Tribute To Eddie Guerrero
11-15-05: The official cause of death won't be listed
for a couple of weeks, but the Guerrero family was
told by the coroner that Eddie died from Heart Failure from
heart disease exacerbated by the long period of drug and alcohol
use. There was no sign of trauma and he died peacefully it
would seem. He had just celebrated his fourth year of sobriety.
note: When I opened my email today from Chris Garcia and
saw an article titled "Eddie Guerrero," I said
a quick prayer that this wasn't what it is. I don't watch
wrestling, but Guerrero caught my attention in the few months
that I did. I liked him, and I'm deeply saddened at his
are few wrestlers of any generation who can say they achieved
more than was ever expected of them. Hulk Hogan is one of
them, and so was Eddie Guerrero. Too small by the standards
of wrestling in the post-WWF Expansion world, he wasn’t
given a chance until Paul Heyman started ECW and he had
already made a name for himself in Mexico, where size seldom
Guerrero, who made it to the top only to be unable to handle
the pressure, passed away on Sunday at the age of 38. He
leaves three daughters and a wife, his mother, and three
brothers and a nephew who have all had at least some success
in wrestling. At this point, the cause of death is unknown.
Eddie made a name for himself even though he was the son
of a giant star, the legendary Gori Guerrero, and the brother
of a couple of guys who were good sized stars later. Eddie
was easily the best wrestler of all of them, having amazing
matches at any position on the card. He started in Mexico
as Mascara Magica, but voluntarily unmasked as himself.
He started a team with El Hijo del Santo and also started
wrestling in Japan as Black Tiger, also under a mask.
his first big push as one half of one of the truly great
heel tag teams. Art Barr was a wrestler who had been a biggish
name in Oregon but had gotten into much trouble over the
years. He ended up in AAA where he was teamed with Eddie
as Los Gringos Locos. They were the best heel team in Mexico
ever when you look at ring work and crowd reactions. Sadly,
Art died too young and left Eddy (as they spelled it then)
on his own.
first time US fans got to see Eddy regularly was in ECW.
He was Television champion, and more important than that,
he had a series of matches with Dean Malenko that changed
American wrestling forever.
none, these were the best matches of the period. No WCW
or WWF match of 1994 or 1995 came close to what these guys
were doing in ECW. They both ended up being called into
WCW to start as cruiserweights. Both of them had some success
and they were an important part of the Nitro equation: great
openers from Guerrero, Malenko, Mysterio, Jericho, Benoit
and others, followed by crappy angles and interviews and
bad main events. At one point, Eddie was the leader of the
LWO, the Latino World Order.
After Kevin Sullivan was about to take back the book at
WCW, Eddie went along with Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean
Malenko to the WWE, where they blew the house down. Eddie
got hurt early in a match against the New Age Outlaws, but
once he came back, he got a bigger and bigger push, eventually
ending up with Chyna and the Lie, Cheat and Steal gimmick
that would make him the biggest draw on SmackDown!
was fired a couple of times. He had troubles with pain medications
and other drug issues as well. He was involved in a car
accident and most folks said he shouldn’t come back.
He wrestled in the indies, including Ring of Honor, but
eventually he got his demons under control and returned
to the biggest push of his life.
February of 2004, at the Cow Palace, Eddie pinned Brock
Lesnar to win the World Heavyweight Championship. A guy
who had been told he was too small for almost his entire
career had won the belt and got a huge pop for it. He was
the backbone of the promotion, but he also ended up burning
out on the pressure, and Vince wanted to give JBL the belt,
so Eddie dropped the title to him and sort of waffled for
the next year and a half, often while being the hottest
thing on the show.
Eddie, along with Rey Mysterio, could be thought of as
the guy who brought Hispanics into wrestling again, and
though they’d trailed off since the end of the Eddie
vs. Rey feud, they did help out the buyrates and the ratings
and the ticket sales from late 2003 through mid-2005.
will be missed, as he was extremely popular backstage, was
a huge fan favorite with both smarts and marks, and is just
one of the guys who defined the direction of the WWE in
the early part of a new century.
I always loved Eddie, he won the FanboyPlanet Readers’
Award for Best Babyface and Favorite Wrestler for 2004,
he also won the Lou Thesz Award for Good Wrestling and shared
the Tag Team of the Year Award. He also had some Wrestling
Observer Awards and will probably make the Hall of Fame
before too long. He was a star who did more than anyone