He was beloved by everyone, but his life was cut short. On the day that would have been his 48th birthday, Eddie Guerrero’s passion for professional wrestling was unbelievable, and as a result this week’s Flashback Friday is dedicated to him.
Born in El Paso, Texas, Guerrero’s ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal’ motto became one of the most well known catchphrases. Learning his craft in some lower-tier promotions, World Championship Wrestling was where he began to make a name for himself. Initially feuding with Chris Jericho and Diamond Dallas Page, Guerrero gained much success within the United States Championship and Cruiserweight Championship division.
However, the first rivalry that began was against Rey Mysterio. In a “Title vs. Mask” match, Guerrero would either lose the title or Mysterio would finally have to unveil his true identity to the world. Ultimately losing the match, it would be the start of a rivalry that lasted for the rest of Guerrero’s career.
Following a feud with his nephew Chavo, Latino World Order was his next venture. Attempting to bring together the Latino wrestlers in a protest against Eric Bischoff, the new group wasn’t too successful. It wasn’t due to the wrestlers or because of the storyline, but it was because of a serious car crash that Guerrero was involved in. On New Years Eve, Guerrero was involved in a terrible crash that kept him away from the ring for months.
When Guerrero returned, his next big move was to the WWF. Debuting as a villain and a guy who will do anything to win, Guerrero quickly became one of the most fun wrestlers to follow. Guerrero would quickly become involved with Chyna, because it was said that she couldn’t resist Latino Heat. The two were very popular, but soon found themselves both eying for the Intercontinental Championship. Continuing to cheat and steal for victory, Guerrero’s love affair soon fell apart because of that. Although Chyna accepted Guerrero’s proposal, a video showing Latino Heat in the shower with two women resulted in the two calling off the engagement.
Roughly a year after the Chyna storyline ended, Guerrero was arrested for drunk driving and was released by the WWF. Even as a great performer in the business, WWE didn’t take any chances with him and sent him packing.
Following a six month absence, WWE reinstated Guerrero and he was able to return. After getting in trouble during his first stint in WWE, his second time in the industry would be incredibly memorable. Forming the tag-team Los Guerreros with Chavo Guerrero, the two began to lie, cheat and steal in order to get what they wanted. Involving themselves in great matches with Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, Guerrero excelled in the tag-team division before he made his way into the single’s division.
When Guerrero came into single’s competition, it was Benoit once again who he ran into. Facing him for the United States Championship, Latino Heat defeated him and continued to retain it for a few months. While holding the United States Championship, Guerrero also won the Tag-Team Championship with his nephew. Despite losing both titles shortly after, Guerrero’s career would just be taking off.
At No Way Out, the biggest moment in Guerrero’s career happened when he defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. Thanks to Goldberg who came into the match while the referee was injured, Guerrero was able to pin Lesnar and win his first career championship.
Following his championship win, Guerrero would have marvellous feuds with JBL and Kurt Angle. JBL would finally dethrone Guerrero after he successfully defended it for six months, and Guerrero would never retain the title for the rest of his career. With JBL finally taking the title away from him, Guerrero began to tag-team with his buddy Rey Mysterio.
Initially friends, that relationship went south very quickly. Following Mysterio’s win against him at WrestleMania, Guerrero was clearly upset, even though it was a friendly match. A month following WrestleMania, Latino Heat fully turned heel by attacking Mysterio, thus initiating a feud. The feud gained serious traction when the Dominick storyline started. Revealing that Latino Heat was actually the father to Rey Mysterio’s son, the two fought over his custody. In a ladder match at SummerSlam, Mysterio was victorious thanks to Vickie Guerrero, which allowed the masked man to retain custody of his child.
After his bouts with Mysterio, Guerrero found himself in the picture for the World Heavyweight Championship. Turning face for the last time in his career, Guerrero was scripted to become champion once again. However, that would never happen because Guerrero suddenly passed away in his hotel room before the match could happen.
His death shocked the wrestling world and saddened millions of fans, and wrestlers everywhere. He was the lovable cheater and one couldn’t help but cheer for him, even when they shouldn’t have. In 2006, Guerrero was honoured by being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and even though he’s no longer with us, a Happy Birthday should be said for him today.
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