Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Wrestling Death—Updated

After noting the fake death of Vince McMahon yesterday, I now see that wrestling great Chris Benoit has died for real. The story is highly disturbing:

Details of the deaths of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and their 7-year-old son may seem "a little bizarre" when released to the public, a prosecutor said.

Authorities were investigating the deaths at a secluded Fayette County home as a murder-suicide and were not seeking any suspects outside the home. . . .

Investigators believe Benoit, (pronounced ben-WAH,) killed his wife and son over the weekend and then himself sometime Monday. The bodies were found Monday afternoon in three different rooms of the house on Green Meadow Lane, in a subdivision off a gravel road about two miles from Whitewater Country Club. . . .

Ballard told The Associated Press a gun was not used in any of the deaths. But he declined to say how the three died.

"We're pretty sure we know, but we want to confirm it with the crime lab," Ballard said early Tuesday. . . .

World Wrestling Entertainment said on its Web site that it asked authorities to check on Benoit and his family after being alerted by friends who received "several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning."

I wonder if, having a real murder in their family will shame the WWE out of continuing with the storyline of the fake murder of Vince McMahon.

Update: I've been thinking a little more about how strange the WWE's decision was to pull Raw last night and run a Chris Benoit "tribute" show instead. I was watching that last night and listening to the announcers lamenting the death of the Benoit family and remembering what a great guy Benoit was, but even as that was happening, it seemed clear from the wire reports that the Man of a Thousand Holds had murdered his wife and child.

I suspect last night's "tribute" show will disappear down the WWE memory hole pretty quickly--the tape may have been burned right after it aired. But there's something grotesque about it nonetheless.

Update II: The airbrushing has begun! Less than 12 hours after lionizing Chris Benoit on a Very Special Episode of Raw, the WWE is disappearing him:

In light of the Benoit family tragedy, WWE's Shopzone merchandise website has pulled all merchandise related to Chris Benoit. Searches for Benoit's name in the website's search engine are returned "discontinued."

Benoit's name has been removed to the degree that the listing for the DVD of Wrestlemania XX now reads, "Triple H defends his World Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Michaels."

In case you're wondering, that Wrestlemania XX match is what they closed the show with last night, calling it Benoit's greatest moment.

Update III: TMZ now has more details on the murder-suicide.


Ryan said...

it seemed clear from the wire reports that the Man of a Thousand Holds had murdered his wife and child.

I can't believe you're accusing Dean Malenko!
[/rasslin dork]

Joe said...

Jonathan, I will paraphrase the comment I left on another blog:

If I was a smart, ambitious journalist / writer with some understanding of the wrestling world, I would be circulating a proposal to publishers right now for the "All the President's Men" of the McMahon family criminal empire (a/k/a the WWE).

It was one thing for wrestlers to go around killing themselves. But Benoit taking his family with him might provide a whole new level of scrutiny of the fact that ex-WWE "stars" have a fatality rate second only to suicide bombers.

SOMEBODY is going to tell the story one day, bring down a billion dollar industry, and provide the basis for Vince going to jail for a long time.

Why not you?

J-Dub said...

This is scary -- a list of wrestlers who have died in the last 22 years. Check out the number under 45. Lots of names I know.


Anonymous said...

Regarding j-dub's death list: Mike Awesome is dead? WTF?

Anonymous said...

Setting aside the dubious judgement that led them to air it, it's a little curious, no, that WWE had a three-hour tribute to Benoit ready to roll literally within hours of finding out that he was dead? Does the WWE have tributes in vaults to all its superstars, like newspapers have draft obituaries of aging notables?

Anonymous said...

I think there was a tribute to him done earlier; it was likely a matter of cutting it for time and then splicing in the live stuff.

Unknown said...

Dean Malenko was the "Man of a thousand holds"...Chris Jericho then called himself "The man with 1001"