SLTD’s Tribute to Eddie Guerrero

  It’s 8 years today since we learned that Eddie Guerrero had tragically passed away at the age of 38. A multi-time champion across many different promotions in almost every […]

 

It’s 8 years today since we learned that Eddie Guerrero had tragically passed away at the age of 38. A multi-time champion across many different promotions in almost every continent in the world, Guerrero’s influence on the wrestling world will never be forgotten.

Here at SLTD Wrestling, some of our writers and staff sat down to share their thoughts and memories of one of the most charismatic wrestlers of all-time and a true Latino superstar, the one and only, WWE Hall of Famer, Eddie Guerrero.

Karl Walker: When Eddie Guerrero cheated, something special happened! We’d cheer and want him to cheat because it was freaking hilarious to see. He would take a chair and throw it to his opponent, then feign being hurt by collapsing on the floor. The referee assumed Guerrero was hit by the chair and would go on to award him the victory by way of disqualification. He’d flash his smile and wink to his fans.

Even writing about this, I’m smiling thinking about it. I’m truly missing this guy today. It’s weird how someone I’ve never really gotten to know could make me feel like I’ve lost a part of my family. Rest in peace, Latino Heat.”

Tommy Mitten: We live in a world today full of short-term gains and lacking in true substance, a society obsessed with the fast-track to success in exchange for dignity and pride. Eddie Guerrero is a perfect example of what hard work, determination and true talent can achieve when someone applies it to their desired craft. I say is and not was when referring to Eddie as his achievements were more than sufficient enough to ensure that his memory lives on forever.

We all have our own memories of the man who brought Latino Heat to our TV screens over many years and my lasting memory will always be of his heartfelt exchange with Chris Benoit at the end of WrestleMania 20 – the realisation that the mountain had been climbed and conquered. Eddie Guerrero – long may he remain in our thoughts and for longer may he rest in peace. Viva La Raza!”

Emma Giles: My memories of Eddie Guerrero include some of my fondest ones that got me further hooked on wrestling. I grew up watching the WWF/E from the late 80’s to the modern day and from the first time I saw Eddie, I was a fan of his character and style of wrestling. In my view Eddie had it all because he could wrestle on the mat, fly around the ring and could cut a promo that would have you believe in him.

My favourite feud of Eddie’s was the one with JBL. It was a classic throwback to the days when a feud was built properly and it ended in a match where both competitors left it all in the ring. I also liked his feud with Rey Mysterio. Two long-time friends ended up having a great rivalry, including a great match on the grandest stage of them all – WrestleMania (21). The match saw them go their separate ways as tag-team partners and try their hand in singles competition, but an attack shortly after on Rey Mysterio saw Eddie return to his friend’s side.

In my view, Eddie Guerrero is, and always will be, a legend in the wrestling industry. He was tragically taken from us too soon and he’ll forever live on in our memories. Thank you for the memories Latino Heat.”

thegreateddieDavid Outlaw: “There are so many great memories Eddie Guerrero provided us with over his career and he became one of the most loved superstars ever to step foot in the squared circle due to his amazing talent.

My favourite memory of him is when he was with Chyna. ‘Latino Heat’ and ‘Mamacita’ were incredible together and they had brilliant chemistry. From Eddie trying to win over Chyna to him getting jealous of her Playboy cover shoot and eventually getting caught on GTV in the shower with two other women, they provided us with many entertaining segments.

Eddie Guerrero was simply one of the greatest and it was fantastic to see him reach the pinnacle of the industry by winning the WWE Championship. RIP Eddie Guerrero.”

Gary Byrne: “I remember my interest in wrestling starting to wane in early 2004. The characters weren’t all that fresh anymore, I had better things to do on a Friday night and I was growing up. But I didn’t quit, because two of my favourite people were on their way to the top of the mountain.

Eddie had won a 15-man battle royal to earn a shot at the WWE Championship. The only thing that stood in his way was ‘The Beast’ Brock Lesnar. I had started to become a wrestling cynic at this point, so I had a feeling Eddie was just the next one on the chopping block. But much to my surprise, with a little help from Goldberg himself, he won the title. He then went on to defeat Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX and retain his title, solidifying himself as a main-event star. It didn’t last and that’s a damn shame, but one of my fondest memories will always be Eddie and ‘he who shall not be named’ embracing as the two champs at WrestleMania XX.”

Greg_SLTD: “I’ve been thinking about what to write since we spoke about this on SLTD Radio last Thursday and I’ve really found it hard to sum up Eddie in a few words.

