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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Benoit bops with baby, Our Lady Peace


By JAMES REANEY -- London Free Press

 Chris Benoit is well on the road to recovery from the serious surgery he underwent in late May to relieve a pinched nerve and spinal disc problem.

 

Our Lady Peace
He's gone from a neck brace complete with a halo, to a hard cast, to a soft cast and is now out-of-cast.

  Benoit hopes to be back in the ring a month or so before Wrestlemania in Toronto in March - to develop both storyline and muscles.

  "I'm doing fine," he told his friend and Edmonton Sun sports writer Scott Zerr. "I was wrestling with my 18-month-old (Daniel). He bopped me with his elbow. My chin's a little sore."

  The Canadian Crippler will be returning to the ring with new music too, performed by Canadian rockers Our Lady Peace.

  Later this month, Our Lady Peace expects to show off its theme for Benoit by performing it at the MuchMusic Video Awards. It's call Whatever. The awards will be handed out Sept. 23 in a four-hour party at the music TV station's Toronto headquarters.

  With Our Lady Peace leading the way with eight nominations, the band will also be busy on its own behalf once its salute to Benoit is done.

  "We basically took his intro and made a song out of it . . . it's strange for us, but he's such a nice guy and it's a pretty cool song," says Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart of the Benoit connection.

  "We now have a relationship with him. He's definitely a very respected wrestler in terms of technique."

  Benoit, who grew up in Edmonton, has had a high-profile feud with the WWF's chief villain and head honcho, Vince McMahon. He is also battling injuries just now.

  Benoit's place in the pro wrestling world is in line with Our Lady Peace's place in the rock universe. The band is one of Canada's most successful rock acts of recent times, having sold more than one million albums in this country alone. Like Benoit, they're Canadians in a huge U.S. showbiz industry.

  "He's not a superstar . . . he's not The Rock or he's not Stone Cold. It's a healthy fit for us," Taggart says.

  "He's in a similar situation that we are. We're not Limp Bizkit or U2. But we've always been and we've always worked hard. We've tried to be the best band that we can.

  "We have a mutual respect with a lot of bands in the industry.

  "It's the same with him. He's not The Rock or one of those guys, but he's definitely respected by all those people."

  -- with files from Graham Hicks, Edmonton Sun

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