On Sunday, June 24th, the boys in the back of the Toyota Center were worried. They knew something was wrong. Chris Benoit was missing. No one had heard from him since the wee hours of the morning, when Chavo and Steven Regal received a strange series of text messages from the cell phones of both Chris and his wife Nancy. They had tried to call back, had been trying to get a hold of him all day. There was no answer. Nobody knew where Chris Benoit was, or what he was doing.
The boys feared the worst. Wrestlers are no strangers to tragedy; they are no strangers to death. It comes with the territory. In the past decade, anywhere from 60 to 100 of their number have passed away before reaching the age of fifty-five. When Chris Benoit went missing, they prayed that he was safe, but deep down they had to have known that something was wrong. They had seen it happen too many times before.
The notion of Chris Benoit missing a show was unheard of, almost impossible to imagine. Across his twenty year career, Chris Benoit had never no-showed an event. He prided himself on his attendance. He was the Brett Favre, the Cal Ripken of professional wrestling. He was the iron man, a consummate professional. Nothing short of death could keep Chris Benoit from the wrestling ring.
That night in Houston, Texas, few could believe that Chris Benoit was missing the show, it was scheduled to be a big night for him “The Rabid Wolverine” had returned to Extreme Championship Wrestling. Benoit was gunning for the ECW Heavyweight championship, currently wrapped around the waist of an up-and-coming young Chicagoan, C.M. Punk. It was the type of bout that Benoit lived for.
The fans were upset when the ring announcer informed them that Benoit wasn’t going to be performing. They booed Benoit’s replacement, the sneering pretty-boy Johnny Nitro, as he walked down the aisle and into the ring. For the duration of the eight minute and three second match, the fans chanted for Benoit. It started slowly at first, but soon the whole arena was echoing. “We want Benoit! We want Benoit!”
Soon they would all know what was inside of the house, soon they would know about the bodies.