Chris Benoit

April 16, 2009
By Melissa Kleinert BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
Melissa Kleinert BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Acidic blood, shattered skulls, battle-scar
bruises: three cheers
for the red, white, and blue.

Nobody cheered me on that night.

It wasn’t televised.

I merely brought my work home to
Nancy, and little Daniel.

My #1 fans: match spectator; their expectation.

The Poison shrouded shrieks of participation.

Like flies to
my spider web, they had no

the Canadian Crippler’s
crippler crossface.

My strength, my superpowers – nothing but
Poison: what have I become? Prey to
its orders, its constricting cobra hold?

I am designed to kill;
expect that much out of me.

The author's comments:
Chris Benoit was a professional wrestler, who, in late June 2007, strangled his wife Nancy, suffocated his 7-year-old son Daniel, and subsequently hung himself. He was on anabolic steroids, which was the Poison in my poem, and had 10x the normal amount of testosterone in his system. Benoit also suffered from many concussions throughout his career; one of his signature moves was head butting his opponents. The brain damage he suffered from was most likely the leading cause in his actions. Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Wrestler” inspired me to take on this story of a wrestler’s double murder-suicide. I find wrestling to be such a violent sport, and for some reason, Benoit decided to take his work home to Nancy and Daniel, who were used to being his spectators, but had the tables turned on them to become the opponents. It is even said that Chris killed Daniel with his signature move, the crippler crossface. I think Benoit’s story really represents the dark side of masculinity: he was a successful wrestler, portrayed to be a family man, who obviously had a lot of issues beneath the surface.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Aug. 13 2009 at 7:49 pm
Melissa Kleinert BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Uhh - excuse me, but I infact DID my research before writing this poem, thanks. This was an assignment for my creative writing class in high school, and I actually spent a LOT of time researching. Excuse me for not being politically correct - "sports entertainment", I've never seen it as a sport anyway, and I have absolutely no interest in wrestling, so whatever! That should not be a big deal. And I do not like the violence, thanks. Second, I said that "it has been said" that he killed his son with a wrestling move - I read it on several websites. I did NOT, infact say that it was a confirmed fact, it's just a theory. He suffocated his son; it's very possible. "Three cheers for the red white and blue" has to do with the opening line - blood is red, bruises are blue, and bones are white. Plus, Benoit lived in the USA when he was wrestling anyway. If you paid attention to my poem, I said the "Canadian Crippler," which was his nickname, so yes, I was aware he was Canadian, and that line really had nothing to do with Benoit; mainly just the "sports entertainment" of wrestling.

Sunshineyday said...
on Aug. 12 2009 at 4:52 am
Uhh - you should fact check. First of all, professional wrestling is not a sport it's "sports entertainment", just TV - and yes, it's meant to be violent. Second, where did you hear that he killed his son with a wrestling move? Third, why did you write "three cheers for the red white and blue", if Benoit was Canadian? I do agree though that steroids are terrible, but be careful with facts if you want to get a point across.

KathleenE. said...
on Aug. 12 2009 at 3:05 am
Melissa, this is immaculately researched and powerfully constructed. I love how you give so much significance with careful word choice and with the spacing--it really makes the audience consider the haunting nature of your poem. You have an amazing talent and I demand you write all the time! :)

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