I hated Eddie Guerrero. That guy got on my nerves so bad, with his exaggerated Latino accent and his perpetuation of stereotype for entertainment. He and his tag-team partner Chavo (also a Guerrero) claimed proudly: "We lie, we cheat, we steal!" He drove to the ring, for crying out loud, in a blinged-out car with major hydraulic issues. He once stole the Intercontinental championship from his fiancee Chyna while she was passed out in the ring! He sprayed the Big Show with sewage! He claimed he was the father of Rey Mysterio's young son Dominick! He wore a mullet into the year 2002! The crowd could often be heard chanting "Eddie sucks!" during his times as a heel, but just plainly "Eddie!" when he played the babyface.
Along the way, he put his body through the mill with frog splashes, suplexes, dives in and out of the ring. His signature move, the Three Amigos, was a major crowd-pleaser. He apparently was a very good friend to his fellow wrestlers, as they attested during his tribute show last night. Many big, burly guys, with nicknames like the Rabid Wolverine and the Cerebral Assassin, sat in front of a stationary camera and cried their eyes out over the loss of a family man who quoted scripture and spouted proverbs to help get them through the next match, the next show, the next rest of their lives. WWE's Billion Dollar Princess Stephanie McMahon called him humble repeatedly as mascara and tears dripped down her face. Hispanic wrestlers wished him goodbye in Spanish and told him they'd see him again.
Eddie Guerrero, Latino Heat, died Sunday morning of heart failure, the cause of which remains in question. Last night, the crowds cheered "Thank you, Eddie!" as the WWE performers from both Raw and Smackdown rosters paid their respects in front of the ring, where Eddie shone brightest. And when the night's final match ended, winner John Cena pulled off his "I'm your papi!" t-shirt, placed it in the center of the mat, and laid his WWE Championship belt across the bottom of it. Eddie was and will always be a champion.
Thank you, Eddie. We'll miss you.
©2005, Robert A. Geise - May not be reprinted without express permission. Hot-linking welcome.