April 4, 2004
Benoit: Triple H takes his turn
By TIM BAINES, Ottawa Sun
First, Triple H tapped out to Chris Benoit at Wrestlemania XX. Then Triple H was pinned by Shelton Benjamin on last Monday's RAW. A real shocker. Especially from a guy who, it was said, wouldn't put other wrestlers over. So much for backstage politicking.
Despite rumours that Triple H (Paul Levesque) calls the shots, Benoit says what you read is often untrue.
"Some of the stuff on the Internet, it's funny," said Benoit on the phone the other day. "A lot of it is just rumours ... like the National Enquirer ... like a baby being born on a UFO. Some of it is so far from what's going on.
"I could walk through the airport and trip on my shoelace and by the time it gets out, the story is Chris Benoit was drunk in the airport.
"This is a very unique industry. To understand it, you really have to be there.
"Triple H had never tapped out. I made him tap out at Wrestlemania. Then he gets pinned by Shelton Benjamin. It's good for business."
Benoit says the ecstasy of winning the world heavyweight title at Wrestlemania still hasn't fully sunk in.
"I'm still riding that wave," said Benoit. "Right after Triple H tapped and the bell rung, it was like 18 years flashed before my eyes ... being in Stu Hart's dungeon, Japan, Mexico, ECW, WCW and WWE. The whole road just flashed in front of me.
"It's been a good experience. I'm trying to take my time to represent the title the best that I can. In different companies that I've worked for, the champions didn't act the way I thought they should act. From the moment I open my hotel room in the morning to the moment I close it at night, I am representing the WWE title."
A great accomplishment for a hard-working Canadian kid.
"When I started wrestling, the only TV wrestling we got was Stampede Wrestling. I just wanted to wrestle for Stu Hart. I thought if I could make it there, that would be my dream come true. But here I was at Wrestlemania XX, Madison Square Garden, from one end of the universe to the other."
Benoit, who's suffered his share of aches and pains over the years, says the in-ring adrenaline rush is a quick fixer-upper.
"A lot of times you get hurt in the ring and you don't feel it because of the adrenalin," he said. "I feel the energy of the people. You don't feel the things that happen to you.
"I love what I do. This is my passion. I truly hope all of my children can find that kind of passion in whatever they choose to do."
- Nobody will confirm it, but Toronto is a good bet to host Summer Slam. No ... it's better than a good bet ... it will host Summer Slam.
- Tickets for the May 29 WWE show in Kingston go on sale Apr. 24, at 10:30 a.m.
- The Arizona Republic reported that Ric Flair, Scott Hall and Dustin Rhodes and WWE are being sued by flight attendants who allege the wrestlers sexually harassed them aboard a chartered luxury airplane. The suit, filed late Monday in Superior Court says the wrestlers were guilty of "extreme and outrageous" behaviour on a return flight from Europe aboard Phoenix-based SportsJet on May 5, 2002. The suit alleges Flair wore only a jewelled cape, flashed his penis and forced a flight attendant to touch his crotch. It claims that Hall asked a flight attendant to give him oral sex and licked the face of another attendant. Rhodes, the suit says, grabbed one attendant and said they were going to have sex. The suit also said other wrestlers on the return flight from Europe repeatedly groped the attendants.
- Great to see Chris Jericho back in fine form. Y2J, whose best verbal grenades came at the expense of Stephanie McMahon, fired back at Trish Stratus on RAW. Some of the beauties: "You're easier than Paris Hilton on Viagra" and "you're a three-time-Babe of-the-Year, wasn't Babe a pig?" Then Jericho proclaimed: "I'm Chris Jericho and I'm a sexy beast."
- Lined up so far for Edmonton's Backlash pay-per-view: Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels; Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley; Edge vs. Kane and Jericho vs. Christian.
- WWE has released Terri Runnels and Sean O'Haire.
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