Vice has uploaded part two of the two part season premiere of its wrestling documentary series Dark Side of the Ring. Its subject is Chris Benoit, who murdered his wife and 7 year old son before committing suicide in 2007.
[Previous post here]
Some takeaways from part two:
- Former WWE executive and commentator Jim Ross said the WWE thought what they did was right but should have waited before doing a tribute to Benoit, saying "shame on us, I guess." WWE employees were ordered to never speak of Benoit again and they erased him from the archives.
- Nancy Benoit's sister confronted Jim Ross at Nancy and Daniel's funeral, saying he wasn't welcomed there. She also says the WWE abandoned the family after the murders, and Benoit's other son says the only WWE members who contacted him was Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero.
- Benoit's journals revealed a man losing his mind, at one point writing in letters to his late best friend Eddie Guerrero that he would be with him soon. Jericho says he thinks Benoit's fate was sealed once Eddie died, Benoit wasn't interested in living without Eddie.
- The crime scene was violent and full of rage. Benoit bound wife Nancy with duct tape before strangling her and essentially breaking her back. Benoit drugged his son before smothering him and placing a knife under his bed.
- Benoit googled a bible story about the prophet Elijah and the resurrection of a young boy and the quickest way to break a neck before hanging himself. He left a suicide note saying he was prepared to leave the earth.
- In text messages, Nancy called the WWE wellness program a joke and she was tired of his steroid use and the steroids made him into an angry and violent husband. Although Benoit passed his wellness exams, at the time of his death he had ten times the normal amount of testosterone in his body. The WWE has since strengthened its wellness program.
- Several interviewees talk about Benoit's anger issues, including busting a windshield during an argument with Nancy and hurting Nancy during another argument. Nancy's sister says she would not get into details about the latter incident out of respect to Benoit's surviving children. She hopes to one day be able to forgive Chris for what he did.
- WWE performer William Regal, who lived in the same town as the Benoit family, said during the tribute “Now all I’m willing to say is that Chris Benoit was undoubtedly the hardest working man in professional wrestling.” Jericho mentions that Regal was privy to what was going on in the Benoit home and when he saw Regal’s reaction, he knew there was something going on.
- Benoit approached a former wrestler to question their research into wrestling and CTE and asked if he could have the results.
- Benoit's son says his father is still his hero and the murder-suicide wasn't who he was. He also wants Nancy's legacy in wrestling to be acknowledged and respected, and Chris Jericho says Nancy should be in the WWE Hall of Fame.
- Nancy's family no longer had contact with Benoit's surviving children and the Benoit family for thirteen years. After the show, Jericho helped Benoit's son David and Nancy's sister Sandy reconcile. They now attend wrestling events together like old times.
- It is still unknown what caused Benoit to murder his wife and son before killing himself, but grief, steroid use, CTE and generally being a monster are brought up.
- Interviewees have a hard time reconciling Benoit the wrestling great and Benoit the murderer. Ross says Benoit will never, ever be in the Hall of Fame because of his actions. Jericho notes Guerrero and Benoit's paths entwined and separated in death with Guerrero respected and one of the greatest, and Benoit's legacy buried. Jericho says he thinks that outcome would have broken Benoit's heart since he loved wrestling so much.