The Mean 08.30.03: Eddie Guerrero Pt. 2

If you have not checked out PART 1 of the Mean’s special look at Eddie Guerrero, be sure to do so and then come back to enjoy part 2!

For the next couple weeks, the WWF teased a subtle jealousy in Guererro over Chyna winning the title, one that only the viewers saw and the announcers speculated on, but that the announcers were not aware of. When Kurt Angle challenged Chyna to a match, Guererro rose up to defend her honor, demanding a three-way match, in which he “accidentally” pinned Angle to win the IC title. Chyna was upset at first, but Guererro swore it was an accident, and the two reconciled as Guererro flashed a sinister grin at the camera.

The WWF had decided to turn Guererro heel and were going about it in a very entertaining fashion. The rationale behind the turn was that the WWF felt Guererro could be an even bigger player than he was, but that as long as he remained a babyface and associated with Chyna, the less serious he would be taken as a threat and the more he’d be remembered as a comedy act. By having the turn be gradual and by having him continue to deceive Chyna while letting the fans know what was really going on, the root of Guererro’s character returned to being sneaky, self-serving and dangerous in his ability to play the fool while pursuing his true goal. In effect, the WWF could play off the six months since Wrestlemania retroactively as a clever scheme on the part of Guererro to obtain and use Chyna; those months he spent establishing a rapport with the crowd remained, but they were twisted to make the crowd feel as betrayed as Chyna. With Guererro as Intercontinental champion, a new focal point for his jealousy came when Chyna agreed to pose nude for Playboy. It became clear that Guererro viewed Chyna as his property more than as a human being. When it seemed as if Chyna was catching on to the act, Guererro proposed, aggravating the crowd, who was begging for her to dump him. The newly returned Billy Gunn, an old ally of Chyna’s from DX and somebody the WWF wanted to push as a face, became the middleman, revealing Guererro’s indiscretions (which swelled to include sleeping with prostitutes) to Chyna, who finally left Guererro. Now Guererro could settle back into his familiar role as dirtball heel with the most prestigious title he’d ever won around his waist and anticipated feuds with Gunn and Chyna ready to go.

While Guererro’s own career path seemed to have bright steps ahead of it, past associations would cause a slight swerve. The WWF felt Benoit was failing to reach his full potential as a solo heel and reassembled the Radicalz with him as the leader in hopes of a boost. Saturn (whose European title run had been short and disappointing) and Malenko (who was doing slim to nil with the Lightheavyweight strap) both saw their careers benefit from the reunion, and Benoit received a little push, but the last thing Guererro needed was to get drowned out by three other voices in group interviews just when he was really getting his own character over. To make matters worse, Triple H needed lackeys in his feud with the returning Steve Austin, and the Radz fit the bill. As the most prominent member of the group, Guererro had the “honor” of getting squashed by Austin on an episode of Smackdown. Guererro’s solo feud with Gunn also got glossed over in favor of the Radz having a group feud with the former DX. Again, Guererro became a victim of his own success with the company once again assuming both that his own ability to stay over was untouchable and that he had enough heat that it could be spread around.

Still the most charismatic of the group, Guererro remained the spokesman for the Radicalz, but the other three were pushed as strong but silent tough guys, meaning they got clean wins while slimy heel Guererro only held onto his IC title by cheating and came off looking like the weakling. At Survivor Series, the Radz took on the faux DX team of Gunn, Chyna, Road Dogg and K-Kwik (the current Ron Killings). Guererro got pounded on by Gunn then eliminated by Chyna, as the WWF was looking to push the resurgent duo. Benoit and Saturn ended up coming away with the victory, with Guererro as an afterthought.

Guererro got the best of his singles series with Gunn initially, but before long dropped his belt to the former DX member. Rather than a return match, Benoit was programmed as seeker of revenge for his teammate and won the title from Gunn, who proved a weak champion. Guererro had his mic time usurped by the typically bland Malenko whom the WWF attempted to push as a delusional wannabe ladies man in a feud with Lita and her charges the Hardy Boyz with Guererro and Saturn as silent backup. Malenko was given the spotlight (which got him over for a time, but wouldn’t last) while Saturn picked up most of the actual victories to build him as an enforcer type in the Arn Anderson mold. In the course of only a few months, Guererro’s closest friends had been given his title, his mic time, and his push, leaving him with precious little.

