RAW Report 6/25/07 Corpus Christi, Texas

The show starts with a still of Benoit with his birth and death dates.

Vince is in the ring saying the arena was supposed to be filled to capacity and the show was supposed to be about his alleged demise. Instead Benoit and his family were found dead. The only thing we can do tonight is to pay tribute to Chris Benoit. We will hear form his peers who loved and admired him so much. Tonight will be a three hour tribute to Chris Benoit. The camera zooms in on Vince and he’s been obviously crying a lot.

A video starts. It’s stills of a very young Chris. Music starts and shows more pics and bits of video of Chris’s early career. Video of him in Japan, WCW, then beating Big Show at the RR. Chris saying how he was always told he’d never win the big one. Then video of him winning the big one with JR’s excited voice over it. Nancy and the kids join him in the ring. The video end with the same still from the opening of the show.

– Commercial

Video of Chris talking about his love of wrestling. Then his sister talking about how great it was that he became the World Champion. His mother said he was a wonderful kid, soft spoken and the perfect child. His father said he was very quiet. So quiet he worried about him because he’d go in his room and read for hours. Then more of Chris at his old high school. This video is from when Chris won his big title at WM20.

JR and King are talking about the loss of Chris, Nancy and Daniel. Both of them are choked up. JR says they will be celebrating some of Chris’s greatest moments. The RR match and then winning at WM20. Benoit was the first entrant and the video starts with the 30th entrant.
Goldberg is taking people apart. Goldberg spears Nunzio and then tosses him out. Goldberg tries to suplex Show when Lesnar comes in and attacks Goldberg. They stare at each other. Benoit beats on RVD. Goldberg calls Lesnar an SOB. Angle tosses Goldberg out. Angle and Cena try to eliminate Big Show. Y2J joins and RVD, then Benoit. The five work on Show but get tossed off. Benoit climbs while Cena hits the five knuckle shuffle. Benoit hits the flying head butt. Angle calls for Shot to be tossed out. All five try to pick him up. Show tosses them all off again. Cena gets tossed and injures his knee. RVD then gets tossed by Show. Y2J is almost tossed but skins the cat. Y2J works on Show and almost gets him out. Y2J gets flipped but lands on the apron. Jericho hits a bulldog and goes for the walls. He locks on the walls and Show taps to no avail. Angle attacks Jericho. Benoit gets man handled by Show. Jericho gets choke slammed form the ring and there are three. Sidewalk slam from Show to Angle. Benoit gets choke slammed. Angle goes for a waist lock and Show bum slams him away. Angle slam to Show. Benoit attacks Angle. Angle slam to Benoit. Angle gets the ankle lock on Show who taps again to no avail. Show is drooling all over the place. Show uses the leverage of the ankle lock to toss Angle from the ring. Show is on the apron, as is Benoit. Benoit attacks and they are both back inside the ropes. Benoit is 90 seconds short of being in there for one hour. Benoit counters the choke slam and reverses it into the cross face. Show taps for a third time. Show picks Benoit up with one arm and slams him. The record is 64 minutes by Flair in 1992, Benoit is almost there. Show gets to his feet and takes down his straps. Benoit struggles to his feet, Show helps him up. A military press and Benoit wiggles to a front face lock. Show puts Benoit over the ropes but Benoit holds on. He pulls Show over the ropes. It’s obvious to anyone watching that Show helps Benoit. Show helps pull himself over the ropes and out. Benoit wins the Royal Rumble to go to WM20. He celebrates in the ring though completely wiped out.

Austin says Benoit is one of the most talented people he’s ever seen in his life. No matter how many people were in the building, Benoit gave his all. He didn’t wrestle Benoit much, but it was always great. Benoit was one of the most honest people Austin has ever met in his life. Everything could be falling down around him but you wouldn’t be able to tell by talking to him. He misses Chris and wishes he was still with us. “I love you Chris!”

