Professional wrestlerDied when: 40 years 34 days (481 months)
Star Sign: Gemini
Christopher Michael Benoit (;May 21, 1967 – June 24, 2007) was a Canadian professional wrestler and legally-determined murderer.During his 22-year professional wrestling career, he worked for numerous promotions including the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment (WWF/WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).
Prominent professional wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer considered Benoit "one of the top 10, maybe even the top 5, all-time greats" in professional wrestling history.
Benoit held 22 championships between WWF/WWE, WCW, NJPW, and ECW.He was a two-time world champion, having been a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE; he was booked to win a third world championship at a WWE event on the night of his death.
Benoit was the twelfth WWE Triple Crown Champion and seventh WCW Triple Crown Champion, and the second of four men in history to achieve both the WWE and WCW Triple Crown Championships.
He was also the 2004 Royal Rumble winner, joining Shawn Michaels and preceding Edge as one of three men to win a Royal Rumble as the number one entrant.
Benoit headlined multiple pay-per-views for WWE, including a victory in the World Heavyweight Championship main event match of WrestleMania XX in 2004.
In a suspected double-murder and suicide in June 2007, local law enforcement officials in Fayette County, Georgia concluded based on "evidence found within the (Benoit family) home", that Chris had murdered both his wife Nancy (on June 22) and their 7-year-old son Daniel (on June 23) in their Fayetteville residence, and that some time after (on June 24) Chris had committed suicide, reportedly hanging himself in the residency basement (using equipment in a weight-training area).
Later research undertaken by the Sports Legacy Institute suggested that depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition of brain damage, from numerous concussions Chris had sustained during his professional wrestling career were both likely contributing factors leading to the crimes.
The tragedy itself would result in a thorough U.S. congressional investigation of the professional wrestling industry, as well as WWE blacklisting Chris, striking his name and all his past accomplishments from their history records and removing virtually all traces of his existence from the company archives.
The tragedy is viewed by many as the darkest real-life event in professional wrestling history.