announce he will instead challenge World Heavyweight Champion Triple H at WrestleMania. Though the match was originally intended to be a one-on-one match, Shawn Michaels, whose Last Man Standing match against Triple H at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight Championship ended in a draw, thought that he deserved to be in the main event. When it was time for Benoit to sign the contract putting himself in the main event, Michaels superkicked him and signed his name on the contract, which eventually resulted in a Triple Threat match between Michaels, Benoit, and the champion, Triple H.


Benoit with close friend Eddie Guerrero, celebrating their respective world championships at WrestleMania XX

On March 14, 2004, at WrestleMania XX, Benoit won the World Heavyweight Championship by forcing Triple H to tap out to his signature submission move, the Crippler Crossface, in a highly acclaimed match.


The match marked the first time the main event of a WrestleMania ended in submission. After the match, Benoit celebrated his win with then-reigning WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero. The rematch was held at Backlash in Benoit's hometown of Edmonton. It was Michaels who ended up submitting to Benoit's Sharpshooter, allowing Benoit to retain his title. The next night in Calgary, he and Edge won the World Tag Team title from Batista and Ric Flair, making Benoit a double champion.

The three months following his victory at Backlash, Benoit and Edge engaged in a rivalry with La Résistance for the World Tag Team Championship, which saw a series of matches, while simultaneously having confrontations with Kane over the World title. Benoit wrestled in two matches at Bad Blood in his respective rivalries; he and Edge failed to regain their World Tag Team title while he successfully defended the World title against Kane. A month later at Vengeance, Benoit retained the title against Triple H.

On August 15, 2004, Benoit was defeated by Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam.[61] Benoit then teamed with William Regal at Unforgiven against Ric Flair and Batista in a winning effort. Benoit then feuded with Edge (who had turned into an arrogant and conceited heel), leading to Taboo Tuesday where Benoit, Edge, and Shawn Michaels were all put into a poll to see who would face Triple H for the World Heavyweight title that night.[62] Michaels received the most votes and as a result, Edge and Benoit were forced to team up to face the then tag team champions, La Résistance, in the same night. However, Edge deserted Benoit during the match and Benoit was forced to take on both members of La Résistance by himself. He still managed to win the World Tag Team title.[61] At Survivor Series, Benoit sided with Randy Orton's team while Edge teamed with Triple H's team, and while Edge was able to pin Benoit after a Pedigree, Orton's team won.

The Benoit-Edge feud ended at New Year's Revolution. The feud stopped abruptly, as Edge feuded with Shawn Michaels, and Benoit entered the Royal Rumble.[65] The two then continued to have matches in the following weeks until the two of them, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Kane, and Christian were placed in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 21. Edge won the match by knocking Benoit off of and smashing his arm with the ladder.[65] The feud finally culminated in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash, which Edge won with a brick shot to the back of Benoit's head.

United States Champion (2005–2007)

On June 9, Benoit was drafted back to SmackDown! after being the first man selected by the SmackDown! brand in the 2005 Draft Lottery and participated in an ECW-style revolution against the SmackDown! heels.[67][68] Benoit appeared at One Night Stand, defeating Eddie Guerrero.[69]

Benoit in September 2005 holding the WWE United States Championship

On July 24 at The Great American Bash, Benoit failed to win the WWE United States Championship from Orlando Jordan,[70] but won a rematch at SummerSlam in 25 seconds.[70] Benoit then won three consecutive matches against Jordan in less than a minute.[71][72][73] Benoit later wrestled Booker T in friendly competitions,[70] until Booker and his wife, Sharmell, cheated Benoit out of the United States title in October.

On November 13, 2005, Eddie Guerrero was found dead in his hotel room. The following night, Raw held a Guerrero tribute show hosted by both Raw and SmackDown! wrestlers. Benoit was devastated at the loss of his best friend and was very emotional during a series of video testimonials, eventually breaking down on camera. Some of his colleagues state that "he was never the same" after Eddie's death.[75] The same week on SmackDown! (taped on the same night as Raw), Benoit defeated Triple H in a tribute match to his fallen friend. Following the contest, Benoit, Helmsley, and Dean Malenko all assembled in the ring and pointed to the sky in salute of Guerrero.

After controversy surrounding a US title defence against Booker T, Theodore Long set up a "Best of Seven" series between the two. Booker T won three times in a row, due largely to his wife's interference, and Benoit faced elimination in the series.[77][78][79] Benoit won the fourth match to stay alive at Armageddon,[77] but after the match, Booker suffered a legitimate groin injury, and Randy Orton was chosen as a stand-in. Benoit defeated Orton twice by disqualification.[80][81] However, in the 7th and final match, Orton defeated Benoit with the help of Booker T, Sharmell, and Orlando Jordan, and Booker captured the US title.[82] Benoit feuded with Orton for a short time, before defeating Orton in a No Holds Barred match on the January 27 episode of SmackDown! via Crippler Crossface.[83] Benoit was given one last chance at the US title at No Way Out and won it by making Booker submit to the Crippler Crossface, ending the feud.

The next week on SmackDown!, Benoit kayfabe broke John Bradshaw Layfield's (JBL) hand (JBL actually needed surgery to remove a cyst).[84] A match was set up for the two at WrestleMania 22 for Benoit's title, and for the next several weeks, they attacked each other. At WrestleMania, JBL won the match with an illegal cradle to win the title.[57] Benoit used his rematch clause two weeks later in a steel cage match on SmackDown!, but JBL again won with illegal tactics.[85] Benoit entered the King of the Ring tournament, only to be defeated by Finlay in the opening round, after Finlay struck Benoit's neck with a chair and delivered a Celtic Cross.[86] At Judgment Day, Benoit gained some revenge by defeating Finlay with the Crippler Crossface in a grudge match.[87][88] On the following episode of SmackDown!, Mark Henry brutalized Benoit during their match, giving him (kayfabe) back and rib injuries and causing him to bleed from his mouth.[89] Benoit then took a sabbatical to heal nagging shoulder injuries.

