It was recently confirmed by both WCCO.com and World Wrestling Entertainment that Eddie Guerrero (d/b/a Eduardo Gori Guerrero Llanes) died today at the age of 38. For those who aren’t familiar with the man, he held the WWE Heavyweight Championship in 2004, and is a wrestler beloved by fans of the squared circle the world over. He wrestled for the EMLL, AAA, ECW, WCW and WWE promotions during his storied career. He is survived by his wife Vickie and his daughters Shaul, Sherilyn and Kaylie Marie.
I realize that professional wrestling is fixed, and it isn’t for everyone. Still, if you’ve ever seen Eddie Guerrero wrestle, you’ll know why people are so fond of him. He was a wrestler capable of performing to a consistent and sometimes amazing degree throughout his career. His skills with a microphone were among the best in the WWE (although the lowrider gimmick was tired before it began), and Guerrero managed to retain a sizable core of loyal fans despite not always being booked to the best of his abilities. Guerrero has had problems with drug and alcohol addiction before, but it has not been reported as of yet that any drugs were in his system at the time of his death. Lately, he was booked to participate in the 2005 Survivor Series for WWE’s SmackDown! brand. He also participated recently in feuds against Rey Mysterio, Jr. and current World Heavyweight Champion Batista. To say that WWE has lost a competent performer and all-around talent is an understatement.
Regardless of what one might think about pro wrestling in general, Eddie Guerrero will be remembered as an example of what could be so great about it. Pro wrestling can often be cretinous in scope – Eddie’s nephew Chavo Guerrero Jr. was recently involved in a race-baiting gimmick, Chavo changing his on-screen name to Kerwin White and acting like a yuppie. I hope for WWE’s sake that the promotion kills the gimmick in the immediate future. Tastelessness has its place in wrestling, but not right now. Eddie Guerrero was just too important to the immediate future of the company.
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