Benoit-Larry King Live – Must Read Recap

Ryan Clark


Larry King Live focused completely on the Chris Benoit tragedy and the pro-wrestling industry tonight. John Cena and Chris Jericho were live in-studio guests while Bret Hart was a guest via satellite.



– They talked about why Chris Benoit would do this type of thing. Jericho talked about how Benoit had a “heart of gold” and said that people described him as a “man’s man” and continued to express his shock and confusion over why Benoit would do it. Bret Hart said that he heard about the incident from Carl DeMarco who heads WWE Canada. He also talked about how he was shocked at the incident, stating that Benoit was cool, calm, and relaxed and said Benoit would be one of the last guys in the world he’d expect this from.

– Larry asked Bret if he knew anything about Benoit’s relationship with his wife and son. Bret said he didn’t and that he hadn’t been too in touch with Benoit since he retired from wrestling back in 2000. Bret again said that Benoit was a leader and was very loved by everybody.

– John Cena backed up what Bret Hart said. He called Benoit a big brother and a mentor and one of the best wrestlers in the industry.

– Jericho called Benoit the Michael Jordan of wrestling and credited Benoit with changing the style of American wrestling in many ways.

– Jericho said that Benoit idolized Daniel and his other kids and that he talked about them all the time. He even said that if he needed to leave his kids with someone, he’d leave them with Benoit and that’s why all of this is so shocking.

– Larry asked about Daniel’s mental status. Jericho said that he heard about Daniel having Fragile X right after the tragedy and said that the symptoms of the disease did fit Daniel but that he wasn’t sure if the Fragile X stuff was true or if Daniel was just shy like his dad.

– They ran a clip which mentioned how wrestlers are so much more likely to due than football players.

– Larry King mentioned how wrestlers are tremendous athletes even though it’s all a show. Jericho said that people may not understand how hard it is to be a wrestler.

– Larry asked for details on how wrestling works. Jericho called it “show business with an athletic edge.”

– Cena said it’s an athletic form of entertainment.

– The topic shifted to steroids. Larry played a clip from when Hulk Hogan was on the show in 2000. Hogan said that steroids and drugs do exist in wrestling and that drugs are available and guys often need them to deal with the pain of the business.

– Larry asked Bret if he thinks drugs and steroids have anything to do with the Benoit situation. Bret said that until someone can prove that was the case, he won’t point the finger to steroids. He said that WWE has a drug test in place and that Benoit passed. Bret seemed to downplay the role of steroids, saying most of the guns may be on growth hormone.

– Cena said that there is no proven knowledge of wrestlers lashing out due to steroids. He said that Benoit’s actions took place over a weekend and that it wasn’t a roid rage case. Cena blamed the media and said that it’s not right to blame WWE for this.

– Jericho said that steroids are not like PCP. You don’t get rage the second after you take them. He then brought up how caffeine addiction can also lead to all kinds of mental changes and that nobody would believe caffeine could cause rage or this type of incident even though the symptoms indicate that they could.

– A clip was played of Konnan talking about wrestlers needing drugs, Lex Luger talking about the deaths in wrestling, and Bruno Sammartino talking about drugs and deaths.

– Ted Dibiase and Steve Blackman both joined the show.

– Dibiase called the Benoit tragedy “baffling” and a “stand up guy.” He said that everybody respected Benoit and that Benoit often went home to visit his family even when it made his traveling much more difficult and longer.

– Blackman also painted Benoit as a positive light. Larry asked for a negative about Benoit and Blackman didn’t have any.

– Jericho said his only negative might have been that he was quiet and that if he didn’t want to talk, he wouldn’t.

– Dibiase said that Benoit might have had a moment of rage where he killed his wife and that his state of mind may have led to Daniel’s killing being a mercy killing.

– Blackman said that Benoit had a great relationship with Daniel and his entire family.

– Larry read an email asking if WWE provides counseling services for its talent.

– Bret said they didn’t when he was there.

– Cena said that they do and that throughout this Benoit tragedy, they have had grief counselors coming in to help the talent.

– Cena mentioned how WWE canceled the live RAW show following the Benoit death out of respect to the feelings of the talent.

– They briefly discussed the funeral plans for Nancy and Daniel.

– Larry asked if Benoit ever said anything about problems with Nancy or Daniel.

– Jericho said that it was all normal stuff and that Benoit had loved his wife.

– Jericho said how Benoit would always go for the Make A Wish Foundation and that Benoit would put so much time into helping disabled children.

– Dibiase said that he had seen Benoit treating children and fans very well, more so than most.