A leg injury almost seemed welcome as it got Guererro away from just being wallpaper during Malenko’s feud with the Hardyz. Guererro was used to advance somebody else one last time as Chris Jericho “injured” him to build Y2J’s IC title feud with Benoit. When Guererro made his return two months later in February of 2001, already there were (excuse the pun) radical changes to the WWF landscape. Malenko and Saturn had fizzled out convincingly and Benoit was again, by virtue of a solid feud with Jericho, ready to head back up to the main event on his own. With so many midcard experiments having floundered (Gunn, Malenko, Saturn and others), the WWF were ready to go back to Guererro as a big time player.

Guererro returned with an attack on Y2J, setting him up as an IC title contender once more. More interestingly, it set Guererro and Benoit up at opposing ends pursuing the same goal. X-Pac was also thrown into the mix, and in a fourway match at No Way Out, Y2J scored the pin on X-Pac while Guererro and Benoit were distracting each other. In the weeks following the match, tension was teased between the two, transitioning from a rivalry over a title to contention over leadership of the Radicalz. The WWF was setting up Benoit for a face turn after he had failed to make an impact as a heel main event the year before and sought to use Guererro as a clear heel contrast. However, unlike previous occasions in which Guererro had been positioned to advance a peer’s standing, this scenario would benefit him as well, making him the undisputed leader of the Radicalz and lending him heel credibility.

Guererro turned on Benoit a few weeks prior to Wrestlemania X-7, with Malenko & Saturn siding with the former. Many hoped that a Wrestlemania match between the two would be in the offing, but instead, their feud was blown off two weeks before with a clean Benoit victory, setting him up as a babyface opponent for Kurt Angle. Still, Guererro was visibly rejuvenated by the turn of events, with more of a spring in his interviews and matches. WWF commissioner William Regal chose Guererro as his instrument of revenge on Test, the man who had beaten the commish for the European title, and after an interference-marred Smackdown match, Guererro beat Test for the title with a little help from Malenko & Saturn.

Though they were clearly outside of the main event circle, Guererro and his Radicalz were the clear and dominant force in the upper midcard. In a six man tag pitting the Radz against Test, Gunn & Raven, Raven scored the upset pin on Guererro. The possibility of a Guererro-Raven feud was intriguing, as Raven had yet to hit it big in the WWF but had charisma and a connection with the crowd; either he would be Guererro’s first major step in becoming an even more dominant heel or Guererro could help create a new star. For whatever, reason, at the last minute, it was decided that Raven could be used better to help put over new Hardcore champion Rhyno (a move from which Raven’s WWF career never recovered).

Rather than give Guererro a routine squash match at Backlash (the April 2001 pay-per-view) or simply leave him off the card, the WWF decided to transition the title abruptly and unexpectedly to Matt Hardy, a career tag team specialist who had not only never had a singles run of any sort, but who was considered the weaker half of his team. At Backlash, Hardy successfully defended the title against Guererro and Christian in a Triple Threat match.

While the initial move of the European title from Guererro to Hardy seemed an odd choice, it actually led to an intriguing storyline, something both the beleaguered Guererro and the unproven Hardy needed badly. Out of nowhere, Guererro turned on Malenko & Saturn (who were anchors at best at this point) and formed a tenuous alliance with a weary Team Xtreme (the Hardyz and Lita). The Hardyz were understandably reluctant to trust Guererro. He never really gave a reason for his turn, but fans were free to fill in the blanks: was he simply ditching the unsuccessful Radicalz for a better team (and in the process not having to admit any responsibility for being a leader inferior to Benoit) or was this the most obvious infiltrate and then destroy from within plan in history? Regardless, Guererro played the role with enough of a combination of both his charm and sleaze that fans knew he was up to something but were rooting for him enough that his ultimate goal intrigued them.

The situation got more interesting when Guererro’s old flame, Chyna, now the Women’s champion, became involved. Lita became the number one contender to the Women’s title and as both she and Chyna were popular, the two engaged in a feud framed by mutual respect, with the two women teaming several times prior to their title match at Judgment Day 2001. Guererro entered the picture as a fledgling member of Team Xtreme, offering to coach Lita against Chyna; Lita politely declined, and there were seemingly no hard feelings. At the same time, Chyna seemed overly eager to caution Lita and the Hardyz against trusting Guererro. After Chyna won the match at Judgment Day, a calm Guererro emerged at the entryway and applauded both women. Now the plot thickened: was Guererro trying to win Lita away from Matt Hardy as revenge for his European title loss? Were Guererro and Chyna secretly working together? And what role would Jeff Hardy end up playing? All possibilities that had the fans riveted and all possibilities that would never pan out when it all came crashing down for Eddie Guererro only weeks after Judgment Day.

