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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Eddie Died For Your Push
February 8, 2006 by Joe Kent


November 13th, 2005 is a day that will forever be remembered by pro wrestling fans all across the world as the day we lost one of the greats.

Eddie Guerrero's untimely and unexpected death brought fans together to mourn. The WWE took their "Supershow" that night and devoted four hours of national television time to celebrating Guerrero's life on extremely emotional episodes of RAW and SmackDown!. However, instead of leaving it at that, World Wrestling Entertainment has exploited Eddie's death for every penny it could squeeze out of its fans. First we bore witness to Randy Orton's use of Eddie's memorial lowrider to "kill" The Undertaker on the SmackDown! special. More recently, the company has asked us to believe that it was "divine intervention" from Eddie that helped Rey Mysterio win the Royal Rumble. The following night on RAW, Triple H cut a promo saying that "even Eddie Guerrero couldn't pull off something this big," and telling Eddie's nephew Chavo Guerrero Jr. that he'd better prey to "whoever helped Rey Mysterio" at the Royal Rumble.

Last week on SmackDown!, there was a very controversial segment in which Randy Orton told Rey Mysterio that Guerrero isn't in heaven, he's in hell.

Why must the WWE subject its fans to this" If you were to ask the WWE writers, they'd probably tell you that it is to keep Eddie's name and legacy alive. Eddie Guerrero certainly doesn't need any help keeping his legacy alive, he was a consummate performer who gave the fans everything he had to make sure they went home happy. He was loved by fans and Superstars alike, and he will be remembered fondly by each and every one of them, this writer included.

Another question we could ask ourselves is, why Eddie Guerrero" Why not anybody else that died while still on the active roster" Nobody in the then WWF made any type of disrespectful comments such as Triple H or Randy Orton's when Brian Pillman died. Owen Hart's death wasn't exploited on WWF television to draw a large babyface reaction or cheap heel heat. Louie Spicoli and "Ravishing" Rick Rude were never mentioned in vain in WCW after their untimely deaths, nor was Davey Boy Smith, Chris Candido, or Curt Hennig. Why, all of a sudden, does the WWE feel they need to exploit the death of one of their workers"

Over the course of 2005, other former WWF/E workers who had passed on were also mentioned in vain in order to get cheap heat for a heel. Joey Mercury said to Road Warrior Animal to go get his partner and challenge them for the WWE Tag Team Championship, when Johnny Nitro explained to him "He can't, his partner's dead!" Edge used the same type of comment in reference to Terry Gordy during a segment with Gordy's former tag team partner, Michael Hayes.

Does this serve it's purpose" Is it getting Rey Mysterio over as the biggest babyface on the SmackDown! roster, or Chavo on the RAW roster" Is it getting Randy Orton over as the biggest heel on SmackDown! or Triple H as the biggest heel on RAW" No. Is it causing viewers to be uncomfortable and turn off your programming" Statistically, no, but I have a feeling that these shock tactics will cause the numbers to slip sooner rather than later, and with news looming that TNA may be getting a prime time deal, now would not be the best time financially for Mr. McMahon to lose viewers of his two weekly television programs.

Eddie Guerrero's legacy will always live on in the hearts and memories of professional wrestling fans. Let's just hope that the WWE leaves that legacy with some small shred of dignity.

by Joe Kent ..


Michael Nader wrote:
Yeah what the hell" Those comments were uncalled for. I mean I can understand when Chavo and Benoit mimick Eddies moves. That's just showing respect. But when it comes to the point where Orton is crashing the lowrider, that's when it goes too far. I might bet my life's savings when Orton said Eddie was in hell, the fans weren't booing Orton. They were booing those snakes known as the WWE writers.
Jose Aguirre wrote:
Good Article! I seriously feel very good knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way. I do think you need to elaborate more on Chavo and how he's exploiting Eddie Guerrero, whether it be his idea or the idea of the creative writers he really shouldn't 'milk the situation.'
Steve H. wrote:
I agree. I think perhaps some of the other names you mentioned such as Rick Rude and Owen Hart were never mentioned in such a way for one reason. They weren't World Champions. Sure all of those other stars were headliners in their own right, but Eddie was an ultra-over former World Champ. The crowd loved him and we will only wonder whether he may have replaced Batista as Champ when he became injured as it was the natural fans choice...

I was shocked that they had Rey 'joking' with Eddie as he drew his Rumble number, and appalled when Orton made his remarks.

I seem to recall on 'Wrestling with Shadows', that Bret Hart said something like: "I'd love to sit in on a creative team writing storylines and ask them what the hell they were thinking". After this past week of WWE programming, I understand what he means.

The crowd will be behind the likes of Rey, Chavo and Benoit because of their links with Eddie, and the chants of his name will be heard around arenas the world over, regardless of whether McMahon cheapens his death in storylines.

