When Eddie Left Us

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Photo: WWE

When Eddie Guerrero left México almost nobody was aware of the news. He didn’t make a sound. He left his rivalry against El Hijo del Santo (and you couldn’t blame him, all this “Juniors” rivalries, inherited on the name of their fathers, getting nowhere and El Hijo del Santo always getting the win) and a country that was going through a big economical crisis. He left lucha libre on a weird status, the lucha libre of AAA was limping across the country: Octagón, El Hijo del Santo, Máscara Sagrada, Psicosis, Rey Misterio Jr., all one by one left AAA. Some of them went to the revival act at El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, house of the indie lucha libre at the time, some others went to La Empresa Mundial de Lucha Libre (EMLL), shaping the landscape of lucha libre in the 90s. Eddie Guerrero left and never came back.

There is something to add in order to get this article straight: Lucha libre fans don’t forgive. If you talk right now about Mexicans in the U.S. you may turn your eye to Andrade “Cien Almas” in WWE/NXT. Right now, he is on the good path, soon to wrestle Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship. Andrade has given us great matches in the last months and most importantly, he has the company’s trust. But fans don’t care about it. They think Andrade – or La Sombra as lots of them still call him – went only for the money and is doing nothing. Mexican fans are that weird and difficult to understand. With Máscara Dorada (or Gran Metalik on 205 Live) it is the same. And so on…

Photo: WWE

But with Eddie it was just different. He was the youngest son of big lucha legend Gory Guerrero (beloved among the beloved) and he was visualized as a good luchador. Also he was continuing the story of his father and El Santo by teaming up with El Hijo del Santo, and after that being foes. But that was Eddie, a gringo loco. Next thing you know, he is side by side with Rey Misterio Jr. and Psicosis making history in the U.S. Later on, he beats Brock Lesnar for the top championship in WWE. Eddie put WWE on the map here in México. I remember following WWE on some magazines and watching PPVs eventually. Everything changed when Eddie became WWE Champion. Somehow it was something historical and people started looking at WWE.

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If somebody had bad blood against Eddie, he was redeemed now: as champion we can see a different Eddie, now he was a quaint character, smiling, quite charismatic and watching him yelling Viva la raza! was kind of special. He remembered México and his legacy. That was the character that made all the wrestling world love Eddie.

Photo: WWE

When died it left a sad day like this: he left not only México, but this world and his legend was born. Boy, did I cry…to this day, people like el Negro Casas, El Dandy, Konnan, Atlantis, and more continue share their stories with Eddie with all the fans, making us partners of his desire to help the people, his determination to be the best, and his will to live. Sometimes I think what would it be of him if he was alive. Maybe Rey Mysterio wouldn’t have become champion, maybe Chris Benoit would still be wrestling, Vickie wouldn’t have to be a “cougar”, maybe Eddie would be a GOAT or a passionate manager. And surely, his smile and cleverness would still be enchanting us. We can only imagine…

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