Which wrestling death affected you the most?

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by Radical Canadian Goose, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Radical Canadian Goose

    Radical Canadian Goose Getting Noticed By Management

    Feb 14, 2010
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    I was just reading a story about Davey Boy Smith. It got me to thinking how hard I take it when certain wrestlers pass away. Davey Boy Smith, Curt Hennig, Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, Crash Holly, gasp, Chris Benoit. All of these deaths played a toll on me as an impressionable fan.

    Owen Hart was tough because at the time he was my favourite wrestler. I remember waking up and doing some chores in the barn. My brother turned on the radio, and bam, the first thing we heard was Owen Harts death. I was devastated. I remember later that morning at the bus stop popping a kid in the face for making fun of Owen.

    Chris Benoit was a tough one because of the circumstances involved. I choose not to elaborate, other than to say the fact that this death made me realize the serious effects of drugs and mental issues involved with taking steroids

    However for whatever reason Davey Boy Smith, played the hardest on me. I was always fascinated by the British Bulldog(s). Davey and his physique in particular fascinated me. I remember reading as a kid ( I could be wrong) that he beat up someone in a bar for calling wrestling fake. As years went on, I knew he was roided, but didn't care. I absolutely enjoyed Davey Boy Smith.

    For me Davey Boy Smith played the hardest on me. Which wrestling death played the hardest on you. Please, let's try not to make this a Benoit thread, if possible
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  2. TheICChampion

    TheICChampion The hardcore casual fan

    Mar 6, 2014
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    Latino Heat Eddie Guerrero. I remember I was in school and I heard this guy behind me saying Eddie Guerrero had died and I was like "Nah, no way that's true". Then of course I saw RAW that night and I remember legit crying or at least pretty damn close. It's always a shocker when you see a superstar on TV and then they're dead soon after. Ultimate Warrior, now that was something I didn't see coming, and it was almost spooky when you consider that promo he cut on RAW and died the next day. If I didn't know better I'd think he knew he was going to die soon.
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    L@RISANO R.I.P Mustang Sally :( :( :(

    Nov 27, 2013
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    It was a huge shock at a time when I used to be purely casual and watched both RAW and SD! regularly.

    Shortly after, I took a long long break. Not neccessarily cuz of Eddie's death, but it did play a role in me and many of my friends moving on.
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  4. rmp0012002

    rmp0012002 Championship Contender

    Dec 19, 2014
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    Warrior. He along with his family was at the highest point of his career and he died the next day. His father and grandfather both died of the same heart condition at the same age so I believe he knew he was nearing the end. You could tell by how he walked that he was not well but his strirring promo on Raw was classic.
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  5. Mustang Sally

    Mustang Sally Sells seashells by the seashore

    Nov 12, 2008
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    His death bothered me a lot, more for the lessons to be learned about treating our bodies well than for the man himself. For the latter, I felt worse for the wife & kids he left behind.

    But when I read about Eddie, I remembered him being kicked out of WWE for awhile when he couldn't control his substance abuse ways. Then, after "recovering" and getting the crap out of his system, one figures (and he probably figured): "Great! I'm done with this stuff forever. I can get my job & family back and everything will be fine."......and for awhile, it was.

    In the end, though, he couldn't undo the damage he had already done. It should be a lesson to all folks who abuse substances and say: "I can quit any time I want."

    The point is, maybe you can quit, but it doesn't guarantee the damage you did might not catch up with you somewhere down the line.


    My second choice was Elizabeth. When I first saw her on WWE TV, I was about 7....and Liz was my idol, she really was. Such grace and class even while hanging out with a bunch of behemoths while never losing her grace, charm and innocence.

    Yet, even while we don't know what went into a death that some called a combination of accidental overdose with suicide, I thought of other tales I've read of aging divas. Here was Elizabeth at 42, her youth and beauty undoubtedly on the decline, perhaps unable to score any of the prime "damsel in distress" roles that were offered her 10-15 years earlier. By most measures, I'm sure she was still a beautiful woman.....but by show business standards, she could have been regarded as over the hill.

