5 WWE Superstars who love Chris Benoit and 5 who disliked him
Chris Benoit is a strange figure for the WWE and professional wrestling community to look back on. On one hand, he was an inspiration. The Rabid Wolverine had an old school work ethic and a perfectionist’s edge. He demanded excellence out of himself and his opponents, worked out like a fiend, and honed his skills by travelling world to assimilate key pieces of a variety of styles of wrestling.
It looked as though he might have a glass ceiling overhead as he emerged into the mainstream American wrestling scene. He was too small to be a main eventer, besides which, if there were any weak point in his repertoire, it was his talking game, which WCW and WWE put so much weight on.
Benoit overcame the odds, winning over WWE management through sheer effort and will. He reached the pinnacle of his career in 2004, making Triple H tap out in the main event of WrestleMania 20 to close the show as World Heavyweight Champion.
Benoit’s story took a stark turn three years later when he murdered his wife and child before committing suicide. Whether the breakdown was linked to steroids as originally theorized, or head injuries as the prevailing theory goes today, Benoit went from one of wrestling’s proudest sons to an absolute disgrace to the business.
It’s telling that some wrestlers are still able to separate Benoit’s identity from his final days on earth because they respected their friend and colleague so much. Others can only speak of The Crippler with disdain. This article looks at five WWE Superstars who love Benoit, and five who clearly do not.
#10 Love Benoit: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit were cut from a similar cloth. They’re both Canadians who went onto travel the world, accumulating experience from a variety of mentors and in a variety of styles before making a go of it at the top of the wrestling world. Jericho made it to the top—world champion status in WWE—sooner and with greater longevity.
It’s worth noting, though, that he rose up with Benoit as a key opponent and partner in the ring, and a friend in real life. Indeed, the first hint that each man was headed for the top for real came when they teamed up as an underdog pair to face Triple H and Steve Austin
While it has become difficult to celebrate Chris Benoit’s legacy, Jericho went so far as to dedicate a recent episode of his podcast to The Rabid Wolverine’s legacy as a wrestler. The show featured over an hour-long discussion of Benoit’s greatest matches, moments, and attributes.