AS I SEE IT: Remembering Eddie Guerrero
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
It was eight years ago this past week that Eddie Guerrero left this world.
I first met Eddie Guerrero when he came into ECW in April 1994. There have been few within wrestling who’ve ever been genuinely nicer, or more approachable to fans than the Guerrero I got to know. I remember saying to a friend once that Eddie “always seemed to have a smile in his eyes”.
To this day…one of my most vivid ECW memories was the farewell show for Dean Malenko and Eddie on August 26, 1995. This may well have been the best match I’ve ever seen for the overall emotional experience combined with the actual match itself anywhere in wrestling. While Dean and Eddie worked better matches in ECW and in Japan, the sheer emotion of the toughest crowd in North America not to mention the fans, locker room, and Dean and Eddie themselves in tears, accompanied by Joey Styles doing the match call of his life as Guerrero and Malenko worked their last ECW match.
If you ever get the chance to get a DVD or an old VHS of the ECW TV August 29, 1995 show that featured this match, it is a classic and an absolute keeper. But I wish any of you reading this could have been there in person; because, as good a job as Styles’s call and Heyman’s editing did in communicating the feeling one had being there at the Arena that night, it could never do it justice entirely.
Eddie was a kind, decent man who remembered his friends. The most notable example I was able to see was that of Brian Hildebrand, who was remembered and supported on more than one occasion by Guerrero. I remember being the post-show bar scene at a WCW house show, when I saw Guerrero saying a prayer over his post-show meal…thought it was odd, and then later that night found out about Brian’s cancer.
I also remember the night in 1998 when WCW honored Hildebrand with a night dedicated to him in Knoxville, TN, with a classic match of Chris Jericho/ Eddie Guerrero against Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit… and with Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen presenting Brian with a championship belt, then getting Brian involved in the finish.
That Knoxville show was an event reported all over the wrestling world. Then, in 1999, there was the ‘Curtis Comes Home’ show in Rostraver, PA. Jim Cornette, Shane Douglas, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Mick Foley, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Tracy Smothers, Chris Candido, Tammy Sytch, Public Enemy, Dominic DeNucci, Al Snow, D-Lo Brown, Terry Taylor, Les Thatcher, and Sandy Scott took part in this tribute in Brian’s hometown.
For my brother and myself…and undoubtedly for many, many others; the fact that Eddie was clean and sober…and had been so for some time makes Guerrero’s passing that much harder to deal with. Guerrero was a man who’d found God, dealt with his demons, worked on his addictions to alcohol and other drugs being taken by God with so much to live for.
So shortly after the eighth anniversary, Eddie, we still remember…
Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year will soon be here. The Christmas movies have started. Your friendly not-so-local retail mega-store has been killing trees to print advertisements to sell us iPad, IPhone, or iSomethings, along with the latest game killing bad guys, zombies, or whatever, for our kids or ourselves.
Back to the spirit of the season…. the wrestling community is reaching out to those in need. Independent promotions hold a wide variety of events to benefit various food pantries, shelters, Toys for Tots drives.
Over the years, promotions in my area from the family-friendly United Wrestling Coalition to the hardcore themed Combat Zone Wrestling ranging to indies of various sizes and types trough the United States and Canada. Even if you don’t have one in your own area this Holiday season, please take time to contribute to or volunteer with such organizations.
Until next time…
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