July 10, 1999
has wrestled on three continents and made a reputation for himself everywhere
he has gone. His intensity in the ring is unmatched in the sport
today. He has earned a spot in the illustrious Four Horseman, and
he has earned many people's respect by having the strength to leave them
when he felt he had to. Today, we get the opportunity to learn more
about the Canadian Crippler, Chris Benoit. Chris is a man who is
known for doing his talking in the ring, but today he gives us a rare
interview and lets us see more of the man behind the Crippler.
I would like to start off by asking you the question that every person
asks at the beginning of every interview. When did you first start
wrestling and why did you decide to get into this business?
Chris Benoit: I decided to get into the business because of the first
wrestling match I went to when I moved out west. I was born in Montreal,
Quebec and lived the first twelve years of my life there. My parents
moved out to Edmonton, Alberta when I was twelve years old.ð The first
match I ever went to was part of the Stu Hart promotion and it was in
the Edmonton Northlands Agricon. I laid eyes on the Dynamite Kid
and from that time I emulated him and tried to be like him. I admired
his athletic skill, his wrestling ability and his look. He had a
total look of confidence. From that time on, I always want to be
a wrestler and I always wanted to be like him.ð I got to know the Harts
eventually and started out as part of the Calgary Stampede for Stu Hart.
Did you first begin wrestling under the name of Chris Benoit or did you
use another gimmick?
Chris Benoit: No, it was as Chris Benoit.
Who were some of your first opponents in those early days with the Stampede?
Chris Benoit: Well, my first match ever was with a guy named Rick Patterson
against Mike Hammer and Karl Moffett, who later wrestler as Jason the
Terrible. From then on, I worked with guys like the Cuban Assassin,
which isn't David Fiero who is the guy in the States. A different
guy is the Cuban Assassin in Canada. I went against Jerry Morrow,
Great Gama, Mr. Hito, and guys like that. These guys that had been
around for awhile so I had a very good base of guys who had wrestled all
over the world to teach me.
RichInKC: Who were your best teachers and your greatest influences when
you were first starting out?
Benoit: Probably, Stu Hart, Mr. Hito, and all the Harts; Bruce Hart and
Keith Hart. Bad News Allen helped me out quite a bit. Around
that area, those were the main guys. Obviously, I was heavily influenced
by the style of Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid.
When I was starting out they were in the WWF already. I never really
got the opportunity to spend time with them or train in the ring with
them, but I was definitely influenced by the Dynamite Kid's style.