Sadly, I'm not surprised that it has happened, shock value in the WWE often happens - just sadly in fu****g horrible ways.
Jack MacLaine wrote:
Wow Mr. Kent, your article's title says everything. The whole "exploting Eddie" just proves that Vince dosn't have the brains anymore to push people like Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. He needs to make his stars say things like "Eddie is in hell" to get cheap heat. Honestly, I love Eddie, but we all need to move on. Rey needs to move on, Chavo needs to move on, EVERYONE needs to move on. Rey and co. needs to stop deticating every freakin match to Eddie. Move on with your careers.
Mark MacDonald wrote:
I totally agree. I think it is low and disgusting to use the memory of one the all time greats as cheap heat. It didn't bother me when Rey or Chavo was wearing his t- shirt or doing frog splash tributes, but this was different. Not only does it cheapen Eddie's legacy but also cheapens Randy Orton (which is a good enough heel anyways). If they want to preserve the legacy of Eddie all they have to do is induct him into the Hall of Fame at Wrestlemania.
Aaron Tolles wrote:
Great article,I could not agree more with your views.I think that WWE has overly exploited the death of Guerrero.There is no need to use his death to get others over in their roles.I feel that four hours of programming was a most fitting way to tribute him.I would tend to go with what Mick Foley wrote in saying "exploiting his death cheapens his life".Eddie was one of a kind and will never be forgotten by the fans.It's sad that Vince must sink to this low to make storylines.I wonder how the guys truly feel about the whole thing.I just hope by the time Wrestle Mania is here that we can finally lay this to rest and let the legacy of Eddie Guerrero have it's proper place.
Steven P. wrote:
Great article and you're not the only one who has spoken about this. When the Raw version of the Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show took place, all of the wrestlers and officials walked onto the ramp. Now I'm not going to point a finger and make false accusations, but watching that show, Randy Orton was up front with no emotion at all on his face. I wouldn't be surprised if he was planted there for a future story line. I wouldn't put it past them that on the day of his death, they were ready to plan something out of that. It's sickening. You hope that Eddie's legacy will have some shred of dignity, but it;s looking bad that that will happen. The WWE is exploiting Eddie's death and the only reason is to promote Randy Orton. And if that's the reason, then ask any fan, Randy Orton doesn't need to use a tragedy to become a star.
Tayttothe3rd wrote:
Well first of all I can say I think this article is exactly on point. The WWE has no right to exploit Eddie Guerrero's passing just to get some cheap heat. Personally I think it cheapens the product all together. One thing the author said that I'd like to respond to is why didn't the WWE exploit Owen Hart's death and the reason for that is simply Owen Hart died at one of their shows if they would've exploited his death there would've been a backlash that would've lasted for a very long time
Ken Moorer wrote:
AMEN AMEN AMEN!!! I agree whole heartedly with that article. I can't believe they are doing this to Eddie's family the man just died. Anyone that has lost someone close knows that the wounds are still fresh. I had already turned off WWE programming in favor of TNA anyway. The product is terrible and they have no desire to make it better. I keep up with them on the internet and that's where I ready the Orton comments and I have decided to not watch at all. They have gone to far and the only way I can tell them that they have gone to far is to not watch. They are not going to get better, they are not going to showcase who you want to see, they will continue to be distasteful and arrogant and I hope they fall on their faces. TNA may not be great but they are not disrespectful and they are at least trying to give the fans what they want to see. It's sad to say but it took Eddie dying for Rey to get a push and what does that say about Rey" Would I allow my best friends name be used to further my career after his passing" No I wouldn't there has to be a line that you don't cross. Thank you for writing an article that expresses my feelings.
Matt Kopp wrote:
I was hoping someone would write an article like this. I agree completely, you're right on target. That just shows how desperate the WWe can be.
Derek Morley, wrote:
I think every single thing you said in that article was what I would of said. I mean, Its almost like they killed eddie for a storyline. If I where in control I'd totally drop it, Get Randy to apologize,(so everyone wouldn't hate him) And maybe have chavo win the championship in 10 years by an eddie style frog splash, that's about it. The thing about having Triple H and Randy Orton make comments about Eddie is stupid. I mean at the tribute show, Triple H and Randy Orton were crying there asses off. This is sickening. Now, saying that im not going to stop watching WWE, Because some of the athletes on there such as, (Chris Benoit, Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio and yes Shelton Benjamin) take huge risk's and are phenomenal athletes. So, No I wont stop watching WWE, but i will watch TNA way more often until they stop putting Eddie into feudes.
alexander stubbington wrote:
I don't mind the wrestlers dedicating their matches for them (Rey, Benoit, Chavo etc.), but using his death to get cheap heat is just BULL SHIT! (sorry for the swearing). Thanks to Randy Orton saying Eddie is in hell, I'm no longer watching Smackdown (the better show), until I get an apology from WWE, through Orton.
Jim Rush wrote:
I agree and disagree. I have no problem with those who were actually close to Eddie in real life dedicating matches to his memory. It may be "fake entertainment" but when Chavo performed the frogsplash on JBL at the Eddie Tribute and when Rey Rey won the Royal Rumble i'll be the first to admit I had tears in my eyes, and for the first time in quite a while I was actually excited about a match, as I truly expected Orton to win the RR. But this isn't just exclusive to Eddie, when Animal won the WWE Tag Titles at The GAB and did his "Hawk, this one was for you brother" after the match I shed the same tears. As far as Randy Orton goes, my jaw just dropped. We've come to expect shock value from the WWE but that was just, well I honestly cant do justice with words on how low it was. And what makes it worse is that all indicators show that Orton will beat Misterio at No Way Out. At the VERY LEAST if the WWE writers have no heart and put that statement in, it should be in a fued in which Orton is goign to get his ass kicked, not one in which he is going to come out on top and further tarnish Eddie's legacy.
Terri Sutton wrote:
Fantastic article Joe, you have written down what everyone who watches wrestling has been thinking. I wish I could add to the setiments of not watching the WWE until they issue an apology and drop the stroyline but I live in Australia and the wrestling they have is WWE programming.

