Benoit won his first title in 2000 and proceeded then from league to league, having important success. It had been decided that Benoit had killed his family and then himself for reasons still uncertain. Before learning to be a pro wrestler, Benoit was an amateur wrestler and bodybuilder. He got his feet wet in professional wrestling training with Stu Hart, dad of wrestlers Bret and Owen. Benoit registered in the ill-famed Hart family “Dungeon,” a renowned training facility, in late 1985 and started his professional wrestling career in November of this year in a tag match for Stampede Wrestling.
In 1989, Benoit joined the New Japan Pro and wrestled below the names Pegasus Child and Wild Pegasus, winning crucial matches and finding his star rise in the circuit. He soon landed on the radar of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, known as WWE starting in 2002) and experienced trial matches to join the organization, but it did not pan out.
In 1995, Benoit signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and took his division’s tournament. With WCW, Benoit was teamed up with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman as a fresh Four Horsemen, a favorite wrestling squad. Despite the success and promotion created, a couple of years after Benoit left the group, thus forfeiting his title, to make the jump to the WWF. Success immediately followed, as Benoit took the intercontinental title and found his fan base swell within the Radicalz, a foursome Benoit had formed upon joining the WWF.
In June 2001, nevertheless, Benoit endured a career-threatening neck injury and underwent major surgery to fix a ruptured disk that had entered his spinal column. He was laid up for over a year and returned to the ring in early 2002. Then he entered WrestleMania and defeated Triple H to become the World Heavyweight Champ.
On the way, Benoit and wrestler Kevin Sullivan developed a competition, and to the mixture was thrown Sullivan’s wife, Nancy, who also appeared across the ring as the character “Girl.” The competition caused a real life scandal when Nancy left Sullivan for Benoit, as well as the two were later married.
Benoit’s success had grown steadily, and his substitution to the WWE brought him more supporters, fame and money than he had ever had before. He’d won the World Heavyweight and Tag Team tournaments and turn into a wrestling star. A day later, Benoit, his wife and their 7-year old son, Daniel, were discovered dead at their house in Atlanta. He hung himself the next day.
An evaluation of Benoit’s brain uncovered serious brain cell damage—probably due to the multiple concussions he endured during his career—which can lead to dementia. While observers imagined the disaster was a consequence of “‘roid rage,” no anabolic steroids were discovered in Benoit’s system.