Monday night in the wrestling word is usually centered about WWE’s Monday Night RAW. The show went on, but the champion, John Cena, was missing. He appeared on a live edition of CNN’s Larry King Live. Cena was joined by past WWE wrestlers Chris Jericho, Steve Blackman, Ted Dibiase and Bret Hart to talk about the Chris Benoit tragedy that has rocked the wrestling world.
Cena is the first superstar allowed by the WWE to talk
about the tragedy, aside from the wrestler websites, blogs and MySpace sites.
Unfortunately, all on the panel had ties or still have
ties to the WWE. Although no one supported the acts of
Benoit, issues such as drugs and early deaths in
wrestling were hit on lightly. Instead, the panel
spent most of the time talking about the Chris Benoit
"If you lined up 1,000 people," Jericho said, "Chris
would be the last one I'd pick to do such an act."
Benoit was involved in a double murder-suicide
on the weekend of June 22 where he allegedly killed
his wife, Nancy, seven-year-old son, Daniel, and then hanged himself.
Cena did note the WWE has brought in counselors
to help employees with any questions or concerns they
have had since the tragedy. When news came out of
Benoit and his family's death before a Monday Night
RAW on June 25, Vince McMahon and the WWE made the
decision to cancel the event. Cena called this
decision "a great call."
Also on the show, via satellite from Canada, was Hart. In May 1999, Hart’s brother Owen died during a
live pay-per-view event for the WWE. The show
continued after his body was stretchered from the
Hart did not respond to Cena's comments.
Larry King failed to ask hard questions concerning
steroids, pain pills, work schedules and the high rate
of death within the industry, except in passing.
When the issue of unions in wrestling was brought up,
Cena responded that he does not seeing a union being
formed in the WWE because "people know what they are
"Wrestling needs a union.
Janitors who sweep for the WWE have more benefits than
the wrestlers themselves. They (wrestlers) are like
Jericho believed this tragedy would bring about reform
and change in the industry but failed to get specific
on what changes.
DiBiase addressed the deaths in a religious realm
noting the possibility of after killing his wife and
son, Benoit "had an act of contrition by placing the
Bibles next to their bodies."
None of the panel believed steroids were a factor in the deaths. When
asked if steroids are needed in wrestling, Cena said that "entertainers are the ones that go to the top in
Most of the time was spent on speculation and guessing
games as to why Benoit did what he did. And most of
the panel talked about how they knew him, as a
professional. Each person admitting they knew very
little of Benoit outside the ring.
Jericho emphasized that Benoit "loved his kids."
Benoit has two children from a previous marriage residing
Nothing new was revealed during the one-hour show but
allowing Cena, the company’s largest draw, on the
show, showed the WWE was not trying to hide from the
Chris Benoit tragedy news section
Chris Benoit biography and story archive
Chris Schramm has written for SLAM! Wrestling since
1997. He can be written at: email@example.com.