On October 8, Benoit made his return at No Mercy, defeating William Regal in a surprise match.[90] Later that week, he won his fifth United States Championship from Mr. Kennedy.[91] Benoit then engaged in a feud with Chavo and Vickie Guerrero. He wanted answers from the Guerreros for their rash behaviour towards Rey Mysterio, but was avoided by the two and was eventually assaulted. This led to the two embarking on a feud with title implications at the coming two pay per views.[90] The feud culminated with one last title match as a No disqualification match, which was also won by Benoit.[92] Later, Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP), who claimed that he was the best man to hold the US title, challenged Benoit for the title at WrestleMania 23, where Benoit retained.[58] Their rivalry continued with similar results again at Backlash.[93] At Judgment Day, however, MVP gained the upper hand and won the title in a two out of three falls match, thus ending the feud.

ECW (2007)

On the June 11 episode of Raw, Benoit was drafted from SmackDown! to ECW as part of the 2007 WWE draft.[95] On June 19, Benoit wrestled his final match, defeating Elijah Burke in a match to determine who would compete for the vacated ECW World Championship at Vengeance on June 24.

Benoit missed the weekend house shows, telling WWE officials that his wife and son were vomiting blood due to food poisoning. When he failed to show up for the pay-per-view, viewers were informed that he was unable to compete due to a "family emergency" and he was replaced in the title match by Johnny Nitro, who won the match and became ECW World Champion. The crowd spent the majority of the match chanting for Benoit. WWE executive Stephanie McMahon later indicated that Benoit would have defeated CM Punk for the championship had he been present for the event.

Professional wrestler and fighter Bob Sapp, whom WWE had tried to sign up before a contract dispute with K-1 rendered it impossible, reported he would have been put into an oncoming angle with Benoit in case he would have been able to debut.

Professional wrestling style and persona


The diving headbutt was blamed as one of the prime causes of Benoit's death

Benoit included a wide array of submission holds in his move-set and used a crossface, dubbed the Crippler Crossface, and a sharpshooter as finishers. He also used a diving headbutt to finish off opponents. The diving headbutt, which saw the deliverer leap off the top rope and land head first on the opponent, was partially blamed for the head trauma that caused Benoit to commit his crimes. Another of Benoit's trademark moves was three rolling German suplexes. This move would later be mimicked by multiple other wrestlers, including Brock Lesnar who uses it as Suplex City.
Benoit was renowned for his high-impact technical style. Former WWE rival Kurt Angle said in a 2017 interview that "he has to got to be in the top three of all time."

Personal life

Benoit spoke both English and French fluently. He married twice, and had two children (David and Megan) with his first wife, Martina. By 1997, that marriage had broken down, and Benoit was living with Nancy Sullivan, the wife of the WCW booker and frequent opponent Kevin Sullivan. On February 25, 2000, Chris and Nancy's son Daniel was born; on November 23, 2000, Chris and Nancy married. It was Nancy's third marriage. In 2003, Nancy filed for divorce from Benoit, citing the marriage as "irrevocably broken" and alleging "cruel treatment". She claimed that he would break and throw furniture around. She later dropped the suit as well as the restraining order she had filed.

On May 1, 2014, it was reported that Benoit's eldest son, David, would be making his debut in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at a Hart Legacy Event against Chavo Guerrero Jr. It was eventually cancelled after Chris Jericho reportedly contacted the promoter, Smith Hart, and complained about Benoit's lack of training. Guerrero Jr. says he was told Benoit had experience, but it was later determined he had not completed his training with Lance Storm and had only had minimal training from David Hart Smith since 2013.

Benoit became good friends with fellow wrestler Eddie Guerrero following a match in Japan, when Benoit kicked Guerrero in the head and knocked him out cold. This started a friendship that lasted even after Guerrero's death in late 2005, in which Benoit had written diary entries to him just ten days after his passing. The content became precognition of Benoit's own demise.

Benoit was also close friends with Dean Malenko, as the trio travelled from promotion to promotion together putting on matches, eventually being dubbed the "Three Amigos" by commentators.


According to Benoit, the Crippler Crossface was borrowed from Malenko and eventually caught on as Benoit's signature hold.

Benoit's lost tooth, his top-right lateral incisor, was commonly misattributed to training or an accident early on in his wrestling career. It actually resulted from an accident involving his pet rottweiler: one day while playing with the dog, the animal's skull struck Benoit's chin, and his tooth "popped out".

Death

WWE cancelled the scheduled three-hour long live Raw show on June 25 and replaced the broadcast version with a three-hour tribute to his life and career, featuring his past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story DVD, and comments from wrestlers and announcers. However, once the details of the murder-suicide became apparent, WWE quickly and quietly began distancing itself from the wrestler by removing merchandise and no longer mentioning him. The June 26 episode of ECW began with Vince McMahon addressing the television audience about the circumstances and announcing that there would be no mention of Benoit that night other than his comments.

