Even with it being seven years later, the bottomless, soulless feeling of loss and despair still stays with me, as if I am still just learning for the first time of the death of pro wrestling legend, Eddie Guerrero.
It was a Sunday night; November 13th 2005, 1 week away from the 2005 Survivor Series. I was sitting in my living room, watching television, prepping myself for a new work week ahead of him, but satisfied that the next week was one of my favorite weeks of the year (Survivor Series PPV and Thanksgiving). I noticed that I missed a phone call from a buddy of mine so I checked the voice-mail. There he was, and telling me some information that I would never dear to have ever thought in a million years. His exact words were, “I wanted to see if you heard the news on the death of Eddie Guerrero”. Those words still stay with me and at time haunt me.
Eddie spent his last days on the road, prepping for this “Traditional Survivor Series” match the next week representing “Team Smackdown”. Guerrero was found unconscious in his hotel room (The Marriott City Center) in Minneapolis, Minnesota by his nephew, Chavo Guerrero. Chavo attempted CPR, but Eddie Guerrero was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at the scene. He was 38 years old. The match still took place, but with Randy Orton taking his spot. Orton was the sole survivor in the match.
Guerrero didn’t just leave behind a legacy of classic in ring battles, but it was his battles outside of the ring that truly made him bigger than life. While reading his book “Cheating Death and Stealing Life” I shed just as many tears reading that, as I did the day I found out of his death. Where you couldn’t help but cheer for him as he literally hit rock bottom and built himself back up. There was a point in time when Guerrero lost it all. He was fired by WWE, his wife “Vickie” left him and the only thing that had his attention was getting to the bottom of the bottle (alcohol). When Eddie had a near death experience, that is when he woke up and realized just how precious life really is and there is more to life than just happy hour and living by your own rebellious rules. From all that i mentioned just a short time ago, and seeing how he was able to climb back up to the top of the mountain and become the WWE Champion in 2004, is one of the greatest stories to have never been told.
Guerrero gave us some of the most monumental moments inside a Pro Wrestling ring, as he went on to capture just about every major title on the planet, ins several different countries. I’ll never forget when he left ECW, both he and Dean Malenko were headed to WCW and put on a clinic of a match, just to end the match and night with the crowd chanting “Please Don’t Go! Please Don’t Go!”. I will never forget his wars he had with Rey Mysterio, his most storied rival. And the energy and effort that were put into all of their matches, where they told a different story every time they were in the ring together, and never failed to make you believe that they were fighting to the death. But nothing can top in Feb 2004 when Eddie Guerrero defeated the mighty Brock Lesnar and won his first WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004. With his mother and family and ringside, this was one of the most touching moments ever.
And that is what Eddie represented. He wasn’t just a favorite wrestler to us all, he was a hero that we could all relate to, because he was human just like me and just like you. Eddie personified what it meant to never give up the fight, because whats at the end of the fight is bigger than you can ever imagine.
Thank You Eddie. We Love You.
October 9th 1967 – November 13th 2005
Maurice D. Proffit is a writer for Rant Sports