– Commercial

Chris talking about his first match. His dad and grandfather brought him, then he always bugged them to go back.. Then a bunch of friends went. Then they started help set up chairs and the ring. They were told to try the ring. He played in the ring. He started meeting wrestlers. He so wanted to meet Dynamite Kid. He finally pounded on the door and introduced himself. This was also from the video right after he won the World Title.

Cole and JBL talking about Benoit. How much his family meant to him. How he brought his kids along a lot. His kids were the best behaved and most respectful kids Cole ever met. Always the best dressed, shook hands, ‘yes sir, no sir’, and all that. JBL gets choked up and talks about what they said on Benoit’s 40 birthday a few weeks ago. JBL says he doesn’t want to do this. He wants to be calling a Benoit match right now.

Cena says it’s the most difficult thing he’s ever had to do. We will hear from a lot of people and see a lot of great moments. It’s so shocking and that’s what makes it difficult. His first instinct is to celebrate the life of Benoit, and he thinks it’s the right thing to do. He says Benoit was a hard nose SOB, but if he knew you meant business he’d look out for you. He formed close bonds with people. Some people will talk as if they’re his brother. He lived for the business. He respected everything about this business. His ideals about the business, Cena looks up to. He took no shit about the business. He hopes as we watch this we appreciate everything Benoit did, because everything Chris did for this industry he did for the fans. He’s a man who lived for the business. He was like John Wayne. He was too tough to open up to, to talk to. You could tell when he gave a damn about you and when he didn’t. “He was never the type of guy you’d say I love you to, but since he’s watching, and I know he is… Chris, I love you.”

– Commercial

Chris talking about going to ECW. How Paul Heyman asked him to join the show.

Video of 2 Cold Scorpio and Benoit in an ECW ring. Chris said he had a lot of respect for Scorpio. They went at it hard in the ring the way he did with Eddie and Jericho.

Tazz and Styles talking about Benoit and him going to ECW. They were all excited that he was coming in from Japan to join them. Tazz says we’ll hear a lot about Benoit the friend, the performer, the husband and father, they’re all true. Despite the gentleman Benoit was, when you got in the ring with him you’d better step it up or he’d be all over you. Tazz chokes up. Styles says he was so excited about getting Benoit back to ECW. How they were riding along all excited about getting him back.

Video of Benoit’s return to ECW. Benoit comes down to the ring. Elijah Burke comes down to face him.
Burke showboats in front of Benoit. They lock up and Benoit take shim down with a waist lock. Front face lock from Burke. Hammer lock from Benoit. They stop and Burke stares at Benoit. Benoit goes at him with chops. Burke takes Benoit down for two. Benoit puts on the cross face but Burke gets to the ropes. Burke works on Benoit in a corner. Benoit gets slammed. Burke covers for two. Burke covers for two. A kick to Benoit’s ribs. An abdominal stretch to Benoit. Benoit partially gets out of it and manages a northern light suplex and bridge for two. Benoit gets hung up on the ropes across his ribs then Burke sends Benoit outside. Back in the ring Burke goes for a pin but his feet are under the ropes. Benoit takes him down with a high elbow to the face then a body drop for two. Another norther lights suplex and bridge for two. Three Germans from Benoit and some of Burke’s beads come free.
Benoit climbs but Burke gets his knees up into Benoit’s head when he flies. Both men are down. Take down by Burke for two. Burke throws some punches and tries for a suplex but Benoit knees Burke in the head while he’s up-side-down. Benoit goes for the sharp shooter but can’t lock it on. Burke drops his knee pads and flies at Benoit who moves out of the corner. Benoit gets the sharp shooter on and Burke taps.

– Winner: Benoit

Benoit celebrates in the ring, goes out to look at the ECW title and plans on going to Vengeance…

CM Punk says he felt really disappointed last night for not being able to face Benoit. Today he feels really guilty about it. He got to know Benoit, his hero. He never got to wrestle him, but thinks of Benoit over his shoulder trying to keep the next generation of wrestlers alive. He hopes he never lets him down. “I’ll miss you Chris.”

