TV REPORTS 11/21 Smackdown Express: Detailed report of Eddie Guerrero tribute show
Nov 21, 2005 - 6:49:00 AM
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WWE Smackdown review
November 18, 2005
Taped 11/13/05 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Aired on UPN
Report by Mike Roe, PWTorch.com OVW/Smackdown Specialist
Thanks for tuning into a very special Smackdown Express. I didn't do my regular Specialist column this week because I didn't feel like many people wanted to hear about OVW the day after Eddie Guerrero passed away, but I'm back with Express to share in the mourning process and to take a look at a tribute to a great, great man. Be sure to check out a special Smackdown quotes section for selected quotes, including the full text of all the remembrances from Smackdown. Here's fellow Express team member Seth Berger with his weekly trivia and his thoughts on Eddie.
Raw Is Trivial with Seth Berger
Raw Is Trivial... except this week. Those of us behind the scenes on the SmackDown Express sadly mourn along with the rest of the wrestling community on the untimely passing of Eddy Guerrero. Pretty much everything that can be said about the man has been mentioned, but there's always my story.
I've been a fan of Eddy since the When Worlds Collide PPV. True, it was the charisma of the late Art Barr that carried the team to greatness; but Eddy reintroduced wrestling to the ring. (The frogsplash was something Eddy took as a tribute to his friend after he passed away.)
Then the classic matches with Dean Malenko in ECW. I can go on and on with WCW and WWF/E, but enough can be said about Eddy over the two shows airing this week that can fill a nice book.
But, I want to focus on a match that made me smile this week. Eddy vs. Chavo at a WCW PPV where the hair was on the line. My question to you is this: Which WCW PPV was this match on?
Show title: "Celebrating the life of Eddie Guerrero."
Official description: "WWE celebrates the life of Eddie Guerrero."
The show opened with a graphic of Eddie, saying "In Memory/Eddie Guerrero/1967-2005." It went to the Power Is Back opening video before cutting to the arena as Eddie Guerrero's music played over the loudspeakers. Michael Cole and Tazz introduced the show on commentary as they showed a sign in the crowd. It read "Eddie Guerrero: 3-time tag-team Champion/2-time intercontinental Champion/2-time ECW TV Champion/Former Heavyweight Champion = 1 Great Man. We'll Miss you Eddie."
*** Batista drove out Eddie Guerrero's sky blue low rider as Eddie's music played, and he looked broken up. Batista parked the car in the middle of the ramp. He wore one of those "I'm your Papi!" t-shirts with suit pants, as well as sunglasses and an Eddie Guerrero memorial armband. Cole talked about how Eddie had been in the business for eighteen years. One fan held up a sign that said "Now Heaven has some Latino Heat," and I couldn't agree with that one more.
Batista took a mic and prepared to talk to the crowd as loud "Eddie!" chants rang out. Batista said that, if he knew anything about Eddie, he wouldn't want to see Batista in the ring crying like a little baby. He said "But Eddie, I'm sorry, I just can't help it, 'cause I just can't believe you're gone." His voice broke as he said this. One fan held up a sign that said "Thanks for the memories Eddie. 67 - 05," referring to the years of Eddie's life. Batista said that he had been thinking all day and didn't know what to say, that he wasn't even sure if he was the right man to be out there speaking about Eddie. He wanted everyone to know two things about Eddie. The first is that he loved his family. A fan held up a sign saying "RIP Eddie/We will miss you." Batista said that Eddie had a lot of demons and a lot of troubles in his past, but Eddie fought his way back from Hell to win back his family, and Batista respects the Hell out of him for doing that. The second thing is that Eddie Guerrero loved this business. "He ate, he breathed, he slept, he bled this business!" Batista said that, no matter how much pain he was in, when he stepped through that curtain, the pain went away and he found peace in the ring. Batista tried his best to hold back tears. A fan let out an audible "Viva la raza!" as the crowd chants for Eddie started again as Batista cried. A fan held up a sign saying "Never forget Eddie Guerrero." A group of fans was shown enthusiastically rooting for Eddie, as I'm sure many were. Batista said "My one comfort, my one saving grace is that I know that Eddie's found peace. I know Eddie's with God." This brought a smile to Batista's face and drew cheers from the crowd. "But call me a selfish son of a bitch, call me anything you want, 'cause I'd give anything to have Eddie back right here. I miss the Hell out of him. Eddie Guerrero, I miss you, and I love you, and I will make sure that these people, everywhere around the world, remember you." A fan held up a sign saying "Eddie you will be remembered. R.I.P." Eddie's music played again, closing the segment. Batista put his fist up to his face as he thought about Eddie. Batista removed his sunglasses as he left the ring. He dumped his title belt and his sunglasses on the hood of Eddie's car. Batista pointed skyward and pounded his chest, then held both fists to his face as he sent an obvious message to Eddie.