Toxicology reports released on July 17, 2007, revealed that at their time of death, Nancy had three different drugs in her system: Xanax, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone, all of which were found at the therapeutic rather than toxic levels. Daniel was found to have Xanax in his system, which led the chief medical examiner to believe that he was sedated before he was murdered. Benoit was found to have Xanax, hydrocodone, and an elevated level of testosterone, caused by a synthetic form of the hormone, in his system. The chief medical examiner attributed the testosterone level to Benoit possibly being treated for a deficiency caused by previous steroid abuse or testicular insufficiency. There was no indication that anything in Benoit's body contributed to his violent behaviour that led to the murder-suicide, concluding that there was no "roid-rage" involved. Prior to the murder-suicide, Benoit had been given illegal steroids not in compliance with WWE's Talent Wellness Program in February 2006. Benoit received nandrolone and anastrozole. During the investigation into steroid abuse, it was revealed that other wrestlers had also been given steroids.
After the double-murder suicide, former wrestler Christopher Nowinski contacted Michael Benoit, father of Chris Benoit, suggesting that years of trauma to his son's brain may have led to his actions. Tests were conducted on Benoit's brain by Julian Bailes, the head of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, and results showed that "Benoit's brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient." He was reported to have had an advanced form of dementia, similar to the brains of four retired NFL players who had suffered multiple concussions, sank into depression, and harmed themselves or others. Bailes and his colleagues concluded that repeated concussions can lead to dementia, which can contribute to severe behavioural problems. Benoit's father suggests that brain damage may have been the leading cause of the crime.
Once the details of Benoit's actions became apparent, WWE made the decision to remove nearly all mentions of Benoit from their website, from future broadcasts and all publications.

Championships and accomplishments

Benoit celebrating with the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XX

Benoit as United States Champion in 2007
  • Cauliflower Alley Club
    • Future Legend Award (2002)
  • Catch Wrestling Association
    • CWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Dave Taylor
  • Extreme Championship Wrestling
    • ECW World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Dean Malenko
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • Super J-Cup (1994)
    • Top/Best of the Super Juniors (1993, 1995)
    • Super Grade Junior Heavyweight Tag League (1994) – with Shinjiro Otani
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Feud of the Year (2004) vs. Triple H
    • Match of the Year (2004) vs. Shawn Michaels and Triple H at WrestleMania XX
    • Wrestler of the Year (2004)
    • Ranked No. 1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2004
    • Ranked No. 69 of the top 500 greatest wrestlers in the "PWI Years" in 2003
  • Stampede Wrestling
    • Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
    • Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Ben Bassarab (1), Keith Hart (1), Lance Idol (1), and Biff Wellington (1)
    • Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Universal Wrestling Association
    • WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • World Championship Wrestling
    • WCW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[147][b]
    • WCW World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Dean Malenko (1) and Perry Saturn (1)[148]
    • WCW World Television Championship (3 times)[149]
    • WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[150]
    • Seventh WCW Triple Crown Champion[151]
  • World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
    • World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[152]
    • WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time, inaugural) – with Kurt Angle[153]
    • WWE United States Championship (3 times)[154]
    • WWF/WWE Intercontinental Championship (4 times)[155]
    • WWF/World Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Chris Jericho (1) and Edge (2)[156]
    • Royal Rumble (2004)[157]
    • WWE Tag Team Championship Tournament (2002) – with Kurt Angle[158]
    • Twelfth Triple Crown Champion[151]
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Best Brawler (2004)[159]
    • Best Technical Wrestler (1994, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2004)[159]
    • Feud of the Year (2004) vs. Shawn Michaels and Triple H[159]
    • Match of the Year (2002) with Kurt Angle vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio[159]
    • Most Outstanding Wrestler (2000, 2004)[159]
    • Most Under-rated (1998)[159]
    • Readers' Favorite Wrestler (1997, 2000)[159]
    • Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2003)[c]

Notes





  • Benoit's reign with the championship is not recognized by WWE, who does not recognize any reign prior to December 1997.
  • After Benoit left WCW for the WWF, WCW refused to acknowledge Benoit's victory as an official title reign, and Benoit's title reign was not listed in the title lineage at WCW.com.[31] However, the WWF recognized Benoit's title win, and Benoit's title reign is still listed in the title lineage at WWE.com.[32]
  • Benoit underwent a special recall election in 2008 due to the double murder-suicide of his wife and son. The recall was supported by a majority of 53.6% of voters, but was below the 60% threshold necessary to remove him.

    Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide

    Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide
    Chris Benoit in the Ring.jpg
    Benoit in 2007, before the incident
    LocationFayetteville, Georgia, U.S.
    Coordinates33.393450°N 84.520699°WCoordinates: 33.393450°N 84.520699°W
    DateJune 22–24, 2007 (EDT)
    TargetNancy Benoit, Daniel Benoit
    Attack type
    Murder–suicide
    WeaponsStrangling cord
    Deaths3 (including the perpetrator)
    PerpetratorChris Benoit
    Over a three-day period between June 22 and 24, 2007, Chris Benoit, a 40-year-old veteran Canadian professional wrestler employed by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and living in Fayetteville, Georgia, killed his wife Nancy Benoit and suffocated their 7-year-old son, Daniel, before hanging himself. Autopsy results showed that Benoit's wife was murdered first as she was bound at the feet and wrists and died of asphyxiation on June 22. Nancy was found wrapped in a towel and with blood under her head, although Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard reported no other signs of a struggle.

    The couple's son, Daniel Christopher Benoit, also died of asphyxia, apparently killed as he was laying in his bed on the morning of June 23. Then, on the evening of June 24, Benoit committed suicide in his weight room, when he used his lat pulldown machine to hang himself. He placed copies of the Bible alongside the bodies of his wife and son, as well as a third Bible next to his own body.[1][2] Since Benoit's suicide, numerous explanations for his actions have been proposed, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),[3] steroid and alcohol abuse,[4] and a failing marriage.[5] The incident led to numerous media accounts, and a federal investigation into steroid abuse in professional wrestling.

