Wrestlers 'still shocked' over Benoit murders, by Sean Cusick, ninemsn - 15th August 2008
The world of professional wrestling is "still in shock" over the Chris Benoit murders, according to one of the sport's biggest names.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Dave "The Animal" Batista says the wrestling industry is still traumatised by Benoit's double-murder suicide almost 14 months ago.
"Still to this day, I think people are in shock over it and a lot of people are still in denial," the US-based Batista told ninemsn.
"It's just the hardest thing we've ever done … a nightmare come to life."
Batista, 39, spent over five years wrestling with Benoit as two of the WWE's most popular entertainers.
He says the pair were close friends and "had a deep personal trust for each other and … talked about personal issues".
Benoit shocked the world last June when he murdered his wife Nancy and seven-year-old son Daniel in his Georgia home.
The 40-year-old Canadian is believed to have strangled his wife with a cord and used a choke hold to strangle his son before placing Bibles next to their bodies.
He then hanged himself with a weights machine in his basement.
"It's just hard to think of Chris Benoit in that way," Batista said.
"We all loved him so much, and we all respected him so much.
"A lot of us are kind of in denial because we don’t associate the Chris Benoit we knew and loved with the Chris Benoit who did that horrible thing."
Batista was speaking ahead of the WWE SummerSlam event, which is airs on Foxtel on Monday.
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Dave "The Animal" Batista