Chris Benoit Dead: McMahon “Death” Storyline Ends Maybe there is something to the idea of “fooling death”, although the saying was not intended for how Professional Wrestling icon Vince McMahon is doing it. Following an elaborate “hoax” where McMahon allegedly faked his own death comes word that Professional Wrestler Chris Benoit has passed away.
The “death hoax” has already received a degree of backlash since it was conceived just prior to the sudden death of popular professional women’s wrestler, Sherri Martel. Autopsy reports concluded that Ms. Martel did not die of natural causes, however, foul play was not suspected.
McMahon’s camp was quick to end the “Vince McMahon is Dead” storyline on Monday.
Now comes word that Professional Wrestler Chris Benoit is dead and this one is especially alarming.
Wrestling star Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and their 7-year-old son Daniel were found dead in their suburban Atlanta home Monday. Authorities are investigating the deaths as homicides.
Benoit, 40, was scheduled to spar against C.M. Punk in a pay-per-view event Sunday night in Houston for the Extreme Champion Wrestling title. But Benoit canceled before the event, citing personal reasons.
Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department told ABC News that Benoit had missed several appointments over the weekend, leading concerned parties to ask police to do a “welfare check.”
When sheriffs arrived at the Benoit home, they found the wrestler, his wife, and their son dead.
There was no sign of gunshot wounds or stabbing, according to Pope. But they are not ruling out other causes, such as poisoning, suffocation, or strangulation. Pope noted he was not confirming any of these causes — just not ruling them out at this time.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. However, it could be weeks before there is a result.
Following the announcement of the discovery, World Wrestling Entertainment issued a statement: “Chris was beloved among his fellow superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and towards his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss. WWE extends its sincere condolences and prayers to the Benoit family and loved ones in this time of tragedy.”
WWE announced that it would drop its planned line-up on the USA Network to air a three-hour tribute to Benoit.
Two weeks ago, a WWE storyline had Chairman Vince McMahon step into a limo and presumably get blown up though the story was quickly deemed a “hoax” by mainstream media (not necessarily so by the Professional Wrestling circuit).
Considering the recent demise of WWE Superstar Chris Benoit and his family, and the live showing of McMahon in the empty arena of the canceled June 25th, 2007 edition of RAW, McMahon appeared Monday to break the news, thus ending the “Vince McMahon is dead” storyline.
WWE canceled the scheduled three hour long live RAW show on June 25, and replaced the broadcast version with a tribute to his life and career, featuring his past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks DVD and comments from wrestlers and announcers.
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com
Originally published June 25, 2007 10:45 pm ET
WWE wrestler Chris Benoit and family found dead
BY ALFONSO A. CASTILLO
June 25, 2007, 8:58 PM EDT
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 and are considering the possibility of a murder-suicide, where Benoit killed his family over the weekend and himself on Monday. The three bodies were found in different rooms of the home, according to reports.
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 Monday 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.”