DVD Review: Hard Knocks - The Chris Benoit Story

DVD Review: Hard Knocks - The Chris Benoit Story

By: Bill

Well, I've got to tell you, I feel a bit weird doing this review, for obvious reasons. However, when the murders-suicide happened a month or two ago, this DVD was, coincidentally, already on the top of my pile to watch and review next. Would I have gone out and bought it after all that? No. But I already had it, so I watched it. I watched it, so I'm reviewing it. If you don't like the fact I'm reviewing it, don't read the review.

This was another very well-produced DVD by the WWE. It was produced at the time that Benoit was World Heavyweight Champion. I don't know whether that was happenstance or whether they made it a point to produce this DVD during his reign.

This DVD was, as you might expect, very strange to watch. I don't want to overblow things and say it was "difficult". It would be a stretch to say that since I didn't know anyone involved personally and I haven't really been into wrestling for several years. However, it was weird and, ultimately, very sad to watch it given the way things turned out. It's particularly striking because the DVD is very celebratory in its nature. There is no real personal "darkness" involved as there was, say, in the Pillman DVD or Steve Regal's book.

I would say that in some ways, it's kind of the opposite of the Bret Hart DVD, because there are numerous interview clips with Benoit's father, mother and sister. In all three cases, they were very down-to-earth and seemed like nice people. There was also at least one interview clip of his wife done just for the DVD.

Some notable things about this DVD:

If you are going to watch this DVD for some sort of clue or answer as to why things turned out the way they did, good luck. About the only thing I could find that is even close to that is how Benoit notes that he is on top of the world at the time the DVD is made. He has achieved his life's goal...something he has wanted his whole life. Who knows...you spend your whole life working for something, then you get it, and then you realize you can't have it forever. I don't know...other than that, all you will see is the happiest guy in the world on this DVD.

On a related note, as I understand it, the WWE has destroyed all their promotional materials related to Chris Benoit and is no longer selling the DVD. That seems to be the case because you can only get it from third-party sellers now on Amazon. Benoit is still listed in the WWE Title Histories, but his is the only modern era name other than Jeff Jarrett not clickable because there is not a profile.

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