    Murders and suicide

    Nancy Benoit

    On Friday, June 22, Chris Benoit killed his wife Nancy in an upstairs bedroom. Her limbs were bound, and her body was wrapped in a towel. A copy of the Bible was left by her body. Injuries indicated that Benoit had pressed a knee into her back while pulling on a cord around her neck, causing strangulation. Officials said that there were no signs of immediate struggle.[6] Toxicologists found alcohol in her body, but were unable to determine whether it had been present before death or was a decomposition product. Decomposition also made it difficult to estimate pre-death levels of hydrocodone and alprazolam, found in "therapeutic levels" in her body. In any case, her medical examiner saw no evidence that she was sedated, as her son had been when he was killed.[7]

    Daniel Benoit

    Daniel Christopher Benoit (February 25, 2000 – June 23, 2007) was Chris' third child and second son, having older paternal half-siblings named David and Megan via Chris's first wife, Martina. He was Nancy's only child, as she had no children with her ex-husbands Jim Daus and Kevin Sullivan.[citation needed]
    Daniel was suffocated and killed in his bedroom, and a copy of the Bible was left by his body.[8] Daniel had internal injuries to the throat area, showing no bruises.[9] Daniel's exact time of death is unknown.[10] The reports determined Daniel was sedated with Xanax and likely unconscious when he was killed.[11][12] Daniel's body had also just started to show signs of decomposition but was not as far along as his mother's body.[7]
    It was later alleged that Daniel had Fragile X syndrome, and that this was the cause of domestic problems in the Benoit family.[13] It was also suggested that needle marks on Daniel's arms were the result of growth hormones given to him because Benoit and his family considered him undersized due to Fragile X.[14] Benoit's coworker and best friend, wrestler Chris Jericho, stated that from his own research on the condition, the symptoms "fit Daniel to a tee, all across the board". With regard to those who had publicly stated that they had no knowledge of Daniel having the condition, Jericho said, "If Chris had decided that he wanted to keep it to himself, you wouldn't have been able to pry that out of him with anything."[15] Despite Chris Jericho's initial statements regarding Daniel, he later stated in his 2011 book Undisputed, "It turned out that Daniel didn't have Fragile X, but at the time it made sense because I was grasping at straws."[16]
    District Attorney Ballard later released a statement saying that a source with access to Daniel's medical files found no mention of any pre-existing mental or physical ailments. Likewise, Daniel Benoit's teachers reported that he was on par with other students and not about to be held back as previously thought.[17] Speaking publicly for the first time in a major public interview on a Talk is Jericho podcast in 2016, Nancy's sister Sandra Toffoloni, who was intimately related with the Benoit family, unequivocally denied any claims that Daniel had ever had Fragile X or any other such condition. She also stated that claims of needle track marks on Daniel's arms were "preposterous".[18]

    After the murders

    At about 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 23, fellow wrestler and close friend Chavo Guerrero[19] received a voicemail message from Benoit's phone stating that he had overslept and missed his flight and would be late for that night's house show in Beaumont, Texas. Guerrero called Benoit back and found that Benoit sounded tired and groggy as he confirmed everything that he had said in his voice message. Guerrero, who was "concerned about Benoit's tone and demeanor," called him back 12 minutes later. Benoit did not answer the call, and Guerrero left a message asking Benoit to call back.
    At 3:44 p.m. EDT, Benoit called Guerrero back, stating that he had not answered the call because he was on the phone with Delta Air Lines changing his flight. Benoit stated that he had a stressful day due to Nancy and Daniel "being sick from food poisoning." Guerrero then replied with "All right man, if you need to talk, I'm here for you." Benoit ended the conversation by saying "I love you, Chavo." During a 2014 appearance on Chris Jericho's Talk is Jericho podcast, Guerrero said Benoit sounded "off" when he talked to him, especially when he said "I love you". Another co-worker who often traveled with Benoit called him from outside the Houston airport and Benoit answered. Benoit told the coworker that Nancy was vomiting blood and that Daniel was also vomiting.
    On Sunday, June 24, five text messages were sent to co-workers between 3:51 a.m. and 3:58 a.m. using both Chris Benoit's and Nancy Benoit's cell phones. Four of them were the Benoits' address; the fifth said that the family's dogs were in the enclosed pool area, and also noted that a garage side door had been left open. Guerrero and referee Scott Armstrong were two of the recipients of these texts.
    During this time, Benoit called and left a voicemail for an unknown friend. Benoit later called WWE's talent relations office stating that his son was vomiting and that he and Nancy were at the hospital with him. He also stated that he would be taking a later flight into Houston where he was scheduled to face CM Punk for the vacant ECW World Heavyweight Championship at Vengeance: Night of Champions. Benoit failed to appear at both the house show event in Beaumont on the night of Saturday June 23, and at the Vengeance: Night of Champions pay-per-view event in Houston on the night of Sunday June 24.[20]

    Chris Benoit

    Chris Benoit, according to District Attorney Ballard and the city sheriff, committed suicide by hanging.[10] Benoit used a weight machine cord to hang himself by creating a noose from the end of the cord on a pull-down machine from which the bar had been removed. Benoit released the weights, causing his strangulation. Ballard said Benoit was found hanging from the pulley cable.[21]
    On the 2016 Talk is Jericho podcast, Nancy's sister Sandra Toffoloni clarified some details further. She said that over the weekend after the murders, the search history on Benoit's computer showed he had researched "the quickest and easiest way to break a neck". He had then later used a towel around his neck attached to the handle of the machine, which he pulled down using a very heavy weight and let go, breaking his neck instantly.[18]

