Monday, June 25, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 06/25/07 from Corpus Christi, TX.

Show Analysis:

So, this is a pretty heavy story. Here’s what happened on the show. No analysis this week. I don’t even know how to begin in addressing this story or many of the comments made this week, which aired on the West Coast after more information became public.

The show started with a picture of Chris Benoit. Vince McMahon was standing in the ring in an empty arena. He explained that this show was going to be about his storyline death, but Benoit, Nancy and Daniel really died and the show would be a tribute to one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time. They then aired some video packages from the DVD WWE did on him.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discussed the passing of Benoit, Nancy and Daniel. They aired the end of the Royal Rumble 2004 which Benoit won. Steve Austin said that Benoit is one of the most talented guys he has ever known, and that he always gave it his all. He added that Benoit was one of the most honest guys, polite and generous. Austin said he will miss Benoit very much.

Michael Cole and JBL spoke about Benoit. Cole talked about how much Benoit cared about his kids and how well behaved they were. John Cena said Benoit’s death is so sudden and he doesn’t know how to react to it. He said Benoit was the sort of guy you went to war with, and that he looked out for people. He said Benoit was a good man who lived for the business and busted his ass for the fans. Cena said he couldn’t open up to him because he was so hard, but Cena loves him.
Tazz and Joey Styles talked about how happy they were that Benoit came to ECW. Tazz said that Benoit always helped the younger guys out, and how happy he was to be calling Benoit’s matches again. They aired Benoit’s match with Elijah Burke last week. CM Punk said he was disappointed he couldn’t wrestle Benoit last night and now he feels guilty. He said Benoit is his hero and he hopes he can do Benoit’s memory right by being the best he can.

They aired Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko from Hog Wild 1996. Dean Malenko then spoke about Benoit. He noted meeting Benoit and Eddie Guerrero in Japan. He said that Benoit was a private person and a lot of people didn’t get to know him. He said he was honored and privileged to spend time with Benoit. He said it was ironic that he lost both Benoit and Guerrero in such a short time. Malenko said Benoit gave everything he had and left a legacy in the business. Malenko said that he gave Benoit the crossface. He added that Benoit touched so many friends and that he would miss Benoit’s friendship. He said he is happy that Benoit and Guerrero are now together, and that he will never forget Benoit.

Michael Cole talked about how much respect people have for Benoit. They aired a Benoit vs. JBL match. Stephanie talked about what a great wrestler Benoit was. She talked about how happy Benoit was when he found out Stephanie and HHH had their child. She discussed how much Benoit loved his children, and said she will always know him as a friend.

Chavo Guerrero was next to speak. He said that when Eddie died, the first person he called was Benoit. Chavo said that Benoit wailed when he found out. Chavo said that last week he spent the night in Benoit’s home. He noted that Benoit is a private person, but he let Chavo in and made him feel at home. He said he learned so much from being in the ring with Benoit. Chavo said he spoke with Benoit the day before he died (presumably Sunday), and that Benoit concluded by telling Chavo “I love you.” Chavo said that he loves Benoit, and Benoit is a part of his family. Chavo concluded that he would trust Benoit with his kid and his wife because he knows what a great heart Benoit has.

They aired Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit from Japan. William Regal said Benoit was one of the most dedicated and best wrestlers. They then went to Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit in a Royal Rumble ladder match. Jerry Lawler said that Benoit had passion, desire and intensity, and that he wasn’t in the business for the money.

Edge said that there are three people in the industry that he can go to talk to, and now two are gone. He talked about watching Stampede Wrestling, and how Benoit became one of the greatest ever. He said that when he had personal issues he went to Benoit because Benoit cared. Edge added that everyone in the locker room loved Benoit, and no one had anything bad to say about him. He referred to wrestling Benoit recently, and how Benoit was smiling and happy after the match. He told a story about Daniel coming to a WWE show and doing exercises with Benoit. Edge broke down, said he loved Benoit, and that he will miss him.

Michael Cole and JBL said that Benoit being quiet didn’t mean he didn’t have emotion. JBL alluded to Benoit kicking people out of the locker room for not having respect. HHH was next, and said that it’s tough to sum up Benoit’s life in a few moments. He said Benoit was about respect, and told a story about Benoit teaching a lesson to someone who disrespected Shawn Michaels. HHH said there is no one in the world he respected more than Benoit. They ended the show with Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. HHH from WrestleMania XX.

