Eddie Guerrero

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Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero 2008.jpg
Eddie Guerrero
Birth name Eduardo Gory Guerrero Llanes
Ring name(s) Black Tiger[1]
Eddie Guerrero
Eddy Guerrero[2]
El Caliente[1]
Gory Guerrero, Jr.[1]
Máscara Mágica[1]
Billed height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[3]
Billed weight 228 lb (103 kg)[3]
Born (1967-10-09)October 9, 1967[1]
El Paso, Texas, U.S.[2][3]
Died November 13, 2005 (38)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Billed from El Paso, Texas[2][3]
Trained by Gory Guerrero
Debut 1987[1][4]

Eduardo Gory "Eddie" Guerrero Llanes[5] (October 9, 1967 – November 13, 2005)[1] was an American professional wrestler born into the Guerrero wrestling family.[2] He wrestled in Mexico and Japan for several major professional wrestling promotions. In the United States,[2] Guerrero wrestled in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Guerrero's gimmick was that of "Latino Heat", a crafty, resourceful wrestler who would do anything to win a match. His catchphrase became "I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal!," which was used in one of his entrance themes. Guerrero partly used this phrase in his autobiography Cheating Death, Stealing Life.

Despite being a villain for most of his career, he got over in and outside the ring being the youngest, yet most popular and successful of the Guerrero brothers. Guerrero was widely regarded as one of the most respected and gifted technical wrestlers in history. Throughout his career, Guerrero encountered various substance abuse problems outside of wrestling, including alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers. His real-life problems were sometimes integrated into his storylines which he agreed to. Guerrero won 23 titles during his career, including the WWE Championship.

Early life[edit]

Eddie Guerrero was born and raised in El Paso, Texas where he graduated from Jefferson High School and attended the University of New Mexico as New Mexico Highlands University on an athletic scholarship where he wrestled collegiately before going to Mexico to train as a professional wrestler, which he loved.[4]

Eddie Guerrero became a wrestler, while his uncle Enrique Llanes (Yañez) and cousin Javier Llanes (Yañez) wrestled in Mexico. As a boy, Eddie Guerrero's father allowed him and Chavo Jr. to wrestle one another during intermissions in the wrestling promotions that Gory held. Gory ran wrestling promotions for nearly 12 years in the El Paso Coliseum.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (1992–1994)[edit]

In Mexico, he wrestled mainly for Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), teaming with El Hijo del Santo as the new version of La Pareja Atómica (The Atomic Pair), the tag team of Gory Guerrero and El Santo.

After Guerrero turned on Santo and allied with Art Barr as La Pareja del Terror (The Pair of Terror), the duo became arguably the most hated tag team in lucha libre history.[1] Along with Barr, Konnan, Chicano Power, and Madonna’s Boyfriend, Guerrero formed Los Gringos Locos (The Crazy Americans), a villainous stable.[1][6] Guerrero later said that no matter how many people joined Los Gringos Locos, the stable was all about Art. Locos feuded mostly with El Hijo del Santo and his partner Octagón, eventually ending in a Hair vs. Mask match at the first lucha pay-per-view in America, When Worlds Collide, which they lost.[7]

Guerrero and Barr's first break would come when they were noticed in late 1994 by the owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Paul Heyman, and were approached about wrestling for him in 1995. Barr, however, died before he could join ECW with Guerrero.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1993–1996)[edit]

In 1993, Guerrero began wrestling in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he was known as the second incarnation of Black Tiger. He became more successful upon his return when he won the Best of the Super Juniors 1996 tournament of junior heavyweights. He received a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion The Great Sasuke at NJPW Skydiving J but lost the match.[8]

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)[edit]

Guerrero won the ECW World Television Championship from 2 Cold Scorpio in his debut match for Extreme Championship Wrestling,[9][10] and went on to have a series of acclaimed matches with Dean Malenko before they both signed with World Championship Wrestling later that year.[11] Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship to Malenko on July 21 of that year,[12] but Guerrero regained the title on July 28.[10] Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship back to 2 Cold Scorpio on August 25.[13] The next day, they had their last match which ended in a draw in a two out of three falls match at the ECW Arena. After the match, the locker room emptied and the two were carried around the ring by their fellow wrestlers while the crowd chanted "please don't go".[14]

World Championship Wrestling[edit]

Early years (1989–1995)[edit]

Guerrero debuted in WCW in 1989 as a jobber, most notably wrestling Terry Funk. In 1991, he would return for Wrestle War, wrestling a dark match, teaming with Ultraman to defeat Huichol and Rudy Boy Gonzalez.