A music video of Eddie Guerrero highlights aired to the song "Here Without You" by Eddie Guerrero. It's a song that's originally about being away from a loved one, and the original video focused on the troops away in Iraq, but I think that the emotions expressed still ring true here. Here are the lyrics:
A hundred days have made me older
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face
A thousand lies have made me colder
And I don't think I can look at this the same
But all the miles that separate
Disappear now when I'm dreaming of your face
I'm here without you baby
But you're still on my lonely mind
I think about you baby
And I dream about you all the time
I'm here without you baby
But you're still with me in my dreams
And tonight it's only you and me
The miles just keep rollin'
As the people leave their way to say hello
I've heard this life is overrated
But I hope that it gets better as we go
I'm here without you baby
But you're still on my lonely mind
I think about you baby
And I dream about you all the time
I'm here without you baby
But you're still with me in my dreams
And tonight girl its only you and me
Highlights in the video included Eddie standing in the ring at the end of WrestleMania 20, as well as Eddie hugging Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, the Benoit hug being from Mania 20. One clip that brought a smile to my face was Eddie driving his low rider out with Vince McMahon in the passenger seat, and Vince's shocked response to Eddie bumping it with the hydraulics. They showed him interacting with Batista, and a huge smile crossing Batista's face, much like the smiles that crossed fans so many times when they saw Eddie. They showed footage of Eddie as a little boy with his father, as well as photographs of him at various ages, including a great one where he was wearing Mickey Mouse Club ears and what looked like glasses with his mother. They showed photographs of him with his wife, including one from their wedding. They showed footage and photos of Eddie with his mother as an adult, as well as footage of him with his family. They showed more photos, including Eddie with Chavo, with Dean Malenko, and with Chris Benoit. The whole piece has footage of Eddie with water pouring on him from above interspersed throughout. They showed footage of Los Guerreros with Kurt Angle's Olympic gold medals, one of my favorite storylines in recent years. They showed when Eddie and Rey Mysterio were friends in the ring, including Eddie celebrating with Rey and hugging him. They showed Eddie backstage with Chavo Guerrero, Senior, Dean Malenko, Billy Gunn, Kurt Angle, and Vince McMahon. More footage was shown of a young Eddie, including a newspaper article on him, as well as clips from ECW and WCW. We saw the footage of Eddie Guerrero delivering the frog splash to Brock Lesnar and picking up the world title win at No Way Out 2004, celebrating with fans and his family afterwards, hugging his mother. They showed him in the confetti at WrestleMania 20 once again before showing more footage of Eddie with his family. The package closed with a shot of Eddie bowing and a memorial video graphic with another "In Memory/Eddie Guerrero/1967-2005."
A clip was shown from the Cheating Death, Stealing Life - The Eddie Guerrero Story DVD with a graphic at the bottom of the screen saying "Remembering Eddie Guerrero 1967-2005." Eddie was driving the crew around his hometown of El Paso, Texas, talking about how he had a happy childhood. Photographs of Eddie as a child were shown. His mother, Herlinda Guerrero, talked about how she liked the name Eduardo, but that her husband's wrestling name was Gory, so she wanted to name him Eduardo Gory Guerrero. They showed a poster advertising "Gory" Guerrero and El Santo. They showed a cute piece of footage of her and Eddie's dad. Eddie talked about how he was a momma's boy. He said that his father was now deceased, but he had been a wrestler. He went in one day to learn how to box, but they didn't have boxing, they had wrestling, so Eddie's father learned that. They showed footage of Eddie with his mother and father, including clips of his father wrestling. Next is his older sister Mary, who they call Gookie. His brother Chavo Senior was also a father figure to him and was an inspiration to him in wrestling. Eddie said that Chavo's son, Chavo Junior, was more like a brother to him because there was only three years difference, even though he was Eddie's nephew. The next brother is Mondo, who is an actor in California, and Eddie described him as "crazy." Eddie said that his brother Hector has a heart of gold. His sister Linda lives in Phoenix and is a flight attendant, the youngest girl, just as he was the youngest boy. They showed them goofing around when they were children.
(1) Matt Hardy defeated Carlito.
Pre-match analysis: On commentary, Tazz and Cole questioned whether Eddie and his brothers even had the choice of whether or not to be a wrestler. Matt Hardy came out wearing an I'm your Papi! t-shirt, much better than that goofy I Will Not Die t-shirt he had on during Raw. He also had on an Eddie Guerrero memorial armband. Carlito came out next, wearing something different for a change, a Carlito t-shirt. He brought out an apple as well. He was wearing an Eddie Guerrero armband. Both men knocked on Eddie's car as they came down to the ring. Cole said that they were doing what Eddie would have wanted them to do, having some great in-ring action. Cole said that one of the things he'll always remember about Carlito is the role he played in the rivalry between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. It was on Carlito's Cabana where they aired their differences against one another, and also where MNM debuted and won the tag team titles, leading to the summer rivalry between the two.
Match analysis: Tazz said that he knew for a fact that Carlito looked up to Eddie due to his Latino heritage, as well as Carlito being another second generation wrestler. Matt and Carlito locked up to begin the match. Tazz talked about meeting Hector Guerrero during his time in ECW. Matt Hardy pulled Carlito's hair and slammed his head repeatedly into the turnbuckle. In a funny bit, Hardy released, but Carlito still slammed his head into the turnbuckle again. He then turned around into a punch from Hardy. Cole struggled to work this into WWE continuity, talking about how it was brand versus brand like Survivor Series will be, but being done to pay tribute to Eddie Guerrero. Hardy hit a big kick to Carlito's gut, but Carlito followed up as Hardy was running toward him to drop toehold him, using his momentum to send Hardy to the floor. Carlito beat on Hardy on the outside and drove Hardy kidney first into the apron. Cole talked about how Matt Hardy had wrestled against Eddie Guerrero in tag team title matches and US title matches. Carlito took Hardy back into the ring and worked on him in the corner. Tazz talked about how Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit came into ECW while he was there. One night, Tazz had to follow Guerrero and Malenko, and Tazz was thinking that was just his luck. Tazz said it was a tough act to follow, to say the least, and he talked about Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko's great rivalry. Carlito snap suplexed Hardy and covered, but Hardy kicked out. Carlito worked on Hardy in the corner with kicks and shoulder thrusts. Cole talked about how Eddie began his career in 1987 as what translates to Magic Mask in Mexico before moving onto Japan where he became friends with Chris Benoit. Carlito took Hardy down with a left hand closed fist punch and covered, but Hardy kicked out. He applied a submission, pulling Hardy's arms back as he drove his knee into Hardy's back. Tazz said that he met Eddie Guerrero in the early nineties in Tokyo, Japan. Cole pointed out that he was known as Black Tiger at the time, where he had a great rivalry with Chris Benoit, then the Pegasus Kid. Tazz said that the Raw tribute was great and put over the Smackdown tribute tonight. Carlito scoop slammed Hardy. Hardy went up to the second rope and mocked Hardy's V one hand signal and scream and went for a fist drop, but Hardy got his boot up to shift the momentum.
