Growing up in California and Oregon, Holly watched Big Time Wrestling and Portland Wrestling idolizing the likes of Pat Patterson, Curt Hennig, Jesse Ventura, and Roddy Piper. Stories about Chris Benoit behind the curtain and about the events of June 2007 have drawn attention to the minds of many in the years that have since passed, and Chris has been scolded by some of his peers while remembered positively by others. No longer wrestling, Bob Holly now has time to pursue other hobbies and interests. * The WAW was featured in the movie Fighting With My Family and was founded by the Knight family. Holly met another Pringle, Percy Pringle — better known as Paul Bearer — who encouraged Holly to send in a 2-minute audition tape. However, there is one story not commonly told that is rather unsettling due to the tragedy that may have befell upon a third victim. Holly drew attention in 2002 when he appeared as a guest coach on a season 3 episode of Tough Enough, a reality show where hopefuls competed for a WWE contract. On one hand, he was an inspiration. The WWF transitioned to a more adult-oriented product in late 1997 in what is now looked back on as The Attitude Era. I said, ‘How are you and Nancy doing?’ ’cause I knew him and Nancy were having trouble because we talked and he said, his exact words were: ‘Aww, she’s acting like Hitler again.’ And I didn’t know what to say to that obviously because I didn’t want to get in their business or anything and so I just kinda laughed it off followed by a little small talk here and there and then that was it. It’s worth noting, though, that he rose up with Benoit as a key opponent and partner in the ring, and a friend in real life. The show featured over an hour-long discussion of Benoit’s greatest matches, moments, and attributes. Many have shared stories about their experiences with him in and out of the ring, professionally and personally. We rode a lot and he was the most polite person ever on the planet to anyone he ever met. You know, ‘How’s TV? For fans of professional wrestling, just hearing “June 2007” can bring on goosebumps, a chilled spine, mixed feelings, and disbelief. F this, I don’t care, blah blah blah you should’ve come up. [Photo: WWE]In January of 2004, Holly challenged Lesnar unsuccessfully for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. During May of 2007, a colleague of mine noted that she was going to interview Chris Benoit … In fact, many remembered him to be a respectful, devoted person to his craft, his friends, and especially his family, but Chris was far from the perfect person. The peak of Holly’s WWE career came after his return from neck surgery. Nancy and Chris Benoit remained married until the tragedy occurred in June of 2007. Thankfully, these are just hypothetical questions and not heartbreaking facts.

The injury was not sidelining but he was put on the sidelines until later that September due to a nasty staph infection that nearly cost him his arm. It looked as though he might have a glass ceiling overhead as he emerged into the mainstream American wrestling scene. Bob Holly first worked for the then-World Wrestling Federation in 1991 and returned in January 1994 after sending in that Percy Pringle endorsed tape under the gimmick of a NASCAR driver named Thurman “Sparky” Plugg.

How’s this, how’s that? He was too small to be a main eventer, besides which, if there were any weak point in his repertoire, it was his talking game, which WCW and WWE put so much weight on. And that was really tough to digest because I talked to Chris. It was in the Hardcore division where Holly found success and popularity, most famously winning the Hardcore Championship on the banks of the Mississippi River at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre pay-per-view in February 1999 and then regaining the title in the opening contest of WrestleMania 15, and in the battle royal at WrestleMania 2000. Others can only speak of The Crippler with disdain. Bob Holly reflects on what transpired that day and how he was almost put in the position of being a potential hero or victim of the Benoit family tragedy. June 24, 2007 — a date many see as just another in existence. The family’s daughter, Saraya Jade Bevis, was the movie’s main character and is working for WWE under the name Paige where she currently is a personality on the FOX television broadcast WWE Backstage. Holly was then drafted to the revived ECW brand in 2006 and another memorable “Hardcore Holly” moment occurred during an Extreme Rules match with Rob Van Dam. Bob Holly won the WWF Tag Team Championship with The 1-2-3 Kid at the 1995 Royal Rumble pay-per-view and competed in the infamous Brawl for All “shoot” boxing tournament in 1998. You couldn’t unplug from that one.