65 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does the WWE go from here?

Surreal is all I can say.

I want to be sad...I want to be angry...

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

I've seen some interesting stuff on some other sites where people point out that in retrospect, it's pretty clear that some or all of the wrestlers knew what Benoit did before they spoke about him on tv. Specifically, Chavo and Regal HAD to know. There is no way Regal would have done what he did if he didn't know, and Chavo made a lot of cryptic comments as well.

I am very curious how they handle ECW tomorrow night. It would be both very tough and in very poor taste to do a tribute show, assuming all the details being reported are true. But then again, they can't just go on like nothing happened either.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Well, there are varying degrees of "knowing." I think a lot of people probably figured it out relatively quickly. With three people found dead in the same place and nobody calling the police there are only so many possibilities. You don't all simultaneously die of natural causes. It could have been someone from the outside killing all 3, but the fact Benoit called in about having family problems on Saturday made that a lot less likely. So basically it was either Nancy killing the other two and then herself or Chris doing it as far as feasible possibilities. And men commit violent crime at much higher rates than women. Knowing absolutely no details I think a lot of people realized what happened, even if they wanted to block it out because they love Benoit. I think that very well may have been why Mick Foley didn't say anything.

I have no idea how I would handle ECW and Smackdown if I were in WWE's position. That's a really tough call and I'm glad it's not a decision I have to make.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Dan Wahlers said...

I am numb about all of this. Here I have Chris Benoit, one of my favorite wrestlers of all-time, and it turns out he may have murdered his wife and young son. I am torn about what to think.

I'm not as eager to pass judgment as some others seem to be. The reports that have come out so far don't sound good, but I for one, am going to wait until the autopsies are done, and the police list an official cause of death before I form an opinion. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

I just can't get over how entirely bizarre and surreal this whole thing is.

I have to echo Dan, too, I've loved Benoit for as long as I can remember, and I'm not sure how I should continue to feel about him should things shake out they way they look.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

http://www.lethalwrestling.com/news/fullnews.php?id=222

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"But then again, they can't just go on like nothing happened either."

Here's hoping they do exactly that. Wrestling should be fun, entertainment, an escape. The on-air product needs no part of this tragedy.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Steven said...

"Wrestling should be fun, entertainment, an escape. The on-air product needs no part of this tragedy."

Well, then why WWE also did tribute shows to Eddie and Owen? Sometimes wrestling needs to get out of all the fake things and face the truth. Do you think they will never do a tribute show if Triple H die?

Look, Bob, maybe you don't like Chris because of all of this stupid murder-suicide thing. But it's not like it was Snitsky or Khali who died. You shouldn't forget that Benoit was one of the best worker ever, he had a lot of passion, well-respected by the entire locker room and he had contributed a lot to the wrestling industry. So at least he deserves some kind of tribute show.

RIP Chris Benoit, I'll always respect you as a wrestler

5:18 AM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

Hey, Tyson, in the words of Dick Cheney--go fuck yourself. A lot of fans have posted on here because they are really baffled by this and hurt...and yet all you do is lay in your usual goddam insults. You add nothing to any comment board, you bully and belittle people, and frankly you strike me as a complete moron in every way. Sorry about that, Todd, but this guy is always an asshole. I am sick of seeing his name on here.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"Sometimes wrestling needs to get out of all the fake things and face the truth."

The most they need to do on television, in my opinion, is have a brief statement that in light of the facts that have come out further tributes are inappropriate. Then either have regular shows or cancel the shows for a week or two. The last thing they need to do is to explore this issue on their TV shows.

"Look, Bob, maybe you don't like Chris because of all of this stupid murder-suicide thing. But it's not like it was Snitsky or Khali who died."

I actually thought you were being sarcastic here, but your further words went on to indicate that you're actually serious that Benoit still deserves tributes because he was a great wrestler.

Well, one tribute show slipped through last night. I doubt he'll get anything else going forward. How many people are not going to even be able to stomach a Benoit match at this point? As for Benoit's contributions to this industry, I fear it's likely they will end up being a net negative by the time it's all said and done.

