Remembering Eduardo Gory Guerrero: 1967-2005

Sunday, November 13th, 2005.

A day that will continually sink the stomach of wrestling fans worldwide upon remembrance. That day, the world learned of the passing of one of the most beloved, respected, decorated, revered, troubled and unforgettable superstars of our generation.

Eduardo Gory Guerrero, or just Eddie Guerrero to the fans that he entertained for most of his life. In the blink of an eye, he was taken from us. Found dead in his Minneapolis hotel room.

He was 38 years old.

It was an abrupt end to one of the greatest redemption stories of any human being, in any genre or walk of life. At one time, Guerrero was viewed as one of the best wrestlers the world had to offer and the future of the wrestling business. However, that wasn't the legacy Guerrero was carving out for himself.

Being a Guerrero, a name and lineage that represents the greatest wrestling family to ever come across Mexico's borders. It was that pressure which led Eddie Guerrero to the top of professional wrestling, but the rock bottom in his own life.

A severe pain-killer addiction, brought upon by a car accident in which Guerrero almost lost his life would be the beginning of the end. The end result for Guerrero was losing his family, his fans and his job, the one thing that was always a constant.

"It hurt so bad to breathe, I didn't want to live," Guerrero said in his 2004 documentary, Cheating Death, Stealing Life. "You get in a car accident, you O.D. twice, but you keep living as if nothing is wrong."

The honest truth and the grace of god were what brought Guerrero back from the brink of death, to the peak of life.

After being carried out of a Minneapolis, Minnesota locker room during a WWE event in 2001, a stint in rehab and reconciliation with his broken family were the cure.  

Guerrero finally had his family by his side once again, all the other pieces started falling into place. Guerrero returned to the WWE in 2002, kicking off the best run of his career.

With memorable runs as Intercontinental, United States and tag team champion, Guerrero established himself as one of the companies most entertaining and top good guys. Largely based off his persona of lying, cheating and stealing.

"We lie, cheat and steal, but at least we're honest about it," Guerrero said in defense of his underhanded, yet humorous antics. Those antics endeared him to the audience, and were the driving force leading up to his biggest victory.

When his life trapped him and left him with no way out, it was ironic, yet poetically apropos that Guerrero found his way back to No Way Out, although this time, it was a the name of a Pay-Per-View. And he was in the main event, wrestling for the WWE championship. And despite not "fighting the odds, but fighting Brock Lesnar," as Lesnar said, Guerrero defeated Lesnar to win his first WWE championship.

The moment was highly emotional, as the San Francisco faithful cheered with passion. The same man who three years earlier was a lost soul, was now at the top of his profession.

Guerrero would continue his stellar career through November of 2005, winning a tag team championship and engaging in the most controversial, yet entertaining rivalry of his career. That rivalry was with his close real-life friend, Rey Mysterio.

It was time for a change, and Eddie turned his back on the audience, and his best friend. Showing that he wasn't only the funny guy who lies. cheats and steals. He can also be the violent, disturbed and troubled guy who lies, cheats and steals. The rivalry catapulted both men and showed that Guerrero was only hitting his prime.

That prime came to an unceremonious end as Eddie Guerrero's time with us was cut short. During a visit to Minneapolis, Minnesota for RAW/SmackDown taping, Guerrero was found dead in his hotel room by his nephew, Chavo Guerrero Jr.

The cause of death was determined to be acute heart failure, which stemmed from a form of cardiovascular (heart) disease Guerrero was suffering from, unbeknownst to anyone else.

Guerrero's death shocked the entire wrestling industry, as despite his second lease on life, Guerrero lived to be just an example. An example of what substance abuse eventually does to a human body. The heart condition stemmed from Guerrero's volatile past and substance abuse.

However, an abrupt end doesn't take away from an incredible career and a remarkable life would end up leading Guerrero was able to capture the attention of fans worldwide with his ability, talent, acumen and experience. Unfortunately, a part of that experience was mired with substance abuse, which ultimately led to his death.

There is no doubt however that Guerrero lied, cheated and stole our hearts.

REST IN PEACE, Eduardo Gory Guerrero:- October 9, 1967 - November 13, 2005

Mark Suleymanov

Sports Journalist.