Local Wrestlers React To Benoit Tragedy

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Its a tragic end that local wrestler Randall Shane never could've imagined.

"I couldn't believe it. I had just woke up and looked on the Internet and I'm still in shock," Shane explained.

Pro wrestler, Chris Benoit had been a favorite of Shane's for years.

"He had a major influence on me - probably one of the most technical wrestlers in the world today," Shane recalled.

Since last week, reports about the Benoit massacre have put professional wrestling under a national microscope.

Many people feel the wrestling lifestyle coupled with performance-enhancing drugs led to the tragic killings.

However, local wrestler Josiah Caine disagrees and said you can't blame one person's actions on how he makes a living.

"The media right now is pushing everything on "its about wrestling," but before Benoit was a wrestler - he was a man," Caine said.

Mid-South wrestler, J.W. Wildfire doesn't deny steroids can be found throughout the professional and independent circuits, which makes it crucial that drug testing increase.

"I strongly suggest that drug testing should be more into the wrestling part of it," Wildfire noted.

However, he said independent wrestling companies like Mid-South and the major brands use their sport to do good.

A lot of times they put on charity shows to raise money for different causes in the area, like benefit shows for ill children who can't afford medical care.

"Wrestlers are here to entertain. We're not here to hurt anyone in this business," Wildfire said.

Despite the nation-wide hurt and anger the Benoit murders has created, Shane said he doesn't think the incident will hurt small wrestling promotions like Mid-South Wrestling.

Wildfire said that in the days since the incident, his own wrestlers have come together to support one another.

During a Mid-South Wrestling show on the night of July 1, 2007, the wrestlers gave a ten-bell salute to both Daniel and Nancy Benoit.

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