June 26, 2007

Feet of Clay

I won't claim that Chris Benoit was a hero, or an idol, of mine. He wasn't. He was an excellent performer in the ring, who never turned in a poor match that I saw. He never gave less than everything he had when he hit the stage, and 'everything he had' was enough to make him one of the best professional wrestlers ever, in any country.

He was quick enough to hang with the fastest cruiserweights, and powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with the behemoths. His pure wrestling skill was jaw-dropping. His only weakness was his ability to cut a promo, but he didn't need to speak like The Rock or Triple-H to get his point across.

The performer is not the man, obviously, though it seemed that in the case of Chris Benoit, they were one in the same... a man who enjoyed what he did, though it caused him pain, and nearly cost him his ability to move when it broke his neck.

Now, however, the last acts of Chris Benoit's life were to smother his seven-year-old son, strangle his wife, and then hang himself from a weight machine. Even though he was a professional wrestler, an actor if you will, he was also a person... a person, it seems, with a side so horrible that nobody could guess at it.

I mourn the death of a family, and the death of the wrestler, who entertained the fans at such cost to himself.

For the murderer, though, there is nothing but disgust.

In the weeks ahead, we may discover that it was not Chris Benoit that killed himself and his family, but a drug-induced rage. If so, one wonders if professional wrestling will survive... and who will be next. For there almost certainly will be a "next." It probably won't be as horrifying a scene as this one, it'll probably just involve one person. It may be a wrestler... or a football player... or a baseball slugger... or just some high-school kid we may never hear of.

Let's hope that, if anything good can come of this, it convinces Vince McMahon that he doesn't need the musclemonsters anymore. Lets hope it convinces pro football to crack down even harder on those who use performance-enhancing drugs. Lets hope that baseball drops the axe on those who break records while on the needle.

And let's hope that unknown high-school kid realizes what he's doing to himself.

Of course, none of these things will happen.

And Chris Benoit, his wife, and his seven-year old son, will still be dead.


Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:23 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 You said it beautifully!

Posted by: Mallory at June 27, 2007 05:30 AM (KJzva)

2 In the "news of the eerie" department, it seems that someone posted about the death of Benoit's wife to Wikipedia 13 hours before the bodies were found.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2007 07:35 AM (+rSRq)

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