Al Tyson, I don't why you're criticizing people who knew that this was likely to be the outcome. Many people did in fact post early on that they were concerned about what the final story would end up being. I think it was clear to everyone what they were insinuating, and Todd goes into detail here about why those suspicions were, at least statistically speaking, justified.

Dan (might as well respond to everyone), I enjoy your writing, but I don't think it's fair for you to say people are "eager" to pass judgment. Quite the contrary, I believe a lot of people figured this is how it would turn out but withheld judgment as long as they reasonably could. I of course appreciate that you don't want to believe this is true, and while I hope that you're somehow right, I very much doubt that will be the case. If anything, I think the story's going to get much worse, since the police have said the details of the case are "bizarre".

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well what a turn of events. Last night I was crying watching the Raw Tribute... I feel sad and Angry at the same time. I love Chris Benoit the wrestler. Obviously Chris Benoit the Person had some problems and I have lost a ton of respect for him.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Sonny said...

The problems everyone eludes to are part of the business we all love so much. Family problems are bound to occur when you spend no time at all with the ones you love. Hopefully, this death brings out changes in the WWE like the "drug policy" that Eddie's death brought, a change like a rotational schedule or something to let the guys be at home and take care of their family life. That is the best thing the WWE could do to honour the man that gave so much to wrestling, let him give one last thing, a chance for the boys to have a family life.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

I ain't blamin' Todd, I'm just as affected as the next fan, I think the wrestlers knew last night and that isn't something the WWE should be releasing.

I'm fine with people stakes and claims and my initial reaction may have been a product of my feelings on the situation and my overall distaste for people telling me they knew Chris Benoit murdered his wife and kid. I'm no RageAngel, but I will say that anonymous posts on a subject like this are overly irritating.

Who quotes Dick Cheney?

Don't even bother responding to this, and I'm wrong to even respond to you, but I feel I owe Todd somewhat of an apology for telling him what he should have done with his report.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I am neither ready to pay tribute to Benoit nor to bury him. As a general proposition, I'm with the guy that said all the judgment on other lives needs to stop. But on the other hand given what it appears to be the circumstances of the deaths I don't feel comfortable celebrating the career of Benoit. So I'm left not knowing what exactly to say or think, which I think is how a lot of people feel.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMZ.com is reporting more details on the Benoit Family tragedy. According to a TMZ source, Benoit was texting friends during the Vengeance pay-per-view and may have watched the event with his son who may have still been alive at the time.

TMZ says law enforcement sources tell them that Benoit is believed to have strangeled Nancy on Saturday, then smothered his son in bed sometime on Sunday before hanging himself in the weight room of their home on Monday.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Benoit was a great wrestler. He is also a murderer, just like O.J. It's time to move on and try to forget that this piece of scum ever existed.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steriods are already coming up...Well that pretty much blows the laughable wellness policy out of the water if true..vince better be glad its wrestling and no one cares....its ok to have two trains of thought..oj great back but double murderer...beniot great wrestler but double murderer..its ok to have two trains of thought

11:17 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

No more insults. Any posts that insult another poster will be deleted.

11:56 AM  
Blogger brian said...

I think Wade Keller's take on it was quite appropritate, he said he felt sympathy for the innocent victims while pitying Chris Benoit. It seems like he was a well-liked guy and now he's destroyed 3 lives, such a sad situation. WWE needs to change somehow, whether it's stricter drug control, an off season or rotating the roster or something, I dunno. There's been too many tragedies in this business.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Am I the only one who really hates this picture they keep showing of him in news stories? I much prefer the other they commonly show of him holding the world title.

It just seems with his facial expression in the first picture that news outlets are going out of their way to make him look like a crazy guy (which, unfortunately, they probably are).

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The steroids trial in the 90's is gonna look like a small freckle on Khali's back when this is all said and done. Can the WWE handle what's going to be an avalanche of negative publicity? The irony will be how much we heard about Benoit respecting the business and he may end up being the one to either kill or severly cripple it.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is this no judgement stuff coming from?.I don't see any one rushing to anything.I see a bunch of fans struggling to grasp what has happened.Are we that devoid of morals nowadays?..It is painfully clear that the man murdered his wife and kid..and all some people can come up with is no judgements?I know he is one of all our favorites and it's hard to face facts but we must.. Hell I'll judge him!! He killed his woman and child..Awesome wrestler and one of greatest of all time but he is now a double murderer and a lot more is coming out..We see the wellness policy is a joke as if anyone didn't already know..expect Vince to react and come up with another nothing drug test policy.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

The thing with the wellness policy, as evidenced by the press conference, is if you can find some doctor somewhere that will give you the drugs, you can get whatever you want.