As it turned out, the small problem with drugs (specifically painkillers and to a lesser degree alcohol) that had led to Guererro’s 1999 injury when he was with WCW had never really gone away or been addressed. This issue would again come to the fore in nasty fashion in June of 2001, when Guererro arrived to a WWF event clearly intoxicated. Guererro was sent home immediately and his program with the Hardys was scrapped indefinitely so that they wouldn’t stagnate while the WWF figured out what to do with him (as a result, Jeff abruptly won the Light-heavyweight title from newly-signed Jerry Lynn so he could be given focus while the next steps for Matt and Lita could be figured out; Lynn’s WWF career never recovered from this and he was cut later in the year).

Upon getting caught, Guererro kept no secrets, informing the WWF powers-that-be that he had been abusing painkillers for years and also that he did have a drinking problem. The WWF was far more understanding and proactive than WCW had been, and placed Guererro in a rehab facility. The incident could not have come at a worse time as WWF launched an “invasion” angle involving former WCW and ECW wrestlers (both companies had gone under earlier in the year and been acquired by the McMahons). Given his history with WCW, Guererro could have played a vital role in the angle, either as a bitter ex-employee fighting on behalf of his WWF “saviors,” or as his usual slimeball heel character, going with whoever paid him the most. Even more disappointing was that Eddie’s nephew Chavo Jr. was among the WCW wrestlers signed, and while he had finally been hitting his stride with WCW in its final days as a cruiserweight standout, the WWF could find nothing for Chavo to do; either a tag team or feud with his uncle could have done wonders.

The “invasion” angle did not take off as the WWF had hoped it would, but Guererro seemed to do well in rehab and it was hoped that when the Invasion concluded at November 2001’s Survivor Series (with the WWF winning, of course), Guererro would be one of the returning/fresh faces that would help revitalize the WWF while they decided where to go next (and what to do with the former WCW/ECW talent). But one more time, adversity sprang up in the Eddie Guererro’s career path; only this time it was not an injury or a decision made by the creative department, this time Eddie had only his own excesses to blame. After he had been cleared by rehab and was set to return to WWF TV in a matter of weeks (he had already worked OVW, the WWF’s minor league circuit), Eddie was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol; he was released by the WWF in November of 2001.

This is where the path of Eddie Guererro forks in a different direction from the Scott Halls of the wrestling world. Too many wrestlers never really make the effort to change their ways; wrestling is a cyclical business, and wrestlers with drug problems know that if they were a star at one point, they will eventually receive a second chance (as it has been many times with Hall and also with Steve Austin to a lesser extent). Other wrestlers continue to abuse drugs and as a result, find their careers held back, staying mid-carders when they had the potential to be main-eventers, and not changing their ways until it’s too late (this is somewhat the case for Raven). Others never change (if you’ve seen “Beyond The Mat,” you know that Jake Roberts personifies this). Eddie Guererro did not follow any of these paths. He made a conscious choice to change his lifestyle at a time when he was still in the prime condition of his life and his career could still be salvaged. He did not wait around to be given a second chance; he made the decision to earn one. Most importantly, Eddie Guererro did not just clean himself up temporarily to get his job back; he changed his lifestyle to ensure his health and survival beyond wrestling.

Eddie Guererro spent the remainder of 2001 and the beginning of 2002 working the independent wrestling circuit in the United States and abroad. The venues and crowds were smaller and the pay was less, but reportedly, Guererro was wrestling with a vigor he had not shown in years. He looked good, moved well, and had a smile on his face. In interviews, Guererro stated that he had completely revitalized his life and his craft; he had not only gone off all drugs (including alcohol), but had altered his diet and workout routine to get his body in the best shape he had ever been in. Returning to action after a layoff of over half a year, Guererro showed almost no ring rust, a testament to his skill and craftsmanship. Guererro’s hard work did not go unnoticed by his former employers in the WWF (which, by mid-2002, had transformed into WWE).