Guerrero returned to WCW in late 1995 along with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit with whom he had worked with in NJPW and ECW.[11][15] During his first few pay-per-view events, he competed in dark matches against Alex Wright.[16] His first televised pay-per-view appearance was at World War 3 where he competed in the 3-ring, 60-man World War 3 battle royal for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Guerrero was one of the final nine men in the battle royal until he was tossed out of the ring by Four Horsemen members.[17][18] At Starrcade 1995, Guerrero represented WCW in a WCW vs. NJPW World Cup tournament. He lost to Shinjiro Otani in the match, but WCW went on to win the series.[19]

United States Heavyweight Champion and Cruiserweight Champion (1996–1997)[edit]

In 1996, Guerrero received several shots at the United States Heavyweight Championship against Konnan at Uncensored[20] and Ric Flair at Hog Wild.[21] He feuded with Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen during 1996 after Guerrero's partner Arn Anderson turned on him during a tag team match against Ric Flair and Randy Savage.[22] In late 1996, he feuded with Diamond Dallas Page after defeating him in a match at Clash of the Champions XXXIII.[23] He started feuding with DDP to steal his nickname of "Lord of the Ring" but lost.[24] Guerrero participated in a tournament for the vacant WCW United States Heavyweight Championship and defeated DDP in the final round at Starrcade 1996 to win the United States title.[25]

In 1997, Guerrero defended the United States Heavyweight Championship against Scott Norton at Clash of the Champions XXXIV,[26] Syxx in a ladder match at Souled Out,[27] and Chris Jericho at SuperBrawl VII.[28] His reign came to an end at Uncensored when Dean Malenko defeated him for the title.[29]

After losing the United States Heavyweight Championship, Guerrero feuded with Jericho focusing on Jericho's Cruiserweight Championship. He challenged Jericho for the title at Clash of the Champions XXXV but lost.[30] Guerrero demanded a rematch for the title. In the opening match of Fall Brawl 1997, Guerrero defeated Jericho to win the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship.[31] He dropped the Cruiserweight title to Rey Mysterio, Jr. at Halloween Havoc in a Title vs. Mask match where Mysterio's mask was also on the line.[32] On the November 10 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, he regained the Cruiserweight title back from Mysterio,[33] and made a successful title defense against Mysterio at World War 3.[34] After retaining the title against Dean Malenko in the opening bout of Starrcade 1997,[35] Guerrero dropped the title to Último Dragón the following day on the December 29 episode of Nitro.[36]

Feud with Chavo (1998)[edit]

Guerrero feuded with Booker T. On the March 9, 1998 episode of Nitro, Guerrero's nephew Chavo Guerrero lost to Booker in a match. After the match, Guerrero suplexed Chavo to teach him a lesson.[37] On the March 12 episode of WCW Thunder, he defeated his nephew Chavo in a match and forced him to become his "slave".[38] At Uncensored, Chavo was forced to support Guerrero when he faced Booker T for Booker's WCW World Television Championship. Guerrero lost the match after receiving a missile dropkick.[39] Guerrero and Chavo feuded with Último Dragón. Chavo lost to Dragón at Spring Stampede.[40] At Slamboree, Guerrero defeated Dragón despite interference from Chavo.[41] After the match, Chavo kissed Eddie and began to display insane behavior. At The Great American Bash, Chavo got an upset victory over Guerrero.[42] They faced each other in a Hair vs. Hair match at Bash at the Beach which Guerrero won. Continuing to show his crazy behavior Chavo would shave his own head while Guerrero looked on in disbelief.[43] Guerrero saved Chavo from beatings by Stevie Ray, seeming that he would align with Chavo but he wanted his release.[44]

Latino World Order (1998)[edit]

Despite his success and popularity, Guerrero had been one of many wrestlers who were frustrated at never being given a chance to be main event stars in WCW. These frustrations came to a head when Guerrero requested that WCW President Eric Bischoff either push his character or give him a raise for family reasons. Bischoff responded by allegedly throwing coffee at Guerrero (however, in his autobiography, Guerrero states that Bischoff accidentally knocked his coffee off the table and that it was a complete accident that he was hit). Furious, Guerrero demanded Bischoff release him from his contract on a live episode of Nitro. Guerrero then left the company for a period of months, angry at Bischoff for what he had done. Guerrero later returned to WCW, leading to the belief that maybe Guerrero's angry speeches against Bischoff were actually a work (Guerrero later confirmed it to be a worked shoot). Guerrero would later contradict himself on WWE's DVD Monday Night War claiming that he tried to put personal differences aside for the good of the company, yet found himself angry and outraged once more because of Bischoff's supposed continued refusal to elevate Guerrero and other similar wrestlers. He let Brian Adams pin him and get an upset victory in a match.[44]

On-screen, Guerrero responded to Bischoff's actions by forming the Latino World Order (LWO), which was a take-off of Bischoff's New World Order.[45] The group was an answer to Bischoff's "refusal" to push Latino wrestlers in ways they felt they deserved.[45] The LWO was formed in October when Guerrero returned to WCW, with Héctor Garza and Damien.[44] The group eventually grew to encompass almost all the Mexican wrestlers working for WCW at the time. They mainly feuded with Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Billy Kidman because they wanted Mysterio to join the group. He faced Kidman in a match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship but Mysterio interfered and helped Kidman win the match and keep the title.[44] However, Guerrero was involved in a serious car accident on New Year's Day, 1999 that cut short the LWO storyline. Guerrero survived the accident and returned to wrestling in a matter of months.

