What follows is a live recap that I did while watching the special episode of Raw which aired this evening.
This week’s episode is a tribute to Eddie Guerrero, who passed away Sunday morning at the age of 38.The show opened with the entire locker room on the entrance ramp, the crowd chanting “EDDIE! EDDIE!” Vince gave a brief speech about Eddie and his love for the business. Eddie’s nephew, Chavo, standing behind Vince,tears in his eyes. Vince then asked that everyone stand in silence as the ring bell was rung 10 times in tribute to a fallen friend.
The moment of silence was followed by a video package set to Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt.” We saw Eddie celebrating in the ring, moments with fellow wrestlers such as Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Rey Mysterio. We see Eddie with his wife and children, his mother, other family members. It concludes and we are back in the arena, “Eddie!” chants started again, many wrestlers are shown with tears in their eyes, streaming down their faces.
Each wrestler was given an opportunity to speak of Eddie on camera, if they so wanted to, and tonight many of these moments will be aired. They will be able to share their feelings of Eddie. John Cena was the first, talking about how he learned so much from him, more than just moves.
Vintage clip: Eddie and Chavo hosing down Big Show with excrement from a sewage tanker. I remember this moment as being briefly humorous, but really rather gross.
Next up is the first match of the evening. Big Show and Kane, the World Tag Team Champions, taking on the WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM. Big Show and Nitro start the match off. After a couple of chops from Show, Kane is quickly tagged in who quickly goes to work in Nitro, but Melina distracts the ref while Mercury knocks Kane off the ropes. Kane then gets beaned with a tag belt. Mercury is tagged in for moment, before bringing Nitro back in for a double dropkick. Kane recovers and hits a double suplex on MNM. Big Show is tagged back in for the hot tag, making quick work of the champs. Melina goes for the distraction and gets a Big Kiss from Big Show. The match ends with a double choke slam on Nitro.
Lillian Garcia spoke about how she met Eddie early on and how they bonded, bioth being of a Latino background. She spoke of how they were part of the group who went to Iraq last December, and how humble he was with his actions with the troops. She closed with a Spanish quote, which I cannot translate, as I do not know Spanish.
Vintage Clip: Eddie in the ring with a bunch of Kurt Angle’s belongings. He is making fun of Kurt and saying he will put his stuff up on Ebay. This was a very funny segment.
The second match of the night features Kurt Angle taking on Shelton Benjamin. These are two very talented performers. Kurt is wearing black tights and a black armband bearing the initials EG. The match started with some back and forth brawling. At one point Shelton counters a suplex by going over and landing on his feet, hitting Kurt with a DDT. Brawling resumes. Lots of back and forth between the two. Technical prowess is on display with this pair. Shelton hits a Dragon Whip and goes for the pin, but only gets two. Shelton then goes to the top rope and gets a clothesline with incredible elevation. He tries to follow up a Stinger Splash, but misses and Kurt hits a series of German Suplexes. Kurt hits the Angle Slam, but only gets a 2 count. Kurt then ascends the ropes, but gets caught by Shelton who hits a German Suplex of his own off the ropes, that results in another two count. Kurt is able to lock in the Ankle Lock, Shelton can do nothing else but tap out. Kurt gets the victory. Kurt takes off the EG armband and holds it aloft in a show of respect.
Shawn Michaels spoke next. They never got to wrestle each other. He spoke of their shared faith as Born Again Christians, how his last breath here was his first breath of eternity. They will wrestle one day in the greatest ring for an audience of One.
Vintage Clips: Chavo and Eddie’s “Lying, Cheating, and Stealing” vignettes. I remember these bits, they were hilarious. Included were clips of Eddie doing the cheating thing in the ring, nobody can do it like he could.
Chavo Guerrero spoke of his life growing up with his uncle, more like brothers due to only being 3 years apart in age. Their first match was against each other. They grew up in a wrestling family, living and breathing the business. They dreamt of being tag champions together, a dream which came true a few years back. Chavo could barely keep his composure. I can only imagine what he is going through, my heart goes out to him.
For the third match, Shawn Michaels came out wearing an Eddie Guerrero “I’m Your Papi” t-shirt and wearing an EG armband. HBK’s opponent is Rey Mysterio, also wearing a “I’m Your Papi” shirt and armband. Match opens with traded armbars between the two. Quick back and forth action with hip tosses, kick offs, and ending in a stand off. Shawn catapults Rey over the ropes, but Rey lands on his feet and hits a springboard drop on Shawn. Rey hits a pescado over the ropes to the floor.
Back to the match, HBK has Rey in a sleeper hold. During the break, Rey missed a splash and got hit with a neckbreaker. Shawn holds onto the upper hand for awhile, Rey is able to get out and lay in with a number of kicks. Rey also got in a little bit of the Eddie Shake before continuing his assault on Shawn. Shawn gets back in it hitting a form arm off the ropes, then nips up, but is unable to hit the atomic drop, but is able to connect with the flying elbow. Next is tuning up the band, but Rey ducks under the Sweet Chin Music, knocks HBK into the ropes, hits the 619 followed by Dropping the Dime and gets the win. Rey Mysterio wins the match, dedicating the win to Eddie, crossing himself and pointing skyward. He reentered the and helps Shawn Michaels up and embraces Shawn in a show of respect.
