Now I will state that I had 1st seen him when he 1st appeared in WCW around the mid 90s and he had some skills. At 1st, I would have never guessed he would have gotten as far as he had later on in his career but then again success is never something that could easily be predicted. He came to WCW through a deal that had a partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He wrestled mainly in the Heavyweight Division throughout his tenure in WCW and also in the WWE. Just to be clear so it’s understood, it’s about Chris Benoit as an in-ring performer only and not anything else.
One of his biggest highlights early on in WCW was being a member of the 4 Horsemen. I’m sure for him it was easily one of his biggest highlights and a huge honor to be apart of a stable that is legendary in the NWA/WCW days. He had a feud with Kevin Sullivan and it involved who would be his future wife Woman. In fact, controversy formed with it since they had feelings for each other since they were instructed to act like a real couple keeping kayfabe. After he retired Sullivan in a match, he would move on to a major singles career. One of his 1st major titles was the WCW TV Title, when he traded the title back and forth with Booker T in a feud initially over the TV Title and made both men careers. While continuing to build his career, he had won the WCW Tag Team Titles 1st with Dean Malenko and a 2nd run with Perry Saturn, both of whom are currently retired at this time. He slowly would become a WCW Grand Slam Winner as he then won the WCW US Title and then finally the WCW Title. He held that for a day and was leaving the company due to not being happy with the company.
In 2000, Benoit had joined the WWE, then WWF (World Wrestling Federation) alongside Dean Malenko, the late Eddie Guerrero, and Perry Saturn. They would be known as the Radicalz and would have some success for only 2 of the 4 had more success. Saturn and Malenko I guess were nearing retirement and didn’t get to have a rather successful run with WWE. Benoit had come in and won the Intercontinental Title, giving him a very good start to a good career at Wrestlemania 16. He’d lose the title and then eventually move into a feud for the WWE Title, coming close but never officially holding the title. He also held both sets of the tag team titles, a run with Chris Jericho and 2 runs with Edge, and a run with Kurt Angle. When the US Title was revived, he would compete only to lose to Eddie Guerrero. As time went on, he would be involved in a Main Event feud with Brock Lesnar for a brief period. He was then told to win the Rumble at #1 to get a shot at the title.
He became the 2nd man to win the Rumble at the #1 entry lasting over 1 hour last eliminating Big Show. His biggest moment came when he won the World Heavyweight Title, which has the same look as the old WCW Title, by making HHH tap out. He would go on to hold it for 5 months before losing it to Randy Orton. Since that time, he had not received many World Title opportunities and they were few and far between. He would also go on to compete for the United States and win it from Orlando Jordan at Summerslam in under 30 seconds. It was then; he was given a gimmick of what can be done in 25 seconds or less.
That would be the last new title he would hold as he was suppose to go to Vengeance and compete against CM Punk for the ECW World Title. He was I believe supposed to win it but then he left do to “personal reasons.” The last thing was that he was found dead in his home at Atlanta, Georgia. Instead of the normal WWE Raw that was supposed to happen, it was a tribute to Chris Benoit and this was all before anything else came out as to what caused the death.