My last live wrestling event memory of Eddy Guerrero was being at a WWE Smackdown taping in 2004 in Fayetteville, NC, taped in late June, the Tuesday after the Great American Bash where JBL became champion over Eddy in controversial bull rope match fashion. Eddy was the face and was always a fun person to watch live and a even more fun person to chant for, no matter what character he was portraying. I have never cared what side of the character he was portraying, I always found myself chanting his name and cheering him on. My defense? “Come on, it’s Eddy Guerrero!”
That’s how I feel today, spending most of my day wiped out from the emotion of losing someone I have a lot of respect for. On a personal level, it brought me back to how I felt when I lost my close friend Chris Candito a few months ago. Though I did not know Eddy personally, he was also apart of my everyday life in his own way. I get to carry a regret where I try not to have too many regrets, but I’m going to tell this story in hopes that maybe it will be whispered to him someday in another realm that I haven’t crossed:
As long time wrestling fans know, Eddy Guerrero has definitely cheated death more than once. One time in particular, was back in World Championship Wrestling when he survived a car crash where doctors didn’t expect him to live or ever wrestle again, on New Year’s Eve 1998. I took the time to make him a get well soon card on the computer with handmade graphics from my sister and I, a note of encouragement because we enjoyed his in-ring work and we even drew a little Pepe on the back, in honor of his relationship with Chavo, explaining that we enjoyed their in-ring work together and always had a good laugh about Pepe. We never expected to hear back, and a few months later we both individually received personally autographed WCW promos of Eddy to us along with a form letter he sent apparently everyone who took the time to write him, thanking us for the well wishes and how he thanked God for helping him get through it. I have the yellow typed letter packed away, however, ever since I got that in the mail, I felt touched that he took the time to reply. I never asked for a response, much less a autographed promo back. I have kept it framed in my house for years ever since I got it and when I got a new bookshelf, Eddy’s promo was placed as the only picture on the second shelf. I have looked at that photo every day and I will continue to. I’m not going to pack the photo away just because he’s gone from us here, Eddy’s going to remain a part of my everyday life for giving me a few moments of his day in return and many years of entertainment.
This is a big loss for the business, but it’s also a big loss for anyone who is touched by people who overcome obstacles in their lives like addiction. I have the Eddy DVD and I plan to watch it again this week, I’m going to write a additional column this week about some of my favorite Eddy Guerrero wrestling moments. I want everyone to appreciate this man for being a person people looked up to in the locker room, a very human man, but a man by all accounts with a forgiving heart. We lost today someone I could always count on to make me feel entertained, no matter what the overall quality of the show was. I knew if Eddy Guerrero was on, I was going to be able to laugh and be able to smile. That was Eddy’s gift to the wrestling business and to the wrestling fans. My deepest sympathies to his wife, Vickie, their children and entire family who are without their loved one today. If I could write Eddy today, this is what I’d write:
Though I’ve spent this entire day trying not to cry, making phone calls to people I know, I really hope you’re up there and at some point, you and Chris are chain wrestling in another realm and ribbing each other. That’s what I’m trying to smile about now as I think about how this is all too familiar, too soon. Thank you for giving my family, my friends and I such beautiful memories, the tireless miles you put in all over this world, the sacrifices you made, the battles you won. It is not lost on me. We will never forget you and I can’t wait to chant your name again to you someday.