Hardy blocked a forearm attempt and threw forearms of his own before hitting a big forearm to knock Carlito down, followed by a clothesline and a back body drop. Hardy signaled for Carlito to get up and delivered the side effect. He covered, but Carlito kicked out at two and a half. Hardy went for a back suplex, but Carlito landed on his feet and grabbed Hardy and pulled him down and back into Carlito's knees to the back of Hardy's neck. Carlito covered, but Hardy kicked out. Carlito bounced Hardy's head off the top turnbuckle and delivered a big forearm, then put Hardy up on the top rope with his back to the ring. Carlito climbed up to the second rope, but Hardy elbowed him off and slowly turned around, signaling for the legdrop from the second rope, which he delivered. Hardy reached out his arms and signaled for the finish. He was going for the twist of fate, but Carlito countered. Hardy delivered a high elbow, but then Carlito hit a kick to the gut. He went for a suplex, but Hardy countered and hit a twist of fate. Hardy covered and that was all she wrote.
Post-match analysis: Cole talked about how Eddie was the master of the counter, and Hardy took a page out of his playbook tonight. Tazz said that, if Eddie was there tonight, he would be proud of that match. Hardy did his hand signal before going to his knees and pointing skyward to the heavens and mouthed Eddie's name, as well as crossing his hands to his chest and pounding his fist against his chest.
A clip was shown of Vince McMahon. Vince said that Eddie was a classic performer, and that Latino Heat will always be remembered as one of the greats. He had unbelievable passion for his trade and his craft. Vince said that Eddie looked at it as a craft, that he was a craftsman. When he was in the ring, Eddie was happy, and he loved performing, whether audiences were cheering or booing him. Vince got choked up as he said there was one thing that Eddie loved more than performing, and even did a Vince gulp. Vince said that the one thing Eddie loved more than performing was his family, his immediate family and his WWE family. Vince said that Eddie thought of everyone as family, whether they were in the crew, in the locker room, wherever, they were part of his family. Eddie talked about his "familia." Vince said that a lot can be said of Eddie, but one thing that can definitely be said is that Eddie was a good man, a damn good man. Vince's lip quivered as he stood up and walked off camera.
Another clip was shown from the Eddie DVD. Eddie talked about how it's amazing that, when you lose something and get it back, even for one day, you appreciate it so much more. He talked about reuniting with his wife after they had been broken up. Eddie said that they started seeing each other again, little by little, starting with a lunch date. He remembered going to a movie with her and looking at her profile and thanking God that he had that one moment again, no matter what happened. They showed photos of Eddie and his wife together. His wife Vickie said that his eyes had peace in them, stealing her heart because that was the Eddie he used to be. Eddie said that things started rolling after that. Vickie said that Eddie was worried about his new daughter from the relationship he had while they were separated, Kaylie. Eddie said they were separated from two years. Vickie said that she would accept everything about him as they restarted their relationship, and that Kaylie would be part of their family. Eddie said that he didn't know how things got fixed up, but it started working out itself. They renewed their wedding vows before they moved back in together. Vickie said that saying that she wanted to be together forever with Eddie, for better or worse, meant so much more than they did fourteen years ago when they first got married. Eddie said it was like starting over. His oldest daughter talked about how she wasn't there for the first wedding, so it was like a new wedding to her, and it was great to see them happy. The next oldest daughter talked about how it was a dream come true to see them get back together. Eddie said that it was a great moment in his life and that she's a wonderful, beautiful human being who he loves very much.
Pre-match analysis: Cole talked about how he and Tazz had the chance to meet Vickie over the years. LOD came down to the ring, pausing at Eddie's car on the rampway. They pointed upward in Eddie's memory. They walked forward and both pointed up again as their pyro went off. Cole said that they were sending their prayers to Vickie and the rest of the Guerrero family. Apparently LOD 2005 is getting over, as a kid in the crowd had his face painted like Animal. Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade were out next. This ain't good for them. Cole said that WWE.com received over one hundred thousand emails in less than 24 hours, and that the response was so overwhelming it shut the system down for a while. These messages are going to be taken off the website, placed in a binder, and given to Vickie Guerrero in remembrance of her husband. Tazz said that it shows how popular Eddie was around the world, but it doesn't surprise Tazz either. Trevor Murdoch talked trash at LOD. LOD had on Eddie Guerrero armbands on, but being the old school heels that they are, no Eddie love from Cade and Murdoch!
