If one wrestler in WWE history is considered persona non grata, it is Chris Benoit. Ever since Benoit murdered his wife and young son and then killed himself, the WWE has erased him almost completely from their history. The only place to see Chris is on classic PPV events on the WWE Network and they won’t even have his name listed to find his matches easily.
That makes it seem surreal when Kurt Angle, the new WWE Monday Night Raw general manager, made some comments about Chris Benoit on the recent podcast episode of Talk is Jericho. Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho were talking about matches between Angle and Benoit and the intensity of those matches.
Kurt Angle said that it is disappointing to him that his matches with Chris Benoit are forgotten since the tragedy surrounding the end of Benoit’s life. He called wrestling Chris to be similar to wrestling himself because they were mirror images of each other. The one match that Angle points out is his Royal Rumble match from 2003.
The Royal Rumble in 2003 saw Kurt Angle defending his WWE Championship against Chris Benoit and winning by making Chris tap out to the Angle Lock. This was the Kurt Angle title reign that led to the Brock Lesnar match at WrestleMania XIX before Angle took time off from the WWE to heal up from injuries that had piled up.
When remembering this match, Kurt Angle said that he and Chris Benoit did something very few wrestlers in the WWE had done at that time. He said that the match had everything with submission trade-offs all through the match. Kurt pointed out that Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko did it in WCW, but he believes this was the first time that an entire WWE match was based on submission trade-offs.
Kurt Angle also talked about the intensity that Chris Benoit worked with and said he was the only one who matched his own intensity in a WWE match. Kurt Angle said that Benoit actually made him pick up his own intensity in matches, which was already at a high level.
“I’m sorry, but he has got to be in the top three of all time. I mean, you can’t deny that. I mean, even Bret Hart will tell you that. I’m not going to excuse any of the things Chris did outside of wrestling, but when he was in that ring, he was possibly the greatest of all time.”
That was a pretty huge statement because no one in the WWE really talks about Chris Benoit anymore. It is something the WWE has tried to really erase from their history books for a long time. However, it won’t remain hidden much longer because a movie is coming out based on the life and death of Chris Benoit.
Crossface is a movie that will come out sometime in 2017. The movie is based on the book Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit & the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. The book was by Matthew Randazzo V and the movie is directed by Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander.
The Chris Benoit biopic is a story of how Benoit tries to maintain his family life while the pressures of the WWE causes his own life to spiral out of control. The movie will also likely focus on concussions and the CTE that causes brain degeneration that might have led to his demise.
While Kurt Angle praised Chris Benoit for his work in the ring as one of the greatest WWE wrestlers of all time, Kurt did make sure to say it has nothing to do with what happened with Benoit outside of the ring.
In the interview, Kurt Angle also added names like Eddie Guererro, Shawn Michaels, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and Bret “The Hitman” Hart to his list of the best WWE superstars of all time.
[Featured Image by Peter Kramer/Getty Images]