The Filthy Animals (1999)[edit]

After his return on the May 31, 1999 edition of Monday Nitro, Guerrero became a founding member of The Filthy Animals alongside Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Konnan.[46] They feuded with the Dead Pool (Insane Clown Posse and Vampiro). They received two straight victories over the Dead Pool at Road Wild and Fall Brawl.[47][48] They next feuded with The Revolution (Shane Douglas, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn). Guerrero was victorious over Saturn by disqualification in a singles match at Halloween Havoc.[49] At Mayhem, the Animals lost to Revolution in a mixed tag team elimination match.[50] When Vince Russo was fired as WCW booker and replaced by Kevin Sullivan, Guerrero asked for and received a release from his contract on January 19.[51] He signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 2000 along with fellow WCW stars Benoit, Malenko, and Saturn.

World Wrestling Federation (2000–2001)[edit]

The Radicalz (2000)[edit]

Guerrero and along with Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn debuted in the WWF on the January 31, 2000 episode of Raw is War as The Radicalz, interfering in a match involving the New Age Outlaws.[52] During his first match with the WWF, a tag team match with the Radicalz against the Outlaws, Guerrero performed a Frog Splash off the top rope and severely injured his elbow on the landing. As a result, he was sidelined for several weeks.[53]

Latino Heat and Intercontinental Champion (2000)[edit]

In March 2000, Guerrero, who was wrestling as a villain, began pursuing the affections of Chyna, who he referred to as his "Mamacita". At the time Chyna was allies with Chris Jericho and initially rejected his advances. The night after WrestleMania 2000, on the April 3, 2000 edition of Raw Is War, Guerrero faced off against Jericho for the European Championship that Jericho had defeated Kurt Angle for the previous night. During the match Chyna turned on Jericho and helped Guerrero win, and later explained her actions by declaring that she could not resist his "Latino Heat."[53][54][55][56] After Chyna abandoned Lita to be attacked by the Dudley Boyz, he and Chyna began a feud with Essa Rios and Lita, ending in a European title defense at Backlash, which was also billed as the night of Guerrero's prom (he was said to have just earned a GED). Guerrero defeated Rios after arriving at ringside in a 1957 Chevrolet, even wrestling in his tuxedo pants and a bow tie.[53][57] Guerrero successfully retained the title against former Radicalz friends Saturn and Malenko in a Triple Threat match at Judgment Day,[53][58] before finally losing the title to Saturn at Fully Loaded.[53] The two slowly began to become popular with the fans but over the next few months, friction began to build between Guerrero and Chyna.

Chyna was upset when Guerrero pinned her to advance in the King of the Ring tournament.[53] Then at SummerSlam that August, Guerrero and Chyna wrestled a mixed tag team match against Trish Stratus and Val Venis, who at the time was the reigning Intercontinental Champion. The Intercontinental Championship was on the line in the match, and whoever scored the pin would win the title. Guerrero's team won the match, but Chyna scored the pin on Trish and became a two-time Intercontinental Champion.[53][59] Although Guerrero said he didn't mind that his partner was the champion, on the September 4 Raw is War he went to WWF Commissioner Mick Foley and asked to be inserted into Chyna's title defense against Kurt Angle claiming that he did not want Angle to hurt his "mamacita". During the course of the match Angle knocked down Chyna with the title belt and Guerrero laid on top of her to try to revive her. However, this resulted in Guerrero "accidentally" pinning Chyna as her shoulders were still on the mat, and thus Guerrero won the match and his first Intercontinental Championship.[53][56][60] Chyna became visibly uncomfortable as Guerrero began to cheat in order to retain his title, while Guerrero was upset that Chyna was posing for Playboy magazine, even trying to invade the Playboy Mansion to stop the photo shoot.[53] Just when it appeared that Chyna would leave Guerrero, he proposed to her and she accepted.[53] At Unforgiven, Chyna helped Guerrero in retaining his title against Rikishi.[53][61] The engagement was called off when Guerrero was caught showering with two of The Godfather's hos (one was Victoria) claiming that "Two Mamacitas are better than one!"[53]

