ECW Press announces the publication of the third “Ultimate Historical Edition” of Irvin Muchnick’s 2009 classic, CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death.
This book, the definitive account of pro wrestling’s darkest hour — the June 2007 weekend when beloved WWE star Chris Benoit strangled his wife Nancy and snapped the neck of their 7-year-old son Daniel, before hanging himself — now includes a new 3,400-word introduction elaborating on the role of a bit player in the world of pro wrestling: now President Donald Trump. In a wide-ranging cultural essay, Muchnick explains how Trump brought along both “wrestling style” and wrestling business ties in his populist, demagogic rise to power.
The Benoit tragedy occurred shortly after the release of Muchnick’s 2007 ECW Press book WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal. An appendix of the wrestling industry’s surge of early deaths of performers — of which Benoit would become the most dramatic and heinous example at the phenomenon’s peak — led to Congressional investigations. The ranking minority member of the investigating subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce cited Muchnick’s research on wrestling deaths.
Upon original publication, CHRIS & NANCY then became central to political opposition research during the unsuccessful 2010 and 2012 United States Senate campaigns in Connecticut of Linda McMahon, the former CEO of WWE and the wife of WWE chair Vince McMahon. In 2017 Linda McMahon became part of President Trump’s cabinet, as head of the Small Business Administration. The McMahons were the single largest contributors to the fraudulent, self-dealing, and now defunct Donald J. Trump Foundation.
Muchnick said: “For decades, I have been keenly interested in pro wrestling, from the perspectives of both investigative journalism and pop culture analysis. It is a subject overcovered in unimportant ways and undercovered in important ones. I am pleased to be able to introduce the wicked, but instructive, story of CHRIS & NANCY to a new generation of readers.”
CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death, Ultimate Historical Edition, is available in ebook form. Purchase links to all major ebook platforms are at the bottom of this article. A free bonus preview of the new Introduction is at SLAM! Wrestling: http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling/2020/03/21/22805760.html.
Publisher ECW Press says the print version of this new edition will be available later. The print version of the old edition is still available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/397SNpj.
You also can acquire an autographed copy of the original edition of CHRIS & NANCY direct from the author. Send $19.95 via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a money order in the amount of $19.95 to Benoit Book, P.O. Box 9629, Berkeley, CA 94709. Buyers will receive, in addition, printouts of Muchnick’s Introduction to the second edition, published in 2013, and Introduction to the new Historical Edition.