By now ? and thanks to help from Dark Side of the Ring ? most wrestling fans are aware of the final days of Chris Benoit before he killed his family and took his own life. But most don’t remember Benoit’s last match which too place on June 19, 2007 against Elijah Burke.
That match was three days before Benoit family tragedy began and many wonder if there was anything off with Benoit at that point. The man he took on, Elijah Burke, was asked that very question when he joined The Wrestling Epicenter.
“No, not at all. One thing Chris was big on, and hindsight is 20/20 on this if I could say, ‘Oh, that kind of makes sense’ is just the fact that he said, ‘Talk to me out there. I might forget.’ So, after everything that happened, when it came back that he had like the brain of an 80-year-old with Alzheimer, that was like, ‘Hmm, that is interesting,'” stated Burke. “In this business, I was always taught that we should communicate in rings. So, I didn’t think anything of it. That could have been a sign. Chris Benoit asking me to talk to him? But other than that, there was nothing that could have tipped me or anyone else off to the extent of the degeneration of his brain per the results of his test.”
The season 2 premiere of Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring chronicled Benoit’s career and a detailed look at his final days. With Burke being the last person to step inside the ring with Benoit, he was asked if he was contacted about being a part of that Dark Side of the Ring episode.
“I would have thought, myself, that they would have contacted me. I was contacted by a movie company when they were talking about doing a movie on him,” revealed Burke. “Not saying that was the same company as did Dark Side of the Ring but, I spent that whole weekend with Chris Benoit wrestling him.”
Benoit’s last two matches involved Burke as the two were on opposite teams in a tag match also involving CM Punk and Marcus Cor Von. That match took place on June 12 and then Benoit’s final match was a singles match with Burke on June 19, 2007 with the double-murder suicide taking place between June 22 and 24.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Wrestling Epicenter with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.