    I hope it wasn't despair over these things that killed her, but whatever it was, I felt bad when reading about it.
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  6. OYDK

    OYDK King Of The Ring

    Feb 19, 2014
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    Gotta be a tie between Eddie and Owen for me. I think the only two times I legitimately cried while watching a WWE show was those two tribute shows. Both of them were such mainstays in the WWE, it was hard to imagine a WWE without them, and all of the sudden they were both just gone. I think the shock-factor is what made it tough for me... not to mention that I had followed their careers from the start and they were two of my favorites at the times that they passed.

    I think the scale of tragedy of those two added to my feelings as well.
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  7. Hollywood Naitch

    Hollywood Naitch The current reigning and defending

    May 27, 2010
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    Of all time? Probably Eddie Guerrero. There was someone who was a good person, a great family man and an inspirational story of how someone can overcome addiction and abuse to rise to the top of their profession, doing what no-one would have expected. For that to be taken away from Eddie at such a young age is heartbreaking. I didn't cry but was very upset when I saw the news on Sky Sports, I remember just sitting there silently for a long time afterwards thinking about how awful it was.

    Also, I'd say Mike Awesome and Sean O'Haire. Both commited suicide which is awful in itself and shows what a terrible mental state both must have been in. It saddens me as well as a fan because of how these 2 men had all th physical gifts in the world and should have accomplished more than they did, but weren't given the opportunities they deserved. I was a big fan of their work, still am today and for them never to become the mega stars they should have been, and then take their own lives at no age at all, is extremely sad.

    R.I.P to Eddie, Mike and Sean.
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  8. Vader

    Vader Pre-Show Stalwart

    Dec 12, 2014
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    I'd say either Owen Hart or Benoit.

    I was a very big fan of both these guys as a kid and always thought they were great in the ring despite being stuck in the midcard. Owen's death was extremely untimely and a freak occurrence on a career that held more potential.

    I was a huge Benoit fan as well. I was always Benoit as a kid during our backyard wrestling matches. Benoit's death was a shocker as a fan of him. At the time everyone's reaction was remorseful until the shock sank in once everyone found out what a heinous act he committed.
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  9. Just Do It

    Just Do It Getting Noticed By Management

    May 15, 2007
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    The Chris Benoit one still blows my mind to think about. It was so sad and tragic one so many levels: perhaps the most complex also and we will never really know what happened.

    Sadly we know what happened with Owen hart which stings because my all accounts he was a great person and a great family man above his in ring skills.
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  10. Really?

    Really? Pre-Show Stalwart

    Dec 24, 2014
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    There are two: Davey Boy Smith and Chris Benoit

    In the case of Davey, I saw his last match. It was a tag match with his son. It was great to see him work again.

    In terms of Benoit, I had met and him back when he first signed with WCW. He blew through town with Edge and Jericho. He was a good dude who I kept in touch with off and on over the years. Whenever he'd come through town, the same group that we were with that night would typically get together. I sent him a message right after Mania 20 and then again after Summerslam. I never heard from him after September that year. It is tough to understand or believe that the man that I'd met, communicated and been acquainted with could have done such unspeakable things.
  11. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

    May 8, 2012
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    As a Brit I have to admit that Daveys passing at the age of 39 was a difficult one.
    When WWE made huge waves in he UK in 1991-92 Davey was a household name in the UK, particularly the time of SummerSlam '92.

    However Randy Savage passing away in 2011 was upsetting. Honestly felt like a part of my childhood died too. My brother texted me the news when I was out I drinking in a bar, and I was literally frozen in the spot in disbelief.
  12. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

    May 8, 2012
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    Gorilla Monsoon is another that springs to mind. Though I wasn't around to see his in ring career.... as a kid growing up, Gorilla was of course, the lead play by play commentator for the WWF, as was synonymous with the product during the WWE mass expansion period, and then into the mid 90s.