– Commercial

Replay of Vince in the ring talking about how the show was supposed to be about his demise, but the show will be about Benoit and his family. They were found in their Atlanta home this afternoon and there will be an on-going investigation. Tonight’s a three hour tribute to one of the greatest superstars of all time.

JR and King send out their condolences to David and Megan, his children who are still alive. Chris was a great friend and a great rival. King says we just saw his last match and we will go back ten years to a match with Malenko. He thinks Benoit really enjoyed feuding with friends as it was a great comradery.

WCW Hog Wild – 1996 – Rhodes is on the mic. Benoit takes Dean down. Dean gets backed into a corner but Dean comes back with knees to the gut. A high knee to Dean’s gut and then slams his head into the corner. Dean kicks Benoit and slams his face into the corner. Suplex to Benoit. Dean covers for two. Neck breaker to Benoit for two. Head lock on Benoit, Woman is on the outside. Benoit gets to his feet. Dean gets his face slammed into the corner and then slammed to the mat. Chris covers but Dean gets his foot on the ropes. Chris pulls him away and gets a two count. Chops from Benoit and then a back elbow for two. Benoit again covers for two. They keep reversing covers for two. Some real nice mat wrestling. They go at the mat again and Dean bridges out. Dean gets an arm submission on Benoit while Woman screams from outside. Benoit somehow picks Dean up, still in the hold, and slams him to the mat. Benoit covers for two.

– Commercial

JR and King take us back to the match, but they remind us that Benoit’s wife was Woman, who was at ringside during this match.
Benoit gets the sharp shooter on Dean who won’t tap. Dean tries to get to the ropes but Benoit pulls him back. Woman screams at Chris to hang in there. Benoit drops dean out of the hold. Kick to the back of Benoit’s head and they are both down for seven. Benoit and Dean crack heads. Dean holds his knee and Benoit kicks it. Benoit gets a scissors hold on Dean’s knee. Dean won’t quit or tap. Benoit slams down on Dean’s knee and goes back to the scissors on the knee. There’s a time limit to the match from the sounds of it. Countdown from ten… Dean pins Benoit for two and the countdown is out. The ref calls for another five minute overtime. Poke to Benoit’s eyes but a back body drop to Dean. Leg drag take down on Benoit. Benoit is down holding his knee. Dean starts working on the knee. Dean covers Benoit for two. Benoit covers for two. Dean holds the ropes and Benoit’s drop kick lands flat. Dean gets a sharp shooter on Benoit. Woman tries to help Benoit and Dean grabs her. This is all Benoit needs and is able to roll Dean up for three.

– Winner: Benoit

Woman enters the ring and celebrates with Benoit.

Dean says when he looks back over his career, who he’s driven with, feuded with, who has touched him, Chris is one of those guys. He met Chris in Japan, as well as Eddie. It was a time of leaning on each other through goods and bads. Supporting each other in and out of the ring. Chris was always a guy he could talk to. Very few in the wrestling world really got to know Chris, he kept to himself. People might have thought he was arrogant or odd, but that’s just who he was. As a friend he’s honored and privileged to spend 15 years with him. In the ring he pushed him. Chris was so great about working with the young guys, helping them hone their talent. It’s ironic that in a two year time span he lost two of his best friends. He always says that the three amigos were not the suplexes in the ring, but Dean, Eddie and Chris. They used to laugh about it. He wants to send his condolences to the fans. He was a machine. He gave 120% every night. He will be missed. My greatest gift to Chris was giving him the crippler cross face. Being that Dean was so well known for his holds he went to Dean and borrowed it. They always joked about that. There were so many great matches Benoit had. On a personal level he’ll miss his friendship, his quietness. The one thing he can hold onto is that his two closest friends are together now, arguing. “I miss you, I love you as a friend… I’ll never forget you.”

– Commercial

Chris talking about his life in the ring, showing bit from matches.

