Pro Wrestling Since 1997


Column: Remembrance of Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit was my professional idol. There, I said it. It’s something that no one except my close friends know. In a way, I’m ashamed of this even thought no one could have predicted the horrific events that occurred six years ago this very day. I remember where I was when I heard the news about the murders. I had just gotten out of class and my friend Reid call me and said “I have something to tell you and you should sit down.”


Of course, I didn’t heed his advice since I was trying to catch the train. Reid told me that the Benoit family was found murdered in their home and the first thing I asked him was if it was a work. That question is kind of morbid now that I think about it, but I assumed that it was tied into that evening’s episode of Raw which was scheduled to be Vince McMahon’s funeral. Reid told me how all the major news stations were covering the story and I became dizzy, I became numb, and my heart was broken.


When you train to become a wrestler, you learn things as your mind is opened up to a whole new world. You begin to realize how good some wrestlers are and gain a deep level of professional respect for how they apply their craft. I honestly can’t think of another wrestler in that decade who had more influence, or another wrestler who more wrestlers borrowed from than Chris Benoit. I didn’t just watch his matches, I studied them, I analyzed every facet of his mechanical application.


I recall this one time where borrowing from his repertoire helped me through a tough training drill. Steve Bradley made a surprise visit to our school and ran training that evening. He had us drill giving and taking headlock takeovers. I was good at giving them, but not much good at the taking part. To me, it was an awkward position to put my body in. I kept botching take after take and became very frustrated that I couldn’t get it right. I took a step back, and assessed the situation. Then I thought about how Benoit took headlock take over as he tucked his arms under the person’s body with a supinated grip, where your palms point inwards, and rolled over. I mimicked his approach and my takeover was as smooth as silk! The entire class popped and Bradley had me do it again and again because it looked so good. That night, I fancied myself a student of the game and was proud of what I accomplished.


To this day, I can’t watch his matches and quickly change the subject whenever his name is mentioned. Hell, even typing his name in this post makes me a little uncomfortable. We all have heard the different arguments and opinions on the matter so I’m not going to rehash the details. In my opinion, you’re not wrong no matter whether you choose to revere or despise Chris Benoit. I choose to despise him because he made the choice to not ask for help. So today, my thoughts and prayers are with Nancy and Daniel, not on the man who took their lives.



Atlee Greene is a former wrestler who has followed professional wrestling for 25 years and writes about wrestling, mixed martial arts, and comic books on his blog, Midnight Logic and is also the host of The Body Slam Podcast which can be found, right here, at

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2 Responses

  1. divo says:

    I can’t believe people still praise this manhe is pathetic he is a murder and he deserves to rot in hell. he killed his family and he is scum who gives a Crap if he was talented at wrestling, he took two innocent lives away and he will forever be trash to me.

  2. Nick says:

    First of all i wanna say that this whole situation was poorly investigated and at the very least the case needs to be reopened if for no other reason but to tie up some loose ends. there are in fact signs that benoit may have been murdered and what’s worse is that there is a possibility that whoever killed benoit was involved in the death of several other wrestlers. We are not judges and the only ones that for sure know what happened is The Benoit family and God. Im so tired of seeing people act like this when Chris comes up. He worshiped his son did you ever stop and ask yourself How or Why would he do that? And you actually think he could have killed himself the way he did with his workout equipment? More then likely there is no way w/o assistance. Just Think About It.

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