ARCHIVE 4/4/08: What Scott James Said About Benoit Also Supports the Daily News Timeline

Published May 14th, 2009, Uncategorized

What Scott James Said About Benoit Also Supports the Daily News Timeline

Friday, April 4th, 2008

As discussed in the previous post, what Chavo Guerrero told the authorities about his Saturday, June 23, 2007, conversations with Chris Benoit supports the detailed timeline of events published in the New York Daily News. It also raises questions about the undocumented assertion by WWE that company executives arranged a Sunday morning flight for Benoit from Atlanta to Houston. Last, it sets off the bullshit meter on WWE’s contention that higher-ups had no awareness of Benoit’s final text messages until 12:30 p.m. Monday, nearly a day and a half (and a Benoit no-show at the Houston pay-per-view show) later.

What Scott James told the authorities leads to identical conclusions. According to the notes of the detective who interviewed James on June 28, 2007, Benoit called him on Saturday “and said that Nancy and Daniel were throwing up and very sick and he wasn’t sure that he would make the [Beaumont] show, if he did he would be late. Scott said Chris asked him to call one of their bosses named ‘Fit’ and tell him of his situation.”

Fit, of course, would be Dave “Fit” Finlay. The detective’s interview notes don’t say whether Scott did call Finlay.

Finlay is a WWE road agent. That makes him a possibility for the person from WWE Talent Relations who, in the Daily News timeline, spoke to Benoit and, upon finding out that his later Saturday flight got into Houston too late to make the Beaumont show, advised Benoit to rest up for the Sunday pay-per-view.

As mentioned, another Talent Relations possibility is Benoit’s old buddy Dean Malenko. Sources told me that Malenko and Benoit also talked over that weekend. The phone logs include numerous calls from WWE. Some seem to be from the offices in Stamford, Connecticut, while others might be company cell phones being used in Texas.

Look, folks, WWE lawyers may have succeeded in making their timeline legalistically bulletproof. If, say, Guerrero or James told Finlay or Malenko about the Sunday morning text messages from Benoit, it is awfully hard to “prove” that anyone proceeded to tell Vince McMahon. Maybe Vince, ordinarily a pretty hands-on kind of boss, set up the chain of communications so that he could appear shocked, shocked, at 12:30 p.m. Monday with news of the texts. Similarly, McMahon might have been real careful throughout Monday to ensure that nothing emanating from what the WWE timeline calls the “major crime scene” in Fayetteville could persuade him that a tribute show on Raw was inappropriate.

But as a storyline, it’s just that — a line to cover tracks and accommodate business. It is not a plausible or faithful rendering of the facts surrounding Benoit’s final days.
The only serious remaining question about the hole-riddled WWE Benoit timeline is, “Why?”

Irv Muchnick