I feel depply for Eddie's friends and family for their lose and I am saddened that the WWE has lowered itself for some cheap heat and controversy. I also feel sorry for Randy Orton, to have to say something so vile, so nasty, for your job is disgusting. Also Eddie's Frog Splash was a move he took up when his tag team partner died, and I think that Beniot, Chavo and Mysterio copying his moves is their way of paying respect to Eddie and frankly if they want to continue doing that, then let them.

And to Jack MacLaine how in the hell can you just say Chavo and Rey need to get over Eddie's death. The sudden death of a person can effect everyone greatly, and to say something like that is very callous.
Luke wrote:
Bravo, Bravo, Bravo. WWE Has NO right to use Eddie death in a bad was as an excuse to get cheap heat. I was reading on the internet about 2 months ago that rey will get a big wrestlemania match. He won the rumble. But now I am reading that Randy Orton will take his title shot away at NO WAY OUT. The bad thing about that is, I am going to NO WAY OUT and I have to see that. If Randy wins and does not appoligize, it will be a totally disrepectful to eddie's name (mot like they have not all ready). It will be a bad wrestlemania if Orton wins. I think Rey should win and have Orton be in Money in the Bank 2 and win that instead. Vince is sinking to a new low on any ways to make money or loose it.
Chris wrote:
I think this entire storyline is stupid. They're exploiting Eddie Guerrero, one of the best wrestlers of all time's death, just to make people notice Randy Orton. That makes no sense! Orton just came off the best angle of his career so far, (His feud with the Undertaker), he doesn't need any attention! Also, as a fan of Randy Orton, I would've preferred that they give him some heat from another method, rather than this cheap shot at Eddie Guerrero. Same goes for Triple H. The WWE needs to re-think this.
Brad Dykens wrote:
Mysterio was interviewed for the entertainment section in the Baltimore Sun regarding the angle and said, "It's hard to hear what has to be said from Randy. Eddie Guerrero had such an impact on he fans, on the company, on the (wrestlers). He was loved by everybody. But I think the most important thing is that his wife has a lot of say in this. If she's comfortable with all this being done, she knew Eddie very well, and I think Eddie would want this to continue as long as it could. I think he's up in heaven, and he's enjoying every single moment."
Josh Quillen wrote:
GREAT ARTICLE! I agree, why Eddie" What did he do to piss off Vince McMahon that Vince has to make those comments" Sure, Eddie had problems in the past, but he got through them and became WWE Champ. You don't see Mysterio saying that "Vince Sr isn't in heaven, he's in hell!" or Animal saying that Hawks in hell. Its just horrible, and for anybody that cares, TNA Doesn't make say that kind of crap about Crash Holly. I suggest that after the Hall Of Fame 2006 ceremony(the induction of Eddie)that they tune in to TNA.
Josh Horn wrote:
Wonderful article. I can't believe that even Vince, the biggest SOB to ever live, sank this low. I have no problem with Chavo taking Eddie's finisher like Eddie did his best friend's back before he went to ECW, but I hate all of these story lines. Rey needs to tell Vince to SUCK IT the next time he comes to him with an Eddie-explotation storyline. I feel so sorry for the Guerreros knowing, if not watching, their late, great family member be exploited like this. Vince, the story writers, and the whole of the WWE management are idiots. After this started, I switched to TNA and I think Rey, Chavo, and Benoit should jump over because of this if they can get out of their contracts. I know that they are all real wrestlers unlike so many that the WWE has employed and would be huge in TNA and possibly make TNA the top wrestling company in America
Michael Minchington wrote:
Well, the verdict is in...WWE, stop exploiting Eddie's death for such idiotic purposes.It seems to me like the WWE seems to be taking an attitude of "well we paid our respects, now lets use this tragedy to our advantage"...totally stupid and disrespectful.I also think that Rey (especially) needs to stand up for his late friend and tell the WWE to stop using Eddie this way. As a crib, Eddie's match with Brock at No Way Out is probably my favourite of all time. R.I.P. Eddie.
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