Shot of the empty arena with him up on the titan tron. Cole and JBL talking about Benoit. Cole says Benoit always garnered respect. That it was always great to call a Benoit match. Whether he won or lost he’d stand in the center of the ring and the fans would cheer and call his name. The fans knew he gave his all. JBL says he got to wrestle Benoit a lot and it was always great.

SD! 2006, JBL and Benoit in a cage for the US Title. Benoit starts to climb the cage and JBL stops him. Electric chair from JBL to Benoit. JBL covers for two. They crawl to their feet. Sleeper on Benoit in the center of the ring. Benoit drops to a knee. Benoit is down on the mat. The ref picks up his arm and it drops once, twice, but not a third time. Benoit is back to sitting up. Benoit is on his feet. Suplex to JBL and both are down. JBL is up and kicks Benoit lightly in the head. Two Germans to JBL who wiggles out of the third. Benoit runs into JBL’s boot. JBL climbs the corner, he jumps up but Benoit grabs his leg. Benoit climbs and hits a German from the top rope. Both are down again. Benoit goes for the door, holding his neck. Jillian Hall tries to close the door and the ref stops her. JBL pulls Benoit away and goes for the door. Jillian slams the door on JBL’s head. Benoit gets the cross face on JBL who taps but the ref is distracted by Jillian. JBL then rolls Benoit up for two. JBL then goes for the door. He hits a low blow on Benoit and out the door.

– Winner: JBL

Steph says Benoit was an amazing wrestler. He was passionate, but also about family. Chris thought it was so cool she married HHH. He was one of the few genuinely happy for them. He was so warm and emotional. Most don’t know that about him. When she got pregnant, he was so warm and emotional. He thought it was the best. He loved his kids and they worshiped him. “He was an incredible man and performer. I will always know him as my friend.”

– Commercial

Chavito (in tears through the whole thing) says Chris was his friend, part of his family. To tell how close he was, the morning he found Eddie, the first one he called was Chris. After telling him, it almost broke his heart as much as finding Eddie. A guy who was hard as a rock, he wailed and cried. He was sobbing uncontrollably. The gift he was given with Eddie was that he got to be with Eddie the day before he died. He got another gift, he spent the night last week at Chris’s. He made him feel at home. They did some house shows, TV, traveled and missed their flights. Well, Chris made his, Chavito missed his. They called each other to check up. It’s so hard to go through this again. To be in the ring with him, there was no other person like him. He thanks God for the matches they had together, some of the best of Chavito’s career. He’d thank him after matches because they meant so much. They always left with a hug, kiss and ‘I love you’. He didn’t give that out freely. The last time they talked he ended the call with ‘I love you Chavito.’ Tank you for everything, the time at WM when their kids played together. That he trusted him with his kids. He knows Chris’s heart and what a great heart he has, had, whatever. “Thanks Chris for being my friend. I love you man.”

– Commercial

Styles says Benoit and his family were found in their Atlanta home. They don’t have any further details. He goes on to talk about Benoit at the Pegasus Kid. This match was aired in Japan, but Tazz and Styles dubbed it in English for this.

Masked Benoit with Liger. He puts Liger up to and a superplex from the top. Benoit climbs but Liger moves out of the way of the head butt. Heel kick from Liger. Liger covers for two. Powerbomb to Benoit. Liger covers for two. Scoop slam by Liger. Liger climbs and lands on Benoit. Liger covers for two. Benoit covers Liger for two. Tazz talks about how tough Liger is. Clothesline by Benoit. Piledriver by Benoit. Benoit climbs and drops a leg. Benoit covers for three to win the Jr. Heavyweight Title.

– Winner: Benoit

Regal says he’d like to tell us about the great things about Benoit. But Benoit was the hardest working, most dedicated there was in the industry, of anyone he’s ever met. That’s all he has to say at the moment. “He was the absolute best.”

– Commercial

Again, the opening of the show with Vince in the ring talking about what the show was supposed to be about, but that Benoit and his family are gone.