The key to a serious wellness policy is not pushing guy based on being steroid freaks. And given the Snitskys of the world contribute nothing it would be good for the product too.

I think it's pretty ridiculous the media has picked this up as a steroids story, since I think that's a non-issue in this case, but it's not like there isn't a story there that's also a big story even if unrelated to this.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

The recent revelations about Nancy filing for divorce and a restraining order in 2003 for domestic abuse makes it even worse.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

I think it's pretty ridiculous the media has picked this up as a steroids story, since I think that's a non-issue in this case,

I caught Meltzer on Fox News just past the top of the hour, and that's pretty much how he reacted when posed with the possibility of roid rage factoring in.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

So they asked Foley to speak on Benoit last night and he said no Todd?

2:56 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I'm not denying roid rage as real. Absolutely I believe that happens. I just don't think roid rage makes you wrap a chord around your wife's neck and choke her to death, or smother your son with a bag. Just about everyone in WWE is on the juice, and while the business has a history of tremendous self-destruction, there aren't too many stories like this of rage manifesting itself in this way towards others.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

The Foley thing was 100% speculation on my part.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

When comparing this with other incidents of roid rage, which of those involved a married couple with children with a history of violent disputes?

To discount steroidal rage as a contributing factor is absurd at this point. That's like saying Chris Benoit was just as stressed as your average business man with a similar travel schedule.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Just about every wrestler has a family and children. Just about every wrestler is taking steroids. There is no history whatsoever of wrestlers killing their family.

I think it's silly to take this story as part of a larger trend. Guerrero was a larger trend. Hennig was a larger trend. Hawk was a larger trend. Spicolli was a larger trend. Public Enemy was a larger trend. Benoit is a unique story. I don't think anyone kills in the manner that Benoit killed because of steroids or because of painkillers. I don't know why he did it, but this fits into the category of people doing things so awful that the explanation is primarily just their own psyche and mental state as opposed to trying to blame Marilyn Manson or roid rage or whatever.

By all means, steroids is a story worth investigating. And painkillers maybe even more so. Those are worth talking about, and I hope they get addressed. But ultimately I just don't buy that those stories have anything more than a fleeting tangential relevance to Benoit doing what he did.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous CF Kane (retired) said...

Even though Tyson told me not to respond, I wanna apologize for the vitriolic rant I wrote this morning. While my feelings about what I said haven't changed, it was a classless thing for me to write, and exactly the kind of thing that I hate when other people do it. In particular, I hate it when this sort of lousy, anonymous meanspirited blogging gets out of hand with no regard for anybody else whose opinions are as valid as mine, or anybody elses. I've said my piece, and now I'm gonna walk away from the whole thing. Good luck Todd, and anybody else who has engaged me in some good spirted opinion sharing. It was the only outlet I had for this sort of topic, but if I just keep getting pissed off at people I don't even know, then what's the point? Okay. Good luck to y'all.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Bobcat said...

I think there's something to the roid rage angle. Look, obviously Chris Benoit is unique in the violence he perpetrated. It could be that he would have done it with or without the steroids. Moreover, it seems like most steroid-users don't do anything near this bad. But here are two questions: (1) does steroid use increase the likelihood that someone who does bad things will do even worse things? If so, that's a sense in which 'roids could be a contributing factor (albeit nowhere near the major one) to the Benoit horror; (2) even though no other wrestling has done anything nearly this reprehensible, I think the wide-spread use of 'roids makes the chances of other bad things (battery, dangerously impulsive decisions, etc.) greater.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think to say steroids are a non-issue right now is wrong. some people who take steroids for extended periods of time do go through bouts of paranoia, depression and "roid rage". Unfortunately I don't know if we will ever find out all the truth to this very sad story. I too have mixed feelings about the guy. Loved him as a wrestler, now I hate him as a person. Everybody is asking the question "How do you kill your wife and son for no apparent reason?" Well if Chris had some mental problems that we don't know about and you couple that with paranoia and depression, you never know what might have made him "snap" Coming from someone who has a sister with a depression/anxiety disorder I can tell you that sometimes you never see it coming. She is fine one day and a totally different person the next. If enough things happened to Chris at once, this might have been his "stresser", that set him off. Maybe he thought Nancy was going to leave him and take Daniel with her, maybe he thought she was cheating on him, who knows. Also let's not forget about Chris's other children, who have now lost a brother and father. I am also wondering if anyoner has heard how Kevin Sullivan has responded to all of this. Thanks for letting me rant.