    It was sad seeing how frail and cancer stricken he was at WM15, though the pop he received was just as big the pop Austin got winning the title.
    It wasn't a shock to hear of his passing, but still very sad all the same.
  13. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

    Sep 30, 2011
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    Guerrero and Benoit really caught me of guard mainly due to how much of a fan I was of theirs. But I think the one that had the biggest affect on me was Andre the Giant. This guy was a legend, and he was one of the first wrestlers I was exposed to as a kid. I was in junior high when he passed back in '93, and I was deeply saddened when my mother told me of his passing and seeing it in the news. I'm aware that his lifelong condition was a huge factor, but Andre was an imprint in memories and he was definitely one of the stars that made me a wrestling fan to this day. I still miss him.
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  14. Logisticalbooker86

    Logisticalbooker86 Pre-Show Stalwart

    Jan 24, 2014
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    The saddest one is a tie between Eddie and Owen for me. Eddie because he was at the peak of his popularity. Owen because it was so easily preventable. (That comment is not meant to blame Vince Russo) it is heinous the way some people in wrestling circles blame him for the death of Owen Hart.

    The one I never dealt with', truly dealt with, was Chris Benoit. I think if I had, it would've destroyed my passion for professional wrestling. The tribute show 24 hours before the truth hit is haunting, the tribute video makes my skin crawl to the point that I still remember the tribute song.

    Chris Benoit should never be forgiven for what he did., but it is so utterly depressing that I feel sorry for the Benoit family, and even a little for him even though I hope he rots.

    To this day I miss Eddie Guerrero.

    Before I close the door on this. Curt Hennig was another favorite who had a depressing end. I wish he'd had a chance to be the PERFECT WWF champion.
  15. dd23beatlesfan1

    dd23beatlesfan1 Getting Noticed By Management

    Aug 27, 2007
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    I'd say the top two for me would be Randy Savage and Chris Benoit, with Ultimate Warrior and Eddie Guerrero being the next two.

    The Benoit situation was the most bizarre and unfortunate wrestling death, certainly of the modern era. It was so tragic as not only were three lives lost senselessly, but the career of one of the greatest workers of all-time was basically pushed away never to be revisited again. It made things very challenging for anyone that was a Benoit fan (including myself of course). Here was a guy whom we respected, admired, and loved for how great he was at his profession and for all the enjoyment, excitement, great moments he provided us. But at the same time he committed the absolute worst crime a human being could possibly commit. Your first instinct is to absolutely loathe and hate the guy for what he did, but again, up to that moment he was amazing. There's a serious conflict of interest there that's difficult for any fan to deal with really. Even almost 10 years later, anyone that praises Benoit is vilified by other fans for even praising the guy, when really no one should fault them for it. It's like turning your back on a family member that commits a crime, you don't want to because you love them, but at the same your horrified by what they did. Imagine someone like Tom Hanks or Michael Jordan doing the same thing. As a human being you'd hate and loathe them, but at the same time how could you forget Jordan's status as the greatest basketball player ever, or the many classic movies that Tom Hanks has starred in. Thankfully fans of those people don't have to worry about living with that conflict. Chris Benoit and wrestling fans have to live with that conflict every day. Wrestling hasn't been the same for many wrestling fans since that day. Honestly, my interest in wrestling was starting to fade by the time the Benoit situation happened, but it took a steep nosedive right after that.

    As much as the Benoit tragedy affected me, I don't think even that topped the death of the Macho Man for me. Macho Man's passing was much more normal, not near as complex a situation, and considering how many of his peers suffered the same or a similar fate, it shouldn't have been all that surprising. But Savage's death, more than any other wrestling death made more sad than any, and to this day is one of the few I'm still not really over. The one thing similar to the Benoit situation is that it left us with so many what if's and potential that was never realized. Obviously Savage's wrestling career was over. We weren't gonna get any more five star classics or anything. He was not a wrestler like Eddie Guerrero or Brian Pillman or Gino Hernandez that were cut down in the prime of their careers. But Savage ultimately became a recluse from the wrestling industry, and he died that way. He's the one legend that never returned, that never reunited with WWE, the one that we never got to see ever again. And it's really distressing to me, because Savage was one of my favorites as a kid, and such a huge part of my childhood. That's the other thing that bothered me about it so much. His death really hit close to home for me as it was a big reminder that my childhood was long gone. He also happened to pass away within a day or two of my cat that I had since I was 5 or 6 years old. So over that weekend in May 2011, I had one of my favorite wrestlers as a child and my cat that had been around for 3/4 of my life to that point pass away within a day or two of each other. That was two big punches to me in regards to my childhood.

