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LaBar: Chris Benoit's son will never be In WWE

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, May 1, 2014, 11:33 p.m.

When I say the name Chris Benoit, everyone immediately has a feeling and thought about him.

His son David Benoit is getting into wrestling and will be making his debut this summer. Do you immediately have a feeling and thought about that?

The name Benoit is forever tarnished in wrestling after the horrific events in June 2007 when Chris Benoit killed his seven-year-old son Daniel, his wife Nancy and then killed himself.

He was a great wrestler. He had millions of fans. Most of the wrestlers seemed to like him and have great memories with him. It's great for those attributes to try and be remembered, but it doesn't erase the actions of his final hours.

I feel sorry for his son David getting into wrestling. There is no way he can expect a fair shake. He carries the same last name as his father. He looks just like his father. He's getting into the business that is still being linked/blamed for his father's mental health, actions and death.

David is making his debut in Calgary at an independent wrestling show, tagging with Chavo Guerrero. The location makes sense given the family history and wrestling history with Calgary. The tag match make sense because he's new, so the match will allow him to be disguised and coached. The partner makes sense, as Guerrero was very close with his family up to the day of Chris Benoit's death.

That's all great for David, and I wish him the best in his debut.

However, wrestling isn't something you get into as a side hobby. The wrestling bug is in his blood. You should always follow your passion, but it seems like a tall task to think David Benoit can get to the level of making his living off wrestling without the big paydays of a top name company. Most notably, WWE.

But what big company is going to ever sign David Benoit? There is no way the signing won't come without bad publicity. It's not fair, but it's reality.

So often when we see second- or third-generation wrestlers, they pay some homage to their relatives who came before them with particular moves, looks or motions. He already looks like his dad.

Is he going to jump from the top rope doing the diving Headbutt? What about Crossface submission? Is he going to make the famous motion his father would before hitting the finish where he would run his thumb along his neck?

Not trying to destroy his ambitions, but these are very real questions that need to be thought about. If not now, then eventually. That's of course, if he's good enough.

A company can change his name, but how much will that really help? As I said, when you look at his face, he's a spitting image of his father. I don't care what goofy NXT name he gets, he is who he is.

I don't care if he wrestles as good or better than what Chris Benoit did, I can't see WWE ever signing David. Had his father only committed suicide, then yes. In a weird way, as tragic as just suicide would have been, his father would have been honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame by now.

It's the killing of his family that you can't come back from in WWE. Maybe there are options for him elsewhere, but not in the big time in the United States.

The current WWE slogan reads: Then, Now, Forever ... except if your name is Benoit.

Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or

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