Sunday, November 13, 2005
A Tragic Loss
Today, a great man passed away...
This morning, Smackdown Superstar, and former WWE Champion, Eddie Guererro passed away in his sleep. He had arranged a 7 a.m. wake up call with the hotel he was staying in, up in Minneapolis, and didn't respond. After several attempts the hotel contacted Eddie's nephew and fellow WWE Superstar, Chavo Guererro, who was staying in the same hotel, and they entered Eddie's room. He seemed to be sleeping, according to Chavo, and he just wouldn't wake up. Chavo realized there was something wrong, called 911, and began performing CPR... but it was too late. Currently the cause of death is unknown. An autopsy is being performed to attempt to determine the cause of death.
It is no secret that Eddie battled a serious drug addiction several years ago. So naturally the question was posed, "Did Eddie relapse into drugs again, and possibly have killed himself?". Chavo Guererro answered, that the day before Eddie's passing, he had shared in a private moment with Chavo, that he was 5 years clean and sober as of 3 days prior. Chavo said that you could see in Eddie's face how proud he was of himself, and Chavo high fived him, hugged him, and told him how proud he was of him. So the answer is no. Whether long term effects from the damage he caused himself years ago, had any influence on Eddie's early demise, has yet to be determined.
First and foremost, Eddie Guererro was the father of 3 girls. Ages 12, 8, and 2. He was also a loving husband to his wife Vickie Guererro. And as mentioned earlier was the loving uncle of Chavo Guererro. They were very close in age, and were more like brothers than anything. They collectively were former WWE Tag Team Champions together.
Eddie's story of overcoming his drug addiction, made him a very humanized character in the WWE. He wasn't a superhero. He was a real guy, with real problems, but with the courage and love of his family to help him overcome his demons. Thusly the WWE really brought you into the personal life of Eddie Guererro. Specials, interviews etc. allowed the viewers to get to know the Guererros, and the path they've been down. It is because of this insight, and the simple adoration for everything he brought to professional wrestling, that I am deeply saddened by this loss, and would like to offer my deepest, and most heartfelt condolences to the Guererro family.
Eddie Guererro brought color, energy, smiles, and laughter with him every time he drove out to the ring in a different low rider. His in-ring family tradition of lie, cheat, and steal to win, brought about some of the most hysterical scenarios in the ring and out. Latino Heat... that was what he called the energy he had, the passion he felt.
Eddie had a lot of friends in the locker room. But there were some that he was closer with than others. Guys he had been all over the world with, who had seen him at his worst, and watched him rise up to overcome it. I would like to take a moment to recognize the men who Eddie Guererro called a friend...
Rob Van Dam
4 years ago, when I started watching WWE, that was when Eddie Guererro came into the company again after completing his drug rehab. 4 years ago... The journey I have been on in the last few years in my life, I have taken along with me a group of characters that would become like a family to me, Eddie came along for that ride. Every one of those men on the roster who made me laugh when no one else could, who helped me forget the pain when nothing else could, who inspired me when no one else could... every one of those men feel like family to me. I see them everyday, and I see what they are willing to go through to do what they love, and to entertain the fans.
I feel as though I have lost someone very close to me.
I know that many will think I've probably jumped off the deep end at this point, to be this upset about someone on television who I've never met in person. But like I said, he was very real person, with a very real family, who will now have to go on without their loving father and husband. I feel great sadness for the Guererro family, because I know what a great person Eddie Guererro was.
This morning as I ate my breakfast I had been watching Wrestlemania 20 on DVD. Even as I watched it I was asking myself, "why am I watching this?". It's really not the greatest Wrestlemania, but for some reason I wanted to see it. It wasn't until the end when I saw my favorite part, that I remembered there was in fact a part that I liked.
At Wrestlemania 20, Eddie Guererro, and his best friend Chris Benoit had both won the WWE Championship, and World Heavyweight Championship, titles respectively. At the end of the night they stood in the center of the ring together, belts in hands, hugging, and red in the face with tears. You could tell they were hugging and crying so hard they just couldn't let go of each other. Madison Square Garden, with confetti falling all around them. That was the best part of Wrestlemania 20, and it is my favorite moment of Eddie Guererro's career. I saw it this morning... I got the news tonight.
I had logged onto WWE.com this evening just to check in and see what was new. There on the front page was the announcement, and a link to watch a press conference on the issue with Vince McMahon, and Chavo Guererro. At first Holly and I were just in shock... it didn't hit me all the way. Then as I watched the press conference it all sunk in... and I cried. I'm still crying.
I think the hardest part for me is just trying to imagine the next year without Eddie around on the show. To not see his smile, and his dance he'd do in the ring. To not see where he'd go next in his career, for him to not live to be inducted to the hall of fame. Knowing he won't be there to perform at Wrestlemania 22...
Knowing how incredibly awful this is for his family.
Tomorrow night on Monday Night RAW, they will be dedicating the whole episode as a tribute to Eddie Guererro. The wrestlers have all been told that they do not have to wrestle. Any matches tomorrow evening are voluntary, and are dedicated to Eddie. The majority of the show will simply be each Superstar getting some camera time to share their memories of Eddie, and say their good byes. This will be one night of Wrestling at Steve's I will not be attending. I am going to have to watch this one alone. It will be way too upsetting to see with other people there. But I will watch it. This will be an episode of RAW that will be talked about forever. So should you read this in time, I encourage you to catch it on USA, Monday night, November 14th, at 8 p.m. I guarantee it will be unlike anything you've ever seen.
It will be very difficult to watch my heroes in tears, and in pain over this tragic loss, but as they were there for me during my pain, I will share this pain with them.
Good bye, and thank you Eddie Guererro, you will be missed.
Viva La Raza!