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Bix

The WWE HOF audience makes me embarrassed to be a wrestling fan

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Where was all the public outcry when MCW started the Shame Shamrock Cup, a tournament in honor of an indy wrestler who used to smack his girlfriend around and was shot and killed by police officers during a domestic dispute. When ROH announced they'd be running the tournament in 2004 the reaction was "ROH! ROH! ROH!"

There wasn't a lot, but it was there. I always criticized the shows as ridiculous and creepy, and I think may have gotten into an argument over it with someone, maybe Rob Naylor.

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Guest *FH*

But just because others, like me, can draw a clear distinction between Chris Benoit the great wrestler, and fondly watch his matches, and Chris Benoit the human being, doesn't make myself and those like me any less human beings or make us ignorant.


Yes, it does.

Did he mention every Horseman?

Or just the ones he liked?


John


Somewhere out there, Paul Roma stocks groceries and silently weeps bitter tears.

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Yes, it does.


No, it really doesn't. And the fact that you had nothing else to say about anything in my post other than that, says enough.

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There can't be a clear distinction because he killed his son with a real version of his fake pro wrestling finishing hold.

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Is it really any surprise that the sick, creepy wrestling company breeds sick, creepy wrestling fans? I mean this is the company that booked a well known alcoholic wife beater to attack a WWE diva for refusing to drink beer with him in a segment designed to get a face pop.

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Well especially since it wasn't exactly getting dressed up to go to a state dinner. Putting on a pair of khakis and a shirt with buttons is too much for these people?

As to the Benoit thing, well, I think the crowd that would go to some tacky, self-congratulatory Hall of Fame is pretty self-selecting, definitely not where I'd go to avoid the extra-chromosome set. Also, I think the difference between Benoit and a lot of respectable wrestling industry types is thinner than even a lot of people here might want to admit. If Benoit is beyond the pale, why isn't Vince McMahon or Nobuhiko Takada or Jerry Estrada?


Estrada killed a whore, McMahon is the evilest man alive...what did Takada do?

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If I'm reading this thread right, we can't watch any matches of wrestlers who are sleazeballs, or is it just Benoit? If it's the former there's almost no wrestling you can watch guilt-free.

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I wish they would just be real about it and say, "I could care less about the double murder thing, the guy was stiff, trained in the New Japan dojo, and threw some mighty fine suplexes."


Before you go generalizing everyone who can separate Benoit the person from Benoit the wrestler (no offense to you, RE, if you see them intertwined so be it, you do have a good point), as being heartless fanboys. You might want to stop and check the flip side of the coin. Of all the people who get so outraged and offended, how many of them are only doing so because it makes them feel like they're good people for it, or because it's what society dictates.


Depends on what degree of separation we're making.

I've been watching Jerry Estrada matches for years with no problems. Can still enjoy the Naked Gun movies despite what OJ did. What Benoit did was worse, but I can still enjoy his matches. I also have a pretty warped sense of humor. All of one day after finding out what really happened, I went over to a friend's house and played Raw vs. Smackdown, with my friend playing as Benoit for the sole purpose of throwing me outside the ring and choking me out with an electrical cord. We both got a pretty good laugh out of that. I also post on another board where I don't exactly hold back with regards to jokes at the expense of this situation, to the point that I'm now booking a fantasy fed there based on the notion that Nancy was the Messiah, and her death plunged the world into the apocalypse, and now everyone is living in some kind of magical land that exists in the mind of Daniel's spirit. Don't ask.

So my point is I'm not exactly a touchy-feely type, and for better or for worse, I can separate myself from this enough to enjoy Benoit's matches, get a few cheap laughs from a horrible situation, and make some really bizzare fantasy booking. But I kinda feel it's better to do that by detaching yourself from the situation than by separating Benoit into two different guys. Maybe that's arguing semantics in some cases, but let's not forget that one of the big reasons - maybe the biggest reason - wrestling is in this mess in the first place is that people in and around the business forget what's real and what isn't. On a certain level, splitting Benoit the Wrestler from Benoit the Killer seems to avert that problem. On another level, it seems like a convenient excuse for people to write-off Benoit the Killer so that they can focus on the "real" Benoit, which is exactly what caused this whole mess in the first place. It does more harm than good. And I'm not saying that's what you're doing, necessarily, but I definitely get the sense that looking at the situation like there were two Benoits is a crutch for many people to go about business as usual without having to really consider that something is terribly, terribly wrong here, while still being able to pay lip service to it. If you can separate yourself from the situation like I can and still enjoy Benoit's matches, more power to you. But what he did really can't be ignored or swept under the rug by looking by separating Benoit from himself. And again, not necessarily saying that's what you're doing, but that's what's being done in some cases, and that's where that path seems to eventually lead.

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I think whatever personal decision people make regarding Chris Benoit and his matches and their enjoyment of them now is their personal decision and I'm not going to judge them for it. But this thread was only about cheering in response to his name. Cheering suggests holding him in high esteem. Considering the nature of the crime and what he did, how much coverage it got, and how even people who don't follow pro wrestling closely understand that it was horrible, the cheering was shocking.

The discussion over what to do about watching old Benoit matches and how to remember him is a worthwhile discussion, and something I'm sure every wrestling fan has thought about at the very least enough to make a personal decision. But it's not really the initial intention of this thread. The initial intention of this thread was talking about people cheering his name when it's mentioned. Still being able to enjoy a Chris Benoit match is really beside the point.

The only way someone could actively cheer Chris Benoit is if they have made the decision that having great wrestling matches outweighs murdering one's family in the grand scheme of things. That - only that, nothing associated with that - is the point of contention.

On a side note, I was going through DVDs of mine recently and came across a 15-minute Benoit/Craig Pittman match from Worldwide in '96. It was the first time I had even thought about watching Benoit. I ended up watching the match and enjoying it. Nothing wrong with that. Chris Benoit was a great wrestler. Over time, if anything, the harsh outlook some of us (self included) have toward him will only soften, just because that's human nature, right or wrong. But if you look at murdering one's family as the worst thing a person can possibly do, there's not anything a murderer could do to make me cheer someone who murdered a woman and innocent child. That would also apply to Jimmy Snuka or Jerry Estrada or whoever else you want to throw out there.

There are lots of scummy people in wrestling, lots of them get cheered. One particular scumbag who I happen to think is the greatest wrestler of all time was honored in a long and fairly touching farewell last night on Raw. The differences are:

(1) Flair's indiscretions have never been covered in-depth on mainstream news broadcasts, so most people wouldn't know about them. Therefore, cheering him isn't alarming because the facts aren't staring everyone in the face.

(2) Flair may or may not have been a coke fiend, an adulterer, an alcoholic, a pervert, or a womanizer; he may or may not have attacked his wife, hit himself in the face so he could claim his wife attacked him, been caught being driven home by a drunk 14-year old girl, or attacked someone in a road rage incident; he may or may not have been physically violent toward Jerry Sags or Eric Bischoff; he may or may not have disrobed in bars or wreaked havoc on the Plane Ride From Hell; he may or may not have destroyed the careers of anyone who threatened his spot in pro wrestling; but he's not a murderer.

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Guest PhilTLL

So my point is I'm not exactly a touchy-feely type, and for better or for worse, I can separate myself from this enough to enjoy Benoit's matches, get a few cheap laughs from a horrible situation, and make some really bizzare fantasy booking.


I do the dark humor bit with it all the time; if Michael Cole blurts out "What is [x] capable of?!", I might tender a "Hopefully not killing his family!". But the matches are a different animal, because of the notion that the bumps, the drugs, and the business in general lent a huge helping hand in the horror, and--most importantly--because he killed his kid with his finisher. I can't see the "ruthless aggression" without thinking that was the last thing his wife and son saw, too. In the lowest part of my imagination, I wouldn't doubt that the second murder went something like "Chris dopes up little boy, says time to play wrestling, and ends his life," and I just can't get past that when I'm watching a match. Sorry.

Someone mentioned being able to watch Naked Gun movies, but could you watch them if they had OJ in a knife-play scene? That's what makes me hit the chapter button every time I see my ex-favorite wrestler.

Gee, great first post...

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I think whatever personal decision people make regarding Chris Benoit and his matches and their enjoyment of them now is their personal decision and I'm not going to judge them for it. But this thread was only about cheering in response to his name. Cheering suggests holding him in high esteem. Considering the nature of the crime and what he did, how much coverage it got, and how even people who don't follow pro wrestling closely understand that it was horrible, the cheering was shocking.

The discussion over what to do about watching old Benoit matches and how to remember him is a worthwhile discussion, and something I'm sure every wrestling fan has thought about at the very least enough to make a personal decision. But it's not really the initial intention of this thread. The initial intention of this thread was talking about people cheering his name when it's mentioned. Still being able to enjoy a Chris Benoit match is really beside the point.

The only way someone could actively cheer Chris Benoit is if they have made the decision that having great wrestling matches outweighs murdering one's family in the grand scheme of things. That - only that, nothing associated with that - is the point of contention.

Hey, someone remembers the original point of the thread!

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I think whatever personal decision people make regarding Chris Benoit and his matches and their enjoyment of them now is their personal decision and I'm not going to judge them for it. But this thread was only about cheering in response to his name. Cheering suggests holding him in high esteem. Considering the nature of the crime and what he did, how much coverage it got, and how even people who don't follow pro wrestling closely understand that it was horrible, the cheering was shocking.

The discussion over what to do about watching old Benoit matches and how to remember him is a worthwhile discussion, and something I'm sure every wrestling fan has thought about at the very least enough to make a personal decision. But it's not really the initial intention of this thread. The initial intention of this thread was talking about people cheering his name when it's mentioned. Still being able to enjoy a Chris Benoit match is really beside the point.

