Aspiring pro wrestler David Benoit, son of the late Chris Benoit, got some publicity last year when he took a picture with Tony Khan at an AEW show. People noticed immediately that he looks exactly like his dad, which prompted plenty of speculation and dark jokes. Today, Chris Van Vliet released an interview with Benoit that includes a lot of new information and stories about his dad, including Benoit opening up for the first time about the 2007 double murder and suicide.
David, who is Chris Benoit’s child from his first marriage, was living in Canada with his mother when the tragedy occurred and would only see his father in the summer, for the holidays, and for WrestleMania. When he was told about the incident, he says, “I punched a cop. Punched him right in the chest. I thought it was a joke. I really did. I really thought it was a joke. I didn’t believe it for days… I think the day it really hit me was his funeral. That was a hard day. That was a super hard day.”
Benoit addressed conspiracy theories about his father’s death, calling them “just a joke. Kevin Sullivan didn’t do anything. We looked into that… We had the police look into him.” He says he wanted to believe that “someone broke into the house” for a while, but he knows that wasn’t the case.
He says it took seven months “just sitting there, thinking. I thought about it every day” for what had happened to sink in. He says today, “It’s not easier, but I can deal with it now. I’m more educated about it now. My mom told me some things, and I got a police report… It’s a good 300 pages from start to finish.”
Something that Benoit says helped him process the tragedy was learning about the condition of his father’s brain. Though David talks about seeing Chris get into arguments with his wife so heated that he would take him to Chili’s to cool off, he says the violence “wasn’t him…. He would never do that. I know he wouldn’t. I think something terrible went wrong. The doctors said he had CTE, so that’s what at the beginning gave me somewhat closure… It just made my life a little easier.”
Later in the interview, he brings up the conversation and research about CTE prompted by Benoit’s murder-suicide again saying, “My dad changed all of sports, if you think about it. That’s maybe one good thing that can come out of that. All sports are taking care of their athletes now better.”
His father’s legacy is clearly very important to Benoit. He calls Chris the “greatest of all time” multiple times in the interview. He wants to have a “technical wrestling style” like his dad’s and has had wrestling tights made that look like his dad’s, with the wolverine claw.
In a part of the interview about owning the rights to the Chris Benoit name, Benoit says, “I don’t own his name yet,” but because his full name is “David Chris Benoit,” that means “I can legally use it if I want to… They can’t come after me.” Benoit says he would wrestle with the “Chris Benoit” name and has even talked to the band Our Lady Peace about using his father’s theme music. He also says that he believes that Chris Benoit should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for his wrestling achievements, and he believes he will be someday.
You can watch the full David Benoit interview here: