Legend has it that it was the Chris Benoit vs William Regal match that was the turnaround for William Regal and it got him back in WWE’s good graces. Stories have been told about “the best match ever”, as Les Thatcher called it, being the catalyst for Regal proving his sobriety and earning himself another shot in the WWF.
In an interview with “Gorilla Position“, Regal spoke for and hour and a half about how his career started. He spoke at length about his start in the business in the Blackpool Circus, to working with Big Daddy, then his moves to Germany then America with WCW and WWF.
One thing he was candid about in the interview was his struggles with drugs. He spoke about being fired by WCW due to his drug issues and how he was sacked well after they would have been in their rights.
He also debunked the claims that he was hired back by WWE based on the William Regal vs Chris Benoit match at the Brian Pillman Memorial Show in Memphis in 2000.
William Regal on Chris Benoit match
In an interview with Gorilla Position, Regal dispelled the myth about the William Regal vs Chris Benoit match and confirmed that it was Triple H who helped him get the job in WWE after a sting in rehab in 2000
“I called up Triple H and I said ‘look, when I left rehab, I signed up for a thing. I didn’t have to do it, I did it for myself. I signed up for five years of random drug screenings, that they could call me any time to take. I thought ‘I might need this to prove to somebody’.
“I said ‘Look, I’ve got this, I’ve got that’. Then Triple H said ‘It’s okay, call me back in ten minutes'”.
“I called him back and he said ‘Call Jim Ross’ so I did. Jim Ross said ‘No problem at all, you can start straight away. But, we have a developmental system in Memphis. You will go there for six months and as long as everything is good you will start here (the WWE main roster) in six months.
“I finished getting paid by WCW on the last day of February in 2000, and I started getting paid here (WWE) the next day”
“I went to Memphis for six months. There was a point where I had a match with (Chris) Benoit at the Pillman Show, where people seem to think that was the change-around in me coming back here. Absolutely nothing to do with it!”
“People seem to think the myth that seems to have grown up around the match. Exactly six months to the day, I started on the main roster”.
William Regal in WWE
Regal had a successful tenure in WWE, winning numerous championship and featuring in segments with huge stars like Steve Austin, Triple H and Chris Jericho.
His biggest achievment was winning King of the Ring in 2008, which would have led to a WWE Championship reign had his drug issues to arisen again. It was a sad “What if?”, and William Regal remains one of the best WWE wrestlers to never win the WWE Championship.
Click the link to read about William Regal as King of the Ring.
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.