Growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Benoit in his childhood idolized Dynamite Kid, who was one of the main eventers of the local organization, Stampede Wrestling. After training under Stu Hart, he had his debut mach in 1985.
After a little over a year, he went to Japan to train in the famous dojo of New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1987 but returned to Calgary later in the year.
In 1989, Benoit went to New Japan again but this time as the masked "Pegasus Kid". Benoit and Jushin Thunder Liger, New Japan's top junior heavyweight star, had a legendary feud and traded the prestigeous IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. After losing the mask-vs-mask match against Liger on 1991/07/04, he was unmasked and became "Wild Pegasus" but kept his mask when he wrestled for UWA in Mexico, where he won WWF World Light Heavyweight Title.
His first mainstream exposure in the U.S. took place when he started wrestling for ECW in 1994, and he would eventually jump to WCW in the following year. Within a year, he became a member of the legendary Four Hoursemen along with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, and Brian Pillman. He joined WWF in 2000 along with his friends Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn and finally in 2004, he won the company's World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania XX.