Sean

5:30 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

"Just about every wrestler has a family and children. Just about every wrestler is taking steroids. There is no history whatsoever of wrestlers killing their family."

I'm not sure I agree with that. If you're talking WWE or you're talking every wrestler that takes steroids.

The larger trend of wrestlers not taking care of themselves outside the ring and their bodies suffering as a result? Come on now. You don't even believe that yourself. That's not even the same topic.

Your argument is that Benoit's use of steroids had little to no effect on his psyche or mental state? Are you fucking serious? You think that pro wrestlers and athletes don't have a different opinion of themselves when they train and supplement with steroids? That doesn't effect the way they think about themselves and how they feel other people should act around them, or at the worst case but more common than you think, what they're capable of?

I ain't sayin' he killed his wife because he was on steroids. There were 1,000 other factors involved and 1 just made him snap. I don't know why he killed his wife, I have my thoughts and if they tell people they tell people. I'm saying that steroids effect his mindset along with the stress of being on the road with the WWE, his marital problems, the thought of losing what he worked so hard for.. and to just ignore his use of steroids as a simple 'fact of life for a wrestler' is madd hypocritical when you try to say that the bigger issue is the guys destroying themselves and not injuring others.

You watch someone go through a few cycles of steroid use and tell me that they have the same mental state that they had before.

Is it because 30 Mixed Martial Artists since Jan. 1 have tested positive for steroids that you want to discount the topic? I hope not..

5:34 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

Someone trying to say what I wrote at the exact same time. That's amazing.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

That steroid use doesn't effect the way they think about themselves and how they feel other people should act around them, or at the worst case but more common than you think, what they're capable of?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

STAMFORD, Conn., June 26, 2007 – World Wrestling Entertainment is stunned and saddened by the details released by local authorities concerning the double homicide-suicide involving Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son, Daniel.

However, WWE is concerned with the sensationalistic reporting and speculation being undertaken by some members of the media following the press conference held by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney. During the press conference, the investigating authorities made the following points, all of which run contrary to the media speculation that "roid rage" was a factor in the senseless murders and suicide:

1. The authorities stated that all drugs found in the house were believed to be legal prescriptions.

2. Steroids were not, and could not, be related to the cause of death (asphyxiation). Authorities had no factual basis to speculate as to Benoit’s state of mind, and rightly did not do so.

3. Toxicology tests have not even been completed, so there is no current evidence that Benoit even had steroids or any other substance in his body. In that regard, on the last test done on Benoit by WWE's independently administered drug testing program, done on April 10, 2007, Benoit tested negative.

4. The physical findings announced by authorities indicate deliberation, not rage. The wife's feet and hands were bound and she was asphyxiated, not beaten to death. By the account of the authorities, there were substantial periods of time between the death of the wife and the death of the son, again suggesting deliberate thought, not rage. The presence of a Bible by each is also not an act of rage.

5. WWE strongly suggests that it is entirely wrong for speculators to suggest that steroids had anything to do with these senseless acts, especially when the authorities plainly stated there is no evidence that Benoit had steroids in his body, pending the toxicological reports, and that they had no evidence at this time as to the motive for these acts.

WWE is continuing to monitor the ongoing investigation being conducted by local authorities.
-wwe.com

6:55 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Charlie, I hope you continue posting.


I'm not discounting that steroids affect the way abusers act. But there are a lot of things that affect the way people act. With wrestlers that can vary from painkillers to the schedule to the ups and downs of crowd reactions to performing in front of a camera to the cities that you visit and hell the weather outside.

There are some areas where steroids are absolutely an issue. They have been a major contributory factor in many premature deaths because of in particular the damage they do to the heart. And that should be followed up on, and dealt with in the wrestling business. I have no problem whatsoever with the media dealing with that.

