July 10, 1999
I understand that the Dynamite Kid is now working on his biography
Benoit: Yeah, I still keep in touch with him. The last time I spoke
to him we talked about that.
Did you spend much time in the infamous Stu Hart Dungeon?
Benoit: I probably spent about six months in the Dungeon before I even
got in the ring for my first match. The time was broken up some.
I didn't live in Calgary. I lived in Edmonton which is 180 miles
north of Calgary, but on weekends I would get on the Greyhound and go
to Calgary and work out and stay at the house. By the end of the
weekend, it would be back on the bus and back up to Edmonton. Sometimes
during the week and during the summer there was a guy named Jim Baker
who set his own ring up in Edmonton. I would help him set up the
ring on his acreage and I would go up during the week when we both had
times and we would wrestle.
RichInKC: Is wrestling the only profession you have ever known
or were you doing other things before that?
Benoit: I came out of high school and went right into wrestling.
RichInKC: How long were you with the Calgary Stampede before you went
to other federations? I believe New Japan was your next stop.
Benoit: I was there probably about six months, maybe seven months.
I wasn't wrestling steady, just weekends. Sometimes I would get
four days in a week, but at the time they were running six or seven days
a week. Stu kept me pretty busy.
Tokyo Joe was an agent in Japan and Bad News Allen was going to
Japan to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling and to train in the Dojo
there. They asked me to go to New Japan and I jumped on that right
away. I was always a big fan of the Japanese style because throughout
the years Stu always had Japanese wrestlers working for him. Stampede
Wrestling's style had a lot of Japanese influence in there. I was
watching all the old tapes of the Dynamite Kid, Bret Hart and Davey Boy
Smith when they wrestled over there and I always dreamed of going there
and finding out what it was all about for myself.
When you debuted in New Japan Pro Wrestling did you debut as Chris Benoit
or was that when you put on the mask and wrestled as the Pegasus Kid?
Benoit: No, I was still going as Chris Benoit. I went over there
and trained in the Dojo as Chris Benoit. I spent the first six months
just training. The next six months of my year there was in the ring
as Chris Benoit.
RichInKC: How long until the Pegasus Kid character evolved?
Benoit: After I completed my year at New Japan, I went back to Calgary
for two years. I sharpened my skills and Stu really put me to work.
I was now working six or seven days a week every week year round, which
really gave me a lot of experience. A couple of years later I returned
to New Japan and became the Pegasus Kid.