In the 2000’s era of WWE, Eddie Guerrero was one of the best. A WWE Champion, serial tag-team title winner with three partners and a total of 10 titles during his time with WWE, he certainly left his mark on the sport.
The impact he had was incredible, ranging from his famous ‘Viva la raza’ motto to his memorable entrance music where he’d roll down in a low rider, before showing off with some hydraulics.
For entertainment factor, not many could offer the same that Eddie Guerrero did and his rivalry with JBL was a highlight on Smackdown for years, as was his partnership with another Mexican compatriot of his, Rey Mysterio.
The WWE Franchise has been an attractive prospect for many UFC/Martial Arts fighters who are competing to be the best. Asking many, what led them to the sport, often the likes of Eddie Guerrero are a standing force behind their career paths.
Mysterio & Guerrero were two peas in a pod. One born in Mexico, the other born in California but with Mexican heritage, the duo were made for each other but, as the entertainment busy goes, they fell out later on and had a feud of their own- but the friendship remained, as shown by Mysterio’s touching tribute after the passing of Guerrero.
Towards the end of his WWE career, Guerrero’s persona turned full circle as he went from crown favourite to a ‘villain’- attacking former partner Mysterio and revealing a deep, dark secret that he, and not Mysterio, was the father of Dominick- which led to a fight for his custody, which the latter won at Summerslam in 2005.
Lie, cheating and stealing was the name of the game for Guerrero, as he’d bend the rules to work in his favour- but he returned back to his more favoured persona after a friendship with Batista, who he lost to at No Mercy. From there, the low rider and old entrance music returned.
Sadly, the redemption of Guerrero in WWE was cut short early in November 2005 as he passed away due to heart failure. On the day of his death, Guerrero was scheduled to fight Batista and Randy Orton in a triple-threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Guerrero was reportedly booked to win that battle, allowing Batista time to recover from a back injury, although that was later disputed by the latter in his book. There’s no denying though that Guerrero was due to return to the job and was robbed of that opportunity by his premature passing.
Respect for Eddie Guerrero was vast, as he was ranked 11th in the tally of the top 15 wrestlers in WWE and the legendary Ric Flair named him as one of his top-ten opponents that he’d faced in the ring.
Further tributes have come from Chris Jericho, who stated he was the best when he was on form, and Kurt Angle- who named him second behind Shawn Michaels as the best wrestler of all-time.
In 2006, just a few months after his death, Guerrero was inducted to the WWE’s Hall of Fame and is remembered as an incredibly versatile wrestler who was extremely entertaining, as you never knew what he had up his sleeve next.
He joined legendary names like Andre the Giant and Sgt. Slaughter in the Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2006 alongside Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund, Sensational Sherri, Verne Gagne and ‘Mr USA’ Tony Atlas.
The Great Entertainer
Through the good and the bad storylines in WWE, Eddie Guerrero always kept us on his toes. A memorable moment came in the No Mercy clash with Batista where he contemplated using a steel chair to secure victory, then deciding not to cheat and subsequently losing the match.
That battle of demons became one of Guerrero’s most attractive tributes, as you genuinely didn’t know what he was going to do next. Lying, cheating and stealing was his way and, as his entrance music stated, he doesn’t care if you don’t like him.
It’s difficult not to have enjoyed Eddie Guerrero as a wrestler though as he was strong, quick and acrobatic, with his top rope finisher the five star frog splash showing him at his best- although he was even better to watch as a tag-team partner.
Guerrero was a great entertainer and his passing at the age of just 38 robbed us of the chance to see him compete further, particularly if the reports that he was due to win the World Heavyweight title at the time of his death.
If that was the case, then we would have Guerrero return to the pinnacle of the sport- which is exactly where he deserves to be.