But this is a situation with a guy who killed his wife and son and himself in a methodical manner. That's a psychological issue, and I do not buy at all that steroids are in any significant way to blame for those actions. It's just a side issue to this specific case. Even if it is relevant to some minor degree (and I'm not sure that it is), there are 100 other factors that could be brought up of comparable relevance. Steroids are juicy so that's getting media play, but it's a red herring in this specific case.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

The issue isn't about whether or not steroids play a role in affecting a persons mental health. We all know that they can and do. The issue is in the media's attmept at blaming the incident on steroid usage, which as Todd mentioned, is basically a red herring. It's the same as the media blaming incidents on something like video games or music. Those can undoubtedly influence people, and I'm sure on occaision can be pointed to as the tipping point, but it's just media sensationalism to go "VIDEO GAMES CAUSED COLUMBINE!!!"

It's pretty ridiculous to outright discount steroids as a factor in what Benoit did, but to claim that steroids were the cause is reaching just a bit.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Bobcat said...

Don't you think that the WWE's statement is, well, unbelievably callous?

I know, Chris Benoit murdered a seven-year old child. If there were anything that was unforgivable, that would be it. But look at their statement: they go into almost gleeful detail in describing his hideous actions, and I doubt very much it's motivated by moral outrage; instead, their tone--that of a clever high school debater--indicates that they're concerned almost entirely about saving their asses. They could have said something much simpler, like "a tragedy like this cannot be reduced to steroid abuse", but no, they had to engage in debaters' points.

And the reason is obvious: they know that they're quite culpable for the steroid abuse rampant in the WWE, and they're trying like hell to change the subject from steroid abuse to a madman, and are willing to do anything to do so.

Now, of course, they might very well be right that steroids weren't the main cause in this, and the media's wanting to sensationalize this already sensational event by making its explanation monocausal is itself pretty bad. Nevertheless, the WWE's motives, and what they're willing to do in furtherance of them, are shameful.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Excellent points. WWE's scared as hell and that release certainly reflected it.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more wrestlers on tv..Its so clear they all so afraid of Vince..Even Bret Hart was bootlicking on MSNBC..Dont wanna hurt those dvd sales huh Bret..

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The WWE statement is dirty.Lets face facts..we know what kind of guy vince is..and benoit is trouble that needs to be cut loose esp after three hours of buttkissing they did monday..so byebye chris..just coldblooded like that.The last thing the wwe wanted found was steriods esp since the sports ill. story earlier this year..and their checkered past..as far steriods being the cause..who knows..only one person knows what was going on in his head and that is benoit..is the newsmedia stuck on roids ..of course..is roids invovled..of course..were other factors...of course..the sad things is most people who are crying and complaining will be watching monday..anyone wanna beat they dont do a 4?...

10:07 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

anyone wanna beat they dont do a 4?...

I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict a 5.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:08 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

Which is why your personal experience with steroids to me would be of great importance to the relevancy of your comments on the topic.

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delta woman says wrestler Chris Benoit had a son with Fragile X syndrome

http://www.news1130.com/news/topstory/article.jsp?content=20070626_212836_4500

Do you think this can possibly be the biggest reason of this whole murder-suicide thing instead of steroids?

2:32 AM  
Blogger brian said...

It may be that in his twisted mind set at the time he believed killing his son was somehow in his best interests instead of living without a mother and with a convicted murderer as a father. Entirely wrong of course, but that may have been how he saw it at the time.

Even if steroids weren't the main factor maybe the media coverage will lead to a stricter drug control policy, which can only be a good thing. The media may be misguided in their target, but their attention could still result in some good changes.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Todd, just wondering if you have what you would deem close friends who are currently on steroids that you knew before they started to take them or if you have taken them for extended periods of time yourself?

And if neither one of those have happened and you only know or interviewed athletes who have done steroids how you can effectively get a read on what effects prolonged steroid use combined with extended periods of violent behavior have on the mental stability of an individual is beyond me


I pose the very same question to you, Al.

And you can't simply assume that placing the bibles next to Nancy and Daniel was done because of guilt. There's any number of reasons he could have done that. In a warped mind, someone could think killing them was an act of faith, and placing the bibles could have represented that.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

No, I have not had any close friends that have used significant amount of steroids.