I’m not going to sit here and lie, and say Eddie was my favourite wrestler of all-time, because he wasn’t. But I will say that he was the only ‘Radical’ I ever really wanted to see. And just between us, ‘Latino Heat’ was the ringtone on my phone for about a year!

Eddie was one of those wrestlers who was consistently amazing, and I literally can’t remember a bad moment or match he had in the ring. Although he wasn’t my favourite growing up, he always made the wrestlers I loved look amazing and to me, that’s the hardest thing to do. He may be one of the best workers of the early to mid 2000’s”

Daniel Barker: “When Eddie Guerrero passed away, I was 16 and as dramatic as it sounds, his death did have a huge impact on my life.

You see, most performers that I grew up to idolize up until that point had already been gone for a long time. The only one that I recall hitting me like a cold bucket of water had to be Brian Pillman. After hearing the tragic news and seeing that fateful tribute show, I’m not afraid to admit that it completely blew my world open. Yes, deaths in wrestling happen, but no-one saw it coming. Similar to Brian Pillman’s demise, I found myself in front of the TV stunned at the news and could only find comfort in remembering the good times.

I always respected Eddie Guerrero as a performer. The fact he died so young never elevated his worth in my eyes.

As a wrestler, one of his greatest qualities was the way he adapted to portray different roles. The guy could make you either want to love or despise him almost effortlessly. Regardless of the character he portrayed on TV, Eddie’s wrestling performances were always world class.

When the whole lying, cheating and stealing gimmick took off after his tag-team run with his nephew Chavo as part of Los Guerreros, Eddie’s personality went to a new level that captivated the imagination of millions across the globe. It may sound corny, but Eddie definitely won the hearts of many fans. At times, it felt impossible to hold a grudge against the man.

Eddie had demons in his life and I hold great admiration for the man because not only did he turn everything around and claimed his family back – he truly inspired people. Some may say Eddie did in fact steal our hearts. I’d argue that he only took them to inject that little bit of Latino Heat into our lives.

Viva La Raza!”

Adam O’Brien: “Eddie Guerrero epitomised exactly why we invest in professional wrestling. In all my years as a wrestling fan, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with as many mediums as Eddie had. Whether he was working cruiserweight matches, tag-team matches or main-events, he never had any difficulty adapting to different techniques.

One of the many things that I loved about Eddie was his ability to work in any role. He could go from one extreme to another- from a hilarious babyface with regular pranks and schemes to outsmart his fellow superstars, to a villainous heel with the most sadistic of natures.

Some of my favourite moments were when he would lie, cheat and steal for either financial gain, or victory within a WWE ring. Whether it was through stealing Ric Flair’s entry number for the Royal Rumble (along with his wallet), dousing Big Show in manure or conducting one of countless schemes alongside his nephew Chavo, Eddie Guerrero was always one of the most entertaining superstars in the WWE.

Eddie complimented these excellent twists on his character with a very refined, technical skill-set in the ring. This combination made Eddie one of the greatest overall performers in wrestling history, but for a long time, he found it tough getting to that top spot.

It was at No Way Out in 2004 that Eddie’s dreams came true, as he defeated Brock Lesnar to finally become the WWE Champion. One of my most fulfilling moments as a wrestling fan was watching Eddie Guerrero celebrate his championship win with his fans and family at ringside in California that night. But it was not quite what I believe to be his greatest moment. That came a month later where ‘it all began again’ at WrestleMania XX.

The history of WrestleMania is strewn with countless memorable moments, some which have shaped the foundation of the wrestling industry as a whole. Yet through all of the Hogans, Austins, Rocks and Cenas, the closing moments of WrestleMania XX will forever be my favourite.

After a life-long journey striving towards the top of the ladder, Eddie Guerrero was the WWE Champion on the grandest stage of them all, alongside one of his best friends, Chris Benoit, who had just achieved similar gratification by winning the World Heavyweight Championship. This was one of the most heart-warming moments in wrestling history, and it’s saddening to know that both men involved are no longer with us. Two men who had crawled their way from the very bottom to the top, despite not having the generic physique of a stereotypical WWE Champion, celebrated the greatest moments of their hard-fought journeys throughout the world of wrestling together.

Coming from a man whose very livelihood revolves around his love for the wrestling industry, if it wasn’t for that WrestleMania moment, I don’t think I’d be the wrestling fan that I am today. It’s a moment that unfortunately will never be acknowledged by the WWE ever again, but it will forever be etched in my heart as the moment that made me officially love professional wrestling.