Match analysis: Cole said that he always remembers how warm and generous Eddie was to Cole and Tazz. Cole said that Tazz obviously knew him from his wrestling career, but ever since Tazz became a commentator, Eddie came up to both of them and would thank them for calling his matches. Heidenreich and Cade started off the match. Cade kicked Heidenreich to get the early advantage. Cole said they had the chance to call some of Eddie's greatest matches. Tazz said that they used to tell Eddie not to thank them because his matches are easy to call because he's one of the best ever, and his matches were a pleasure to call. Cole said he couldn't wait until later in the program when they were going to take us back to No Way out 2004, the night when Eddie won the WWE Championship. Heidenreich came back and delivered a clothesline. Murdoch cut Heidenreich off from ringside by kneeing Heidenreich in the back, but he still came back with a shot to Cade. As Animal complained, Cade and Murdoch double teamed Heidenreich and sent him to the outside. Murdoch went after Heidenreich on the outside and sent him back in. Cade covered Heidenreich, but he kicked out. Cade tagged in Murdoch. Murdoch delivered a side Russian leg sweep. Murdoch then applied an abdominal stretch. Heidenreich broke free. Murdoch chopped Heidenreich and Cade came in briefly, but Murdoch tagged back in and kept up the two on one assault on Heidenreich. Cade quickly tagged in again, but Heidenreich came back with a big spear and tagged in Animal. Animal cleaned house on both men with clotheslines and a shoulder knockdown, but as he celebrated, Cade and Murdoch briefly came back. However, Animal ducked a double clothesline and double clotheslined both of his opponents. Heidenreich backdropped Murdoch to the outside as the fans began chanting for LOD. Heidenreich delivered a huge side slam to Cade and they signaled for the finish. Heidenreich climbed up to the top rope and they delivered the doomsday device. Animal covered and picked up the win.
Post-match analysis: LOD pointed to the camera and showed off the EG armbands and pointed up for Eddie. They hugged after the match. I guess Raw gets one tag team squash, Smackdown gets the other, but I think it's a bigger deal that Smackdown's tag team champions, MNM, got squashed on Raw. Yet another example of Smackdown being treated as the B-show. Maybe Eddie's passion will cause WWE to give Smackdown some more attention.
Booker T and Sharmell gave the next remembrance. Booker talked about how they went back to WCW. They had their wars there in and out of the ring, and Booker said they almost got in a real fist fight in the locker room one time. Booker said their hearts go out to Eddie's family, his girls, his wife, and they've been thinking about them. Booker said that, if they need to reach out to someone, they can always reach out to the Huffman family, Sharmell and Booker T. Booker said that, for the short time Eddie's been in Heaven, he's been looking down and looking in on them, and he'd want the guys to go out and have the best show they could possibly have tonight, not just for themselves but first and foremost for Eddie. Booker said that death smiles on us all, and all that a man can do is smile back. Booker said that he is a believer in God and he truly believes he's going to see Eddie again, and he loves him.
They came back from break with a vignette from the DVD on the Los Guerreros tag team. Chavo Guerrero talked about how the lie, cheat, and steal gimmick came along. They showed clips of the vignettes they used to introduce the storyline. My favorite bit was Chavo asking an old lady "You wouldn't want your pool leaking and getting all full of water, would you?" and Eddie says "No, no, you might get wet." Eddie talked about how they lied, they cheated, they stole, but the fans loved them for it, because at least they were honest about it. They showed a clip from one of my favorite storylines, where they stole Kurt Angle's gold medals, as well as a classic clip of Eddie throwing the foreign object (in this case a title belt) to his opponent (in this case Matt Hardy) and playing dead to get the disqualification win when the ref turned back around. His family talked about what worked about this gimmick, as a clip showed Eddie playing dead but leaning over and telling the crowd to be quiet and not to tell. Another great one was Eddie acting like Rhyno just hit him in the crotch after he gave the low blow to Rhyno. His wife Vickie talked about how their chihuahua would always steal things around the house, just like Eddie. The segment closed with Eddie doing a sincere apology to Paul Heyman, but after Heyman accepted it, yelling "I liiiiied!" Classic!
Big Show was broken up, being the big crybaby that he is, which is what I love about him. Show talked about how spiritual Eddie was and how proud he was of his family and his kids. He was thankful to God for everything he had. Show had to take several deep breaths to remain what little composure he had. He said that his only comfort in losing Eddie was knowing that he's with God now, and all the pain and suffering he went through is over. Show said he knows it's not right, and he can't believe that Eddie's gone. He finished by saying "I love you, bro" and that there would never be another one like Eddie. He was doing his best to hold back tears throughout this segment.
In another DVD clip, Eddie talked about growing up with wrestling. His sister Linda talked about how they grew up with a wrestling ring in the back yard. One of his brothers talked about how, when they were kids, they were punished by having to put up the ring. Linda said that the ring was like their playground. Eddie talked about what it was like being Gory Guerrero's son, and how he was a local wrestling promoter. Eddie drove the camera crew by the arena where his dad held his shows. Eddie said that he grew up in the dressing room, lacing his dad's boots, lacing his brothers' boots, running around with his dad. Chavo Senior (or Classic, as I will always remember him) said that they had a sign in the office saying "Beware of" with Eddie's picture on it. Chavo Junior talked about how they would run around the coliseum before all the shows, go get free popcorn, and more. Eddie said that, during intermission, they would put on their wrestling outfits and wrestle, and people loved it. Chavo said that the people wouldn't leave and go get concessions because of how much they loved watching Chavo and Eddie! Eddie said they were only six and nine years old at the time.
(3) Chavo Guerrero defeated JBL with Jillian Hall.
Pre-match analysis: Michael Cole talked about how they had to stop the kids from wrestling so they could sell concessions. Chavo came out for his match, wearing an EG armband and patting Eddie's car on the back. He was wearing red tights with orange flames on the side, and he was back to just being Chavo Guerrero with the "Oooooh, Chavo!" music. No more Kerwin White. As much as I loved Kerwin's music, this is probably for the best. Cole talked about how much strength it took for Chavo to wrestle this night, as he was the first one to find Eddie's body. Cole talked about how Chavo wrestling tonight is because of how much Eddie meant to him. Fans held up a giant memorial sign for Eddie on camera, giving his name and dates. They zoomed in on a sign in the crowd saying "We'll miss you holmes. Viva La Eddie."
