ANOTHER WRESTLING TRAGEDY... CHRIS BENOIT FOUND DEAD
This came as a shock to me when I first read about it today. Even more shocking is that his wife and son were found dead with him. Really tragic.
WWE WRESTLER CHRIS BENOIT AND FAMILY FOUND DEAD
BY ALFONSO A. CASTILLO
Renowned pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and their 7-year-old-son, were found dead Monday afternoon in their Fayetville, Ga. home, Atlanta police said.
Police would not give any details on how Benoit, 40, his wife Nancy, and son Daniel died, other than to say they were not shot to death, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported Monday. Authorities are investigating the deaths.
The news came just a day after Benoit mysteriously pulled out of a World Wrestling Entertainment pay per view event, during which he was expected to be crowned Extreme Championship Wrestling world champion. Various pro wrestling news sources reported that Benoit was unable to appear at the event due to a family emergency.
"There are no further details at this time, other than the Benoit family residence is currently being investigated by local authorities," the WWE said in a statement on its Web site.
Benoit was a 22-year ring veteran and perennial favorite of wrestling purists, who praised his high-intensity style and technical acumen. His aggressive wrestling technique earned him the nicknames "The Crippler" and "The Rabid Wolverine." In 2000 and 2004, he was named Oustanding Wrestler of the Year by the Wrestling Observer newsletter and in 2004 he was named Wrestler of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine.
The Edmonton, Canada native trained to become a wrestler in Calgary, and honed his skills in Japan before becoming a regular on U.S. national promotions in the mid-1990s. Benoit's career highlight took place in New York, when he won his first World Wrestling Entertainment world heavyweight championship in Madison Square Garden in the main event of WrestleMania XX.
Benoit cried as he celebrated in the ring with his wife and son, as well as best friend, wrestler Eddie Guerrero, who died in 2005.
"Wrestling has consumed my life," Benoit said in a 2004 WWE career retrospective video. "Wrestling is my mistress. It's my passion. It defines who I am as a person."
WWE last night canceled its scheduled live 3-hour "Monday Night RAW" program, which coincidentally was originally billed as a "memorial service" for WWE chairman Vince McMahon, whose character was recently killed off in a controversial scripted storyline.
McMahon opened the show from center ring in an empty arena and clarified that Benoit and his family had died "in reality." McMahon called Benoit "one of the greatest WWE superstars of all-time."