Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Making Sense of the Senseless

I have been sitting at my desk today trying to wrap my head around the Benoit family tragedy. No one can make sense out of this senseless turn of events, and yet we all have a need for answers at a time like this.

I don't have a personal connection to Chris Benoit. We met once, briefly, backstage at a WCW event in Boston. We didn't even speak long enough to form any mutual personal impressions. Like most of you, I knew Chris Benoit by reputation - and what a sterling reputation it was until the past 24 hours.

A shower of facts and innuendo have cascaded over TV, radio and the Internet about exactly what happened. Fans are shocked. The industry is reeling.

One thing is certain to me. Anyone who blames WWE or the wrestling business in general is flat out wrong. While Vince McMahon may be guilty of bad taste and poor timing, he is innocent of anything else in this matter. Some media outlets are citing steroids and the condition known as "roid rage" as a possible cause of this tragedy and are trying to implicate the business of pro wrestling in the process. This is just the media's thirst for easy answers in a time and place and circumstance that is anything but easy.

Wrestling has always been a brotherhood with complex contradictions. When tragedy befalls one of our number, we are saddened, stunned and grieving. But the show must go on, because this is our life. And if that sounds callous or unfeeling, you are someone who has never made the sacrifice required to be a part of this thing we call professional wrestling. Those who have understand completely.

The best thing we can do to honor the memory of Chris Benoit, the wrestler and for his contributions to our business, and the brothers and sisters in wrestling that he left behind, is to let the show go on. As for Chris Benoit the man, that is someone that apparently we didn't know. God will judge him now. I pray for him, his wife and innocent child, and his family and friends.


Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sheldon, I think you REALLY pulled together as best as possible in such an early time after it happened this situation. Your's really is the voice of reason on this matter.