In 2007, I was just pretty much getting my writing career going. Living through the Benoit family tragedy as a spectator and pro wrestling fan, never did I think that I’d be writing about it, but here I am, many years into my writing and journalistic career and a few times now I’ve touched on Chris Benoit.
Before I go any further if there are any that will be disturbed if any Chris Benoit praise is uttered in this article, then please stop reading now and perhaps go read something else, because this…praise for Chris Benoit…is inevitable for someone who grew up watching him.
Chris Benoit wrestled from 1985 until the time of his death in 2007. The technical side of professional wrestling…mat wrestling and aggressive athletics in the ring…that style comes from Chris Benoit in large part, and the work that he Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko put in. Anyone who knows their professional wrestling history knows that much at least.
This is why I was so shocked when I saw that Jordynne Grace had said some pretty disparaging statements online late last week about the wrestling technique of Chris Benoit. I won’t reprint Grace’s first statement here, but I will post her retraction and second statement. She stated:
“Last week I made an irresponsible and unnecessary tweet. Regardless of how many personal emotions influence my opinion, I should have recognized the impact my words would have on friends and family close to the situation. I was completely thoughtless in that regard.
Since reflecting this past week, I’ve reached out privately to friends and family that are angered and hurt.
Among those were David Benoit, Chavo Guerrero and Chris Jericho, who are supporting me in the decision to partner and fundraise with the Concussion Legacy Foundation (formerly Sports Legacy Institute). I have pledged $5,000 with the overall campaign goal being $20,000.
I’m acutely aware that the damage has been done. I would never intentionally add onto the suffering of those already dealing with such a traumatic event, and I am sorry for my insensitivity and aggravating this already delicate topic.
This is my way of attempting to squeeze something positive out of the negative situation I created. Thank you in advance to everyone who donates.
via Jordynne Grace on Twitter
Grace’s real name is of course Patricia Forrest Parker.
There are many online, who after the first statement by Grace was made, went crazy, and as always, without knowing all of the facts. First off, on a human note, no one is in a place to judge on this earth. Absolutely no one was in that house in Fayetteville, Georgia on that night.
Secondly, the loss of Daniel and Nancy Benoit and Chris is a loss and a most terrible one that is still felt to this day by so many in the industry and their respective families, and it’s bad enough that they had to deal with it then…do you think it’s easy for Chris’ parents and his siblings and his surviving children to hear all of this again? Absolutely not. Do you think a father wants to hear that his son is a monster? Absolutely not! Do you think his son David wants to hear that?
Besides…the conflicting stories that the authorities gave about the circumstances of the supposed murder/suicide are so blatantly insane; they don’t coincide with other statements given.
Steroids found on the scene, but none were in his system…the many recollections by crime scene investigators about where the bodies of Nancy and Daniel were found (a whopping 3 different locations or more were noted)…the supposed manner in which he killed himself with the lateral pulley system, which would have been impossible to execute alone…the mysterious cell phone calls and messages (some of which happened after Chris’ supposed time of death supposedly) and the list only goes on from there….
There’s a lot that still isn’t known about what transpired that night and so much more that doesn’t make a single iota of sense, but still, we can’t say for sure; none of us can, because we weren’t there. None of us.
But he may have done these things as well…as hard as that is for me to believe…a guy who was watching tapes of him wrestling in Japan as the Pegasus Kid when I was in Jr. High…somehow acquired by my buddy, Xander. As hard as it is to believe for his close friends who perhaps knew him best…. So what blame can CTE have if these acts did occur at the hands of Chris?
As far as CTE is concerned…studies have been done to show that Chris’ brain was way beyond that of an eighty year old man, and a bad off one at that. Doctors believe that he would not have done these supposed things if he didn’t have the health problems he had and had he not suffered from as many concussions as he did in his days of pro wrestling.
Nhs.uk states about CTE:
“Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive brain condition that’s thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion.
It’s particularly associated with contact sports, such as boxing or American football. Most of the available studies are based on ex-athletes.
CTE was previously known as “punch drunk” syndrome and dementia pugilistica. But these terms are no longer used because it’s now known that the condition is not limited to ex-boxers.
There’s still some debate about how common CTE is and how it should be diagnosed.
Currently, only supportive treatments are available and research is focused on finding a reliable technique to diagnose the condition.”
If you want compassion for not realizing what you do when stoned or drunk, why can’t a man who is suffering from illness have compassion?
Bringing us back to Jordynne…or rather Patricia in this case. I absolutely adore her as a wrestler. I actually compared her in-ring style to Chris Benoit when I was first started watching her a few years back ironically enough…to me that is a massive compliment. She has had an epic career thus far, and as a person, yeah, she misspoke…but whoa did she ever prove only further how great a person she is that she was able to take back what she said, apologize, connect with Chris’ son, David, and even donate to the foundation. It’s not everybody in this generation that would have the guts to do that.
Rest in peace Nancy, Daniel and Chris.
So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
“When we make judgements we’re inevitably acting on limited knowledge, isn’t it best to ask if we seek to understand, or simply let them be?”
― Jay Woodman