Today would have been Eddie Guerrero’s 48th birthday. That makes me sad. Eddie was the man. He killed it in the ring, and on the microphone. There have been very few better than him. He was one of those rare performers who could be a face or a heel. It never mattered.
If you were supposed to love him, Eddie would make you love him. If you were supposed to hate him, Eddie made you hate his guts. My favorite example of that will always be his feud with Rey Mysterio over the custody of Dominic.
Of course, I can’t possibly ignore WCW Eddie Guerrero. Old, classic heel Eddie. The greasy-haired scumbag who would stroll out to the ring, not giving a shit about anything, or anyone. Look at his match with Rey at Halloween Havoc 1997.
When he makes his entrance, he’s got the Cruiserweight Championship slung over his shoulder, facing backwards. He didn’t even care about displaying his hard-earned title. It wasn’t the first one he won, and he knew it wouldn’t be the last.
He had a long, and brilliant career. One that was ended far too soon, back on November 13th, 2005. He was 38 years old. An autopsy revealed that Guerrero died from acute heart failure, due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Vickie Guerrero (Eddie’s wife) claimed that he had been unwell in the week preceding his death.
If you’ve been watching NXT lately, then you know that Latino Heat is living on through Sasha Banks. She is admittedly a huge fan of Eddie. On her episode of “Talk is Jericho,” she revealed that she actually had tickets for what became the Eddie Guerrero memorial episode of RAW. I say became, because Eddie was found on a Sunday, and his death was announced on a Monday.
Sasha, hyped for the show, decided to go on sort of a media blackout. So, she didn’t know Eddie passed away. She got to the show, and somebody had to explain what happened. It broke her heart. Now she’s wrestling on the same stage he went out on.
That’s clearly something she keeps in her heart. Look at the way she works. The heel moves are all heavily inspired by Eddie. For instance, there’s the way she got the first fall in her Iron Man with Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect.
Sure, she didn’t win, but that was a straight G move.
No one will ever forget Eddie, but it’s nice to see that pieces of his influence are still floating to the surface.
Continuing with Sasha Banks and TakeOver: Respect – in case you missed it – she also pulled off this incredible heel move. Through and through, it’s something that heel Eddie would have done. He would’ve delighted in each and every one of Izzy’s tears.
Sasha Banks is pure evil. pic.twitter.com/7cn5N6xKwM
— DTAM (@DeathToAllMarks) October 8, 2015
All right, that is (probably) the last time I will reference that amazing moment (I wouldn’t bet on it).
Let’s move back to Eddie. We don’t need to talk too much about what he did, or what titles he won, but I do need to bring up his matches with Dean Malenko in Extreme Championship Wrestling. They’re absolutely incredible. Eddie and Dean put on some of the smoothest technical clinics that I’ve ever seen.
Here’s my favorite – their legendary last match for Paul Heyman’s promotion.
NOTE: The match is not from Hostile City Showdown. It happened a few months later. The video is just incorrectly labelled.
So, I guess I should finish this up by being honest: when I started this, I had no idea where it was going. All I wanted to do was put together something to honor Eddie Guerrero. Jerry Mascolo pointed out that it was his birthday, and my brain immediately started going. He was so good, and he died so young.
He was only 38. RIP Eddie. You will be forever missed.
NOTE: Credit to Carlos Rivero for pointing me to the following video.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Courtesy of WWE.com.