In my eleven years as a wrestling fan, I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve been to WrestleMania, I’ve met numerous WWE Superstars and Hall of Famers. But one of the things that I am the most privileged to say, is that I got to see Eddie Guerrero wrestle live and in person in 2005. That alone is one of the proudest moments of my life.

It’s not easy to put into words just how big of an impact Eddie had on my childhood, but I can tell you that if he hadn’t been around when I was growing up, things would be a lot different. He helped me appreciate the art of professional wrestling.

Today marks the eighth anniversary of Eddie Guerrero’s untimely death, and it still hits us just as hard as it did back in the winter of 2005. But as we look back at his legacy, we celebrate the countless contributions he made to the wrestling industry, and the impression he made on the lives of his family, friends and fans. He will forever live on in our hearts. Viva la Raza.”

eddieDuckman: “If there’s one sentence that keeps running through my mind whenever I think of the late, great Eddie Guerrero, it’s this: you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

It rings so true with me personally because I don’t think I ever realised just how great a professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero was until he passed away. I know that’s a strange thing to admit in a tribute piece to someone, but it’s true. While I always enjoyed watching Eddie’s work and considered myself a fan of his, I never fully understood why he was considered so special and why he was held in such high regard by his peers and fans alike.

When I did eventually understand just how special Eddie was, as a wrestler and as a human being, he left us a year or two later. I curse myself regularly for not taking every opportunity to fully appreciate and enjoy the work of Eddie Guerrero while he was still alive.

As the wrestling world marks the 8th anniversary of his death, contributing to this article is a tiny speck in the grand scheme of heartfelt tributes that will pour in for Eddie over the course of this week. I didn’t know him personally and anything I write here won’t come close to the words you’ll read and hear about Eddie from those who knew him as a friend, husband, father, brother, uncle, co-worker and in many cases, a true inspiration.

All I can do is try to convey some of my lasting memories of Eddie as a fan of his and a fan of pro-wrestling in general. First off, I need to admit something… I wasn’t a fan of Eddie Guerrero until he came to WWE. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like his work in Mexico, ECW, Japan or WCW. I’ve been able to go back and discover a lot of his earlier work and I love it. What I mean is I didn’t actually get a chance to see much of Eddie before he arrived in WWE.

As a kid growing up, I only knew WWE (or WWF as it was back then). It was the only American pro-wrestling we got on TV where I lived in the west of Scotland. I know some other parts of the UK got WCW, but not here. I didn’t even know WCW – or any other promotion for that matter – existed until I bought my first non-WWF wrestling magazine (which I had to travel over 2 hours by car to the city and then trawl around loads of shops to find one that stocked it). This would probably be around the time Eddie was working in Japan as Black Tiger in the early 90s.

I distinctly remember looking at the pictures in those magazines and being fascinated by the masked wrestlers from Mexico and Japan. No doubt Eddie was included in those photographs but at the time I had no idea who Black Tiger was or how great he would eventually become.

As the 90s raged on with the Monday Night Wars in full effect, I was a WWF guy. I would catch glimpses of WCW here and there. Mainly Hogan and the NWO were featured, as opposed to the guys on the undercard, like Eddie. I later learned that Eddie and his like were actually the guys holding the shows together and providing the wrestling quota, while Hogan and his chums stood around talking for thirty minutes per show and would wrestle for maybe five.

It was during the Monday Night Wars that I got my first WCW video tapes. I had always only bought WWF tapes up until that point. I was expanding my knowledge of wrestling and WCW appealed because there were a ton of workers on their shows that I didn’t know, that had big reputations for putting on great matches. Guys like Eddie, Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and others were featured in the magazines I read and they seemed to be a different kind of wrestler to the type I was used to in WWE at that time.

Of course, once I’d seen Eddie, Rey and the others in action, I was hooked. I bought a few more WCW video tapes. I was able to witness some of Eddie’s best matches in WCW and I would have loved to have seen more. As a fan, it was tough to follow because I didn’t get the TV show and the internet at this point was still in its infancy. I can’t help feel I didn’t get the chance to really see the best of Eddie Guerrero in WCW.

Fast forward to the year 2000. We survived the Y2K bug and whatever other ‘end of the world’ scenarios people were worried about back then. I was in college, 18 years old, I had the world by the balls (or so I thought) and despite trying my hardest to get away from it (I got so much shit off my friends for still being into wrestling), I was more hooked than ever on pro-wrestling. 

