For Dark Side of the Ring's season 2 premiere, VICE TV dove into one of the most complicated and difficult subjects to talk about in professional wrestling. That would be the story of former WWE superstar Chris Benoit, who suffered from mental health issues and tragically killed his wife, his son, and then himself. Since then Benoit has been scrubbed from much of WWE's programming or replays, but now you can really get a sense of the history behind the tragic story and the fallout from the people who were closest to the situation. That included Chris Jericho, who was a friend of both Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, and ComicBook.com recently had the chance to talk to Jericho all about the new episode and why he felt it was time to talk about what happened in more detail.
"Well, I don't really know. That's hard to say because I think I probably did this for more of a selfish reason," Jericho said. "My friend Chavo Guerrero was one of the producers and he was pointing out we should do this because we need to do it before someone else does it. We can do it the right way with the right people. So that's the reason why I did it. To me, I don't think we could ever really explain or figure out or understand why things happened the way they did. I still don't know, 12, 13 years later. I think more along the lines of putting it together properly with people that lived through it from a very close personal level."
"Myself, Chavo, Dean, Vicki Guerrero and course, Sandra Toffoloni, and then David Benoit, we've never really had a chance to tell our stories together, I guess you'd say," Jericho said. "But that's one of the things that I really wanted to do and be involved in because of that. Do I hope people get some clarity out of it? Maybe, but I don't know if there's really any clarity to get out of it. Once again, it's still a tragic and confusing story today as it was in 2007, but it was well done. It's heavy, it's emotional, it's hard to watch at times, but it was done for the right reason and it was done by the right people."
Jericho has spoken about what happened with Benoit before, but this allowed a chance to address all of it with the others that lived through it and are still coping with it.
"For me, I had protected myself because I've written about this in a few of my books," Jericho said. "I've done podcasts on it, on the situation itself, on Nancy, on Chris's career, which was very important for me to do because I wanted to talk about his actual career, his brilliance in the ring. The hardest thing about it is watching it back probably and seeing, I wasn't involved in the editing of it or anything like that. So you don't know what anybody is else saying or what everybody else's attitude is. I think it's hard to watch, seeing the pictures of Nancy and Daniel, and then, of course, seeing David Benoit talk about it because he's a huge victim in this."
"The epitome of an innocent victim, right? So that was hard, to see those things," Jericho said. "But as far as talking about it, I think that pretty much put a cap in it now. Like I said, I've talked about it on the radio, on my podcast, I've talked about it in my books. Written about it, which gives you great clarity when you write something down. And now doing it on camera and saying it and once again, doing this too, with a great group of people behind the camera and some of my closest friends on camera. There's really no reason for me to ever really delve into this ever again."
"So it was hard to watch everybody's thoughts, hard to watch the story unfold, but good because now, once again, it's definitely out of my system forever. Still not explainable any way, shape, or form, and I think it's okay to come to terms with the fact that it'll never be explained, and now we just move forward and continue our lives," Jericho said.
Jericho had a chance to wrestle against Benoit during their early days in Japan before they would go on to become WWE superstars, and there are a few matches that stand out, though it was in WWE where the two would have some all-time classics.
"Well, I worked with him a few times in Japan, but where I really worked with him was in WWE," Jericho said. "We came up the ranks together in that company, so I think that we had some good matches in Japan. There are a few clips of a great one we had in Tokyo in 1995 that they show a lot from. But I think probably the best ones are in WWE, talking about when we first, the ladder match we had at Royal Rumble, I think in 2001. The TLC match that we had, TLC III."
"But the one that was the big one to me was Jericho and Benoit versus Triple H and Steve Austin," Jericho said. "That was the one that was basically one of the best raw matches of all time, but it's also the best raw match that you'll probably never see. I'm not sure if they have it up on the network, I don't know where you can find it. You can probably find it online somewhere. It's hard for me to watch, once again. But I encourage anybody who isn't as close to the story as I am to watch it because it's a great wrestling match with four of the best ever, for sure."
What did you think of Dark Side of the Ring? Let us know in the comments or let me know on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!