    A lot of people constantly talk about how people don't realize what they have until it's gone, and in Savage's case that was true for me. He was always one of my favorites, but it wasn't until he passed away that I realized how much I loved the guy as a performer. I'm probably even more of a Randy Savage fan now than I was as a kid.

    So I'd say those two hit me the hardest of anyone.


    Eddie Guerrero: A wrestler right in his prime cut down. Very sad, and was kind of the beginning of the end of my interest as a fan. 1991-2005 was when I'd say I watched all the time and wouldn't miss it for nothing. 10 years later, I barely watch.

    Owen Hart: A true shock to the system, and a tragic event that should've never happened.

    Bam Bam Bigelow: One of my absolute favorites as a kid, and the first heel wrestler I ever liked. So this one was a bit more personal to me than for others I imagine

    Ultimate Warrior: Another big part of my childhood gone, and also besides Benoit, the most bizarre wrestling death of the modern era. Merely for the timing of it.

    Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig: Another one of my favorites, and one that should've never happened either. A cocaine overdose? He should still be around.
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  16. Wolf Pac

    Wolf Pac Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Sep 22, 2010
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    Owen Hart. I grew up watching him, he was one of my favourite wrestlers as a kid, and from all the stories you hear about him, he was a great guy in real life, funny, and a family man. Nobody has ever had a bad thing to say about him, everybody loved him from his fans, his colleagues to his family. He wanted to get out of the wrestling business, buy a big house for his family and spend all of his time with them, and it's a real shame he never got to do that.

    Also, Eddie Guerrero and Mike Awesome. I found out about Eddie's death at school, I looked it up on WWE.com and when I saw his death was reported on the main page, I yelled out "EDDIE's DEAD!" and the whole classroom just stared at me like I was nuts. Awesome was another one of my favourite wrestlers, he was extremely underrated by WWE and WCW, he should've been a big star in both companies. I hate how they used him and I hate how Paul Heyman and Joey Styles labeled him as a Judas when if you hear Awesome's side of that story, he's completely justified in that situation. He had a family to feed. I'm just glad before he passed away that he redeemed his wrestling career in that incredible match with Masato Tanaka at ECW One Night Stand and he went out with a bang. No one would've wanted their last memory of Mike Awesome to be those awful WCW & WWE runs he had. I was absolutely gutted when I found out Awesome had taken his own life.

    R.I.P Owen, Eddie & Mike.
  17. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

    Oct 28, 2009
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    Owen and Eddie, almost equally.

    With Owen, having grown up such a Hart fanatic, he was the only real anchor keeping me attached to WWE by the time Bret had left for WCW. I didn't make it ten minutes into the tribute RAW episode that night before I was a puddle of tears. I still can't go back and watch any of those clips, especially Jeff Jarrett's segment, without welling up.

    The same goes for Guerrero. I was actually coming back to WWE at the time, being in college with a friend who wanted to give them a second shot. I was at his place watching that episode, and it was the same effect as Owen. A puddle of tears every five minutes when the next interview went up. When Benoit broke down the way he did on air, I had to get up and leave. Totally heart-breaking.
  18. MMK

    MMK Getting Noticed By Management

    Jul 16, 2010
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    Owen Hart

    Owen's death brought out so many more emotions than the typical death. Usually it's drug related. Not the case with Owen. It was just a dumb stunt gone wrong that he should never have been asked to do. A lot of wrestlers choose their own fate when they abuse steroids, painkillers, etc, but that wasn't the case with Owen at all.