JBL was out next. Gee, I wonder who's doing the job in this match? Cole talked about the summer of 2004 was about JBL and Eddie Guerrero, beginning at Judgement day in Los Angeles in May, going on to the Great American Bash in Norfolk in June, when JBL defeated Eddie Guerrero for the title in a bullrope match, and that continued through the summer, and this rivalry helped them become great friends. Tazz talked about how a friendship like that develops from battling in the ring. Tazz talked about how JBL was a quality guy and he had a quality friend in Eddie Guerrero, and Tazz said that he knew how much JBL missed Eddie, as he had talked to him about it. Cole said that Chavo told him that Eddie was always looking for him, and the night before he died, Chavo had some personal issues that he needed to talk about, so Eddie sat him down and they had a long discussion, and Eddie would always put his problems on the back burner to help his family. I also must add, because it would be criminal not to, that Jillian Hall was looking more fetching than ever tonight, mole or no mole, wearing a dark pinstripe suit with the jacket parted to show off her taut stomach. She was also wearing clear heels that were just a little stripperish, and hey, nothing wrong with that.
Match analysis: JBL started off on offense. The size differential was definitely apparent here, but it made Chavo look that much more impressive when he was able to take down JBL. Chavo pulled JBL's hair, Eddie Guerrero style. Tazz pointed out that the flames on Chavo's tights were being worn out of respect for his uncle, since Eddie also often wore the flames. Jillian was getting apoplectic at ringside. Chavo delivered a thumb to the eye, which got a huge pop from the crowd. Chavo knocked JBL to the outside with a right hand. Chavo used the rope to slingshot himself onto JBL at ringside. JBL pulled Jillian Hall in the way to protect himself, but Chavo didn't care and went for the punch. Jillian ducked out of the way, though. Guess she doesn't care about her clients that much! Chavo sent JBL back into the ring and climbed to the top rope, where he fought off JBL and hit a missile dropkick! Whoo! He covered, but only got a two and a half count. He taunted Jillian at ringside, climbed back to the top rope and went for a crossbody, but JBL caught him and hit the fallaway slam.
JBL did a mocking Eddie shoulder shimmy. Jillian yelled out "Viva la raza!" at ringside. Priceless! Cole talked about how Chavo and Eddie dreamed about being tag champions as kids, and they accomplished that by becoming Los Guerreros in the WWE. JBL kept up the assault on Chavo, delivering a neckbreaker. JBL did his longhorns taunt and hit another neckbreaker. JBL covered, but Chavo kicked out. Cole talked about how Los Guerreros made Big Show eat tainted burritos with hot sauce, and Tazz mentioned when they sprayed sewage on Show. JBL locked in a sleeper hold. Chavo tried pulling JBL's hair to help get out of the move, but to no avail. Chavo made his way to his feet as the fans chanted "Let's go, Chavo!" Hey, it rhymes! Chavo escaped and, as JBL went for the clothesline from Hell, Chavo hit a dropkick! Referee Nick Patrick began a double count. Chavo fired up here, delivering a series of punches, followed up by an Eddie Guerrero shoulder shimmy, pointed heavenward, and hit a big right hand to send JBL down! Chavo hit a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, which Tazz mentioned was a trademark Eddie move. JBL was going for a fallaway slam, but Chavo countered into a swinging DDT! He hooked the leg and covered, but JBL kicked out. Chavo went to ringside and signaled ringside officials to move, picking up a pair of steel chairs. Whoo! He threw one into the ring for the ref to deal with, then took the other chair in and tossed it to JBL, dropping to the mat and, as the ref turned around, he reprimanded JBL. JBL frantically tried to explain what happened as the crowd loudly chanted for Eddie. The ref disposed of the chair, and while his back was turned, Chavo hit a low blow! Chavo followed up with the Three Amigos vertical suplexes withh the popping of the hips. Chavo pointed upward again, climbing to the top rope as the crowd went absolutely insane. Chavo jumped and, one frog splash and a hook of the leg later, Chavo wins!
Post-match analysis: Chavo celebrated after the pin, holding up his arms, doing a little bow, doing an Eddie shoulder shimmy and mouthing what looked like "it wasn't me!" and pointed upward. They showed a trio of Eddie signs in the crowd. Another fan held up a "We will miss you Eddie" sign. Chavo returned the fans' applause, thanking the fans and pointing upward again. Chavo led the fans in another Eddie chant, as Chavo pointed up during the chant. Chavo pointed up and said something like "You know, I love you! I know you love me! I love you, man!"
Another DVD clip was shown, with Eddie and his mother. Eddie's mom talked about how this little toy car Eddie had as a child was like a babysitter for her. She said that Eddie just wanted to eat and sleep in her arms or her husband's arms. When she said, no more arms, you need to walk, he would say, no, and then the word for "carry me" in Spanish. Eddie said he kept doing this even in kindergarten. About a block from school he would tell his mother to put him down and he would walk to school. After school, about a block of school, when no one would see him, he'd signal for her to carry him again! His mother talked about how spoiled he was.
Tazz thanked Three Doors Down for helping them celebrate the life of Eddie Guerrero with their song "Here Without You." Cole talked about how they had the pleasure of calling some of his greatest matches over the year and that they spent a lot of time with him in the locker room. Cole said he would always remember Eddie's smile. Tazz talked about how he was a friend of Eddie for over ten years, and that Eddie would love the celebration they were having on Smackdown and Raw for Eddie. Cole said that Eddie told him that the one thing he wanted to do was main event WrestleMania, and he had the chance to do that at WrestleMania 20 against Kurt Angle in a match that no one will ever forget.
They aired another DVD clip, with Eddie talking about WrestleMania 20. Eddie said that the WrestleMania before he was in a three way tag team match (Los Guerreros versus Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, the self-proclaimed world's greatest tag team, versus... Chris Benoit & Rhyno?!), and this year he was main eventing as one of the three main events, and that was a great honor. Eddie said he had hte privilege of having his wife there that night, which was special to him, and that when his wife was there, he would give the match that much more. Vickie talked about how Eddie was going in as the champion, and seeing his face and how happy he was made her proud to stand by his side. Eddie said that wrestling Kurt Angle was another great honor.