Guererro had his highest-profile match during his non-WWF tenure on World Wrestling All-Stars’ Revolution pay-per-view (WWA is an upstart promotion run by Andrew McManus that has a loose working relationship with NWA-TNA as well as several former WCW wrestlers that runs mainly in Europe and Australia), taking on former WCW associates Juventud Guererra and Psicosis for the promotion’s International Cruiserweight championship. Guererro won the match and stole the show with a standout performance. Following the match, Guererro was attacked by Jerry Lynn, also a recent WWF-cast off, setting up a feud for the next WWA pay-per-view that would have been a pure wrestling fan’s dream. But unfortunately for WWA and Lynn, WWE wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to bring Guererro back to the big time and re-signed him just after Wrestlemania XVIII (interestingly enough, Guererro was indirectly the reason Jerry Lynn’s WWF career had fizzled and then also robbed him perhaps of a feud high-profile enough to earn him a ticket back; Mr. J.L. may want to direct his next bitter interview at a new source).

On the first edition of Raw following WWE’s split into two brands, Eddie Guererro made a (Frog) splash, attacking Intercontinental champion Rob Van Dam, after a successful title defense over Booker T in Raw’s very first brand era match, enraged over RVD stealing “his” finisher, the Frog splash. Guererro jumped right back into the fray as an active wrestler and had a series of great matches with Van Dam that some considered the best Intercontinental title series in years. At Backlash, WWE showed that they truly believed Guererro had buried his demons, putting him over RVD for the IC title in a great match. Guererro proved them right with stellar matches including several successful title defenses against Van Dam.

Guererro had sky-rocketed back to the top of WWE in record time, and it showed when the biggest WWE star of the past decade, Steve Austin, who had become frustrated with the company’s product, demanded a feud with the man he considered the most talented performer on Raw: Eddie Guererro. Two weeks after Guererro cheated to win against Van Dam at Judgment Day in May of 2002, the two put on one of the best matches of the year with Van Dam regaining the title in a Ladder match after Austin interfered. After the match, Austin was attacked by both Guererro and Chris Benoit (who had returned earlier in the night after a year’s hiatus due to a neck injury caused by Austin), who were joined the next week by another Austin enemy, Ric Flair, to form a wrestling fan’s dream stable. Guererro was booked to face Austin in a grudge match at King of the Ring, but only two weeks before the match, the events of the previous year were repeated in shocking fashion as personal problems derailed another Guererro feud; however, this time it was not the personal problems of Guererro, but of his rival.

Austin abruptly left WWE due to problems with the creative direction and Guererro was left with no opponent for King of the Ring. Guererro and Benoit hastily turned against Flair and Guererro faced Flair at the pay-per-view, losing after interference by longtime tag team specialist-turned singles competitor Bubba Ray Dudley. But Guererro showed a cool head, remarking in interviews that having been on the other side of the coin, he didn’t begrudge Austin, and making the most of ever opportunity he was given. Guererro & Benoit were placed in a stagnant tag team feud with Bubba Ray Dudley & Spike Dudley as it became obvious WWE had no immediate plans for them.

A move was made in July of 2002 designed simply to show that anything was possible in the brand era, but it ended up changing the face of the Smackdown program up to the present. Stephanie McMahon, the newly named General Manager of Smackdown, “stole” Benoit & Guererro, signing them away from Raw and debuting them in a surprise match against The Rock & Edge which they won. Guererro moved into a feud with Edge that produced matches that even eclipsed those Guererro and Van Dam had put on months before. Edge picked up a win at Summerslam, then the two exchanged wins on Smackdown in the following weeks, including a 2 out of 3 falls classic. The pot was stirred when Guererro recruited Benoit as a partner and Edge countered with new WWE debut Rey Misterio Jr. When Benoit became involved in a complex feud with Kurt Angle, Guererro needed a new partner, and the surprise pick turned out to be the trick for capturing lightning in a bottle.

Eddie was at long last re-teamed with nephew Chavo Jr., only a mid-carder at the time, but the duo quickly established themselves as one of the most entertaining heel tag teams in years. Los Guererros became locked in a three-way feud for the newly established Smackdown Tag Team titles with Edge & Misterio as well as rivals-turned-teammates Benoit & Angle. The Guererros played both sides against one another brilliantly, putting out entertaining television week in and week out. But beyond the backstage antics, these six men clicked in a way not seen since the heyday of the Rock & Roll Express and Midnight Express. The matches between the various combinations restored wrestling to a form of athleticism that had been lost for years and brought tag team wrestling to the forefront. Smackdown, which showcased amateur wrestling standout Brock Lesnar as champion, became the home to the best series of matches WWE may have ever seen, and while Raw languished in the hackneyed era of worn out shock value, Smackdown resembled the WWF powerhouse of 2000.

