Chris Benoit is among one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live, but you’ll never hear WWE speak about him.
As a former World Champion and Royal Rumble winner, he should be lauded as one of WWE’s greatest champions.
It was one of the most horrific acts one can commit, and came as a shock to the wrestling world.
But what if he didn’t? What is Chris Benoit had lived, and had not turned to a blind rage and murdered his family?
This will be explored in this article.
What If Chris Benoit Lived?
In this article, we’ll take a look at an alternate-reality where Chris Benoit never killed himself or his entire family.
That will be the only difference to reality. Any health conditions or booking ideas that were planned will be followed, including some that will cut his WWE run short.
Let us know what you think would have happened to Chris Benoit if he hadn’t died by commenting down below, after reading this post.
Vince McMahon’s Death
If Chris Benoit didn’t die, then the “Vince McMahon’s death angle” would still have taken place.
Vince died in a limousine explosion, and he was set to leave the entire company to his in-storyline son Mr Kennedy (which later turned out to be Hornswoggle).
This would have set up a year-long feud between Kennedy and Triple H, leading to a WWE Championship match for the fate of the company at WrestleMania 24.
With the change that Benoit lives, Mr Kennedy likely becomes a huge star in the WWE, main eventing WrestleMania 24 and seriously altering the history of pro-wrestling.
Chris Benoit living also affects WWE’s concussion policy, which helped save the lives and careers of many stars, like Daniel Bryan.
Chris Benoit vs CM Punk
The two grapplers were set to square off at Vengeance 2007, WWE’s pay per view taking place on June 24th, 2007.
The pair had each won one match in the ECW Championship tournament (against Orlando Jordan and Marcus Cor Von, respectively) to earn a shot at the vacant ECW Championship.
The title had been vacated by Bobby Lashley, following him being drafted to Raw following WrestleMania 23.
CM Punk vs Chris Benoit was supposed to be the match which crowned Benoit as the new ECW Champion, his first world title since winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XX.
Chris Benoit Wins The ECW Championship At Vengeance 2007
Chris Benoit would have won the ECW Championship, beating CM Punk at Vengeance 2007.
If he had not called in sick (After killing his family), then the match would have gone ahead has planned.
This meant that Johnny Nitro (later John Morrison) would never win the ECW Championship, and maybe neither would CM Punk.
In the rest of this article, we’ll detail what would have happened to Chris Benoit if he didn’t die, and how his final year in the WWE would have gone.
He Would Have Elevated the ECW Championship And The ECW Brand
At WrestleMania 24, Chris Benoit would have walked into the show as the ECW Champion.
Vince McMahon wanted him as a workhorse champion, replacing the plan for Kurt Angle before his 2006 release.
Benoit would have likely held the ECW Championship throughout the year, elevating the young stars of ECW by having fantastic matches against all of them.
Chris Benoit would have feuded with CM Punk throughout the summer, likely culminating in a match at Summerslam, where he retained his title.
This could have showed WWE that CM Punk was a top talent, helping him rise to the main event scene earlier.
He would have then went on to feud with the likes of John Morrison, The Miz and Tommy Dreamer, defending his ECW Championship against them all.
WWE would likely have had Benoit be a part of one of the Survivor Series teams, using his star power to elevate ECW.
While CM Punk defended the belt against The Miz and John Morrison in real life, Benoit had more star power at the time, and would have been used to legitimise the ECW brand.
Going into the 2008 Royal Rumble, if he was still alive Chris Benoit would have feuded with Chavo Guerrero. They’d likely clash inside the Royal Rumble match, building to a WrestleMania 24 bout.
After elevating the ECW brand for a year, Chris Benoit would have dropped the ECW Championship to Chavo Guerrero at WrestleMania 24. This would help turn Chavo into a big star, who could carry ECW on his back as part of La Familia.
While CM Punk is another option, he would be busy winning the Money in the Bank Briefcase.
Chris Benoit Would Have Died Shortly After WrestleMania
Even if he didn’t kill himself, Chris Benoit likely would have died shortly after WrestleMania.
Dave Meltzer revealed that Chris Benoit had an enlarged heart, which is the same thing that killed Eddie Guerrero years prior.
This would have likely killed Benoit early, within a year of his actual death, most likely.
“I just think that the coroner was really, I don’t know if he was pressured by outside forces to say or not say certain things, but I mean the only thing that he would say is that he had the endocrine system issues, you know where he was not producing enough testosterone, which was well known. And that was the only thing wrong and everything else, all of his organs and everything were fine, and it comes out that he had the same heart damage as Hawk, Eddie Guerrero, Davey Boy Smith, these kind of guys.”Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio
In addition to this, Chris Benoit’s sister-in-law (the sister of the wife he murdered, Nancy “Woman” Benoit) revealed that Benoit had only ten months to live.
This would place his death around the end of April, just weeks after wrestling at WrestleMania 24.
Speaking with The2Count.com, his sister-in-law said:
“Yes, my brother-in-law had concussions, he hit his head for a living and I understand that. But way beyond that, he had a very serious drug and steroid problem. Unfortunately, a lot of athletes still do to this day. It’s spiraling out of control. The medical examiner told us after the autopsy that Chris was on his way to death within 10 months. His heart was huge, about 3 times normal size, and it was ready to blow up at any moment.”
Chris Benoit Would Have Been Inducted Into The WWE Hall of Fame
After Chris Benoit passes away in April 2008, the WWE likely do something similar to when he really died.
The tribute show that took place on Raw on June 25th,2007 would happen the next year, and would not be sullied by the real-life murders he committed.
Chris Benoit would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, and his legacy would be honored by the WWE.
He would be considered in the same way as Eddie Guerrero, as a top-class wrestler who was gone too soon.
David and Daniel Benoit would likely be a tag team in WWE, while Nancy Benoit could be working behind the scenes, as widows like Dana Warrior and Vickie Guerrero had done in the past.
What do you think would have happened if Chris Benoit didn’t die? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
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.