In a strange story, the professional wrestling debut of David Benoit, the 21 year old son of the late Chris Benoit, scheduled for the July 18th Hart Legacy Wrestling show in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has been cancelled according to Dave Meltzer in this week's subscriber only Wrestling Observer Newsletter. He had been scheduled to team with his father's close friend Chavo Guerrero before the match got canned.
For years, David has dabbled with the idea of getting into the business his father became famous in, likely much to the chagrin of his grandfather Mike, who spoke out against WWE on several occasions when Linda McMahon first ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010.
Indeed, he once went to a WWE show and met with Triple H and William Regal backstage and asked them about becoming a wrestler for the company. They advised him to finish his education first and then start training at Lance Storm's wrestling school. Several of Storm's trainees have been signed to WWE contracts including Emma, Tyler Breeze and Sylvester Lefort, so clearly it was sound advice.
According to last week's Figure Four Weekly Newsletter, David strangely claimed that he was also told that WWE had no qualms about him wrestling under his real name and they'd even seek to profit from it:
"For all you dirtsheets out there and all you fans, it was at a show in Edmonton, two years ago, I sat down in the production office, talking to one of the writers, they said 'Yup, we'll use the Benoit name again. We could do a lot with it.' There's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
It's possible that someone was dumb enough to tell him that, but the likelihood of Vince McMahon hiring him, yet alone approving such a harebrained idea is, of course, next to none. That he fell for such a tall story is sadder still. All evidence suggests that he doesn't live in the real world, believing that his dad should be in the WWE Hall Of Fame and even that it will happen one day.
David did enroll at Storm's school at one point and even posed in a class photograph, but he then failed to show up on the first day of training and thus has little formal wrestling experience. He's good friends with Harry Smith, so he may have taught him a thing or two, but no way was David ready for working in front of a live crowd.
Despite this obvious fact, Smith Hart, the eldest and maybe craziest son of the late Stampede Wrestling promoter Stu Hart, who runs the Hart Legacy Wrestling indy promotion, talked David into agreeing to work on his July show, as it would get the event tons of publicity and help them draw fans to the arena.
However, Smith's stunt majorly backfired when Chris Jericho caught wind of the idea, who was mad that he would even dream of advertising David for a match when he clearly wasn't ready for it. Jericho's intervention led to both Chavo and David cancelling their appearances. It's believed that Smith lied to Chavo about David being fully trained and ready for his debut when he agreed to the booking, and was none the wiser until Jericho clued him up.
Since then, Smith Hart has been desperately trying to save face, lying to Jericho that he only planned for David to do an angle at the event, before calling David again to try to get him to come back and wrestle for him, saying that he could get through a match without training, no sweat.
Props to Chris Jericho for having David's back and talking him out of what would likely have been a highly embarrassing situation. It would probably be for the best if David knocks his wrestling dreams in the head for good, as I don't think anything positive can come out of it. Hopefully this experience teaches him that lesson.