The Radicalz reunion and departure (2000–2001)[edit]

Guerrero turned into a villain as a result of the incident. Then, the Radicalz reunited and feuded with the reformed D-Generation X (Chyna, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and K-Kwik). They defeated DX at Survivor Series in an elimination tag team match and assisted Triple H in his match with Stone Cold Steve Austin.[53][62] Guerrero was later defeated by Gunn for the Intercontinental Championship, with help from Chyna.[53] At Rebellion, Guerrero and Malenko lost to Gunn and Chyna.[53][63] Benoit left the group to focus on a singles career while the rest of the Radicalz feuded with Lita and the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). At Armageddon, the Radicalz defeated the Hardyz and Lita in an elimination tag team match.[53][64]

In early 2001, Guerrero feuded with Chris Jericho, Benoit, and X-Pac over Jericho's Intercontinental Championship. At No Way Out, the four men faced each other in a Fatal Four-Way match, which Jericho won.[65] Guerrero focused on the European Championship, feuding with the champion Test defeating him at WrestleMania X-Seven to win his second European Championship with help from Saturn and Malenko.[66][67] In April, Radicalz feuded with Test and his partners. Guerrero eventually left the Radicalz, siding with the Hardy Boyz and Lita. At this point, Guerrero developed an addiction to pain medication stemming from his 1999 car accident and in May 2001 was sent to rehab. To explain his absence, a storyline was created where Guerrero was "injured" by Albert in a match.[68] On November 9, 2001, he was arrested for drunk driving and was subsequently released by the WWF three days later.

Independent circuit (2001–2002)[edit]

Guerrero started wrestling on the independent circuit after his release from WWF. On February 23, he faced Super Crazy on the debut show of Ring of Honor known as The Era of Honor Begins to crown the first-ever IWA Intercontinental Champion. Guerrero lost the match.[69][70] On February 24, he debuted in the Australian promotion World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA) at The Revolution beating the champion Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis in a Triple Threat match for the WWA International Cruiserweight Championship.[69][71] On March 1, he defeated the champion CM Punk and Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat match for the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship.[69][72] He dropped the title back to Punk one day later on March 2.[69] He vacated the WWA Cruiserweight title in April 2002 after returning to WWF.[69]

Return to the WWF/E (2002–2005)[edit]

Raw (2002)[edit]

Guerrero returned to the WWF on the April 1, 2002 episode of Raw, attacking Rob Van Dam.[73][74] He feuded with Van Dam defeating him for his second WWF Intercontinental Championship at Backlash.[75][76] After retaining the title against Van Dam at Insurrextion[73][77] and Judgment Day,[78][79] he finally lost the belt to Van Dam on the May 27 episode of Raw in a ladder match Guerrero then feuded with Steve Austin, but Austin left the WWE before a match could take place.[78] Chris Benoit returned to WWE the night Guerrero lost the title and reunited with him. Guerrero and Benoit feuded with Ric Flair for a while and Guerrero even lost a match to Flair at King of the Ring.[78][80] On an episode of Raw, Eddie Guerrero came out interrupting The Rock the night after he had won the undisputed title. Guerrero then challenged him to a match after cutting a long promo for the main event that night. Guerrero lost a match to The Rock, challenging him for a #1 contendership for the Undisputed Championship.

SmackDown! and Los Guerreros (2002–2003)[edit]

Guerrero lies on a corner, one of his characteristic traits

On August 1, 2002, Guerrero and Benoit began to wrestle exclusively for WWE's SmackDown! brand. Guerrero feuded with Edge, to whom he lost at SummerSlam.[81] Guerrero continued his feud with Edge, whom he defeated at Unforgiven; they then had a No Disqualification match two weeks after Unforgiven on SmackDown which Edge won thus ending the rivalry.[82] With Benoit focusing on Kurt Angle, Guerrero aligned himself with his nephew Chavo, forming the tag team Los Guerreros.[83][84] In contrast to a previous WCW storyline with his nephew, Chavo fully agreed with his uncle as their slogan stated "We lie, we cheat, and we steal, but at least we're honest about it." In order to push the new tag team, vignettes were produced, which included things such as the two finagling their way into a rich lady's house and throwing a pool party.[83]

The duo entered the eight-team tournament for the new WWE Tag Team Championship, sneaking past Rikishi and Mark Henry in the opening round,[83][84][85] before starting a feud with the newly formed tag team of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. In one of the team's definitive moments, Chavo told Benoit that his former friend Guerrero was assaulted by his tag team partner Angle. Benoit ran to make the save, only to have himself locked inside a room. Guerrero then appeared in the room and assaulted Benoit with a steel chair. Benoit and Angle managed to overcome their differences and eventually defeated Los Guerreros in the tournament semi-finals.[83][84][86] Later on, Benoit and Angle won the title. Benoit and Angle then fought for a trophy for being the first WWE Tag Team Champion. Much to Benoit's surprise, Los Guerreros helped him win the match.

