Every now and then, people will ask me to justify, as an adult man with a job and perfunctory social skills, my love of professional wrestling. This video is probably the perfect encapsulation of why I still bother with it aged 27. Let me break it down for you.
For the uninitiated, on the three-day period beginning June 21, 2007, former WWE champion and gap-toothed midget Chris Benoit tied his wife down before strangling her to death, killed his retarded seven-year-old with his own finishing manoeuvre (the Crossface Crippler), placed open bibles by both their dead bodies, before finally hanging himself from a weight machine, using such an insufficient load that pathologists believe he was probably dangling for up to 20 minutes before finally dying. A tragedy that has probably stopped pro-wrestling from every being a viable mainstream entertainment option in America ever again, taking three lives with it and causing the entire industry to shake.
RF Video are a company run by a man who was caught, by a news station in a sting operation, trying to have sex with a 14-year-old boy, resulting in the legendary chat transcript excerpt ”lol ill pretend u said 18”. They are “proud” to present this investigation into the murders, a mere three years late. So what do we get? Bit of background on the murders? Some tasteful comment by those distanced enough to be rational but educated enough to be thoughtful? What this means for the industry as a whole? Pictures of Daniel Benoit overdubbed with some ballad from the end of a Filter album?
Nope. It’s a load of drug addicts, alcoholics and sociopaths shouting and crying! Enjoy pudgy notorious pisshead The Sandman relate details of how he found out about the death while his own young son crawls around his shirtless torso looking confused! Kurt Angle, a man who was on suicide watch for over a year, talking about the matter with the most disturbing thousand-yard stare I’ve ever seen on a man who hasn’t personally firebombed a Vietnamese village! Patrick Stump lookalike Trevor Murdoch on the very notion of evil! Practicing Satanist Balls Mahoney who apparently isn’t tithing enough money to the Church of Beelzebub to be detracting from his crack expenditure! Honky Tonk Man still wearing a Cesare Maldini-black quiff despite the occasion while someone answers their messages on AIM in the background! Bob Holly positing that him popping round with some veal Milanese and a bottle of Barolo would have stopped this great tragedy! Drug-addled wreck and wrestling’s very own ironic clapped out celeb The Iron Shiek not bothering to drop the schtick for a minute despite talking about A FUCKING CHILD MURDER.
Like I say: people accept that there are certain industries that attract the weak and then abuse them. Pornography and fashion being the two most obvious. I’d say wrestling has an advantage over pornographer as its practitioners will, over the course of their career, give more blowjobs. But there’s just something so enjoyable about a group of people engaging in a career that leaves them all bitter, broken and dead at 46. Stop fetishing the occasional footballer that loses it all in a heady swell of white girl, gin and Betfred, and just enjoy an entertainment form where that’s the standard.