Latest News on Benoit Tragedy & ECW/SD Plans

In the Calgary Sun, Bret Hart has this to say about the late Chris Benoit, hours after learning that his body was discovered, along with wife Nancy and son Daniel, in Georgia:

I don’t know the details, and I’m not sure I even want to know… He was like a family member to me, and everyone in my family is taking it real hard … It’s almost like reliving the whole Owen (Hart) death over again … Chris was always one of the good guys — a straight guy and a hard-working guy … When you list off all the qualities of someone like Benoit, he had a lot of integrity and was a good, family man … He was really respected and really loved by everybody.

Ross Hart and Diana Hart also comment in the article.

A recent AP story on the alleged Benoit double-murder/suicide, with not much new information, can be found here, with a more detailed story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, found here. Most major news outlets have been reporting on this all day, including MTV.com, CNN and others, with gossip site TMZ.com posting details from Nancy Benoit’s 2003 divorce papers, which included a “petition for protection from domestic abuse,” and a press conference to air on the cable news networks this afternoon.

According to Dave Meltzer, “Vince McMahon was the inspiring general both to the wrestlers as well as the office staff all day yesterday. He held it together and was a rock of strength for much of the talent…” Meltzer goes on to report that tonight’s ECW and Smackdown tapings will have no angles or backstage storylines, but are expected to be a brief commentary on what happened followed by “nothing but matches.” The ECW preview posted early this morning has been taken down, and Meltzer also says that shows were impossible to put together with “the crew and creative staff … emotionally and physically wrecked after yesterday.”

The local Corpus Christi paper has a story with some fan reactions to the news and cancelled show here. WWE and the AmericanBank Center has to still decide whether to offer refunds to those who were turned away yesterday or provide free tickets to a future WWE event.

PWInsider.com has reported that “WWE will not be sending the three hour Chris Benoit tribute show that aired last night on the USA Network out to their international affiliates for airing” and that The Score will not air its regularly-scheduled replays.

Finally, WWE has taken Chris Benoit merchandise off of its online shopping site, going as far as taking his name out of match descriptions for show DVDs.

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