At Survivor Series, Los Guerreros faced the new champions Edge and Rey Mysterio and the team of Angle and Benoit for the title. Guerrero made Mysterio submit to The Lasso From El Paso to win their first WWE Tag Team Championship.[87][88] They were defeated by Team Angle (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) on the February 6, 2003 episode of SmackDown!.[89][90] Los Guerreros and Team Angle began feuding with each other. Los Guerreros participated at WrestleMania XIX as contenders for the Tag Team Title, along with the team of Benoit and Rhyno. Both teams lost to Haas and Benjamin in a Triple Threat match.[91] At Backlash, Los Guerreros lost to Team Angle in a rematch.[92]

Teaming with Tajiri and United States Champion (2003–2004)[edit]

Five days prior to Judgment Day, Chavo tore his biceps, forcing Guerrero to look for another partner. He chose Tajiri. They won the WWE Tag Team Championship, Guerrero's second and Tajiri's first at Judgment Day by defeating Team Angle in a ladder match.[93][94] The following week, Guerrero and Tajiri managed to retain their title by cheating.[89][95] In addition, they also defeated Roddy Piper and his protégé Sean O'Haire in Madison Square Garden.[89][96] After Guerrero and Tajiri lost the titles to Team Angle on the July 3 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero turned on Tajiri, slamming his partner through the windshield of his low-rider truck. The next Smackdown! Guerrero said he did it because during the match Tajiri had accidentally hit his low-rider. Despite being portrayed as the heel, when Guerrero asked the audience if they blamed him for doing it, the audience responded by yelling "No!" [89][97]

Guerrero in 2004

In July 2003, Guerrero competed in a tournament for the United States Championship. He managed to advance to the final round, defeating Último Dragón and Billy Gunn in the process,[89] where he would meet Chris Benoit.[98][99] At Vengeance, Guerrero turned to his cheating tactics, hitting Benoit with the belt at one point in the match. Guerrero tried to get Benoit in trouble by placing the title belt on top of the unconscious Benoit. It did not work, however, since he knocked out the referee earlier with a belt shot to the kidneys. The match ended with interference and a Gore from Rhyno, Benoit's own partner, who was furious at the team's failure. Guerrero himself said that this was a major point in the character of Latino Heat, since he himself realized that the fans wanted to see him lie, cheat, and steal. Guerrero pinned Benoit and won the WWE United States Championship.[100][101]

At SummerSlam, Guerrero retained his title by defeating Rhyno, Benoit, and Tajiri in a Fatal Four-Way match.[89][102] He turned face again by engaging in a rivalry with John Cena. On the September 11 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero challenged Cena to a "Latino Heat" Parking Lot Brawl match for the United States Championship, which Guerrero won with help from his returning nephew, Chavo.[89][103] The next week, Los Guerreros defeated The World's Greatest Tag Team (previously Team Angle) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship, making Guerrero a double champion.

Guerrero engaged in a feud with The Big Show, which involved Guerrero giving the Big Show some laxative laced burritos and then later spraying the Big Show from a sewage truck.[89][104][105] The feud ended when Guerrero dropped the United States title to Big Show at No Mercy.[106] Four days later, Los Guerreros lost the Tag Team Championship to The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny).[84][89][107] They began feuding with The Basham Brothers, but failed to regain the titles at Survivor Series.[108] As Los Guerreros attempted to regain the tag team title, things began to go downhill between Chavo and Guerrero and animosity began to build. Chavo then attacked and turned on Guerrero after he suffered a beating from The Bashams.[84][109][110] Guerrero feuded with Chavo and defeated him at the Royal Rumble to settle their feud.[111]

WWE Champion (2004-2005)[edit]

Guerrero, with close friend Chris Benoit celebrating as reigning World Champions at WrestleMania XX.