I stand completely by my remarks. I'm a hell of a lot more familiar with steroids from reading about them and following an industry infested with them for over 15 years than the media members that are carrying this story because it sounds juicy. If you just read a random column about Barry Bonds and steroids or the current MLB drug policy you're likely to find multiple glaring errors and false premises on what steroids are, how you use them, how you avoid drug testing and how widespread they are.

Steroids have been around and prevalent for 3 decades. I can't think of a similar incident to this one that was ever in any way linked to steroids. I think Nowinski's explanation of head trauma or just the psychological effects of the wrestling business make much more sense as contributory factors, and I don't think either of them are the story either. It's a sideshow.

With that said, I agree with Brian that the attention paid to the problem of steroids is good even if steroids aren't a significant factor in what happened.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

"I pose the very same question to you, Al."

Yes.

And I asked the question because my opinions weigh more heavily based on personal experience rather than study. There's no substitute for experience, not even years of study.

The bible thing is completely subjetctive I agree but based on what we know about Benoit I'm assuming he felt guilty about killing his wife and son which is another reason why he did not leave a suicide note. I'm not contesting that steroids prevented Benoit from knowing or acting the way he would under any other circumstances, my argument is that it is an important piece of an individuals pysche to just disregard its presence.

Is it coincidence violent crimes without the use of a weapon are committed more often by pro wrestlers and NFL players than any other sport? The combination of steroid use and prolonged violent behavior is a deadly combination when taken outside the realm of the sport, and sometimes, still may be.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Apart from Jimmy Snuka killing his girlfrind in 83, name me another incident like this one to support your "Violent crimes without the use of a weapon are committed more often by pro wrestlers and NFL players".

I could bring up out of the insane behaviour of Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Ike Ibeabuchi, Ron Lyle, Mike Dokes ect and say the same thing about pro boxers.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

So your contention to my statement is that because I didn't include boxing (widespread steroid use, prolonged violent behavior) that this is not a contributing factor. Boxing should be added to the list, not taken as the exception.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Al Tyson said...

domestic violence is a violent crime without the use of a weapon.

steve austin, the most popular wrestler of the last decade.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'm not sure if anyone saw Bill O'Reilly this evening, but man did he come across horrible. He had no clue about the Fragile X syndrome of Daniel Benoit. When Irv Muchnick corrected him on this, O'Reilly accused him of sticking up for Benoit. He claimed there was rampant cocaine use in wrestling. Last night, he brought in a guy being sued by WWE (over the AWA name thing) to provide analysis of the situation (though the guest was reasonable). He also intimated that there was no drug testing in wrestling.
The lesson here is never to blindly trust the media.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Purdue said...