    Discovery of the bodies

    On Monday, June 25, 2007, WWE (specifically John Laurinaitis, the WWE's Senior Vice President of Talent Relations) was notified of the text messages sent to Chavo Guerrero and Scott Armstrong. The company asked the Fayette County Sheriff's Office to check on the Benoit family. After discovering the bodies, the police notified WWE around 4:15 p.m., informing them that they had discovered three bodies at the Benoit home and the house was now ruled as a "major crime scene".[20]
    A suicide note was not discovered during the initial investigation, but a note was later discovered in another Bible that had been included in Benoit's possessions that were sent to his first wife. According to professional wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, "There was a note that was found in a Bible by the mother of Chris' two children (Martina Benoit) who lives in Canada. The Bible was mixed in with Chris' personal belongings that were shipped to them." Chris Benoit's father Michael Benoit stated, "He had a hand-written notation in there saying 'I'm preparing to leave this Earth.'"[22][23]

    Possible motives

    WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt appeared on Live with Dan Abrams on July 17, 2007, and said that Benoit was prescribed testosterone as part of a treatment for testosterone replacement therapy, which McDevitt said was a common medical practice for people who had used steroids in the past, and had suffered testicular damage as a result.

    Former wrestler Christopher Nowinski stated that Benoit may have been suffering from repeated, untreated concussions throughout his wrestling career, ultimately leading to an unstable mental state. Nowinski was quoted as saying that Benoit "was one of the only guys who would take a chair shot to the back of the head ... which is stupid".[24] Tests conducted on Benoit's brain by Julian Bailes, the head of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, showed "Benoit's brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient".[25] Other tests conducted on Benoit's brain tissue revealed severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),[26] and damage to all four lobes of the brain and brain stem.[27] Bailes and his colleagues concluded that repeated concussions can lead to dementia, which can contribute to severe behavioral problems. Benoit's father said that brain damage may have been the leading cause of the double murder-suicide.[28] A statement released by WWE dismissed this idea as "speculative".

    Nancy Benoit had filed for divorce in May 2003, allegedly after domestic abuse from Chris, but had withdrawn it in August 2003.[30] In February 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that Nancy may have suspected her husband of having an affair with a female WWE wrestler, and that they may have also argued over a life insurance policy. The AJC claimed the source was a recently released report from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

    Speaking on the matter in his autobiography The Hardcore Truth, Hardcore Holly speculates the main influence in Benoit's actions was alcohol abuse rather than steroids. Holly and Benoit traveled together on the road during their time together in WWE, and Holly did not believe steroids played a factor and that Benoit had tended to drink more than he normally would consume when issues with Nancy arose.[citation needed]

    Responses

    World Wrestling Entertainment

    The deaths were first reported to fans of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on their WWE Mobile Alerts Service and posted to its official website soon after. On its corporate website, the company released the following statement:
    World Wrestling Entertainment was informed today by authorities in Fayette County, Ga., that WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son were found dead in their home. Authorities are investigating, but no other details are available at this time.
    Instead of its announced programming for tonight on USA Network, WWE will air a three-hour tribute to Chris Benoit. Chris was beloved among his fellow Superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and towards his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss. WWE extends its sincere condolences and prayers to the surviving members of the Benoit family and their loved ones in this time of tragedy.
    WWE canceled the scheduled three-hour-long live Raw show on June 25 (which, coincidentally, was supposed to be a memorial for the Mr. McMahon character) that was scheduled to take place at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, and replaced the broadcast version with a tribute to his life and career, featuring past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story DVD, and comments from wrestlers and announcers from the Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW brands. Shortly after the program aired, many of the aired comments were posted on WWE.com. It was not until the program was nearly over that reports surfaced that police were working under the belief that Benoit murdered his wife and son before killing himself.

    The next night, after some of the details of the deaths became available, the company aired a recorded statement by Vince McMahon before its ECW broadcast:
    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Last night on Monday Night Raw, the WWE presented a special tribute show, recognizing the career of Chris Benoit. However, now some 26 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are now apparent. Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Mr. Benoit's name tonight. On the contrary, tonight's show will be dedicated to everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident. This evening marks the first step of the healing process. Tonight, WWE performers will do what they do better than anyone else in the world: entertain you.
    After learning about the full details of his and his family's deaths, WWE quickly distanced itself from Chris Benoit:
    • With the exception of his results and listings in WWE's title history (though the summaries of his title reigns have been removed), and select press releases from WWE's corporate subsite,[34] the WWE website removed all past mentions of Benoit, including all news articles relating to the specific details of the incident, as well as his biography and the video tribute comments from Benoit's peers.
    • WWE pulled the tribute episode from international markets which aired Raw on a tape delay basis. Several channels announced the episode was being withheld for legal reasons. A substitute Raw, hosted by Todd Grisham from WWE Studios, was created featuring recaps of WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship matches which had occurred over the past year.[35]
    • Benoit's name was removed from his previous theme song "Rabid" on the MP3 release of WWE Anthology.[36]
    • Benoit, along with his "Crippler Crossface" and other signature moves, were removed from the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 video game, after Benoit was originally included in the game as a playable character. Starting with WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2010, the move was reinstated as "Crossface."
    • WWE Classics On Demand, WWE's subscription video on demand service, began removing the likeness and mentions of both Chris and Nancy Benoit from archival footage.[38]
    • Matches and other footage involving Benoit appeared very sparingly on any WWE DVD releases following his death, with all of them being footage involving multiple wrestlers such as a battle royal or a multiple-person tag team match. The WCW WarGames DVD by WWE, which features all of the WarGames matches, does include the 1997 WCW Fall Brawl WarGames match between the nWo and the Four Horsemen, featuring Benoit (who was not involved in the finish of the match), but has commentary about Benoit edited out,[39][unreliable source] though Benoit is referred to as a "mystery partner."
    • On the WWE Network, a parental advisory warning is shown before a program that features Benoit.[40] The WWE Network shows the June 25, 2007 internationally aired episode of Raw that deals with John Cena's title wins instead of the original Benoit tribute show. The opening promo for the June 26, 2007 ECW show with Vince McMahon, mentioning Benoit, has also been omitted from the broadcast. Additionally, some pay-per-view posters which featured Benoit have been replaced with new artwork on the Network's menu screen.[41][unreliable source]
    • In 2015, Benoit's name was mentioned as part of the WWE Network's Monday Night Wars series that looks back at the fall of WCW. A segment in the series talked about the 2000 Invasion storyline with Benoit and his Radicalz stablemates Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn.
    • Benoit is listed in the WWE Encyclopedia, where his wrestling career up to where he lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Randy Orton is detailed, along with his title history.[citation needed]
    • Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace, who had written Benoit's theme song "Whatever" in 2001, were asked if they would ever perform the song again in a 2012 interview with The Huffington Post. Band members Raine Maida and Steve Mazur responded that they felt they could not, given the circumstances of Benoit's death.[42] They had not performed the song for several years prior to Benoit's death, however.