When Chris Benoit jumped to Raw after winning the Royal Rumble, using his title shot to go for Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship, Guerrero won a 15-man Royal Rumble style match on the January 29, 2004 episode of SmackDown! to earn a shot at the WWE Championship.[109][112] After becoming the number one contender, Guerrero elevated himself to main event status and began feuding with the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. At No Way Out, Guerrero defeated Lesnar in the main event to win the WWE Championship.[113][114] His next feud was with Kurt Angle, whom he defeated at WrestleMania XX to retain his title in his first big defense.[115] At the end of this event, Guerrero celebrated in the ring with longtime friend Chris Benoit, who had just won the World Heavyweight Championship.[116]

In March, he started a feud with fellow Texan John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) after JBL interrupted Guerrero's match with Booker T.[109][117] The rivalry would soon turn personal when at a non-televised live event, JBL caused Guerrero's mother to suffer a (kayfabe) heart attack. At Judgment Day, Guerrero defended his WWE title against JBL and retained the title after getting himself disqualified, hitting JBL with the championship belt.[118] The match witnessed Guerrero bleed heavily mid-way in the match, and later cause him to go into shock after the event had ended. At The Great American Bash, Guerrero defended the title against JBL in a Texas Bullrope match. JBL won after Angle (who was General Manager of SmackDown! at the time) reversed the decision after Guerrero appeared to have retained the title.[119] On the July 8 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero pulled a switcharoo with Shannon Moore, who was wrestling as "El Gran Luchadore" and wore the costume.[109][120] The next week on SmackDown!, Guerrero faced JBL in a steel cage match for the WWE title where El Gran Luchadore appeared again and cost Guerrero the match; he later revealed himself as Kurt Angle. Guerrero continued his feud with Angle again.[109][121]

At SummerSlam, Guerrero lost to Angle after submitting to his ankle lock.[109][122] Guerrero then allied himself with the Big Show. Each week Angle and his new allies Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak began targeting Guerrero and Big Show. Guerrero defeated Reigns in a singles match at No Mercy.[109][123] General Manager Theodore Long booked a Survivor Series Elimination match between a team led by Guerrero and a team led by Angle. Guerrero's team consisted of himself, Big Show, John Cena (replacing the originally chosen Rey Mysterio), and Rob Van Dam. At Survivor Series, Guerrero's team defeated Angle's team.[124] Guerrero, along with Booker T and The Undertaker, then challenged JBL for a WWE Championship rematch. Along the way, Guerrero found a partner in Booker T. At Armageddon, Guerrero and Booker's initial teamwork broke away, and the match ended with JBL pinning Booker following the Clothesline From Hell.[109][125] Afterwards, Guerrero and Booker briefly and unsuccessfully attempted to win the Tag Team Championship.[109][126]

Last storylines (2005)[edit]

At the Royal Rumble, Guerrero entered at #1 and lasted 28:11 before being eliminated. In a humorous skit before the Rumble, he drew his number the same time Ric Flair drew his. In an attempt to get a better draw, Guerrero switched his number with Flair's (and stole Flair's wallet in the process). Theodore Long made him return both items before the match. Flair would enter at #30. At No Way Out, Guerrero teamed up with longtime friend and sometimes rival, Rey Mysterio and defeated The Basham Brothers to win his final title, the WWE Tag Team Championship for a fourth time, with it being Mysterio's third reign.[127][128] Many expected the new champions to defend their title at WrestleMania 21, but after encouragement from Chavo,[129][130] Guerrero challenged Mysterio to a one-on-one match instead so they could "bring the house down".[129][131] The two wrestled a match at WrestleMania with Mysterio getting the win. Although visibly frustrated, Guerrero congratulated his partner.[132] After several mishaps in the weeks following WrestleMania, the growing tension between Guerrero and Mysterio finally erupted when they lost their tag team championship to the new team MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury) on the April 21 episode of SmackDown!.[133] Although the next week they received a rematch to regain the title, Guerrero turned heel once again by abandoning his partner, whom he had considered "his family" earlier in the show.[134]

Guerrero and Mysterio with the WWE Tag Team Championship belts.

At the end of one episode of SmackDown!, he attacked his former tag team partner, Mysterio, leaving him bruised and bloody after suplexing him onto a set of steel steps. Guerrero, having turned heel, then adopted a new, somewhat sociopathic gimmick. During this time, he also stopped driving his low-riders down the ring and walked to the ring with a frown on his face, and reverted to using the Lasso from El Paso as his finishing move.[129] At Judgment Day, Guerrero lost to Mysterio by disqualification after hitting Mysterio with a chair.[135]

On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero threatened to reveal a secret about Mysterio and his son Dominick. The storyline grew to involve the families of both men, with both sides pleading for Guerrero not to reveal the secret.[136] Mysterio defeated Guerrero again at The Great American Bash, a match with a stipulation that if Guerrero lost, he would not tell the secret.[137] Yet Guerrero revealed the secret anyway on the following episode of SmackDown! – telling Dominick and the audience that Guerrero was his real father. In the following weeks, Guerrero revealed the details of the secret in a series of what he called "Eddie's Bedtime Stories".[138] During that time he now had a dark comical gimmick. He claimed that he had a child out of wedlock (Dominick) while his marriage was going through hard times. He claimed he then allowed Mysterio and his wife, who were "having trouble conceiving", to adopt the child as their own.[129] At SummerSlam, Guerrero lost a ladder match over Dominick's custody to Mysterio.[139] Their feud ended when Guerrero gained a victory over Mysterio in a steel cage match.[140]

