Thursday, June 28, 2007

Benoit Part 1: How I Felt as the Story Broke

On Sunday I was about 30 minutes away from heading out to watch WWE’s pay per view when I read online that Chris Benoit wouldn’t be able to make it due to a “family emergency.” While it was out of the ordinary for Benoit to miss a show his absence was understandable given his reputation (obviously until Monday) as one of his profession’s preeminent family men. Since his match was my main motivation for going to watch it I decided to skip it.

Then Monday came along. I got a text from Angelina’s cousin asking what happened to Benoit, after sending a reply regarding his latest wrestling move (he was going to ECW), I figured something more serious might be what he meant. It was most certainly more serious.

As I logged onto the web I saw a picture of Benoit’s Face with 1967-2007 underneath it. After so many wrestling deaths I can’t say I was bowled over or anything to see that Benoit had died. Sure, I was still pretty surprised, but I had long worried that a guy built like Benoit, so much muscle with such a small frame, would eventually have his heart go out (ala Benoit’s best friend Eddie Guerrero). Then I read that his whole family had died, that’s when some shock set in. At first I figure something like carbon monoxide poisoning, but pretty quickly dismissed that as the police would have easily figured that out by the time I heard about the deaths. In a matter of minutes I quickly ran through the possible innocuous scenarios, but the rational side of me knew that none of the really could explain it.

By the time my sister called to make sure I had heard the news I had realized that this story would not be in any way normal and that there was no way for the entire Benoit family to be innocent. I had rationally figured there was a good chance Benoit had killed his family, but I still wasn’t able to fully comprehend it during the conversation. All I really thought at that time was that no matter what the story wound up being it was going to be really bizarre. In fact, Connie can probably attest to this fact as I continually repeated this thought during our conversation (probably more to reinforce this to myself than her).

Sadly, the situation was bizarre, way more bizarre than I figured then and it continue to get even more bizarre seemingly by the hour. Here’s how strange this whole thing is, my favorite active wrester died on Monday and I was never really sad about it, shocked for a few fleeting seconds, but never really sad. Moreover, I never will be sad about him dying. My thoughts and prayers still go out to the families impacted by this tragedy and others like it that occur all too often.

P.S. If you want to know where the best centralized location for news on the story is in my opinion I’d have to direct you to the Pro Wrestling Torch . It’s strange that a wrestling news site is the best place for real news, but then again this whole thing is strange.

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