    Professional wrestling industry

    Numerous individuals in professional wrestling, past and present, commented on the deaths and their aftermath:
    • Hulk Hogan commented on Benoit's personality and his thoughts on the crime, saying: "He was peaceful and kept to himself" and "I think it had to be something personal, a domestic problem between him and his wife."[43]
    • Kurt Angle chose to comment more on the frenzy created by the crime, stating "This is not WWE’s fault and this is not Vince McMahon’s fault. Chris Benoit was responsible for his own actions."[44]
    • Eric Bischoff discussed the media frenzy, saying: "It's clear that the media wants to blame steroids, professional wrestling, Vince McMahon, or anyone or anything else that further sensationalizes this family tragedy. I refuse to join the choir. I don't have enough information. I wasn't there. I am not a psychiatrist. I just can't imagine how or why this could have happened."[45]
    • Other wrestlers also commented, including Lex Luger,[46] Marc Mero,[47] Ted DiBiase, Sr., Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Lance Storm,[48] Chyna,[49] Steve Blackman,[50] Rob Van Dam, Ultimate Warrior, Chris Jericho,[51] and William Regal.[52] Vince McMahon and his wife Linda (WWE CEO) were interviewed (separate and jointly) by various news outlets.[53]
    • CM Punk, who was scheduled to face Benoit at the Vengeance: Night of Champions pay-per-view, was among the many WWE personnel that commented on Benoit during the three-hour tribute show on Raw. He also briefly touched on the subject of the Benoit murder/suicide in a 2011 interview with GQ. He described it as "a pretty... low point in everyone's life. A lot of people don't like to talk about it. It still blows my mind."[54] At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International during an interview session with WWE Superstars including Punk, he was asked if WWE was trying to erase Benoit from history. Punk responded that while Benoit is in the history books and that cannot be changed, it does not make any sense for WWE to promote him, due to the horrific nature of the crimes he committed.[55]
    • Sean Waltman, in a 2014 interview, said of Benoit: "He was a pleasant guy, but always had a darkness about him... a sadness, or something". Waltman added that Benoit had a bleak sense of humor, finding amusement in "things that were a little bit bent."[56]
    • Paul Heyman, in a 2019 interview with Inside the Ropes, briefly mentioned Benoit during an interview focused on Brock Lesnar after a fan kept interrupting whenever Heyman mentioned Benoit's name, and said: "Three people died in that house that night, and only one person [Benoit] had the choice behind it, as the other two [Nancy and Daniel] didn't have a choice to die". Heyman also stated that he doesn't care about CTE being the motive behind Benoit's actions, and while forever respecting Benoit as a performer, lost any and all respect and compassion for him personally following the incident.

    Media

    When the news was released about Benoit's death, most mainstream news outlets covered the story, including MSNBC and Fox News Channel.[58][59] Benoit made the cover of People magazine. ECW Press (which has no affiliation with Extreme Championship Wrestling, a promotion for which Benoit once worked) announced on July 16 that noted wrestling writer Irvin Muchnick had written a book on the Benoit case, due out in 2008.[60] At the Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav in August 2007, Jimmy Kimmel joked to honoree Flavor Flav that "Chris Benoit is a better father than Flavor Flav", which drew a shocked, appalled response, and laughs from the crowd.[61] The show aired less than two months after the incident, but no reference was made to the taping date of the episode in question.

    Government

    With Benoit and his death allegedly linked to steroid abuse, WWE went under investigation by the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding their talent wellness policy.[62] Congress did not take action against either the WWE or any other professional wrestling company in the wake of the event. In January 2009, Henry Waxman, outgoing chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requested that the Office of National Drug Control Policy chief, John P. Walters, "examine steroid use in professional wrestling and take appropriate steps to address this problem." In the letter, Waxman stated "In the first year of WWE's testing program, which began in March 2006, 40% of wrestlers tested positive for steroids and other drugs, even after being warned in advance that they were going to be tested." He also wrote about how wrestlers who test positive for performance enhancers receive light punishment and afterwards can often participate in wrestling events. The committee investigation also uncovered how easily wrestlers can secure "therapeutic use exemptions" (TUEs, permission to take banned substances for medical reasons) so they can continue performing while using steroids. When Waxman's staff interviewed Dr. Tracy Ray, a physician contracted by WWE, Ray claimed there was "shadiness in almost every [TUE] case that I've reviewed."

