January 26, 2000
Farewell to WCW
It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I decided to give up on WCW. My younger brother had introduced me to WCW back when Scott Hall had just appeared.
It was during these few shows that I discovered Chris Benoit.
I remember thinking that this guy was pretty good. Nothing special, that is until a PPV during '97 when Benoit was supposed to go against an injured Raven and Saturn filled in. To this day I believe that the match is the best I've ever seen.
Back then my gripe was, why didn't WCW use Benoit to his full potential? I knew about bookers, but surely WCW couldn't help but spot this future golden goose.
WCW found another way to keep me watching when they signed my then favorite wrestler Bret Hart. Right off the bat I knew something was wrong. What I thought was the perfect new version of the 4 Horsemen (Flair, Hart, Benoit, & DDP) never came to pass. Maybe because of too many big names. Anyhow, I started to notice that Hart started to seem a little wooden in his wrestling. I guess age waits for no man. While I would watch in hopes that Bret would loosen up, Benoit was really catching me with those knife-edge chops that makes the whole arena go "oooooo."
The passing of the torch came for me during the Hart-Benoit match that was dedicated to Owen Hart. To me, Benoit had that match. I knew that Bret would win, but that didn't stop Benoit from showing his stuff.
I went into Souled Out a firm Chris Benoit fan. While I still like Bret, Benoit is now "The Man." So when Benoit won the belt, I was jumping all over the place! Only when the camera showed Sid's foot under the rope did I know that Benoit wasn't going to be Champ too long.
So when all this Internet rumors started going how Benoit and several others were going to be given their release, my main thought was "why bother."
Why bother? Why should I bother watching WCW anymore? Benoit was my only pure joy I got from the federation. I do admit that I was starting to like Vampiro; the guy is going to be great, if what happened to Benoit doesn't happen to him.
Hopefully WWF will show its good sense of vision and sign not only Benoit but Perry Saturn as well. I can just see Vince coming out on RAW to confront Triple H and DX, telling them that to finish them once and for all he's hired the best talent in the world. The music pops, Benoit and Saturn roll in and clean house except for Triple H, who is neatly rolled into the Rings of Saturn while Benoit stomps him in the gut as Vince calmly saunters to ringside. Think of the match between a healed Rattlesnake and The Crippler!
You had me WCW, but through your backstage politics and games, you not only lost a loyal viewer, but also your future stars, most visibly Chris "The Crippler" Benoit.
Shawn Edwards is from Dixon, KY, and can be reached by e-mail at Desty_1@yahoo.com.