Eddie Guerrero: Rest In Peace
November 17, 2005 by Rob Orchard
Like many other wrestling fans across the world I was shocked by the news on Sunday morning that Eddie Guerrero had tragically passed away. Eddie was only 38 years old and in the prime of his career, which makes this even more tragic. We seem to be losing more and more wrestling greats now than ever before, Curt Henning, Mike Lockwood, Ray Taylor the list goes on. However this one is harder to take because Eddie was in his prime and even rumoured to be winning his second world title the day he died. I will now take a look back at Eddie's life and magical wrestling career.
Eddie Guerrero was born on October 9th 1967 in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. He was the youngest son of the legendary Gory Guerrero and brother of Chavo, Hector and Mando all of whom became professional wrestlers. Eddie grew up in El Paso Texas and started wrestling at the ripe age of 2. Along with his nephew Chavo Jr, Eddie wrestled at the intermissions during the show at a local promotion this when they were both still under the age of 8. Such was the closeness of Eddie & Chavo Jr. that they were more like brothers than uncle & nephew, after all there is only a 3 year age gap. While the two of them grew up they had a dream to hold the World Tag Team titles together, which thankfully they got to for fill, but more on that later.
Eddie turned professional in 1987 and wrestled as "Mascara Magica" or "Magic Mask" in Mexico. It didn't take Eddie long to become a star in Mexico and quickly mastered the Lucha Libre style. During this period Eddie teamed with his brothers on ocasions and won the first of his many championships. By 1991 he had won the LAWA Heavyweight, WWA World Welterweight and WWA World Trios titles, the later with his brothers Chavo & Mando. In 1993 Eddie first started competing in Japan under the name "Black Tiger" and it is here that he met his best friend Chris Beniot. Not long after Eddie moved back to Mexico and teamed up with El Hijo del Santo, this to did not last long and Eddie began teaming with "The Love Machine" Art Barr. These two would begin a bitter feud with Eddie's former partner Santo & Octagon, in what many people feel was one of the best rivalries in Lucha Libre history. This feud ended on November 6th 1994 when Eddie and Barr lost a hair vs. mask match and was forced to have his head shaved. The partnership was not all bad Eddie & Barr still managed to win the AAA/IWC World Tag Team titles.
Paul Heyman saw this match and signed Eddie & Barr to his promotion ECW. However shortly after signing Art Barr was found dead in his home, as a huge mark of respect for his fallen friend Eddie began using Barr's finisher the now famous Frog Splash. ECW was to be Eddie's first exposure to the American audience and the springboard for the rest of his career. Eddie won the ECW televison title from 2 Cold Scorpio in his first match with the promotion, a title he would win once more before moving to rivals WCW. In his last match with ECW Eddie wrestled his good friend Dean Malenko in a match fans describe as the best match in the history of ECW.
Eddie made his WCW debut against Alex Wright in a dark match before the Fall Brawl PPV on September 17th 1995. It took Eddie over a year to win his first piece of WCW gold, but sure enough it happened on December 29th 1996 when he defeated Diamond Dallas Page to win the vacant WCW United States title. Then in march 1997 things started to go wrong, Eddie was involved in a car crash whilst driving at 130 mph. What made this worse is the fact he was under the influence of ecstacy, which from what we know is when he first started having drug problems. Eddie recovered quicky and at Fall Brawl on September 14th 1997 he defeated another of his good friends Chris Jericho for the WCW Cruiserweight title. This title run did not last very long as he lost it to yet another good friend Rey Mysterio just over a month after winning it, however Eddie won it and lost it again before the end of the year. This was to be the last time Eddie would hold any gold in WCW.
During 1998 & 1999 Eddie was very unhappy in WCW and made no secret about it. Eddie could not stand the fact that all the young talent were underused and overshadowed by aging stars just looking to make huge money for themselves. Eddie was extremly vocal about this even on live WCW programming and often tried to get released from his contract. Maybe the only bright moment for Eddie during this time was the formation of the LWO (Latino World Order) in a bid to try and get some exposure for the underused Luchadores. As the year 2000 came around Eddie finally got his wish and left WCW for good.