    It wasn't just sad and tragic, it was also maddening and infuriating that the show kept going after his death. They've tried to justify it for years with revisionist history but there was NO justifiable reason to keep that show going. Especially considering it was the attitude era and a lot of the matches, storylines and characters were in poor taste. Even the tribute the following night was in very poor taste. And on top of everything else the Harts had been through with Vince McMahon in years prior, this was just the ultimate kick in the face.

    Benoit's death didn't shock me. The roids, the painkillers, and the effect Eddies death had on him were all obvious warning signs. What did shock me was that he killed his wife and son. Still aren't 100% sure why, but wrestling injuries could be partially if not totally to blame.

    Brian Pillman's death also affected me. It was the first time I had heard of a wrestler's death live on the air. It was just before the Badd Blood PPV aired. It overshadowed the entire event.

    First wrestler death I can recall hearing about was either Texas Tornado or Dino Bravo. Both around the same time. Bravo's murder was especially shocking.

    But nothing compares to Owen's.
  19. KettleFace

    KettleFace Occasional Pre-Show

    Nov 23, 2010
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    As a 10 year old boy watching the tribute show I don't think I've ever been more emotional when watching professional wrestling. I often recall to my friends about how my first ever wrestling memory was seeing Eddie go to the top rope and frog splash Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship. There are so many fond and great memories of him and I'll never forget the effect he had on both myself and professional wrestling as a whole.
  20. FlairFan2003

    FlairFan2003 Mid-Card Championship Winner

    May 1, 2007
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    Benoit was an unforeseen tragedy that cost three lives, one of them a child. Unfortunately that crime, while not in a WWE ring, will always haunt WWE and the reputation of Pro Wrestling In General.

    Kerry Von Erich: Watching him in his heyday against Ric Flair this guy looked like a Million Bucks.....he was so much more athletic and crisp than Lex Luger ever was, had a much more likeable charisma than Savage ever had, much better physique and stature than Steamboat or Magnum TA had.....he was the real "Total Package" but a lifetime of drug & alcohol abuse and the lingering effects of his near fatal motorcycle crash took their toll....his suicide was a shock, but in hindsight it shouldn't have been, still tragic.

    Bruiser Brody: This one more than anything showed just how REAL fake wrestling could get, in a world with drugs and money that was largely un regulated run by self serving promoters employing out for themselves independent contractors. Brutal, and a total shock, it exposed a seedy underside to the business that wasn't shown much in the mainstream press at time when everyone had glossy impressions of the Disney World Land of WWE and hard working athletes of the NWA as seen on national TV each week.

    Owen Hart was also unusual in that it was an in ring death.....he was performing a stunt for a live broadcast that had been done hundreds of times before without incident but..... This was the first time in the national expansion era someone actually died in an in ring related incident and hopefully the only and last time.

    Dino Bravo: Never knew he had criminal connections and certainly never expected he would be shot to death. Smuggling, possible mob ties (or crossing the mob...)....definitely one of those stories like The Von Erich suicides and overdoses that wrestling would like to forget.
  21. suleman09

    suleman09 Pre-Show Stalwart

    Feb 26, 2009
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    Eddie Guerrero. I was 15 and he was my favorite at the time and I had just met him like 2 months before he passed and I was so excited that I met him. I was at school and my friend told me that Eddie had passed and I legit got mad because I thought he was joking and I was like "are you seriously joking about something like that!?!?" but then I watched raw that night and legit cried
  22. SJ5522

    SJ5522 Pre-Show Stalwart

    May 8, 2015
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    found out about Eddie and Benoit via thread titles on forums.
    I was sat alone at the PC for both of them and had pretty much the same reaction "What?! Oh my god, no!", then I will have clicked the threads and read about it. Eddie had me in tears for a good portion of the rest of the day and the Raw tribute was extremely emotional.
    As for Benoit, well of course, my mouth was left wide open, I couldn't believe what I was reading when it started to come out
    One screenshot from wrestling history that will never leave my mind's eye is Benoit's face on the Guerrero Raw tribute, ever since I found out about Benoit. Of course they got the entire roster out on the ramp for the start of the show and there were tons of wrestlers crying, but something about seeing Benoit like that, that was different to seeing Big Show, Rey & even Chavo cry. I never viewed his intensity in the same way again, I don't think hardly anybody did or could.
  23. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

    Jun 2, 2006
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    After a while you got so "numb" to wrestler deaths that none really surprised.