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy reports

    At the time of the incident, research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), led by forensic neuropathlogist Bennet Omalu, in former players of gridiron football was a fast-growing issue in the sport that had been at the forefront following Dr. Omalu's 2002 report on Pro Football Hall of Fame member Mike Webster done after his death. Subsequent postmortem analyses of the brains of recently deceased NFL players agreed with the report on Webster's death, as each player showed the kind of brain damage previously seen in people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, as well as in some retired boxers. Michael Benoit agreed to have his son's brain analysed by the same neurosurgeons. On September 5, 2007, Julian Bailes, the chief of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, conducted a news conference in New York City to announce the results of Benoit's postmortem brain examination.
    "When the (Sports Legacy Institute) approached Michael Benoit about testing Chris’ brain as part of the Sports Legacy Project, our goal was to determine if there was evidence of CTE caused by repeated trauma to the head sustained during Chris Benoit’s career. We have now confirmed multiple concussions are part of his medical history, along with clinical symptoms associated with CTE. Because my SLI colleagues and I have found evidence of CTE in the brains of four former professional football players, we felt an examination of Chris Benoit’s brain may bring awareness to CTE’s existence outside of boxers and football players. The findings of CTE in Chris Benoit suggest that there may be a common syndrome among athletes who suffer multiple head injuries in contact sports."
    In December 2009, nearly 30 months after Benoit's death, Dr. Omalu confirmed to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that the death of a second WWE wrestler, Andrew Martin, known in WWE by his ring name Test, was attributed to CTE. Bailes told ESPN, "When we announced our findings about Chris, some in the media said it was 'roid rage. We said at the time the real finding was that repeated head trauma was the cause. With Andrew Martin as the second case, the WWE and the sport in general have to ask themselves, 'Is this a trend?' The science tells us that jumping off 10-foot ladders and slamming people with tables and chairs is simply bad for the brain."[66]
    WWE noted the research was new at the time, but released the following statement to ESPN for "Outside the Lines":
    While this is a new emerging science, the WWE is unaware of the veracity of any of these tests, be it for Chris Benoit or Andrew Martin. Dr. Omalu claims that Mr. Benoit had a brain that resembled an 85-year-old with Alzheimer's, which would lead one to ponder how Mr. Benoit would have found his way to an airport, let alone been able to remember all the moves and information that is required to perform in the ring.[66]
    In the decade that followed after the broadcast, postmortem brain research on numerous deceased wrestlers diagnosed findings consistent with CTE. Wrestlers diagnosed with CTE in postmortem research include Axl Rotten, Balls Mahoney, Jimmy Snuka, Mr. Fuji, and Ron Bass.[67][68]
    A lawsuit involving over 60 professional wrestlers and representatives of deceased wrestlers against WWE was dismissed in September 2018 but is currently being appealed. They are represented by attorney Konstantine Kyros and the suit argued that WWE concealed the risks of injury, specifically CTE.[69] US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant, who dismissed the lawsuit, said the Benoit tragedy did not cause WWE to recognize a link between CTE and professional wrestling, but stated: "The circumstances surrounding Mr. Benoit’s death were so tragic and so horrifying that it would have been reasonable for his fellow wrestlers to follow news developments about him and about CTE, through which they could have deduced that they were at risk of developing CTE and sought medical opinions about risks to their own health."[70] Kyros released a video explaining a WWE cover-up of CTE.

    Steroids debate

    Background

    Steroids were found in the home, leading some media organizations to hypothesize that a steroid-induced rage may be the cause of Benoit's actions, as some doctors have linked steroid use to uncontrollable anger, among other psychological issues which include paranoia.[58][72] WWE released a press-statement, challenging the "roid-rage" claims. One part of the statement reads:
    The physical findings announced by authorities indicate deliberation, not rage. The wife’s feet and hands were bound and she was asphyxiated, not beaten to death. By the account of the authorities, there were substantial periods of time between the death of the wife and the death of the son, again suggesting deliberate thought, not rage. The presence of a Bible by each is also not an act of rage.
    Prosecutors in New York investigated the deliveries Benoit received from Signature Pharmacy and MedXLife.com, which sold steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) over the internet.[74] Terence Kindlon, the lawyer for MedXLife co-owner Gary Brandwein, denied allegations that his client's company sold steroids to Benoit.[74] Brandwein pleaded not guilty to six counts in New York state court related to the criminal sale of a controlled substance.[75] According to a report from Sports Illustrated, three packages sent to Benoit were from Signature Pharmacy with the first one sent in December 2005 to San Antonio, Texas. The second package was sent on February 13, 2006 to an address in Peachtree City, Georgia and the third package was sent in July 2006 to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.[76] This followed eleven wrestlers that were announced in a Sports Illustrated steroids investigation that began March 2007, which included Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Oscar Gutierrez (Rey Mysterio, Jr.), Adam Copeland (Edge) and Gregory Helms, with Copeland receiving a high amount of steroids.

    WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt stated that "they believe the facts of this crime do not support the hypothesis that 'roid rage' played a role in the murders." They cite evidence of premeditation in addition to the lack of a toxicology report, and the fact that the steroids found within Benoit's home were legally prescribed.[73][78] Gary I. Wadler, who served on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List and Methods Committee, and its Health, Medicine, and Research Committee agreed stating that "that was a premeditated act and that's not rage".[79] Investigators seized both Chris and Nancy's medical records. They also have medical records of Mark Jindrak, Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard), Lex Luger (Lawrence Pfohl), Rey Mysterio, Jr., Buff Bagwell (Marcus Bagwell), and Johnny Grunge (Mike Durham), all of whom were patients of Phil Astin.[80][81][82]

    Toxicology results

    At the press conference held by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on July 17, 2007, it was announced that three different drugs were found in Nancy Benoit's system: hydrocodone, hydromorphone and Xanax. All three drugs were found to be at levels investigators considered normal for therapeutic treatment (as opposed to recreational use or abuse). A blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.184. Kris Sperry, the medical examiner, added it was impossible to say whether any of the blood findings was due to ingestion of alcohol or the post-mortem process.[7] It was also ruled out that Nancy was sedated by Chris before she was murdered.

    Xanax was found in Daniel Benoit's system. District Attorney Scott Ballard noted this was not a drug that would be given to a child under normal circumstances. It is believed that Daniel was sedated prior to being murdered, with Sperry ruling out that Daniel died of a drug overdose.[83] The GBI, however, said in the press conference that it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on Daniel because of a lack of urine.

    Xanax and hydrocodone were also found in Chris Benoit's system, at levels investigators called consistent with therapeutic use. Elevated levels of the synthetic anabolic steroid testosterone cypionate were found in his urine; investigators believed that the level found suggested it had been taken recently. While the synthetic anabolic steroid testosterone cypionate was found in his urine, there was no evidence of GHB contrary to speculation.[83] Benoit also tested negative for blood alcohol.

    Drug charges against Benoit's doctor

    Phil C. Astin III was the personal doctor for Chris Benoit. His attorney, Manny Aurora, asked a judge to throw out evidence seized during a raid on Astin's office after Benoit and his family died. He claimed the search exceeded authority granted in a search warrant and that police seized other patients' records and three years of bank records and computers.[87] According to the Associated Press in February 2008, Astin was charged with overprescribing medication in a case not connected to Benoit.[88] On January 29, 2009, he admitted he illegally prescribed drugs, sometimes without examining the patients first, and pleaded guilty to all 175 counts against him. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.

    Wikipedia controversy

    A statement regarding Nancy Benoit's death was added to the Chris Benoit English Wikipedia article 14 hours before police discovered the bodies of Benoit and his family. This seemingly prescient addition was initially reported on Wikinews and later on Fox News. The article originally read: "Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW World Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy." The phrase "stemming from the death of his wife Nancy" was added at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 25, whereas the Fayette County police reportedly discovered the bodies of the Benoit family at 2:30 p.m. EDT (14 hours, 29 minutes later). The IP address of the editor was traced to Stamford, Connecticut, which is also the location of WWE headquarters.[90] After news of the early death notice reached mainstream media, the anonymous poster accessed Wikinews to explain his edit as a "huge coincidence and nothing more."

    Police detectives "seized computer equipment from the man held responsible for the postings" and called the posting an unbelievable "hindrance" to their investigation, but believed he was otherwise uninvolved, declining to press charges.[93][94] The man had found several rumors on-line,[95] which supported his theory about the Benoit "family emergency" as reported in wrestling news. The IP from which he made the edit was tentatively traced to vandalizing the Wikipedia entries for African wild ass, The Bronx, The Sopranos, Ron Artest, Stacy Keibler, and Naugatuck, Connecticut.[96] He also reverted vandalism to Chavo Guerrero Jr.[97] and recorded a loss for the Golden State Warriors.

    Aftermath and legacy

    In the years following the double-murder and suicide, it continued to be referred to in the media. The Great American Bash pay-per-view on July 20, 2008 was the last WWE pay-per-view with a TV-14 rating; WWE immediately thereafter adopted their current TV-PG, which resulted in a noticeable toning down of edgy content in shows. Within a few months, blood was also banned, which returned WWE's product to its pre-1997 rule on prohibiting deliberate blading in matches.

    There have been discussions about whether or not Benoit would ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Steve Austin predicted that Benoit, although important to the business, would never be inducted into the Hall of Fame due to his actions.[99][unreliable source] Chris Jericho also stated that Benoit should never be in the Hall of Fame.
    • The incident was cited by The Shield writer Shawn Ryan as inspiration for main character Shane Vendrell's murder-suicide in the series finale episode, "Family Meeting," aired November 25, 2008.
    • On July 26–27, 2012, the rap group Insane Clown Posse released a music video for the song "Chris Benoit". The song and video, however, are not about Benoit himself, but a man's breakdown that is similar to Benoit's.[102] The song and music video do include stock footage and a recording of Chris Benoit before his death. A remix with rappers Ice Cube and Scarface was later released with Ice Cube's verse being 100% about Benoit.
    • On December 1, 2012, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, then took his own life at the Chiefs training facility near Arrowhead Stadium. The circumstances surrounding that murder-suicide drew some comparisons to the Benoit situation.
    • In a July 2013 interview, Nancy Benoit's sister Sandra Toffoloni said she believes a blackout caused him to murder her sister. She stated that the medical examiner who examined Benoit's body stated he had only ten more months to live due to an enlarged heart. Toffoloni also stated that Benoit was contemplating retiring and opening a wrestling school, but decided to continue wrestling due to being in one of the main events at Vengeance for the ECW Championship.
    • A biopic titled Crossface is being developed, which will be based on Matthew Randazzo's book Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. The film shows Benoit from his early days being trained by the Hart family, to his rise with ECW, WCW and WWE, to the deaths of his wife and son, and his suicide.[107] The movie was originally announced in 2011 with plans to begin filming in 2012; however, they were delayed.