Remembering Chris Cornell

Mark Whited remembers one of his biggest influences.

Professional wrestling is an exaggeration of our daily lives: the conflicts, the untimely betrayals, the rises and the falls. We all know faces and we’ve all encountered heels. But the struggles of life outside of the squared circle are what we all truly get away from when at a professional wrestling show. For me, I am able to distance myself from my daily struggles through pro wrestling and a Seattle voice that simply “gets it.” Today, that voice was silenced.

Chris Cornell’s sudden death was the worst thing I ever woke up to and as I now listen to 93.3 WMMR’s tribute to the Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave frontman, I still am in disbelief waking up to Wrestledelphia Radio contributor Mark Macyk’s text, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

As a disgruntled teen, I didn’t turn to Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, or some of the bands that were in at the time. Cornell was the narrator of my pain and his music was a crutch to lean on at times. I got through some terrible breakups thanks to songs like “Doesn’t Remind Me” and “Exploder.” When one of my best friends was murdered, tracks like “Fell on Black Days” and “Mind Riot” pulled me from the darkness to the light. When I was stabbed almost to death during a robbery in 2016, I listened to Cornell’s entire catalog as I laid in bed for two weeks. In any moment of life, there was a Cornell lyric for it.

In 2014, when I attempted to follow my own dream to be a professional wrestler, I took drive and inspiration from a man who followed his. When I would train at the gym, the raw power of “Outshined” and “Beyond The Wheel” helped me get that crucial last rep or run that last mile. I lost 70 pounds to Badmotorfinger and King Animal. The impact a man who I never met outside of fist bump at Festival Pier during Soundgarden’s 2011 reunion was amazing and a debt I can’t repay.

Thanks for being there during the black days, Chris. I’ll keep on rowing.

Rest in peace.

Mark Whited
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Mark Whited

Founder / Editor-In-Chief at
An avid writer and fan of wrestling since he was eight years old, Mark Whited founded in May 2014. While hoping to one day step foot in a wrestling ring, he also writes for a number of outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mark Whited
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