It comes with great sorrow that I say Chris Benoit passed away today at the age of forty. The even greater blow is that his wife and son also passed. This is a great loss, not only for us as wrestling fans, but as e-fedders as well.
Our community will always be divided on certain wrestlers. Guys like Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho, the Undertaker and The Rock always evoke spirited debates among those of us who partake in this game. However, there is one man who seemed to be universally revered among everyone, the workrate freaks and the sports entertainment fans alike, one man who everyone in this hobby has stolen a move from at some point in our careers, one man about whom I have never heard a cross word. That man died today.
Everyone had their link to Chris Benoit, whether it be just as a fan of his matches or someone who took that fandom and fashioned a character in homage to him. Of course, Benoitholic Anonymous was never meant to be a carbon copy of the Crippler, but he touched me so much that I named a character after him. I only name members of the Famous Fighting Anonymouses after guys I really have a fandom for. Chris Jericho, Yokozuna, Kurt Angle, Chavo Guerrero... and Chris Benoit. Those were the five Anonymous brothers.
Let us, as a community united, raise a glass and toast the only man that could do no wrong in our eyes, the single greatest influence from the real thing on the eW community, Chris Benoit.
ADDENDUM (6/26, 10:45 AM)
In light of recent developments, ie, the police investigation into this case as an apparent murder-suicide, there is definitely a pall cast over Benoit's life and legacy. If he is indeed proven to have murdered his son and wife before taking his own life, then I, and probably everyone else, will end up remembering Benoit in a different way. Great wrestler, troubled human being, murderer (for whatever reason, be it in cold blood or whether his mind was addled by drugs and a hard work schedule). Although his end should not wholly taint the breadth of his life (unless it is found that he did abuse his wife and son throughout life or something of equitable heinosity), we all cannot look at him with the rose colored eyes we had fifteen hours ago. It is with a bittersweet outlook we must remember Benoit now.