I had managed to get the internet at my student flat and despite it being a dial-up connection, I spent a ton of time online, mostly keeping up with WWF and not really paying much attention to WCW – which by that point had become a TNA-level laughing stock and was rapidly circling the drain (although I didn’t really know that at the time). I was more interested in The Rock vs HHH and Stone Cold vs The Undertaker.

I was still aware of WCW, but didn’t really care enough about it to seek out any of their programming. I still bought the occasional video tape, but found myself put off by the likes of Hogan, Nash and other immobile and boring professional wrestlers. I didn’t give much thought to Eddie Guerrero or anyone in WCW, as WWE was so damn hot at that point in time.

I distinctly remember walking past an electronic shop in the local shopping centre where I lived at the time. A big bank of TVs were all showing WWE from that week and standing in the ring with HHH and Mick Foley was Eddie Guerrero and the rest of the Radicals. I remember stopping dead in my tracks and staring in through the window of the shop, watching the show with no audio, and feeling like a lightning bolt had just gone down my back.

I hurried back home to get online and find out what was going on. What the hell were these guys doing in WWE? How awesome was it going to be to see them face off with WWE’s best talent? The possibilities seemed endless and it was one of the single most newsworthy moments in the history of WWE TV.

It really felt like the Monday Night Wars were over as soon as The Radicals jumped ship. The writing had been on the wall for a while, but the loss of those great workers, who held WCW’s shows together with great matches, felt like a fatal blow to WCW. They had lost the guys who put the work in, the guys who were the glue that held the TV show together, and the company in general, from falling apart. Plus it continued to reverse a trend from the start of the Monday Night Wars, as now guys were jumping from WCW to WWF, like Chris Jericho did before them.

The excitement and possibilities of the Radicals’ run in WWE didn’t exactly pan out the way many fans expected or even hoped. While they had great matches and there was always an air of excitement surrounding them, the booking decisions by WWE quickly relegated them to almost the same spots they had in WCW – good workhorses, but not top guys. 

Eddie’s career in WWE didn’t get off to the greatest of starts as I remember him suffering a bad elbow injury early in his run, while executing a frog splash from the top rope. I always remember how in those early weeks of the Radicals being on WWE TV, it was Eddie Guerrero who always caught the eye. Even when he wasn’t wrestling, he had such great charisma that you couldn’t help but be drawn to him every time the group appeared on TV.

I enjoyed his pairing with Chyna to a certain degree, but it always felt like filler comedy, as opposed to something important and meaningful. Some of my favourite memories of Eddie working in WWE came a few years later, especially during his work as part of the “SmackDown Six” when Paul Heyman had some of the greatest workers in the world at his disposal (Eddie, Chavo, Edge, Rey, Angle and Benoit). They put on a series of tag-team matches that would not be equalled in WWE until The Shield came along and brought tag-team wrestling back to the fore on a regular basis this year.

It took some time, but the more I watched him, the more I understood why everyone held Eddie in such high regard. He was flawless in the ring. His movement and positioning was second to none. It didn’t matter who he was in the ring with, when they worked with Eddie, they always looked like a million bucks. Hell, he even made Chavo interesting and somewhat entertaining!

You could see that Eddie was born to be a professional wrestler. There are some guys who step in the ring, and you can see them thinking and worrying about their next spot (The Miz for instance) and they look so unnatural. Eddie was the complete opposite. The way he worked always looked so easy, so natural. Like he didn’t even have to think about what he was doing. He just felt it. 

Everyone remembers Eddie’s WWE Title win against Brock Lesnar – which is still one of my favourite WWE matches of all time. The emotion from the crowd in the arena was off the charts. Every single person in that building was pulling for Eddie to overcome the odds and slay the monster and when he did, the roof nearly came off the place. If you ever want to cite the perfect example of emotional investment in a wrestling match, just refer to Eddie vs Brock, because it doesn’t get any better than that.

You can’t talk about Eddie Guerrero without addressing the alcohol and drug issues that plagued him throughout his career. I sometimes wonder if those addictive personalities are something you’re born with, or if they are shaped by your environment. The life of a professional wrestler certainly seems to be the perfect setting to develop dependency issues and battles with demons. Although I guess that could be said for any part of society. Maybe it really is just human nature.

We can’t ignore the dark times that Eddie went through, especially when you consider that they eventually made him a stronger and a better human being. His recovery and subsequent change of attitude towards drugs, life and wrestling (through finding God) has been referenced by many of his friends as Eddie’s greatest achievement.

