Thursday Evening Benoit Update

Some new developments & notes:

– WWE has removed links to all mentions of the Benoit story from its main Web site, with the timeline now on its corporate site. WWE has also pulled, according to WrestlingObserver.com, programming that featured Chris and/or Nancy Benoit from its 24/7 service this month, and the RAW replays in Canada and on mun2 did not run, with replacement WWE programming in its place.

– An update on Blatt’s post from this afternoon: according to Wade Keller at PWTorch.com, the Wikipedia edit “has now apparently been traced to someone who has made previous prank posts, and who also may have been able to falsely make it appear as if Stamford was the originating IP location even if it wasn’t.” Adds Keller, “the IP address used has been linked to previous vile sexual, anti-gay, and racist prank posts on Wikipedia in the past related to Stacy Keibler, The Sopranos, and Ron Artest. That IP address has also been linked to a highly offensive post on Chavo Guerrero’s Wikipedia page.”

– On the subjet, WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt says to AP: “I have no idea who posted this … It’s at least possible Chris may have sent some other text message to someone that we’re unaware of. We don’t know if he did. The phone is in the possession of authorities.”

– Dave Meltzer from WrestlingObserver.com adds more: “The WWE later found that on its chat line at 8:41 p.m., during the PPV, after Benoit missed the show, someone on a WWE chat said that he missed the show due to his wife dying. Later, when the person was asked where he heard the story, he said, “Meltzer reported it.” An hour later after the Wikipedia entry was taken down, someone from Australia edited it and again put that Nancy Benoit had passed away, attributing it to “several pro wrestling web sites.” I didn’t know of this until today when questioned by WWE who asked if Benoit had called me, which he hadn’t, nor did I report it or know anything until Monday afternoon, after the WWE wrestlers were told. It appears it was a hoax started by someone and given credibility by usage of my name, no more than the daily fake stories people make up on MMA and pro wrestling chat boards, the appear to have led to the Wikipedia edit, this become a big story, and it may be nothing more to the story other than an eerie irony.”

– Speaking of Meltzer, he has posted that “Monday’s issue is done. It will be about the Benoit case. There will be a tremendous amount in there that I don’t believe has been reported anywhere else. I believe that while in the end, there is no way to not be outraged at the situation, nor any valid excuse whatsoever, you will see what is a very complex, sad and horrifying story. I don’t believe it’s a roid rage story. I don’t rule out steroids being one of numerous aspects that could have played a part in the story. There were numerous stresses, personal, professional, and Chris had a dark side.” For Wrestling Observer Newsletter subscription information, click here.

WSB-TV in Atlanta has posted a photo that a fan took of Chris Benoit at the office of Dr. Phil Astin, his personal physician, hours before he allegedly killed his wife.

– The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Chris Benoit’s funeral will be private and in Canada, while the bodies of Nancy and Daniel will likely be cremated with a funeral to be held in Florida, where Nancy is originally from.

– The AJC article also has comments from Chris Benoit’s father Michael: “It’s a horrible, horrible event that’s happened … We have no understanding why it happened. It’s going to take us a long time to come to terms with this, and we may never come to terms with it … Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy’s family … We’re very concerned about the long-term affects on her family.”

– The AP is reporting that “Federal drug agents and sheriff’s officials raided the office of pro wrestler Chris Benoit’s personal physician in search of records and other items” and that “10 empty beer cans were found in a trash can in the Benoit home” and “an empty wine bottle was found a few feet from where Benoit hanged himself” according to the district attorney.

– FoxNews.com has posted a story on Sherri Martel, who died recently and was reportedly friends with Nancy Benoit.

– ESPN.com’s Jemele Hill has written a column entitled “Pro wrestling has more problems than steroids.”

– The NY Daily News has the Benoit story on its cover today, focusing on son Daniel and his ailment. The story also reports that, according to its sources, Chris Benoit “was sending the wrestlers biblical passages and sections of his will” via text message. This is the first time I’ve read this.

– According to PWInsider.com, the National Fragile X Society has issued a press release urging people to learn more about the condition.

– The LA Times’ Lance Pugmire has a story on the situation here.

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