JR and King again. They talk about Benoit’s boyhood hero – the Dynamite Kid. Video of Benoit talking about being able to face Dynamite Kid. He was like 18 with a bunch of dreams. Someone else talks about how most of his moves were the Dynamite’s Kid’s moves. How he almost knocked himself out doing his first flying head butt.

RR, 2001 at Ladder Match against Jericho. Dropkick the ladder into Jericho. Suplex to Jericho. Benoit gets the ladder an puts it up on the corner. A kick to Jericho’s head and he tries to send Jericho into the corner but Benoit gets slammed face first into the top of the ladder. Jericho then see-saws the ladder into Benoit’s face from the apron. Dropkick from Jericho. Jericho set sup the ladder and starts to climb. Benoit grabs the back of Jericho and suplexes him over the tope rope. Jericho lands on his head in front of JR and King. Benoit starts to climb the ladder. Jericho enters the ring and climbs up. He gets an octopus on Benoit on the top of the ladder. Jericho lets go and Benoit falls to the mat. Jericho gets to the top of the ladder but Benoit knocks it over.

– Commercial

Jericho slams the ladder into Benoit. Jericho climbs but Benoit pulls him down and puts on the cross face. Jericho taps out, not that it matters. Benoit lets go and slams Jericho shoulder first into the ring post. Benoit gets flap jacked into the ladder. Jericho crushes Benoit in a corner with the ladder. Jericho set the ladder up in the corner. They both climb and Jericho sets up for the superplex. Benoit pushes him off. Benoit climbs the rest of the way up and goes for the head butt but Jericho moves. Jericho set the ladder up on Benoit and climbs. Benoit pushes the ladder over and Jericho gets hung up on the ropes. Benoit climbs and Jericho hits him in the back with a chair. Jericho pushes over the ladder hanging Benoit up on the ropes and then outside. Jericho climbs and gets the belt.

– Winner: Jericho

JR says Jericho is all shaken up after hearing about his friend. King says Benoit was in it for passion and heart, not for money. He loved it, loved the fans. He was also so intense. There was no one so intense in the ring.

– Commercial

Edge has been crying. He says he has three people in this industry he feels he can go to and two fo them are gone now. He remembers as a teen watching Stampede Wrestling. He saw this 18 year old guy start his career. He thought he was awesome and knew he would become something. He became one of the greatest to put on boot. “Whenever we got in the ring together it was like to Canadians fighting over the last beer.” He had some personal issues in his home life and he was the first person he went to. He cared. He didn’t just pat him on the back. Everybody in this locker room loved Chris. Not one person could say anything bad about him. Two weeks ago in Orlando he got in the ring with Chris. As strange as it sounds, to get kicked in the head that hard and chopped that hard, it was fun. In ‘gorilla’ he was smiling and he rarely it that. He got a standing ovation. When he had his neck surgery he’d call Chris. He asked questions about how things were supposed to go with recovery. Two weeks ago Chris showed up to a show with Daniel, in a shirt and tie, as always. He was warming up and Daniel was doing all the exercises with him. He thought how lucky he was. Edge really breaks down here. “This is really confusing. I’m not sure if I understand it or ever will. He’d be hot at me for crying right now, but I can’t help it. It’s all I got.”

– Commercial

Cole and JBL again. Cole talks about how quiet, but emotional Benoit was. A few guys were tossed out of the locker room because they didn’t have the right respect. He had two things – give 110% and make sure the fans go home happy.

More video of Chris talking about feeling good about what he does. It goes to clips with music.

– Commercial

HHH says he was give a few minutes to sum up a friend’s life. It’s tough to do. What was the one thing about Chris beyond anything else. The one thing that kept coming back was respect. He demanded it, he received it. Respect for the fans, wrestlers, family, himself. A few years ago a young wrestler showed some disrespect to HBK. Chris took it upon himself to make the kid to 1000 squats. Chris did them right along with the kid. Then the next day when the kid couldn’t bend his legs Benoit made him do 500 more squats. He did them with him again. One of his favorite moments in his career will always be WM20, looking back and seeing Chris with the title belt. His family was with him. It was everything. He can’t speak for everybody, but he’s pretty sure everybody Chris ever met respected him. He can say it for himself. He respected Chris more than anyone else in this world. He’s not saying it because he’s not here, but because it’s true. “I’ll see you down the road my friend.”