Eddie battled his demons. He nearly lost his career and more importantly his family. I remember when I was getting into ROH in around 2004. I went back and found their first show from a few years earlier. Eddie had been released by WWE at the time and was in the process of slowly putting his career and life back together. His appearance in ROH and his match with Super Crazy was always mentioned by Eddie as one of the turning points of his recovery.   

It was so telling to watch Eddie on that show and see just how far apart he stood from everyone else. Even if you didn’t know he’d had this amazing career in Mexico and the US, even if you didn’t know he was from a wrestling family, all it took was watching him walk out to the ring and you knew this guy was different from everyone else on the show. He had a charisma and a presence that is almost impossible to define. It’s just there and you feel it, it jumps off the TV screen and slaps you square in the face.

What I always remember about Eddie is how well he could work the emotions of the crowd. If he was a heel, people hated him, passionately.  When he was a babyface, they loved him unequivocally. He was one of the best workers of his generation in engaging the fans in his matches. I have great memories of actually getting really annoyed at his heelish behaviour and then suddenly realising that he was working me. And there was me thinking I was the smartest of smart fans! 

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say Eddie Guerrero was one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time. Unfortunately I didn’t realise or appreciate that until he was gone and that’s something that I’ve tried to make right over the years. I really didn’t know what I had, until it was gone.

I’ve spent hours on You Tube going back over some of Eddie’s most classic matches. Some of the tag-team work he did with Art Barr in Mexico was so ahead of its time and they generated a scary level of crowd heat that you just don’t see these days. I always wondered how Eddie’s career would have panned out if Art Barr hadn’t passed away so young. No doubt they’d have gone on to have one of the classic rivalries of their generation.

His feud with Rey Mysterio in WCW was spectacular and ground-breaking, as it showed the world (and more importantly those running wrestling in the US) that smaller workers could wow a crowd and were just as important to a promotion as the bloated ‘roid heads that dominated the top of the card

I always loved his matches and interactions with Kurt Angle, Stone Cold Steve Austin or Batista. The list could go on and on frankly. Eddie rarely had a bad match and if he did, I can hardly remember them. Maybe that’s the rose-tinted glasses at work, but Eddie even got great matches out of JBL, so I think it’s safe to say you could count the number of bad matches Eddie had on one hand.

The wrestling world lost a true great when Eddie Guerrero passed away. As happens in most forms of entertainment, his value and importance have only increased since his death. That’s the sign of a true legend – his name and his popularity continues to increase in the years following his death. It’s usually because as they grow up, new fans discover their work and connect to it. It’s true of the likes of Kurt Cobain and it’s true of Eddie Guerrero.

His loss is felt every day in a wrestling landscape that seriously lacks the kind of passion, charisma and natural connection with the fans that Eddie Guerrero had. Be it good guy or bad, when Eddie Guerrero performed, everyone paid attention.

When he wanted you to hate him, all it would take would be one look, one knowing smirk and you’d want to punch through your TV to get to him. When he wanted you to love him, that knowing smirk would change slightly and the warmth of Eddie’s personality would shine through.

As I said earlier, there are bigger fans of Eddie than me. There are people who are far more knowledgeable about his career and his greatest matches. There are fans out there who have followed his career from day one and when he passed away, they felt the loss and the impact of his death far more than I did.

This week, we shouldn’t be sad that Eddie is gone. We should rejoice in the fact that he was here at all. Through his incredible skill, charisma and passion for the business, Eddie Guerrero made wrestling a better place.

It’s a worse place without him here today but thankfully his memory can live on through the fans who saw him live, the fans who are only just learning about him, and the fans who are yet to discover his greatness.

I know what I had and now it’s gone. Gone, but never forgotten.

Rest in Peace Eddie – Viva La Raza!”

George_SLTD: “2005 was a different time for yours truly. I wasn’t as angry as I generally am now. I wasn’t carrying as much insulation as I am now, and although I considered myself an intelligent wrestling fan, I didn’t have an internet connection. Yes, that’s right. In 2005, I had NO internet connection. Plays right in to the stereotype of Scotsmen being ‘careful’ with their money right?

With no internet and the advent of social media a couple of years away, I had no idea that Eddie Guerrero had passed away until I tuned in to that week’s edition of Raw. I remember it like it was yesterday. I saw Eddie’s lowrider and the tribute graphic and I thought “Oh no… Tell me it’s not true”. It was, and I can’t describe to you how devastated I was. I was properly buckled. I looked at the WWE stars I’d admired for years standing in front of the Titantron with tears running down their face, and those same tears started to stream down mine. I’ve actually got a lump in my throat now just thinking about it again.

