Chris Benoit was one of the greatest wrestlers ever to set foot in the squared circle. WWE regarded The Rabid Wolverine as a benchmark for in-ring prowess. One of the toughest wrestlers in the business, Chris Benoit brought an energy to the table that no other performer could match.
Even though he was an average talker, he would steal the show with his in-ring performances. Often compared to his wrestling idol, The Dynamite Kid, Chris Benoit often took risks by taking dangerous bumps and hurting himself in every match.
His brilliance in the ring was eclipsed by his heinous crimes in June 2007, when he killed his wife and son before killing himself. The tragedy in June 2007 irreparably damaged the family’s reputation and is frequently recognized as one of the most tragic chapters in pro wrestling history. What led Benoit to act in the manner he did remains a mystery to this day. CTE, steroid abuse, and alcoholism have all been proposed as possible causes, but no one will ever know.
The tragedy led WWE to make major decisions regarding the safety of their talents. Wrestlers were encouraged to play safe in the ring, and chair shots to the head were banned. Bloody content was toned down after a few months, and WWE eventually adopted its current TV-PG rating.
WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg, though, doesn’t feel that the Chris Benoit tragedy affected the wrestling business. During a recent episode of the Oh…You Didn’t Know podcast, he noted that the tragedy made the environment safer, but it’s not like the terrible thing had to occur in order for these steps to be implemented.
“I don’t wanna comment too much on this, but I don’t think it changed — what did it have to do with wrestling? ……It made the culture, or the environment safer. Look, I’m not saying that this horrible incident had to happen so that this could be better, but something positive did come out of it, and I’m so sorry to everybody involved and can’t even fathom the feelings of the family members.”
WWE Hall of Famer says Chris Benoit was the finest in-ring performer
During the early 2000s, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle feuded against each other numerous times. The two feuded against each other for the Intercontinental Championship in the year 2000. The Rabid Wolverine managed to win the IC title in a two-fall Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 2000. Angle was defending his Intercontinental as well as his European championships at the event. Benoit won the IC title, whereas Chris Jericho won the European Championship.
Benoit and Angle also feuded in a non-title rivalry, with their 2001 steel cage bout on RAW being one of the best steel cage matches of all time. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle’s rivalry in 2003 was a treat for all the wrestling fans.
Their rivalry put on some incredible matches, with their match at the 2003 Royal Rumble being regarded as one of the greatest Royal Rumble matches of all time. The match was an exhibition of athleticism and physical toughness, with neither superstar willing to give up. Angle won the match via submission, but Rabid Wolverine earned the respect of the WWE Universe and was subsequently viewed as a main-eventer.
During an episode of The Kurt Angle Show in 2021, the Olympic Gold Medalist declared Chris Benoit to be the greatest in-ring performer of all time. Angle praised the Rabid Wolverine’s intensity and in-ring technicality, calling him the best in-ring performer he has ever been in the ring with.
“Number one. Yes. He is above everybody. If you’re talking about just in-ring, performing, as a technician, a wrestler, a performer, Chris Benoit is at the top. He is #1 on the chart, always will be. I never faced a guy that intense, that technically sound, and that explosive in my life. He is, without a doubt, the best in-ring performer I’ve ever been in the ring with.”
Kurt Angle’s most recent appearance in the WWE was on the December 9th edition of SmackDown. The WWE Hall of Famer celebrated his 54th birthday. He even reenacted his famous milk truck segment from 2001 by spraying milk on The Alpha Academy.
Rahul has been a wrestling fanatic since he was 9 years old. His earliest memories of wrestling are from the attitude era. The passion of watching WWE drive him to pursue content writing. Rahul's favorite wrestlers are Bret Hart, Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho. He is also an ardent devotee of Indian cricket team and a Cinephile.
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