David Benoit is no stranger to the pro wrestling industry. The son of the late Chris Benoit did his first on-camera interview with Chris Van Vliet. At the beginning of the interview, Benoit noted how he eats, sleeps, and breathes the wrestling business and how he still hasn’t learned to master the flying headbutt just yet.
“I love wrestling with all of my heart,” Benoit began. “I watch it every day. When I’d go down to Atlanta (to visit my dad), we’d watch wrestling, then we’d wrestle in the pool a little bit. I got the diving headbutt done to me.”
Since the arrival of AEW, Benoit has been to several of their live pay-per-view, which was noted after Benoit posted a picture he took with CEO of AEW, Tony Khan, online. He notes that AEW brings a whole new meaning to the pro wrestling industry in terms of its storytelling and quality overall.
“When I came here to Double or Nothing, I was sitting out in that crowd, and I just got lost in the moment again, like I did back in 2000 when my dad was wrestling still,” Benoit said. “The storytelling in the ring, the quality wrestling. That’s what I love man, great storytelling, going out there and busting your ass.”
Benoit noted during his interview that he still has about a year left of training. When he officially graduates, he said that he would like to sign with AEW or NJPW.
“AEW or New Japan Pro Wrestling would be the goal,” Benoit answered. “I tried getting in there (to NJPW). It was so hard to get in there.”
With all the training he has received so far, Benoit considers Chris Jericho not only as his mentor but close family friend. He recalls a time when he and Chavo Guerrero Jr. were supposed to tag together, but Jericho stepped in on Benoit’s half because he didn’t feel like he was properly trained just yet.
“(On what happened to him and Chavo’s match) Our match got canceled,” Benoit stated. “Jericho didn’t think I had enough experience to do this match. He was looking out for me, so I appreciate that.”
He added that the reason he attended both Double or Nothing and All Out this past year was to see Jericho wrestle.
In addition to his close relationship with Jericho, Benoit attended a WWE show in Edmonton while wearing an AEW sweatshirt. Many people backstage thought that Jericho bought the AEW sweatshirt that Benoit was wearing. What seemed to be a comical prank went wrong in a matter of minutes as Benoit recalled how WWE personnel banned him from going backstage to see the WWE Superstars.
“They thought Jericho bought it for me,” Benoit chuckled. “They thought it was a rib.”
Benoit noted that the real reason that he was banned from going backstage was because he “went to an AEW show.”
“It was because I went to an AEW show,” Benoit said. “It blows my mind, bro. I had to make a few phone calls. I was trying to talk to someone, but they never got back to me for a good four to five months. Everything’s fine now, I talked to their lawyers. I’m welcomed everywhere now, we’re good.”
Speaking of the WWE, Benoit mentions that for a period of time, he wasn’t into watching wrestling. When he did get back into watching it, his love for WWE began to decrease. Not because of the banning incident, but because of the show’s quality.
“I’d watch the WWE for Natalya or when Chris (Jericho) was on the show back then, but other than that, no,” Benoit addressed. “I didn’t watch wrestling for a long time. My love for WWE just wasn’t there. They weren’t producing good stuff anymore and I find the quality just going down, down, down.”
You can view David Benoit’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.