Thought of the Day: Benoit and Modern Wrestling

This came up on my forums earlier today and it made me think a little bit.Right now, wrestling is clearly trending downward.  Ratings are going down and it’s clear that public interest isn’t what it used to be.  Among many other things, I think people forget how big a role the Benoit incident plays in this.  It’s by far and away the biggest mainstream story you’ll see in wrestling arguably ever and it sent shockwaves through everyone.  People looked at wrestling and saw a monster who was about to win a title murdering his wife and son before killing himself.  That was a wakeup call for a lot of fans and it made people walk away from wrestling.  The importance of this to the modern product hasn’t gone away and isn’t going to for a very, very long time.

7 comments

  1. dude_d_dude says:

    Did it personally affect you at all KB? Make you look at things any different?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Kind of. It blew my mind and still does to this day. I never stopped watching Benoit matches, but I do cringe every time he takes a shot to the head and wonder if that specific shot was the point of no return.

  2. Numbers says:

    I always figured losing Eddie was a huge part in his mental downfall but that the sustained use of steroids provided the rage. Wrestling was on a slow downslide before Benoit but it permanently changed the product drastically. I always hoped that it was in a slump much like the early 90’s but that the next Attitude era (boom) was coming soon. But I am not so sure now.

    Rocko Reply:

    Roid rage last about 5 minutes not 3 days.

  3. Craze says:

    That’s rubbish… I still enjoy wrestling as a lot of people do and I never in my life met someone that said: “I don’t watch wrestling because they are all crazy and murderers ” it’s more like: “That’s fake, why should I watch a fake fight?”

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m talking about wrestling fans that walked away from it.

  4. Gunther_224 says:

    Interest in wrestling diminished LONG before that. If anything WWE gained popularity as the tragedy forced them to go a more family friendly direction. Interest in wrestling really started to diminish after Wrestlemania XVll as that was the apex of the attitude era.