On January 31st 2000 Eddie made his WWE debut as a member of the Radicalz along with good friends Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Chris Beniot. However he dislocated his elbow during his first match, but he still turned up and wanted to be part of the show, which was a testimate to his character. Eddie made his first Wrestlemania apperance in April, losing a six-man tag team match against Too Cool & Chyna. The very next night Eddie won his first piece of WWE gold by defeating Chris Jericho for the European championship, with a little help from Chyna. Eddie then began a on screen relationship with Chyna, which was always entertaining, who can forget Eddie trying to stop Chyna's Playboy pictures getting out! Eddie held the European title until July, where he was defeated by Perry Saturn at the Fully Loaded PPV. It did'nt take Eddie long to win more gold, he defeated his "Mamacita" for his first Intercontinental championship on September 4th 2000. This reign did not last long as he lost the title to Billy Gunn at the end of November. Before leaving the WWE in 2001 to deal with his personal issues Eddie won the European title for the second time from Test at WrestleMania X7 in a very good match, he lost the title just weeks later.
Eddie was then sent to rehabilitation in order to sort out his drug and alchol problems, soon after he was given his release.During this time Eddie was also arested on a DUI charge. Before returning to WWE Eddie still had time to win the WWA International Cruiserweight & IWA Miid-south Heavyweight titles. Upon his return to WWE in April 2002 Eddie set his sights on RVD and soon beat him for the Intercontinental title at Backlash, 2 months later Van Dam won the title back in one of the best ladder matches in recent memory. Later that year Eddie began teaming with his nephew Chavo and won the WWE Tag Team titles at the Survivor Series, thus forfiling a childhood dream shared with Chavo. Los Guerreros held the titles until Febuary and soon after Chavo was injured, but this did'nt stop Eddie winning the titles again this time with Tajiri.
Eddie found himself in the finals to crown the first WWE United States champion after victories against Ultimo Dragon & Billy Gunn, he meet Chris Beniot and won with outside help from Rhyno. Eddie held the title until October 19th where he was beaten by The Big Show at No Mercy. However during this time Chavo had returned and Los Guerreros won the titles again in September, but lost them 5 weeks later. During this period of time Eddie was getting extemly over with the fans and no matter where the WWE went the fans would chant EDDIE! EDDIE!, this made Chavo furious and was the start of the Guerrero family feud.
The feud between Eddie and Chavo came to a head at the Royal Rumble, after defeating Chavo, Eddie busted him open and also beat up Chavo's father and his brother Chavo Sr. Later that week Eddie won a Smackdown! Mini Royal Rumble beating 14 superstars to win a shot at Brock Lesnar's WWE Championship at No Way Out. Then the greatest moment of Eddie's professional carrer, he defeated Brock for his only WWE championship. Eddie then retained the title against Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX in the Smackdown! Main event, but later in the show came a moment we will never forget. Eddie's best friend Chris Beniot won the World Heavyweight title and Eddie went out to the ring and embraced his friendl, with tears of joy coming from both of the world chmpions eyes. Eddie then fueded with JBL and the two had a bloodly encounter at Judgment Day, so bloody in fact that after winning and rreturning backstage Eddie collasped and was rushed to hospital after losing too much blood. Eddie would lose the title to JBL at the Great American Bash, under speculation he was struggling to cope with the responsibilites of being WWE champion.