Following his feud with Rey Mysterio, Guerrero was named number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship and given a title match with Batista. Despite this, Guerrero quickly proclaimed himself to be Batista's friend. Batista was well aware of Guerrero's sneaky reputation, and despite eventually accepting his friendship (initially to keep an eye on him), Batista would continually play mind games with Guerrero to expose his true intentions. A series of matches with MNM only supported Batista's suspicions that Guerrero was up to no good, as Guerrero appeared to have reverted to his cheating ways.[129] In response to Batista's suspicions, Guerrero helped Batista win a match against his tag team partners, John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Christian.[141] Batista defeated Guerrero at No Mercy to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in what would be Guerrero's last pay-per-view match. During the match, Guerrero struggled with a decision about whether or not to use a steel chair to secure the victory, eventually opting not to use it and losing as a result.[142] Though the two demonstrated mutual respect after the match, Guerrero seemed displeased by the loss. Guerrero told Batista that he realized how low he had sunk since losing the WWE Championship in 2004, having attacked his best friend Rey Mysterio. Guerrero told Batista that shaking his hand at No Mercy had returned his respect to him. After the match, Batista called Guerrero back out and sang "Happy Birthday" and, along with the crowd, celebrated Guerrero's 38th birthday. He would make his entrance, once again using his signature low rider, turning face once again. He wrestled his last match, airing November 11, defeating Mr. Kennedy using his signature lie, cheat, and steal tactics, which allowed him to advance to the Survivor Series team. On the date of his death, a triple threat match between himself, Batista, and Randy Orton was supposed to take place to air on the next episode of Smackdown for the World Heavyweight Championship. Some reports say Guerrero had been scripted to win the title so Batista could take time off to heal from an injured back.

Other media[edit]

On March 13, 2004, Guerrero (WWE Champion), along with Big Show, Trish Stratus and Chris Jericho, made a guest appearance on MADtv as he and the other wrestlers "beat up" Frank Caliendo (portraying Jay Leno) while Aries Spears (portraying The Tonight Show Band leader Kevin Eubanks) watched on. There have also been several DVDs and books released about his life and career, including Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story (DVD, 2004), Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story (book, 2005), and Viva La Raza: The Legacy of Eddie Guerrero (DVD 2008). In addition, the song "We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal" that he performed with Chavo was released on the WWE Originals CD.

Guerrero's catch phrase during the later part of his career with WWE was "Viva La Raza" (which is Spanish for "Long Live the Race"). In the mid parts of his career, Guerrero took the title of "Latino Heat", which was also his theme song in the early 2000s.

Guerrero, as Black Tiger, in Toukon Retsuden 3.

Guerrero appears in the video games Virtual Pro Wrestling 64, Toukon Retsuden 3, WCW Vs. The World, WCW/NWO Revenge, WWF No Mercy, WWF Smackdown 2, WWF Smackdown!: Just Bring It, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, Legends of Wrestling II, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain, Showdown: Legends of Wrestling, WWE Day of Reckoning, WWE SmackDown! vs Raw, WWE Day of Reckoning 2, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007, the PSP version of WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008, WWE All-Stars, WWE '12, WWE '13, and WWE 2K14.

Personal life[edit]

Guerrero is survived by his widow Vickie Guerrero. The two married on April 24, 1990[143] and had two daughters: Shaul Marie Guerrero (born October 14, 1990)[144] and Sherilyn Amber Guerrero (born July 8, 1995). Guerrero also has another daughter, Kaylie Marie Guerrero (born 2002). During his two year separation from Vickie, Eddie had a relationship with a woman named Tara Mahoney. After the two broke up, he reconciled with Vickie. Eddie & Tara remained close friends until his death in 2005. Guerrero was a born again Christian.[145]

Death[edit]

On November 13, 2005, Guerrero was found unconscious in his hotel room (The Marriott City Center) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by his nephew, Chavo. Chavo attempted CPR, but Guerrero was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at the scene. He was 38 years old. An autopsy revealed that Guerrero died as a result of acute heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Guerrero's wife Vickie Guerrero claimed that he had been unwell in the week preceding his death. On the November 30 episode of WWE Byte This!, Chavo said that Guerrero had been working hard and was at peak physical fitness as a result, doing cardiovascular and weight training exercises every day.