Like Duckman’s just said in his tribute, I knew of Eddie Guerrero before he appeared as part of the Radicals in 2000, but I wouldn’t say I was a Guerrero fan because I hadn’t seen enough of his work.

Guerrero had, for want of a better phrase, the X factor. The thing that every true superstar in whatever their chosen genre of entertainment has. He had that spark. That charisma. The ability to make people care about him. And that’s what most of today’s wrestlers lack. I mean come on… Who truly cares about Curtis Axel, Kofi Kingston or The Miz? I’m guessing not a lot of people.

But everybody cared about Eddie Guerrero. Look at his body of work throughout his all too short career. From his legendary matches in Japan and Mexico, to his work in ECW, WCW and WWE, you’ll rarely see Eddie have a bad match. That’s a credit to the man’s talent, and his passion to work at his craft to make sure he was the best that he could possibly be.

The strength of character he showed to not only overcome his demons, but to inspire others to do the same is an incredible testament to him not just as a wrestler, but as a man. Eddie Guerrero should be lauded for the tremendous wrestler that he was, and for the man that he became later in his life.

I’m not someone who gets emotional very easily. It takes something massive for me to break down and cry, but I’m not ashamed to say that Eddie Guerrero’s death was one of those moments in my life when it happened.

I LOVED watching him perform with the likes of Rey Mysterio, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Edge and more. Guerrero made wrestling look easy. He was such a natural, charismatic performer. When you see him wrestling, there’s no wasted motion. It looks so crisp and fluid. It didn’t look like Eddie’s matches had been strategically put together when, in all likelihood, they were. That’s a credit to Eddie’s unbelievable talent, and it’s a tragedy that he’s no longer here. It just means that we appreciate the performances he did give us just that little bit more.

I bet that a lot of you won’t know who Eddie had his last televised match with off the top of your head. It was Mr Kennedy. And how did the match end? With ‘vintage’ Guerrero – a ref bump, Eddie picking up a chair, smashing it off the canvas and throwing it to his opponent before hitting the deck. Just thinking about Eddie Guerrero makes me smile. He was a terrific performer, an amazing wrestler and someone who deserves a hell of a lot more credit than he gets for the career he had.

The pinnacle of his career of course, was winning the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar. Listen to the crowd pop for the last 5 minutes or so of that match. That’s a genuine, emotional investment from thousands of WRESTLING fans who wanted to see Eddie get that moment. It’s an organic outpouring of emotion from the crowd towards a man who they loved.

Eddie deserved to be called champion because he embodied everything a champion should be – courageous, talented and the best at his craft. You’d be hard pushed to find someone to disagree with that. It’s tragic to think that just over 18 months after winning the WWE Championship, Eddie passed away.

I hate the fact that Eddie’s no longer here, purely for selfish reasons. I miss seeing him on TV every week and there are so many matches I wanted to see him have. I think he was just hitting his peak as a performer when he was tragically taken from us. He had so much more to give the wrestling business and it’s a sadder place without him.

In terms of the wrestling industry, Eddie’s legacy lives on with his wife Vickie and his daughter Shaul in particular, both of whom are under contract with WWE. Vickie is probably still the most over heel in the WWE (and she’s arguably been the best heel in wrestling for several years now) and Shaul is full of potential. From the footage I’ve seen, she looks to have inherited some of her father’s talent and hopefully, she goes on to become one of WWE’s top Divas.

My favourite Eddie Guerrero moment wasn’t when he won the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar. It wasn’t when he celebrated with Canadian Wrestler X (you know, that guy) after the triple-threat World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 20.

It was the fact that Eddie went up against Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship at the same PPV and not only walked in as champion, but walked out as champion, retaining his belt in a 20-minute classic that remains one of WrestleMania’s most under-rated matches to this day.

I started my own wee tribute to Eddie by mentioning the episode of Raw that was dedicated to his memory. It might be 8 years down the line, but I still can’t watch it without shedding a few tears. They’re not crocodile tears, but genuine emotion for someone who shouldn’t be gone. He should still be here, and it’s criminal that he’s not.

Eddie Guerrero, I love you and I miss you. RIP.”

There’s absolutely no question that Eddie Guerrero will go down as one of the most influential, and best, wrestlers of all-time. You can see his influence today in the young wrestlers coming through all over the world. He might have left us FAR too soon, especially for the liking of our staff, but his body of work, his charisma, his personality, and his cheeky smile will NEVER be forgotten.

Viva La Raza!