– A clip was shown of CM Punk calling Benoit his hero, Steve Austin saying Benoit always gave 120%, John Cena saying he lived for the business, and Stephanie McMahon saying he was passionate for wrestling and for his family.

– The topic turned to Dr. Phil Astin.

– Dr. Astin’s lawyer came on and said that the entire case has been blown out of proportion and there is no proof that Astin did anything wrong in relating to Chris Benoit. He emphasized that there is no link between Astin and Benoit.

– Larry asked the wrestlers if this story will go anywhere in relation to steroids.

– Blackman said that this story is bigger than most but that he has never seen anything like roid rage.

– Cena said that this is a case of the media wanting to blame something.

– Jericho backed up what Cena said.

– Dibiase said that the wrestlers who died young died from drugs and alcohol, not steroids.

– Larry read an email asking if WWE promoted big guys more than small guys.

– Cena said that WWE is bias to entertainers and if you can entertain, you will get a chance.

– Jericho said that he was a small man in a big man’s business. He said he used his brains and charisma to be successful.

– Larry asked Bret if he soured on wrestling after Owen Hart died. Bret said he did in many ways but that he is still connected to wrestling and cares about the people in it. Bret described wrestling as figure skating because it took two wrestlers working together to make each other. Bret talked about the professional code of wrestling.

– Blackman said that fans know that wrestling is entertainment and a show.

– Jericho said that fans get lost in wrestling just like they do in Die Hard. He also expanded on Bret’s figure skating analogy, saying it’s two entertainers putting on a show.

– Dibiase said you make it as real as possible for the fans, even though they know it’s not real.

– Larry pointed out how Blackman’s wrestling name was “The Lethal Weapon.”

– A clip was shown of the DEA raiding Dr. Phil Astin’s office.

– A caller asked what the wrestlers as role models have to say right now.

– Bret said to watch John Cena.

– Jericho said that wrestlers put smiles on the faces of millions each week. He said that it’s like blaming pro-football players during the OJ Simpson situation.

– Scott Ballard, Fatette County District Attorney, came on and said that it still looks like a double murder-suicide and that they are now waiting for the toxicology report. Ballard said that it will probably always remain a perplexing case, saying how can anyone ever explain how someone can kill a 7 year old boy. Ballard said that all indications showed that Daniel idolized his dad. Ballard said the toxicology report won’t give us a final word on what happened and that the report may not be out for a few more weeks or longer.

– Cena again said that we’ll never really know what happened.

– Jericho compared the situation to the Andrea Yates murders, saying that Benoit must have had serious mental issues to do this, but we’ll never know.

– Dibiase said that the Benoit they all knew would never have done this in his RIGHT mind, so something must have gone wrong mentally.

– A clip showing various Benoit highlights was shown.

– WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt joined the show. McDevitt said that the wrestlers have indicated what kind of person Benoit was and what kind of organization WWE is. He called what WWE is doing “remarkable,” mentioning WWE’s drug testing.

– An emailer asked when wrestlers will get a union.

– Cena said that wrestlers know what they are getting into and nobody is forced into it. Cena said that he loves wrestling.

– Blackman said the pay in wrestling is what you make of it.

– Jericho said Benoit must have made between $500,000 to $1,000,000 a year and when he was champion, he must have been making seven figures for sure.

– A caller asked if WWE should consider psychiatric evaluations of wrestlers.

– Dibiase said that wrestlers know what they are getting into, comparing it to joining the army. He said he knew the hardships of wrestling. He said that maybe in certain situations they should do psychiatric evaluations.

– An emailer asked if the wrestlers would want their kids getting into wrestling.

– Jericho said that if his son’s dream was to be a wrestler, he would.

– Dibiase said his son is already in the business and that the industry has changed so much. Dibiase said that twenty years ago, wrestlers lived a rock star lifestyle but now it’s all much more under control.

– Larry asked how Vince McMahon is taking this. McDevitt said it is hard on him.

– More Benoit highlights were shown.

– McDevitt confirmed that Benoit tested clean for all drugs in April.

– McDevitt said that WWE’s drug testing is random.

– Bret Hart said that wrestlers need a union. He even said that the janitor cleaning the WWE building probably have more benefits than WWE wrestlers. He said that after wrestlers retire, they have nothing. He said wrestlers have no protection and no benefits.

– McDevitt said that unions have not solved the drug problems in baseball.

– An emailer asked if Benoit will ever go into the WWE Hall of Fame.

– Blackman said that he thinks the tragedy will overshadow his career.

– Jericho said that tragedy will overshadow Benoit’s career.

– Larry thanked his guests.

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