Chris Benoit made his WWE debut in the year 2000, marking one of the most controversial jumps to the company in the Attitude Era.
He forfeited a run with the WCW Championship to join Vince McMahon’s company, only to be flung to the midcard after an admittedly great debut.
Fans fondly remember seeing the former WCW Champion showing up on Raw as an amazing moment, but it probably went differently to how you think.
Chris Benoit Won The WCW Championship In His Last WCW Match
Before making his WWE debut, Chris Benoit won the WCW Championship in his final match in the company.
He defeated Sid Vicious at WCW Souled Out 2000, which is regarded as one fo the worst wrestling pay per views of all time.
Benoit was given the championship by booker Kevin Sullivan, despite the animosity between the two.
Sullivan’s ex-wife, Nancy, had married Benoit, although that did not stop Sullivan from realising the huge potential the Rabid Wolverine possessed.
He was intent to leave the company, but WCW gave him one last incentive to stay – the WCW Championship.
However, it was not to be. Chris Benoit won the WCW Championship at Souled Out, but walked out of the company alongside his friends, popping up on WWE TV just weeks alter.
Chris Benoit’s WWE Debut
Chris Benoit wrestled Triple H in his WWE debut, just weeks after winning the WCW Championship.
He debuted on the January 31st, 2000 episode of Monday Night Raw, sitting at ringside with the rest of his Radicalz teammates.
Along with Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit jumped ship to the WWE in 2000, leaving WCW without some of their best wrestlers.
The next day on Smackdown, he took on Triple H is a huge main event match that seemed to set the tone for a big run in the WWE.
Triple H held the WWE Championship at the time, so this was a huge match for the fans. It pitted the rightful WCW Champion against the WWE Champion, a dream match for many.
The match itself was very good, with both men in their physical primes in the ring. A big ref bump did hurt the flow of the match, although it was a true staple of the Attitude Era.
Sadly, Benoit lost his debut match. He could have been set up as a top singles star with the win, but Vince McMahon would not see him as a WWE Champion until his Royal Rumble victory in 2004.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.