Eddie would remain in the WWE title picture for the rest of 2004 and in early 2005 began teaming with life long friend Rey Mysterio. The two of them won the tag team titles from the Basham Brothers at No Way Out in Febuary, this was to be the last title Eddie would ever hold. The two tag champions even opened the show at WrestleMania 21 against eachother in a high paced match which Rey won. They lost the titles to newcomers MNM just a few weeks after WrestleMania and then began a long and exciting feud which would last months. During this time Eddie also competed at ECW One Night Stand losing to his friend Chris Beniot by submission. Eddie then told Rey's son Dominic that he was his real father and the two met a SummerSlam for custody of Dominic in a Ladder match, the match stole the show and showed just how good was in Ladder matches. He then faced Batista for the WWE title at No Mercy, he came up short but made a friend in Batista in the process.
The just over a month later Eddie was found dead in his hotel room after suffering a massive heart attack. It seems unfair that the one thing Eddie had the most of HEART! Was the thing that eventually killed him. Just watching the RAW tribute show Monday night and seeing other wrestlers comments, especially Chris Beniot's brought me to tears. He is survived by his 3 daughters who can be extremly proud of their father and his achivments, especially overcoming his demons and can rest assure he will not be forgotten. Thank You Eddie VIVA LA RAZA!!!!!!!!!
by Rob Orchard..
michael nader wrote:
Thank you for writing this article. Eddie was a true inspiration. The segment with Benoit made me cry too man. When I quit smoking a year ago, I totally understood of how happy he was with himself. Guerrero deserved to be proud of himself for finding God to help him with his problems. I know we all are. They say Eddie never judged anybody either. If only there were more people like him not only in wrestling, but in the world all together. I'll miss you Eddie.
Satinder Bumrah wrote:
Awesome article. Truly a great tribute to one of the blessed souls in WWE.
No one can describe Eddie Guerrero, because they were no words to describe
him. He was 1 of the Gods warriors. He busted his ass just to get back his
family and overcome his demons, and by god, I respect the hell out of that.
Not many people in this world could of overcome what Eddie had. Eddie
Guerrero was pure gold. His characteristics were gold. His friendship and
love with Batista were absolute gold. Not many people in the world have
accomplished, what Eddie Guerrero has. He was in a severe car crash. The
doctors said, he wouldn't survive. Look at him, he came back and showed
everyone and himself, that he is for real. Now I know millions and millions
of people have said this around the world, that they will miss the bloody
hell out of Eddie Guerrero. I couldn't say it better. Eddie has gone to a
better place. So whenever we hear a strong lighting roar, our hearts will
remind us that Eddie Guerreo has won another battle with a amazing
Frogsplash. He has defeated another demon. Anyway, thank you Eddie. I would
of loved to see you carry your Dads legacy, but that couldn't be. But I'm
not said that he is gone, because I know God has chosen a outstanding legend
from Earth and called it to him. Viva La Raza, Heaven has earned a immortal
legend. We'll meet again someday.
Thank you Eddie... May god bless your soul, and help you continue fight demons up there.
Mason Hayes wrote:
That was a good column, Rob. I cried too when they showed you the tribute video to Eddie. Sometimes I hid it. Eddie was really successful in his career. Winning nearly every one of the titles. The European, the Intercontinental, the WWE Tag Team Championships, The U.S. Champion and the WWE championship.
I found the match at No Way Out 2004 very entertaining. Especially the part when Goldberg interfered, helping Eddie win. Too bad he lost it to JBL. Then at Summerslam 2005, the feud between Rey Mysterio ended up in a ladder match. I must tell you, Eddie and Rey must have had some guts to pull off those amazing stunts.
Like many others, I'll miss you, Eddie & you will not be forgotten.
Ernesto Diaz wrote:
Thank you for writing this column. Now I have more knowledge about Eddie Guerrero and how he achieved all his great achievements. I was SHOCKED the day I found out Eddie died. I also got emotional on the night they made the Eddie Guerrero tribute on Raw. I was so saddened by the fact of his death. He was also going to win the title from Batista soon. Well thank you for writing this. And for Eddie, we love you and may you rest in peace. VIVA LA RAZA!!!!!!!!!
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