If I could direct the debate away from steroids, a subject I know nothing about, and look at some of the other information that has come out lately, I wanted to mention a few things that, while in no means justifying what has happened, may be looked upon as factors in what triggered this horrible story.
There has been reporting done that Benoit and his wife had been arguing often about the care of their young son...a boy who, with his health problems, was never going to 'get better'. The strain of this fact can do damage to any relationship, in particular one where one of the parents is almost always out on the road to pay the bills. Much of the talk has been about how Benoit loved his son..so it is even harder for a parent to watch their child suffering with no cure in sight. The pressures on Benoit had to have been enormous, the frustrations overwhelming..add to this, as well, the fact that the WWE had essentially 'demoted' Benoit by sending him to ECW, a move that, for an intensely proud man who took his legacy seriously, can only be seen by him as the next step towards irrelevance. It's not as though Benoit were an aging has-been; he was only 40, in tremendous shape, and wrestling as well as he ever had. Was there any doubt that he would have seen this push off the main stage as an insult, particularly for someone who, we are told, valued 'respect' over anything else? I would think that this would also mean that he would lose money because of this move, if not on this contract, but on his next one. Health care in the U.S. is criminally expensive, no matter how much money you make. The pressures it can put on a household are immense. The burden of caring for Daniel was put on Nancy exclusively, as Chris was on the road so often. I have to think this led to many of the problems between them. Marriages have often fallen apart because of just such a thing. Benoit was a human just like anyone else, with the added burden of having to perform for a fickle audience, in a tempestuous business, with the added concern that one bad fall, one missed spot, and his career could be over for good. Then what was he to do? Sadly, the best thing for him may have been to sign with TNA; then he could have had a much lighter work schedule, and been home much more often. I hope nobody thinks that I am putting any blame on the WWE here, far from it, but it is known that they work a rugged road schedule, with few if any breaks.
Listen, I don't use any of these thoughts as any sort of a justification for what he did; I am looking solely at the pressures that may have caused it. This, I'm afraid, is hardly the first time such a tragic thing has happened, yet nobody has ever thought to lay all the blame on 'roid rage' in the past. Could steroids have been a factor? Of course. But there is so much more to this story then a man who snapped due to medicinal meltdown. It doesn't excuse it, but it could perhaps put it in terms more people can understand.
Also, and not to play detective here, but one thing about the police report on the murder scene interests me. It was reported that Nancy was found in a chair, with her hands and feet bound. Why would Benoit, a strong man and a professional fighter, have needed to bind his wife to a chair? I'm not adding a mystery to the equation; he killed her. But, I wonder if, instead of some sort of pre-meditated act, her death was accidental and, in a panicked attempt to make it seem like it was an outside attacker, he bound her hands and feet, only to later be so overwhelmed with guilt that he understood that all signs would point to the husband, as they always do. This puts Benoit in a jail cell, with a disabled son who has 'lost' both of his parents. In a moment of desperation, he may have decided that, not wanting to live with this, and not wanting to leave his son 'alone'in the world, he decided to end both of their lives as well. The fact that two bibles were found next to the bodies makes me believe he was a religious man, who hoped to at least ensure his wife and son would get to heaven. Benoit sent out several text messages designed to alert people to find his families bodies...and to let them know how to get into the house, and where his dogs were..is this the act of a man who was 'insane'? I have to think that he killed himself due to a sense of overwhelming grief, knowing that an irrational moment had led to such an untimely end. The only thing that makes me believe that this scenario is possible was all of the testimonials that the many wrestlers had given on the tribute show...their statements struck me as entirely genuine, not knowing the truth of the matter yet, and from the heart. This is all just speculation, I'm not excusing any thing, but for an action to occur that everyone seems to believe was so out of character for someone, it is sometimes necessary to look at all the possibilities. It won't change what happened, but, and this sounds simplistic, tragic incidents can often happen purely by accident, and what the person does next is what can define them forever.
I'm sorry if this rambled too long, but I've never written here before, and I've thought a lot about this story over the last few days. I truly dislike the way the national media has handled this, as most of the 'pundits' have no idea what they are talking about and are just looking at this as another shock story to entertain the people waiting for more news on Paris Hilton's latest idiocy. I would not turn to ESPN for news on the war; why would I listen to a buffoon like Bill O'Reilly on a story like this? I trust men like Meltzer and Alex Marvez much more because they know the sport and the people involved in it.
I know this is all a case of devil's advocacy, and we will never really 'know', but just because there are excuses handy (i.e. steroids) it doesn't mean it's so. Sometimes there's more. Thanks for letting me have a place to write this.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me correct Phil when he says


He claimed there was rampant cocaine use in wrestling. Last night, he brought in a guy being sued by WWE (over the AWA name thing) to provide analysis of the situation (though the guest was reasonable). He also intimated that there was no drug testing in wrestling.


There is rampant cocaine use!! If you didn't know then sorry..Coke in wrestling? Im shocked!..So you upset he brought in a guy being sued by wwe? so what!!Only people who the wwe like can comment? No drug testing? Well gee why would he ever think that!!! .I agree he jumped on Mushnick and that was unsavory and lunacy..but the blinders have to come off

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

No professor of journalism would ever condone bringing in an individual currently involved legal litigation to objectively analyze. At the least, O'Reilly should have prefaced the segment with what was an obvious conflict of interest.
Also, I have no evidence of rampant cocaine use in wrestling today. It has been there in the past, but there is no documented evidence of a single current WWE wrestler on cocaine. That doesn't mean no one today is using, but you can't state a declarative statement like that without proof.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

It's Bill O'Reilly, now. Come on. The guy is to journalism what Uwe Boll is to filmmaking.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

I think Uwe Boll has more reason to be offended by that than O'Reilly.

8:10 PM  

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