June will mark the 10-year anniversary of the murders of Nancy and Daniel Benoit by legendary wrestler Chris Benoit, who then killed himself. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed. The murders — understandably — remain a sensitive subject among wrestling fans, and continue to cause deep introspection about where to draw the line between performance and performer.
In recent years, the conversation has occasionally taken a tangent to wonder if WWE would ever posthumously recognize Benoit for his work as a wrestler. The answer, quite simply, is “no.” No matter how much time has passed, it will never be a good look for WWE to celebrate someone who perpetrated such a high profile double-murder, no matter how you feel about Jimmy Snuka.
But still, the debate (or at least, the discussion) persists. And on his most recent podcast, WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross shared his two cents on the matter. And in his opinion, not even Benoit himself would want the Rabid Wolverine to go into the Hall. (Transcript via Wrestling Inc.)
“Chris Benoit, I don’t think he’ll ever get in. I don’t think Chris Benoit should get in, and I’m okay with my opinion. If you differ I respect that. I was the guy that hired Chris Benoit, nothing Chris Benoit does wasn’t right there that wasn’t already with him.
“If there was a line [available] to [contact] him, wherever he is, you say, ‘Hey, should you be inducted into the Hall Of Fame? Who do you want to induct you?’ I think he’d say it’ll create too much publicity, it’ll take the importance off of everybody else who’s going in, it’s gonna be the talk of the town. The WWE is inducting into the Hall Of Fame a murderer and suicide victim. That’s the story. You guys know how the media are. That’ll be the story. Can you imagine him going in with The Rock? All of a sudden let’s forget about The Rock, it’s about that murderer guy.
“So that’s what I think. His talents, skill, accomplishments in the ring match a Hall Of Fame career. Absolutely. But I think he took all those opportunities away with the last 24 hours or so of his life.”
This probably won’t stop fans from talking about the possibility of a Benoit induction, but it’s certainly a well-reasoned and comprehensive answer from the most notable person thus far to acknowledge the possibility.