The only way someone could actively cheer Chris Benoit is if they have made the decision that having great wrestling matches outweighs murdering one's family in the grand scheme of things. That - only that, nothing associated with that - is the point of contention.

On a side note, I was going through DVDs of mine recently and came across a 15-minute Benoit/Craig Pittman match from Worldwide in '96. It was the first time I had even thought about watching Benoit. I ended up watching the match and enjoying it. Nothing wrong with that. Chris Benoit was a great wrestler. Over time, if anything, the harsh outlook some of us (self included) have toward him will only soften, just because that's human nature, right or wrong. But if you look at murdering one's family as the worst thing a person can possibly do, there's not anything a murderer could do to make me cheer someone who murdered a woman and innocent child. That would also apply to Jimmy Snuka or Jerry Estrada or whoever else you want to throw out there.

There are lots of scummy people in wrestling, lots of them get cheered. One particular scumbag who I happen to think is the greatest wrestler of all time was honored in a long and fairly touching farewell last night on Raw. The differences are:

(1) Flair's indiscretions have never been covered in-depth on mainstream news broadcasts, so most people wouldn't know about them. Therefore, cheering him isn't alarming because the facts aren't staring everyone in the face.

(2) Flair may or may not have been a coke fiend, an adulterer, an alcoholic, a pervert, or a womanizer; he may or may not have attacked his wife, hit himself in the face so he could claim his wife attacked him, been caught being driven home by a drunk 14-year old girl, or attacked someone in a road rage incident; he may or may not have been physically violent toward Jerry Sags or Eric Bischoff; he may or may not have disrobed in bars or wreaked havoc on the Plane Ride From Hell; he may or may not have destroyed the careers of anyone who threatened his spot in pro wrestling; but he's not a murderer.


Excellent post, Loss. I fully agree (much as my first post started with me saying that I agreed with Bix' point).

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As far as the Benoit thing goes, I read about murders in the newspaper all the time without giving them much thought. Hell, shortly before the murder-suicide, I read a magazine article about the growing trend in men killing their families. Didn't give it much thought. Yet when Benoit did it, I was shocked. I don't have kids, but I got married not so long ago & I couldn't understand how anyone could hurt their wife. Happens all the time, I just never thought about it. Can't say I'm outraged; I find the whole thing incomprehensible. It's a fucked-up situation, and I can't blame anyone for the way they react, including not thinking about it too much, which leads to cheering the name drop. I doubt those guys have really thought about what happened, or maybe they're just idiots, but people do stupid shit all the time and this was stupid shit. As far as disattachment goes, I don't know how much I need to know or should care that Flair used coke & fucked around. I'm sure a lot of women have cared over the years, not to mention his wife, but you've gotta draw the line somwhere. Where that line is, I don't really know. I'd hate to say the line is murder or death, but there's only so much you can care about when it doesn't affect you or the people around you.

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I'm not saying you should care about anything Flair has done. That post was a response to the statement earlier in this thread that everyone in wrestling is on the scummy side, so what's the difference between Benoit and everyone else?

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I'm not so sure I think Flair is a scumbag based on what you mentioned, and I find it difficult to believe that everyone in wrestling is on the scummy side. I dunno, maybe scum has a different connotation in the US. It's pretty harsh where I come from. Anyway, wrestling (to me) seems less of a profession & more of a lifestyle, and I think that lifestyle feeds the business as much as the business creates the lifestyle. People talk about wrestlers not being able to separate their character from real life, but it's not like the movies & lord knows actors have a hard time switching off when the director calls cut. Wrestlers are like anyone else in show business. When Flair was cutting all those cool promos in the 80s, he probably was doing all that shit he talked about. The whole business is predicated on bad behaviour. The worse a guy acts the better a heel he is, yet when shit happens in real life people go ape. I'm rambling now. If Flair committed manslaughter, I'd probably agree he was scummy.

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(2) Flair may or may not have been a coke fiend, an adulterer, an alcoholic, a pervert, or a womanizer; he may or may not have attacked his wife, hit himself in the face so he could claim his wife attacked him, been caught being driven home by a drunk 14-year old girl, or attacked someone in a road rage incident; he may or may not have been physically violent toward Jerry Sags or Eric Bischoff; he may or may not have disrobed in bars or wreaked havoc on the Plane Ride From Hell; he may or may not have destroyed the careers of anyone who threatened his spot in pro wrestling; but he's not a murderer.


Good thing Mark Madden doesn't post here. I recall him going on an apeshit bender on the Torch boards years ago when someone, when talking about Ric's book, commented that Ric seemed to ignore any drug use that he ever did. Mark stomped up and down that His Hero never did any of the recreational stuff other than drink a lot.

It seems like it's been glossed over by folks over the years.


John

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