Highlights then aired of the WrestleMania match, which was absolutely phenomenal. He hit the frog splash, but Kurt Angle got his shoulder up. Angle went for the ankle lock, but Eddie countered and sent Angle to the outside. He loosed his boot to relieve some pressure from the ankle and, when Angle quickly got up, Eddie acted scared. Angle went back to the ankle lock, but Eddie kicked off the loose boot and rolled up a surprised with a small package! It turned out that his ankle was fine and he walked away from the ring! His mother talked about how it was a beautiful match, and he told his son how proud of him she was at that beautiful match. Eddie said it was a special moment he would hold in his mind, since you never know when it would happen again. Vickie said that she wasn't expecting him to come back out after Chris Benoit's match, and to see that was awesome. Eddie talked about all the confetti coming down, and that words can't describe htat moment. They're dreams that you dream about, but never believe it can come true. Dean Malenko talked about how it was a great night for wrestling, and a great night for wrestling fans. Two of the greatest wrestlers, greatest performers ever were standing in the ring with two titles that they both deserved and fought hard to get.
JBL gave his remembrance next. He talked about being Eddie's arch-nemesis. JBL said their feud got so hot in El Paso, Texas, home of Eddie and his father Gory that they needed state troopers not just to get him out of the arena, but to escort him all the way to the city limits! They almost had a riot in Albuquerque, Odessa, San Diego, San Bernadino, and Los Angeles. JBL said he started wrestling in Dallas with Eddie's brothers, and he's known their family for as long as he's been wrestling. Eddie had been JBL's enemy for a long time, but in real life, he's been one of JBL's best friends. JBL talked about how his first main event pay-per-view was against Eddie Guerrero in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and they sold it out. JBL said that main event might not have happened if it weren't for Eddie, as a lot of people within WWE and a lot of fans didn't think he was capable of being a main eventer, but Eddie went to bat for him. JBL began to get choked up. JBL said that Eddie asked off work to be a groomsman at his wedding, and he has a picture of Eddie and JBL's father in cowboy hats hanging in his office in New York. JBL said that, when he went through a divorce, Eddie sat him down in a restaurant bar in Calgary for three hours and tried to help him out. Eddie would bring him scriptures every week, and passages from books he had read just for JBL. When JBL met his current wife Meredith, JBL said that he felt Eddie was as happy as JBL was. JBL said that the world was a better place because of Eddie, but to Hell with the world, because JBL was a better person because of Eddie. He had just moved with his wife and daughters, and his mother just moved there, and they would miss Eddie a lot more than JBL. JBL thanked Vickie and her family for letting JBL be part of their life, and he thanked Eddie's parents for giving them Eddie. JBL finished by saying to Eddie that he wished he could see him come out in the low rider one last time, and thanked him. Another beautiful moment in a show filled with them.
Another DVD clip aired of Eddie Guerrero taking on Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004. Eddie hit a nice dive to Brock on the outside. Eddie even countered an F5! He hit a frog splash and signaled for the referee to come over, and he picked up the victory and the win! He celebrated with fans in the audience, as well as his mother and other family members at ringside.
(4) Juventud Guerrera defeated Gregory Helms, Tajiri, Paul London, Kid Kash, Brian Kendrick, Scotty 2 Hotty, Nunzio, Funaki, Super Crazy, and Psicosis in a cruiserweight battle royal.
Pre-match analysis: We went to the cruiserweight battle royal with Gregory Helms and Tajiri already in the ring, and caught the end of Paul London's entrance. Everyone came out with Eddie Guerrero t-shirts on. Former TNA star Kid Kash made his WWE television debut (I believe he's been on Velocity since it went online, but this was the first time he'd been on WWE television). Brian Kendrick was out next, and bumped arms with his pal Paul London. Scotty 2 Hotty came next. Paul London mocked Scotty's goofy entrance. Nunzio was next. Then we have Smackdown's number one announcer, Funaki! Finally, it was the Mexicools! Juvi led the way, with Super Crazy next and Psicosis pulling up the break. The announcers talked about how the Mexicools were good friends with Eddie. Cole talked about how they knew Eddie in WCW, and also mentioned how Tajiri was once a tag team champion with Eddie.
Match analysis: Cole pointed how everyone was circling around to team up against the two Raw guys. Uh oh. Helms tried shoving Tajiri toward the Smackdown crew, but Tajiri fired back with a big side kick to Helms! Tajiri pointed to Helms and tried to talk everyone into going after him, but they went after both Tajiri and Helms. Tajiri hit a nice handspring elbow and was the star of the early part of the match, with some great kicks, and he even put Nunzio on his back and used him as a weapon! With this many folks in the ring, the match was pretty chaotic. Juvi tried throwing Kendrick to the outside. He held on at first, but followed with a kick to send him to the outside. Super Crazy went up for a ten punch on Nunzio in the corner, but Nunzio turned him and crotched him on the ropes, then sent him to the outside. Tajiri and Funaki teamed up to send Helms to the mat and applauded each other and high fived, but as Tajiri turned, Funaki threw him to the outside! Tajiri yelled at Funaki from the outside as Helms ran up from behind and sent Funaki to the floor. Kid Kash did a great spot jumping up with one foot on the second rope, then the other to the top, and leapt off with a headscissors on Paul London! London held up Kash and Nunzio jumped off with a front dropkick to take him down. London fired back with the Mushroom Stomp to Nunzio's back, then a leg lariat to the back of his head. Scotty hit the bulldog on Helms and was going for the Worm, even pointing up and doing an Eddie shoulder shimmy before the move. Nice! Scotty hit a double worm on Helms and Nunzio. Kash tried to sneak up on him, but Scotty threw him to the outside. London hit a dropsault to eliminate Helms. London then mocked Helms with the old Hurricane pose. Nunzio snuck up on Psicosis, who was trying to eliminate Scotty, and sent both of them over the top rope. Cole pointed out how the three remaining wrestlers, Nunzio, London, and Juvi were all former cruiserweight champions. Nunzio tried cutting a deal with London and went to shake his hand, then tried to backstab him with a clothesline, but London ducked. Nunzio then tried to deal with Juvi, but he wasn't having it, and Juvi and London chopped the heck out of Nunzio, then double teamed on him. Nunzio managed to send both Juventud and London to the apron with backdrops. They both managed to hold on. Nunzio ran the ropes to try to take them down, but they hit a double shoulder block from the apron to Nunzio and sent him over. Juventud and London then did this awesome spot where both of them were on the apron, hanging on and trying to kick the other off. It was one of those neat wrestling moments that just looks totally real. They both managed to roll back into the ring. London ducked a clothesline, but Juventud got on top of London's shoulder and started punching him on the head. London tried sending him to the outside, but Juvi held onto the top rope and pulled London over, sending him to the floor.
