Chris Benoit is possibly one of the top 5 in-ring performers of all-time. He applied any move with grace and excellence. Every single time he stepped in the ring, he created art. Seeing Benoit performed was the true definition of pure wrestling. He built an incredible legacy that may catapult any superstar into the WWE Hall of Fame.
However, career got blurred by the way his life ended. Benoit murdered his wife and son; then he committed suicide. This is one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the wrestling industry. A wrestler that was under contract with WWE and supposed to perform that weekend in a match for the ECW Championship was allegedly the author of such a horrible crime. Such a brilliant career and it was over that unexpected way. Suddenly, his legacy got drowned by blood and tragedy.
If this situation never happened, Benoit would have been a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. However, this situation forced WWE to permanently erase Benoit from their history. But this effort is useless. How can you erase a piece history? This is not the medieval times when the Catholic Church burned the scientific documents for being considered adverse to their belief. We are on a different era where technology allows us to transport our minds to the past. It is impossible to erase someone with such a brilliant career from their history.
They already tried to do that in all their platforms; including the WWE Network. They erased his name and forbidden to even mention Benoit in the company. I completely understand the fact that no one should follow Benoit’s example. However, the ending is not the only thing in Benoit’s career. Many of us remember his matches in ECW. The match in Wrestlemania XX with Triple H and Shawn Michaels is one of the best Wrestlemania matches of all-time. The ending of that match with Chris Benoit getting crowned as the new World Heavyweight Champion and the celebration with Eddie Guerrero is still one of my favourite moments in the history of WWE. Every single time when a wrestler applies a Diving Headbutt, German Suplex, Chop, Sharpshooter or Crippler Crossface, it reminds us of Chris Benoit. There are too many things in WWE that makes it impossible to erase Benoit from the history.
Why keep paddling against the current? Why keep trying to erase the history? Why keep doing the errors that our ancestors did so many times? We are on a different era. People are not stupid and have access to internet. Putting so much effort in burying one legacy and destroy every possible link that attaches the company to the wrestler just reminds us even more that Benoit existed. Big Show didn’t eliminated himself in the 2004 edition of the Royal Rumble; Chris Benoit did and won the Royal Rumble entering in the #1 spot.
Let’s take a look into Chris Benoit achievements during his career:
1 time World Heavyweight Champion, 3 times WWE Tag Team Champion, 3 time WWE United States Champion, 4 time WWE Intercontinental Champion, 3 time WWE World Tag Team Champion, 2004 Royal Rumble winner, WWE Triple Crown Champion, 1 time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, 2 time WCW World Tag Team Champion, 3 time WCW World Television Champion, 2 time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, WCW Triple Crown Champion, 1 time ECW World Tag Team Champion, 1 time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, among many others.
Isn’t that resume worthy of a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame? Of course it is! It’s a better resume for a Hall of Fame spot than many wrestlers that are already in the WWE Hall of Fame. The man deserves to be the headliner of a future WWE Hall of Fame class.
It’s time for WWE to do what’s right. They have many convicted felons inside the WWE Hall of Fame. If they inducted them with fewer achievements, they should induct Chris Benoit.
WWE need to immortalize Chris Benoit’s work and induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame. He changed the course of wrestling as a sport and revolutionized wrestling as an industry. Benoit opened the pathway in the big leagues for smaller and technical wrestlers. Did the impossible and proved everyone that he could be the face of the biggest wrestling company in the world. Chris Benoit existed and his legacy will live forever.