The episodes of Raw on November 14, 2005 and SmackDown! on November 18, 2005 each aired as tributes to Guerrero. All storylines were put on hold, and no WWE employees were forced to perform, although several matches took place, including one featuring Chavo, who finished the match with his uncle's frog splash. Raw started off with all the superstars and several personnel on stage, as Vince McMahon addressed the live crowd before finishing with a ten-bell salute. In addition to the Raw and SmackDown tribute shows, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling dedicated the pay-per-view TNA Genesis (which aired the evening of his death) to Guerrero.[146] while Ring of Honor named their next show "Night of Tribute."[147] Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), WWE's former developmental territory, also paid tribute to Guerrero on their television taping following his death. Many of the wrestlers there wore arm bands with "E.G." on them. Eventually, other wrestlers, primarily his nephew Chavo and friends Mysterio and Christian, paid tribute to him in their matches by using the Frog Splash, Guerrero's finisher. Combat Zone Wrestling also paid tribute to Guerrero with a ten-bell salute during one of their cards. Wrestlers CM Punk and Rey Mysterio dedicated some of their matches to Guerrero. The 3 Doors Down song "Here Without You" was used as a tribute song for Guerrero.

Hall of Fame and legacy[edit]

Guerrero was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1, 2006 by Rey Mysterio, his nephew Chavo Guerrero, and Chris Benoit in Chicago, Illinois on the night before WrestleMania 22.[3] His widow, Vickie Guerrero, accepted the honor. The next night at Wrestlemania, Rey Mysterio won the World Heavyweight Championship, and dedicated the victory and the title to Guerrero.

There have been several tributes made to honor Guerrero since his induction into the Hall of Fame, including a package that featured not only his time on SmackDown!, but expanded to his life outside the ring, that aired on the Decade of SmackDown! special on October 2, 2009; a special titantron feature of WWE Hall of Famers who had competed in the Royal Rumble, which aired before the 2011 event, included Guerrero; and a place on the WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time DVD, as voted by fellow superstars, who placed him 11th.

Guerrero has also been featured in the game WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, which was completed during mid-2005 and Guerrero provides his own voice. The game attracted some minor controversy due to an in-game story where Guerrero is placed into a coffin by The Undertaker. The coincidence was more resounding in the United Kingdom, where the game was released during the week of Guerrero's death. He also appeared as a legend in the games WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008 (PSP only), WWE '12, WWE '13 and WWE 2K14 and is included on the WWE Legends roster in the THQ video game "WWE All Stars."

Guerrero's family members within the business have also made numerous references to Guerrero, ranging from simple gestures and anecdotes to the adaptation of his signature moves and mannerisms in the ring. When his brother Hector signed with TNA, Hector looked up to the sky and mentioned how his father and brother have inspired him and he thanked them. At WrestleMania XXVI, Vickie Guerrero competed in a ten-Diva tag team match, in which her team was victorious after she climbed the turnbuckle, pointed to the sky and performed a frog splash to secure the victory. And on the November 15, 2010 episode of Raw, WWE Legend and Guerrero's older brother Chavo Guerrero, Sr. (aka Chavo Classic) gestured to the sky and shouted "Eddie!" as he was introduced.

During the 2011 Royal Rumble match itself. Guerrero's nephew Chavo Guerrero paid tribute to him by the doing one of Guerrero's signature moves "The Three Amigos" (triple vertical suplex), and followed up by pointing to the sky and doing the dance Guerrero used to do. At Bound for Glory 2012, Chavo dedicated his win of the TNA World Tag Team Championship to Guerrero.

In his match with CM Punk at SummerSlam 2013, fellow WWE superstar Brock Lesnar paid tribute to Eddie by doing "The Three Amigos" (triple vertical suplex), followed by the crowd erupting with "Eddie" chants.[148] On an episode of WWE Raw Seth Rollins paid tribute Eddie by performing the "Three Amigos" (triple vertical suplex) in a tag match against Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger.

Sports Illustrated steroid investigation[edit]

On March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted on its website an article in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. This article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Guerrero who was alleged to have obtained hCG and the steroid stanozolol in early 2005.[149] At the time of the alleged steroid usage, the WWE had not yet instituted its Wellness Policy in which wrestlers are tested for substances, which was stated by WWE.com on the day the article was released.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Guerrero as one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions
  • Latin American Wrestling Association
    • LAWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[178]

Luchas de Apuestas[edit]

Wager Winner Loser Location Date
Hair Eddie Guerrero Ari Romero Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua 1987
Hair Eddie Guerrero Negro Casas Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua Unknown
Hair El Hijo del Santo and Octagón Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr Los Angeles, California
(AAA When Worlds Collide)
November 6, 1994
Hair Eddie Guerrero Chavo Guerrero, Jr. San Diego, California
(Bash At The Beach 1998)
July 12, 1998
Custody of Dominick Rey Mysterio Eddie Guerrero Washington D.C
(SummerSlam)
August 21, 2005

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