Post-match analysis: They showed a replay of the match. Eddie put a fist to the sky in remembrance of Eddie.
Yet another DVD clip aired, this one focusing on the Latino Heat storyline, with Eddie dating Chyna. Yikes! Eddie's mother cracked up over the gimmick. Eddie talked about how his idea for the gimmick was to not just be a hot tempered chicano, but he didn't picture being so entertaining in a funny way. Vickie said that she hoped that she was the original mamacita. Eddie jokes around at home and says "Come here, mamacita," and she is right there for that! Two of his daughters talked about the gimmick, including the shoulder shimmy.
They showed footage of Eddie's last match, which was against Ken Kennedy. Kennedy started the match by slapping Eddie, but Eddie smiled in his face and delivered a thumb to the eye. They stuck to mostly just showing some clips of Eddie's offense. The ref went down, but Eddie took a steel chair and threw it to Kennedy so, when referee Charles Robinson turned around, Eddie got the win! Eddie sold the chair shot to the head, but while the ref wasn't looking, did a nice, winking wave to Kennedy.
Shane McMahon gave his remembrance next. Shane said that there were few families of being generation after generation in this business. He listed the Harts, the Ortons, the Briscoes, and the Jarretts (wait, did the Jarretts just get mentioned on WWE TV?!), and noted that he was leaving many out. Shane said that one of the most special families were the Guerreros, and the most special was Eddie. Shane said that he was a wonderful man and loved what he did, and that this business was all he ever wanted to do, and that he was a great performer. Shane said he lit up the crowds every night, whether he was hurt or not, and was a consummate professional. He opened his heart because he loved it so much, he loved the fans, and he loved being there. Shane said that his greatest legacy wasn't in the ring, because, more than his relationships on the road, he loved his wife Vickie and his daughters, and that's what he fought for every night. Shane said that's what Eddie would want to express the much. Shane addressed Vickie and her daughters, and Shane said that Eddie did everything for them. Shane began to get choked up, and said that they would miss him very much. Shane said that the Eddie chants would live in their hearts before. He continued to get choked up and walked off camera.
They aired the end of WrestleMania 20, with Chris Benoit making Triple H tap out, followed by Eddie Guerrero coming to the ring and hugging his long time friend Chris Benoit. They held up their respective world titles, Eddie with the WWE title, and Benoit with the World title, as the confetti fell.
(5) Chris Benoit defeated Triple H.
Tazz talked about what a great moment the end of WrestleMania 20 was. Triple H came out first. Whoa, Triple H coming out first for a match? Shock! Triple H paused on the ramp and looked back at Eddie's car, which got a cheer from the fans. This was the perfect way for a heel to pay his respects. Cole said that Triple H calls Eddie Guerrero the consummate all around entertainer. Cole said that Triple H told them earlier that day that Eddie was an inspiration and an absolutely wonderful person. Tazz said that Triple H has been around and had seen them all come and go. Triple H even pointed upward during his pose on the apron before doing his water spit. Tazz said that everyone on both brands were extremely proud to have shared a locker room with Eddie Guerrero. Triple H mouthed to the fans that it wasn't about him tonight, it was about Eddie Guerrero, and called for cheers from the fans in Eddie's memory.
Chris Benoit came out next, and he still looked a bit choked up. Benoit pounded his chest as he came out and rubbed his hand along Eddie's car. Cole said that the word "love" is overused, but Benoit loved Eddie Guerrero. Cole talking about this got me a little choked up. Cole talked about how Benoit had been there for all of Eddie's highs and lows. Tazz talked about their well documented friendship throughout their careers, and how they had been up and down the roads together. Triple H shared a word with Benoit before the match.
They locked up, with Triple H getting a brief early advantage with a shoulder brock, followed by a hip toss from Benoit. Benoit went for an early crossface, but before he could lock it in, Triple H made it to the outside. Benoit held open the ropes for Triple H to get back in. Benoit backed off and Triple H cautiously got back in the ring. Triple H hit some close handed punches to Benoit in the corner. Benoit whipped Triple H into the corner and followed up with a backdrop. Benoit went for another crossface, but Triple H again rolled to the outside before it could be locked in. The fans loudly chanted for Eddie as Triple H got back in the ring. Benoit ducked a clothesline from Triple H and took Triple H's legs out from under him and was going for the sharpshooter, but Triple H made it to the ropes and then went to the outside. Cole and Tazz talked about Benoit and Eddie's history in Japan as the Pegasus Kid and Black Tiger. Benoit snuck up on Triple H from behind on the outside and delivered chops as Tazz put over the pain from chops. Benoit bounced Triple H's head off the steel steps. Back in the ring, Benoit chopped Triple H and then went for the ten punch, hitting all ten. Triple H flopped down like a tree falling over. Triple H tried to beg off Benoit. Triple H managed to use Benoit's momentum to send him through the ropes to the floor.