An emotional Batista spoke next. They were recently working together in the storylines. He spoke of how Eddie had helped him through personal problems, reading the Bible with him. He also made note of how funny he was, and how when he would go through the curtains, he was there for the fans.
The video package from the top of the show is repeated here. It is a very emotional piece. I find the Johnny Cash track to be very fitting.
Ashley Massaro comes out to the ring in a “I’m Your Papi” shirt. She is followed by Maria, Christy Hemme, Victoria, Melina, Gillian Hall, Mickie James, Candace Michelle, and Trish Stratus, all of them wearing the same Eddie Guerrero shirt. They are there for a Divas Battle Royale. The match is full of brawling. The first one out Mickie James eliminated by Gillian. Gillian is then tossed out by Maria. Victoria and Candace toss Ashley over. Candace eliminates Christy, knocking her off the apron. Trish tosses Candace out with a head scissors. Maria kicks Victoria in the rear, eliminating her. Trish and Melina turn and kick Maria out of the ring. Melina wins the match, knocking Trish off the apron.
Rey Mysterio is the next speaker. He was close friends with Eddie. He spoke of how close their families were, how much he misses him. You could see he was having a hard time speaking, he even removed his mask, a first on WWE TV.
Vintage Clip: Eddie in the ring to congratulate Chris Benoit on his championship win at Wrestlemania in 2004.
The next match has Eugene taking on Simon Dean. Simon opens by offering one of his fitness bars to Eugene, then trying to get a quick roll up pin. That is followed by a push up contest. Then the comical wrestling begins, including Eugene biting Simon’s butt. Eugene tries to drive the Dean Machine, but is caught from behind by Dean. The action returns to the ring with Dean in control. Eugene then starts emulating Hulk Hogan before performing an airplane spin. Eugene hits a Rock Bottom and gets the pin! Eugene drives off on the Dean Machine scooter.
Chris Benoit spoke of his best friend, Eddie Guerrero. These two have been up and down the road for the past 15 years. Eddie was his friend and confidant. He spoke of how he loved Eddie and how close they had been over the years, his thoughts and prayers going to Eddie’s family. Chris broke down in tears, speaking of how much Eddie will be missed, how much of an impact he had on his life. These two men have put on some classic matches together.
Vintage Clip: Eddie taking on Brock Lesnar. Watch as he reverses the F-5 into a DDT and hits the Frog Splash to win the WWE Championship at No Way Out in 2004.
Triple H spoke of Eddie and his amazing in ring ability and his great personality outside of it. Eddie will be remembered as an inspiration, and how he fought through his demons to become the man he is. He succeeded in life where others have failed. Triple H spoke of much Eddie’s family meant to him. Eddie is up there watching tonight, a show that was put on for him.
We come back to a shot of Eddie’s lowrider which is situated to the side of the entrance ramp. This is as Ric Flair makes his entrance taking on William Regal. Lots of old school back and forth action between these two. Regal hit a few shots and Flair took his infamous Flair Flop. Regal goes for the pin, a two count. Regal follows that with knocking Flair right out of the ring, the fight continues out there. Regal throws Flair back in the ring where Flair regains control. Flair locks in the figure four leglock, forcing Regal to tap. Your winner is Ric Flair.
Stephanie McMahon was next. She spoke of meeting him when he interviewed with Vince on possibly leaving WCW. She said how humble he was, and how she was able to work with him behind the camera. He had a wonderful personality that could toake you through the full range of emotions. She had spoken with him on Friday, he said that he was going to be champion again. She thinks of his family, and how much he loved them.
Vintage Clip: Eddie speaking to Mick Foley, and getting in a triple threat match with Chyna and Kurt Angle, where he won the Intercontinental title in slightly controversial fashion.
The main event had John Cena wearing the ubiquitous “I’m Your Papi” shirt taking on Randy Orton, who came to the ring with his father, Cowboy Bob Orton. The two lock up in the middle of the ring, resulting in Randy getting early control. Cena fights back, but Orton slows that with his version of a neckbreaker. Cena regains control hitting a shoulder block, clothesline, and a gutwrench powerbomb, capped with a Five Knuckle Shuffle. He went for the FU, but Bob Orton entered the ring causing a disqualification. Orton went for the RKO, but was caught in the FU. The winner by DQ is John Cena.
The show comes to a close with the announcers speaking of their fallen friend as Cena takes his Eddie shirt, lays it down the ring, places his championship belt on it and leaves it lying there in the ring.
This was a wonderful tribute to a great wrestler. It featured some excellent in ring action and touching moments with those who new Eddie best. My thoughts and prayers go out to Eddie and his family and friends.
Eddie, you will be missed.
WWE: Smackdown next Friday will also be a tribute special.