Chris Benoit. Many people like to sit there and speak about his past, his present, or his future, but I want to focus on his professionalism.
This past week of wrestling, RAW on 5/28 and Smackdown! on 5/31, have not only brought forth some of the best wrestling shows in recent history, they have been a stage for men like Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho to show their professionalism. I’ll get to Jericho at a later date and time, but Benoit was truly impressive this week. Not only did he receive two title shots in a row, but he arguable bested his competition both times! Maybe it was the Canadian soil or maybe it was the red hot crowds, but what I believe it all comes down to is the fact that Chris Benoit is the consumate professional.
There was a time in wrestling when wrestlers could actually decide their fate in their matches. Although this was a common occurance in the 1980’s it rarely happens nowadays (unless there is still some secret Turner owned WCW crew out there). Nowadays, when a wrestler doesn’t agree to losing the match or to losing it in a certain way, they are either sent home or they are fired. Benoit proved that it doesn’t matter how you win or lose the match, it matters how you wrestle it. Both matches against Austin this week were wrestling matches that could be defined as classic. However, both endings reeked of foul play and misforture. Did Chris Benoit want his classic wrestling to end with clean and happy finishes? Maybe. Did he get it? Nope.
And that is the essence of the professionalism of Benoit. He doesn’t go around like a crybaby that he didn’t get the belt or that they used the infamous screwjob ending in his first shot at the title. He doesn’t bitch and moan and rely on members of a backstage group to get what he wants. He just does his job and he does it better than anyone.
Sure, he could have walked out there and demanded to win the title on RAW and lose it on Smackdown. Sure, he could have asked to win the match in some way on his home turf in Edmonton (whether he got the title or not)…but he didn’t.
And why didn’t he? Is it because of his lack of courage to face up to McMahon? Is it because he doesn’t have the backstage power to change his fate? Or maybe it’s because he just knows his role (had to throw it in for my Rock fans)…
It might be one of the above, but I think that his record shines through with this one: Chris Benoit is the consumate professional. That’s why he jobbed both matches. That’s why he took the Montreal Screwjob. That’s why he took the schoolboy pin on Smackdown. Because deep down inside, everyone knows that Benoit is simply the best and that he can prove it in the ring with this wrestling and out of the ring with his professionalism.
Kudos to Chris Benoit.