At Survivor Series 2002, Los Guererros defeated Edge & Misterio and Angle & Benoit in a Triple Threat match to win the titles and cap off the classic three-way feud. While their four opponents were rewarded for their hard work over the months prior with singles pushes, the onus of maintaining the high levels of expectation built up in the tag team division lay with Eddie and Chavo. But after three months of focus on only three teams, the Smackdown tag team division was a little shallow (why build up anybody beyond those three teams when they were capable of delivering amazing matches for months?) and WWE needed time to build up new contenders. In the mean time, Los Guererros occupied their in-ring time in a quick feud with Cruiserweight champion Billy Kidman. But at the same time, the duo recorded a series of promos espousing their philosophy of “lie, cheat & steal.” The offbeat promos of Eddie & Chavo stealing money from rich Beverly Hills golfers and swiping yuppies’ cars and girlfriends were made extremely entertaining by the duo’s chemistry and charisma and even though they were intended to remain heels, the crowd began to cheer the Guererros.

Los Guererros’ de facto face turn came at an opportune time as Ohio Valley Wrestling standouts Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas debuted as Team Angle, heel backup for Smackdown champion Kurt Angle in his feud with Brock Lesnar. The rookie duo upended Los Guererros for the titles and the two teams engaged in a series of matches. Benoit had been moved in and out of the Smackdown title picture and was teamed with the returning Rhyno to try and create another compelling three-way feud going into Wrestlemania. At the biggest show of the year, Team Angle retained their titles in a Triple Threat match that didn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor, but still stood out on an impressive card.

Eddie & Chavo continued their pursuit of the titles they had lost, becoming more and more popular with the fans with each passing week, but came up short in matches against Benjamin & Haas, including one at Backlash. The blowoff was set for Judgment Day as Los Guererros challenged Team Angle to a ladder match. Expectations were set high, but then came crashing down when Chavo was injured only a week prior to the event sending WWE scrambling. It was rumored that WWE’s new cruiserweight acquisition, Guererro’s old WCW rival Ultimo Dragon, would replace Chavo, but instead it ended up being former ECW star Tajiri, who had floundered in the WWE midcard for over two years since his signing. The match was as good as could be expected (four talented stars, very little prep time), but more amazing was how much the crowd instantly seemed to get into Tajiri, whom they’d all but ignored for years, after Eddie gave him his stamp of approval.

Over the next several weeks, Eddie & Tajiri became arguably an even more entertaining duo than Los Guererros. They frustrated Team Angle in rematches with creative ways of getting their opponents disqualified such as throwing a title belt into their hands behind the referee’s back and then acting as if they’d been nailed with them. They also ambushed Roddy Piper & Sean O’Haire in Piper’s Pit and defeated them in a series of matches. Tajiri seemed to come alive, becoming more animated in matches and interview segments, and the crowd couldn’t get enough of Eddie Guererro.

And then just as Eddie Guererro & Tajiri were hitting their stride, it ended out of nowhere. In what seemed as if it was going to just be another routine title defense on Smackdown, Team Angle won the titles back from Guererro & Tajiri. Even more shockingly, despite no buildup in weeks prior, Guererro brutally attacked his partner after the match, putting Tajiri through the windshield of the lowrider that had become the team’s trademark. The move seemed to come out of nowhere, but things seemed to come into focus the next week when Stephanie McMahon announced that Smackdown was resurrecting the U.S. title (which WWE had inherited from WCW) via a tournament. With Guererro on a streak of over a year’s worth of spectacular matches and character renaissance, who better to usher the forgotten championship back into the fold?

After defeating old foes Dragon and Billy Gunn, Guererro earned a match for the vacant championship at Vengeance against the man he just couldn’t seem to get away from: Chris Benoit. Entering the match, even though WWE had expected Guererro’s attack on Tajiri to turn him heel, crowds were still cheering him; and why shouldn’t they? He was still playing more or less the exact same character. Rather than try to force Guererro into an awkward role, WWE showed a faith in him he’d earned and simply let him go out, play his character, and if the crowd cheered, he was free to bask in it. And they gave him the U.S. title as well. Just this past Sunday he defended successfully against Benoit, Tajiri and Rhyno is a four-way match; cheating to win of course (or at least waiting for his spot).