    To be honest the one that still "gets me" today though is Brian Pillman.

    A lot of it is to do with his story prior to the ring, as a kid with a serious health condition, a lot of physical stuff was considered "off limits" to me or people would wrap me in cotton wool. When Pillman came along in WCW initially I was just getting into wrestling seriously, and knowing he had not only overcome illness but also played in the NFL and was now a wrestler gave me a lot of hope... I hit the gym, worked hard and managed a good period in the ring myself, despite being told I couldn't.

    Then the Blondes came right when I was finding my own way in the world and it taught me a lot about how not to take shit... when Pillman "exploded" as the Loose Cannon it iced the cake and to this day he is still my fave in history.

    Then he was going to WWE, then the crash...

    Another lesson learned... call a cab, don't drive... even if you're not drunk and just tired... Brian made WWE TV must see for a real short period, then he was gone... tuned in for the PPV and... gone... it was the first one "on WWE's watch" and still the hardest. You could see the shock in Vince's face mirrored our own.

    Owens' was different, you knew that was an accident, not a guy who had fought all the odds, even that horrific foot injury to at least try to wrestle again...and boom gone...

    Each successive death just desensitised me more... Benoit was moderately shocking cos it's nature, but it was a matter of time till some wrestler killed someone... just happened to be him.
  24. Kashagi

    Kashagi The

    Oct 31, 2008
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    I watched wrestling regularly from 2001-2007. Nowadays I only really follow the news and watch the major shows. During the time I watched though, I had two favourite wrestlers. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit.

    My happiest wrestling related memory once was Wrestlemania XX, I had just started high school (12 years old) and was a shy kid who struggled to fit in for some time. That said, Wrestlemania XX was the first pay per view I was allowed to buy and watch live, rather then on DVD's later. I remember absolutely hating Triple H and how he always managed to be holding the belt. In all honesty I wanted Benoit to win, but deep down I believed Triple H was going to win like he always did.

    Sure enough, what seemed impossible happened and the image of Benoit holding the belt at last, with Eddie and his family became my favourite moment in wrestling for years to come.

    How that image was ruined.

    I was saddened by Eddies death but absolutely dumbstruck when I found out Benoit had been found dead. I remember how the news slowly trailed in, at first seeming like idiots stirring people up, and then slowly but surely the truth emerged. We never saw the tribute show in Australia, all I remember is Vince McMahon explaining that Chris Benoit would never be mentioned on programming again.

    Frankly, I couldn't watch wrestling after that, not for a few years at least, and I don't think I'll ever love it like I did. I admit part of that is growing up, but I don't doubt what Benoit did had a huge part in that.

    So Chris Benoit has to be my answer. To know that a man I once looked up to as a hero when I was a kid, ended up doing what he did.. I can't respect the man anymore, or watch any of his matches. It's not right, that image is absolutely shattered forever.
  25. MKick

    MKick Dark Match Jobber

    May 11, 2015
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    Far and above Benoit had the biggest impact. He was probably my favorite wrestler at the time, but that wasn't why it hit so hard. The gravity of the situation still weighs heavily today. From a personal standpoint, it caused deep reflection on mental health issues, which was useful with family many years later. It affected WWE in that they instituted the wellness policy, and began taking concussions very seriously. Even now, the WWE tries to blank out a section of wrestling history.

    It was such a terrible situation, and that had a profound impact. His actions, and death have far reaching implications that affect us all today. At the same time though it ended being a catalyst for some really good things.

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