Chris Jericho considers Chris Benoit as one of the greatest of all time, but wait until you hear the crazy things he did to punish himself when he made a mistake in the ring…
Chris Benoit is a rarely mentioned wrestler nowadays. Due to the double murder of his wife and son and eventually suicide, he has been stricken from the WWE record books and tried to be forgotten as much as possible.
However, his friends in the business cannot forget him. While still recognising the horrible things he has done, they still recognise Chris Benoit’s talent, work ethic and drive to be the best.
Paul Heyman said it best during an interview with Inside the Ropes. He claimed that Benoit was one of the best he ever saw and he wanted to put the ECW Championship on Chris Benoit. However, he said, and reiterated, that “three people died that night, only one of them had the choice”.
Whilst he did those unspeakable acts, as a performer he was one of the greats. Chris Benoit was one of the best technical wrestlers of all time. He showed in Canada, Japan and the Untied States that he was one of the best of all time.
Chris Jericho on Chris Benoit
Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit worked together a lot and became friends in the business. The pair teamed together in WWE, famously in the match against Triple H and Steve Austin where Triple H tore his quad, yet finished the match.
However, the pair worked together in Japan also, when Jericho was a part of the WCW roster. Chris Jericho talked about relationship with Benoit on his podcast, Talk is Jericho, and spoke about how dedicated and hard working Benoit was.
Jericho spoke about how Benoit would be so dedicated to being the best he could and that he would punish himself if he made a simple mistake. He would force himself into extreme physical discomfort, doing an inordinate amount of reps to punish himself and make himself better.
“I remember I worked with Chris [Benoit] once in Japan — tag team match when I started going to New Japan when I started with WCW […]I went for a spinkick and I missed.”
“But I only missed to the point where no one would see it because Chris bumped so fast that we just continued on. It wasn’t like when you screw up or a blatant mistake. It was like I didn’t hit him as crispy as I should of but he still bumped.”
“After the match was done I went looking for him. I couldn’t find him anywhere. I found him in the boiler room doing squats. And I said, ‘what are you doing?’ — and he said, ‘you know I never should have bumped off that that was so unprofessional of me and it was such a bad rookie mistake, I had to do squats.’
“He did five-hundred squats as like purging himself for making that mistake…..You know, when you hear things like that then you kinda equate it to the last few days. There was a lot of issues with him.
“Even though he was so good, maybe one of the best ever, maybe the best ever in a lot of ways. He still had that self confidence problem — like you said, asking you if that match was good. Really?”
(Transcription by IWNERD)
Chris Benoit was one of the most talented and hard work wrestlers of all time. He was one of the best Canadian wrestlers to ever live, but sadly his actions at the end of his life has tarnished his legacy in a way no-one thought it could.
Chris Jericho talked about his friendship with Benoit in many of his books, which include some of the best wrestling books ever written. It’s a shame that he did something so evil at the end of his life that ruined the 25 years of pain he put on his body to become one of the best wrestlers of all time.