As Scott Keith said in his Summerslam 2003 rant: “They’ve gotta do something with Eddie RIGHT NOW. He’s over, he’s wrestling the matches of his life, and he needs to be elevated before he can be killed off again.” Eddie Guererro is indeed on the streak of his career, from the mic to the ring, and this is a guy who has never been bad at either. Even more impressive is that Eddie Guererro has ascended to heights even loftier than the high ones he established earlier in his career AFTER overcoming a drug addiction, something very few if any other people in the industry can say and mean. So how do the fans feel about this man who has overcome so much and passed his tests with flying colors? Let’s take a closer look

THE SMART: In the Smart Fan Bible, Eddie Guererro is second only to Chris Benoit. Guererro possesses all the same traits (if in some cases to a lesser degree) that make smart fans worship Benoit as the second coming: athleticism, a solid grasp of ring psychology, unselfishness when it comes to selling moves in short, he’s a student of the game of professional wrestling. When smart fans make their lists of who deserves to be pushed and who is getting shafted, Eddie Guererro is usually the number two name, without fail. So the real question is: why isn’t Eddie number one? He’s got the one thing that has prevented Benoit from ascending to World title level: a wealth of charisma. If anything, Guererro is way more qualified to be the smart fan’s primary wrestler of choice. A number of explanations are plausible: first, Guererro, while amazing in the ring, is still at least a half a step behind Chris Benoit when it comes to pure wrestling (he trumps Benoit on high-flying). That Benoit is more popular among smart fans than Guererro is a commentary on just how far these fans swing the pendulum towards ring work and away from mic work. Another possibility is that smart fans latched onto Benoit first and resent the fact that Guererro has everything he does and more. And a final possibility could be that it is just too frustrating to be a smart Eddie Guererro fan. He has everything and yet has still never risen above secondary title contention. With Benoit, there’s always a built-in excuse of “once he develops his interview style” or “once wrestling goes back to being about wrestling,” but with Guererro, there are no excuses: he should be World champion right now and the wait must be frustrating. Probes into the psyche of the smart fan aside, the bottom line is this: smart fans love Eddie Guererro more than anybody else in the industry except Chris Benoit.

THE MARK: Eddie Guererro has always been associated with a group of wrestlers that passed through ECW and WCW and then onto the WWF/WWE at approximately the same time. That group includes Guererro, Benoit, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, and depending on who you ask, possibly Perry Saturn and Rey Misterio Jr. as well. For years, these were the mid-card wrestlers that provided WCW with the great matches that kept fans tuned into Nitro and Thunder so they’d stick around to watch Hogan, Nash, et al. Their common traits was the ability to get crowds into their characters through their in-ring work. The problem most of them hit was that once the match was over, the crowd no longer cared about them because they did their best stuff in the ring (the internet loved them all except maybe Saturn). The exceptions to this rule were Jericho and Guererro. With Jericho, it just took him time to develop his personality, but when he did, it paid off; the mark fans now had a character and a personality to associate with the moves and matches and Jericho of course went on to be the most successful of the pack. Guererro is right behind Jericho, but he’s always had the charisma, he’s just a)not been given the chance to showcase it on some occasions and/or b)hit problems with a slight language barrier. There are better wrestlers and better talkers, but nobody combines the two quite like Eddie Guererro. He has formed an incredibly strong bond with the mark fans that make up most of the live crowds and it is evident in the pops he gets at live events and TV tapings. He’s connected with them so much that he can get guys like Chavo & Tajiri, completely unheralded mid-carders, over just because the crowd respects his endorsement.

This week’s edition of Smackdown was built around Eddie Guererro essentially because after almost a decade of hearing the cheers for his work, mainstream U.S. promotions can no longer deny how incredible Eddie Guererro is. I enjoy the character, love his work, but above all, respect the man. He’s survived, overcome challenges, and thrived in a business where all three are supposed to be next to impossible. Eddie Guererro is one of the few living examples we can point to and say “see, sometimes second chances do pay off.” Here’s hoping that Eddie finally gets all he deserves, no less than a chance to be the star attraction he’s more than capable of being.

In the mean time, thanks for reading.

(And if you’re wondering where I’ve been all this time, please make sure to check out 411comics, debuting our New Fall Lineup next week!)