This evening, I received the news a half hour before RAW, that the world had lost Chris Benoit. Now, some may think it insane to be emotionally touched and hurt at the loss of a professional wrestler, but those that have a genuine love for this “sport entertainment” hearkening back to childhood memories, you would understand. You can liken it to how many react to Elvis upon his death, perhaps.
Chris Benoit was always a bright spot in professional wrestling since I’d discovered him. My first recollection of Chris was somwhere around the Dean Milenko match from WCW’s Hog Wild in 1996. I had gotten satellite after years of no cable, and had finally been reopened to the world of wrestling and this other fed. I enjoyed the cruiserweights of the day, but Benoit had something else. In a league of masked Mexicans, and small high flyers, he had the moves of Milenko, and the intensity I never recalled seeing in wrestling. I recall several classic matches with Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Booker T, and later, Kurt Angle, and others.
Benoit had a good series lately with the US title on Smackdown, fighting MVP in a remarkable series of matches, which made the newer star, in many’s opinion. And he was sure on a run at the ECW title, and maybe show some of those guys how they should be working, showing the professional he was and that he could make anyone he wanted to.
Now, we can find pleasure in the thought that we just may have plenty more classics taking place upstairs between the Pegasus Kid and Black Tiger…
So to Chris Benoit, I continue to drink this Canadian beer…