It started two days prior to the announcement for me. Chris & I had our tights done by Rick Michaels. Rick had given a new pair of trunks I had made to Benoit to give to me. Chris was supposed to give those to me at the show we were going to do in Canada. When I got to the arena I was looking for him so I could grab my trunks. No Benoit!
We were under the impression that his kid was sick. Chris was 100% dedicated to wrestling, so it was odd that he would not come, but understandable if his son was ill. The next night was a pay-per view, and still no Benoit. Very odd. Chris Benoit would never miss a big pay-per view, so we figured it might be serious. Vince decided to put the bell on Morrison in light of Benoit’s absence, which I thought was awesome since he was a close friend of mine.
RAW the following day…
The next day at RAW TV there was a buzz going around about some odd text messages Chris had sent to Chavo Guerrero and one of the ECW referees. We were preparing for the funeral of Vince that was set to be the primary focus of the show. We all were asked to bring black suits for the supposed death of Vince McMahon. It was around 2:00pm when they gathered everyone ringside. We had no idea what was going on. Just figured it was a meeting just like any other we have had regarding the product and agents giving a refresher regarding dos & don’ts. The first thing I noticed was Randy Orton break out in tears after speaking with Michael Hayes. From there it was a chain reaction of tears, shock, and disbelieve amongst the whole roster. There were no details given about the cause.
My first reaction was exactly what had happened. I mean how many different scenarios can there be: either home invasion or Chris snapping! To be perfectly honest, I respected the hell out of Chris Benoit for being the man that he was but there was always an intense energy coming from him every time I shook his hand. It made for sometimes short and awkward conversations. Not many others shared my thoughts on the possibility of a double murder/suicide. The rest of the day was a daze for me. I stayed to watch some of the tribute show, and then signed autographs for all the fans waiting outside.
I woke up the next morning to a nightmare I had of Chris stabbing his wife. I laid there and stared at the ceiling, hoping and praying that he wasn’t responsible for what had happened. I called up Big Daddy V to find out details and news of what was going on. He asked me if I had watched the news yet. I told him I had just woken up to a horrible nightmare. Big V confirmed that nightmare. He told me double murder/suicide at which point my stomach dropped and my hard was beating so fast…It was an indescribable feeling!
We were set to shoot Smackdown that night. It was tentatively set to be matches in honor of Chris, but I knew in my mind I wanted no part of that. I got a call at noon from the office telling me that Vince was having a meeting with all the boys at 1pm. I showed up to the meeting and in light of us discovering the details of what had happened, Vince stated that we would not be doing a tribute show to Chris. Our focus for that night was to go out there, wrestle, and put smiles of peoples faces because that’s what we do. We had to move forward!
A couple of hours later, we were all in catering and the news was on. We all watched as everyone was discussing what had happened and if it was steroids or what the cause was. We were all glued to the TV. Apparently we were all the primary focus on the news because of the unfortunate circumstances.
The big question on a lot of people’s minds was did WWE have any knowledge of what had happened when they ran the tribute show the first night. Some say yes, most of us don’t know; however, I believe that if Vince or the office was aware of the situation, they wouldn’t have ran the show that night! When Vince had the meeting with us earlier that day, he had a completely different energy than the night before on RAW. He was definitely very upset about the whole situation!
People have asked me if I think Chris Benoit should be inducted in the Hall of Fame. There’s no denying who he was and how much he contributed to the business, but it’s hard to imagine praising someone for their acolytes in the ring when that person has committed such a horrible and incomprehensible act! Lets be honest, it would be very awkward and disturbing for all to watch a tribute show and applaud a man knowing that he had killed his wife and 8yr old child!
I’m wrapping up for today, but all you WrestleZone .com marks are welcome to checkout my myspace for any questions or to check out where I’ll be next… www.myspace.com/chrismordetzky
See you all next time,