A few years ago, on June 24 2007, Chris Benoit, an acclaimed WWE celebrity known all around the world, murdered his wife and seven year old son, before committing suicide by hanging himself. I could never begin to imagine what that feels like, or how someone can do such a thing. Just thinking how the fabric of the rope must’ve burned in his hands as he pulled it tighter to the ledge, staring readily into the night sky, the pulsating piercing tension squeezing his skull, tears drawing like a curtain over his face, right before he liberated himself from everything he knows, diving over the balcony.
The above description was just how I could imagine Benoit’s suicide. How he actually hung himself, what he used, and the minor details, I just could not find on the internet. Suicide is a hard thing a lot of America goes through. The seething emotional climactic act of taking one’s own life is tragic from the day everything starts going wrong. Immediately after Benoit’s actions the media was alerted and everyone around the world described Benoit as crazy, insane, over stressed, and sweltering over problems with his marriage and finances. They were all guesses, hypothesis, estimated impulses told from everywhere all across the universe in waves.
Immediately, audiences of wrestling entertainment wondered how this would interfere with pro wrestling everywhere. After this occurrence, would it still be logically to let their children watch an already unethical program influencing violence, sex, and steroids. Furthermore, should a television program such as WWE even exist after such a tragic occurrence? What would this do to audiences everywhere which were saturated by easily influential children? Most of the public urgently tried pulling their children away from the television screens; a television show they most likely already tried so hard to pull their kids from.
Was it really logical to draw the curtain? Families everywhere were outraged, the news blared everywhere, across living rooms, talked over dinner, through friends, through parents sinking their heads in disappointment. Chris Benoit was just human. A man with problems who couldn’t take it anymore and his actions were looked down upon. But is it ever really necessary to close down the industry that he worked for. If a fireman kills himself after long waking hours of post traumatic stress disorder, do we turn off the lights on the firehouse? When a bank gets robbed and one of the employees is shot, injured, even tragically murdered, do we close the bank and move onto internet banking. But of course not banks, much like firemen, are an essential need of humanity. However, do we need entertainment?
It is not just entertainment. It is not just a job. It is an industry fanned over the years with large audiences and legions of followers marching into amphitheatres, cheering until their voices become raw, and then cheering some more. At these times people forget the great moments that something, something that seemed so wrong, brought into their lives. That is what we seek to remember after the fog has cleared after tragic moments; after break ups, after divorce, after losing a job, after dropping out of college, after seeing someone you love commit suicide. That is what we fail to see during those tense panic covered times. We forget the good times that someone or something has brought into our lives.