King and JR say everybody respected him, and that’s true. JR talks about the WM match when Chris wins. One of the most exiting main events in WWE history.
The match hasn’t even started and there’s a Benoit chant. HBK attacks HHH and Benoit tosses him off and attacks HHH. They go back and forth. Benoit chops HBK and then tosses HHH from the ring. HBK covers Benoit for two. Benoit bridges out. HBK covers Benoit for two. HHH rushes the ring and clotheslines HBK. HHH tosses HBK form the ring then gets chopped by Benoit. HBK then tosses Benoit from the ring. Body drop to HHH. Chops to HHH from HBK. High knee to HBK and HHH covers for two. Benoit shoulders HHH in the gut through the ropes. HHH leaves the ring and rams Benoit’s back to the Edge of the ring. HBK baseball slides into both Benoit and HHH. HBK moonsaults from the top to take both HHH and Benoit out.

– Commercial

HBK hits a German on Benoit. Benoit counters with three Germans. Chris then climbs and hits his head butt on HBK. Benoit covers for two. Benoit again covers for two. HBK nips up and hits a clothesline on HHH. HBK climbs and hits his flying elbow. HBK starts to tune up the band. He hits sweet chin music on HHH. HBK pins HHH. Benoit pulls HHH from the ring. “Benoit,” chant. HBK chops Benoit in a corner. HBK gets whipped and turned in-side-out. Benoit tries to set up the sharp shooter and can’t/ Benoit throws some blows and HBK is busted wide open. Benoit tries to lock in the cross face. He locks it in and HBK is about to tap but HHH grabs his hand on the way down. HHH hits Benoit in the head, Benoit looks shocked. Benoit and HHH fight outside the ring with chops and blows. Benoit is tossed into the stairs. Benoit is bleeding from above the eye.

– Commercial

JR and King again. King says that Nancy and Daniel are also gone. It makes him want to get home and tell his family and girlfriend that he loves them. If we’re watching with those we love, to tell them we love them. JR says he will miss watching him compete. One of the most poignant moments he remembers comes at the end of this match we’re watching now.

All three men are down and two are bleeding. HHH has a crimson mask. HHH gets to his feet and gets Benoit to his feet. HHH goes for the pedigree but Benoit reverses it into the sharp shooter. HHH fights it, flailing about. He tries to get to the ropes but Benoit pulls him away. HBK hits sweet chin music on Benoit. HBK covers Benoit for two. HBK tunes up the band again. Benoit ducks the kick and dumps HBK over the top. HHH sets up for the pedigree again but Benoit again reverses it, this time into a cross face. HHH tries to get to the ropes but can’t. He tries to roll out of the hold but Benoit holds on and rolls with him. HHH finally taps out.

– Winner: Benoit

Benoit on the mat as the fans go crazy. He cries at the belt and takes it from the ref. He holds the belt high with Hebner holding his arm him. Benoit gets up on the corner and celebrates. He gets down to find his best friend Eddie standing there. They hug and cry in that touching moment we all remember. They hold their belts high together as confetti falls from above. They hug again and talk. Eddie raises his friend’s hand and celebrates with him.

The show ends with the same still of Benoit, RIP.

I remember the last time I saw Benoit. My roommate’s first time watching wrestling was that WM match they just showed. She was so touched by Benoit and Eddie that she started watching. I got tickets to a house show and surprised her with them. We drove an hour to watch Benoit. We wanted to see the rest of the show, but he was our main attraction. He gave 120% for a very small crowd in Maine. It didn’t matter that the arena wasn’t packed. We had a total blast watching him because he gave his all. She was the first person I called when I found out this afternoon even though she was at work. We watched RAW tonight crying through most of it. Benoit will be dearly missed in our little family as well as so many others.

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