Vickie Guerrero feels that Chris Benoit deserves to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for his wrestling career, despite his shocking final days. A Canadian-born grappler, Benoit first gained U.S. fame during a short stint in the early days of ECW, where he inadvertently broke Sabu's neck and earned the nickname "The Crippler." From there he went on to a long run in WCW, spending several years as part of the elite Four Horsemen stable alongside greats like Ric Flair and Dean Malenko.
Frustrated with his lack of upward mobility in WCW, Benoit jumped to the then-WWF in 2000, right in the middle of the Monday Night Wars. Benoit would reach his highest heights in WWE in 2004, defeating Triple H and Shawn Michaels in the triple threat main event of WrestleMania XX, and spending several months as World Heavyweight Champion. Benoit would remain a WWE fixture until 2007, when he no-showed the Vengeance pay-per-view, and was subsequently found dead at his home. In arguably the biggest tragedy ever connected to professional wrestling, Benoit was determined to have murdered his wife Nancy and son Daniel, before killing himself.
In the years since his death, Benoit has been all-but completely erased from WWE history. His matches can still be seen as part of full shows available on the WWE Network, but other than that, the company never makes reference to him or promotes content featuring him. It's not hard to understand why, as it's not a great look to be associated with a murderer. However, some fans still believe Benoit's career accomplishments have earned him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. Surprisingly enough, WWE alum Vickie Guerrero agrees with this view. Here's her full quote, from an interview with reporter Chris Van Vliet of WSVN-TV.
It’s a sad situation. I loved Chris Benoit. His family was our family. His wife Nancy, we were close friends and their son Daniel and we were all really close. I wasn’t there when it happened and I don’t understand why it happened but I still love him. Aside from all of that he loved us and he respected us. He was a talented wrestler and he had his own legacy and I think that it shouldn’t be ignored and it’s sad how things turned out but I would like to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame.
As made clear by her quote, Vickie Guerrero isn't necessarily objective on this topic. Her late husband Eddie Guerrero - himself a WWE Hall of Fame inductee - was Benoit's best friend, with the two having traveled the world together many times over in Japan, ECW, WCW, and WWE. As she says, their families also became close, including herself and Benoit's wife Nancy. It's easy to see how that puts her in a strange emotional position, having loved all the members of the Benoit family, and still not quite understanding exactly why Chris Benoit did what he did. In that respect, she's certainly not alone.
Her personal affection for Benoit aside, Guerrero makes a logical argument. Looking strictly at his professional wrestling career, Benoit definitely deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, without question. The problem is that WWE boss Vince McMahon really has nothing to gain by ever inducting him. No matter how many years go by, many people would still be understandably outraged at WWE for honoring someone who did something so heinous. As amazingly as Benoit performed in the ring, it's hard to ever imagine his legacy being anything other than how disturbingly his life ended.
Source: Chris Van Vliet/YouTube