So, it’s been about a day since I first heard the news: Chris Benoit and his family, all found dead in their home in Atlanta.
After the conclusion of Canada’s airing of Raw (which I came in the middle of, after Red told me the news), details were still not known, and so I did what I felt I should, and said my little bit.
Throughout that night and day, more and more facts gradually came to light, and the timeline became apparent, though mysteries still remained. And grief has given a little bit of leeway to confusion. Who, Where, When are known. Why, and some of How remain a mystery. Yes, we know how he did it, but what remains unclear in the minds of many is how could he do it?
Some attribute that to “roid rage,” though that remains unproven, and perhaps even unlikely. As one person has said, “aren’t roid rages usually quick fits, not 3-day massacres?” Logically, it seems something else was amiss.
While dropping the arguably tasteless facade of his own character’s death, perhaps even halting the storyline entirely, Mr. McMahon has acted in a stronger and more respectable manner than many expected of him. Much like my own lowly tribute, the WWE chose to make Monday night’s episode of Raw a celebration of Benoit’s own career before finding out the unsavory details.
With the newer facts brought to light, there has been a lot of backpeddling from within the WWE and outside: TNA pulled their message from their website; WWE has removed many bits and articles regarding Benoit from their website and merchandise pages, and cancelled reairings of the Raw tribute; and many people have begun to curse a name which once garnered such respect from fans and peers alike.
Last night, on ECW, Mr. McMahon preceded the broadcast with a message (video is also available in the link):
Last night on Monday Night Raw, the WWE presented a special tribute show, recognizing the career of Chris Benoit. However, now some 26 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are now apparent. Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Mr. Benoit tonight. On the contrary, tonight’s show will be dedicated to everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident. This evening marks the first step of the healing process. Tonight, the WWE performers will do what they do better than anyone else in the world ? entertain you.
In the end, as more facts come to light, the result remains the same: tragedy. I still mourn for Nancy, I still mourn for little Daniel, whose life was cut horribly short.
And believe it or not, I mourn also for Chris. Not as a celebrity, not as a wrestler, but as a person. All I can do as I sit here is wonder just what went through his mind, what circumstances could have possibly lead this story to its horrific, mysterious conclusion. What could have been so wrong that he would do this? What one thing might have changed the course of events? What could possibly be worth this?
Life is precious, and I hate to see anyone end in such a way. I do not feel I can condemn the man without knowing what was going through his mind when he decided to do this. Clearly, there was a problem here, and I believe it may have gone deeper or further than any quick-fix answer can give us.
Without more to back it up, I do not condemn the man, but I condemn his actions. As for himself? That’s for those of a power far greater than mine to determine.
As for me, all I can do is hope that whatever demons might have plagued him in his final hours are gone, and that, in another state of existance, be it Heaven or whathaveyou, that perhaps his family are able to forgive him, and that they may all be able to rest in peace.
The truth, and how it all may end, remains to be seen.