Back from break, Triple H whipped Benoit hard into the turnbuckle, sending him down to the mat. Triple H whipped Benoit hard again into the opposite turnbuckle. Triple H covered, but Benoit kicked out. Triple H bounced Benoit off the ropes and punched him in the lower back. Triple H was obviously focusing on Benoit's lower back. Triple H did the same thing again, whipping Benoit off the ropes and hitting that lower back. They talked about Benoit's broken neck, and Tazz began speaking about how, when he broke his neck in a match ten years ago, his partner was Eddie Guerrero, and they were wrestling Dean Malenko and Too Cold Scorpio. When Tazz laid on the match and couldn't move, he thought they couldn't finish the match, but when he saw Eddie at ringside, he realized that Eddie would be able to finish the match for them. Triple H hit a big spinebuster and covered, but Benoit kicked out. Cole talked about how Eddie always put the fans first, whether there were a hundred fans or twenty-five thousand fans, he always gave a hundred and fifty percent. Triple H applied an abdominal stretch to Benoit, working that midsection. Cole said they were giving a little more tonight for Eddie. The fans chanted for Eddie as Benoit tried to fight out. Triple H cheated a little himself, using the top rope for leverage on the stretch. Triple H grabbed the top rope a second time, but the ref caught him this time, calling for the break. A fan held up a sign saying "Latino Heat lives forever." Triple H complained to referee Jimmy Kodaris, arguing that he was being unfair since Triple H was from Raw. Triple H locked on a sleeper hold. Benoit started waving his finger in the air as he fired up, escaping and locking in a sleeper of his own. Triple H countered and tried back suplexing Benoit, but Benoit landed on his feet. Benoit took Triple H's legs and went for the sharpshooter, but Triple H countered before he could lock it in. Triple H kicked Benoit in the gut and went for the pedigree, but Benoit took his legs out again and slingshotted Triple H into the top turnbuckle and went for the triple German suplexes, finishing with the release! Cole pointed out how Benoit's back was messed up from earlier and the suplexes took something out of him as well, and Benoit sold the back, but he signaled for the finish and climbed the ropes, delivering the diving headbutt to Triple H! Benoit covered, hooking the leg, but Triple H kicked out at two and a half. Benoit chopped Triple H in the corner several times. Triple H whipped Benoit into the opposite corner fairly hard, then went for the pedigree, but Benoit countered into the crossface! Cole pointed out how it was shades of WrestleMania 20. Triple H tried reversing, but Benoit rolled through, holding the hold on. Triple H still wouldn't tap, so Benoit tilted the move to get Triple H's shoulders down and picked up the pinfall victory.
After the match, Benoit pounded his fist to his chest. Triple H and Benoit shared a look afterwards. Benoit held his finger up in the air and pounded his chest to the rhythm of a loud Eddie chant. Benoit and Triple H hugged after the match in a great moment. Triple H pointed both fingers up to the sky. Benoit lifted his arms, then pointed upward. He pounded his chest and got the fans into another Eddie chant. Dean Malenko came down to the ring, and Malenko held up Benoit's arm. Cole talked about how malenko was symbolically holding up Eddie's arm for the last time. They focused on a sign saying "Latino Heaven." Cole talked about how, after Eddie won the championship, Cole gave him a hug in the locker room and thanked Eddie for allowing him to call Eddie's matches. A fan held up a sign reading "Heaven needed a low rider. Vaya con Dios, Eddie." Cole closed the show by saying thank you to Eddie, one last time. The camera zoomed in on Batista's world title on the hood of the low rider to end the broadcast.
Final show rating: There is no rating this week, as you can't fairly compare this show to any other. All I can say is that it was an emotional, beautiful night. Eddie Guerrero was a man who fought for what he loved, and the best thing you can say about him is that the man won. He had his family, his job, and his God, and that's all that mattered. The hurt of a lost friend, family member, or hero doesn't go away, but we can deal with it together. God bless Eddie Guerrero and God bless all of you.
Raw Is Trival: Answer time with Seth Berger
We're back. Eddy Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. Hair-versus-hair. Which WCW PPV was this aired?
The answer: Bash At The Beach 1998. (Probably known more for the Hulk Hogan/Dennis Rodman vs. DDP/Karl Malone main event, or Goldberg's first PPV World title defense against Curt Hennig.)
Chavo challenged Harlem Heat's Stevie Ray to a match before his event with Eddy- and comes out with a super soaker & a kid's float tube. "I dedicate this match to my favorite wrestler, Eddy Guerrero! This is for you, little trouper!" After a little bit of wasting time, Chavo offers to shake hands...and submits to a handshake, leaving himself fresh and ready for Eddy.
The match was funny and very cool with the one doing the other guy's finishers for near-falls. Eddy wins, yet never gets the chance to cut Chavo's hair. Turns out Chavo had other ideas, grabbing the clippers and intending to cut Eddy's hair. Then he does a quick 180 and starts shaving his own head! "C'mon, Eddy, next time I do you! We can be twins, Eddy!"
Definitely one of the more bizarre moments in wrestling annals. (Or, as the Bulldog would say, "Because I'm biza-a-a-arre!") And one of my all-time favorites.
You are definitely missed, little trouper. Take it easy up there.
Smackdown quotes: Eddie Guerrero edition
Batista's in-ring remembrance:
If I know anything about Eddie Guerrero (Laughs through tears), I know that he would hate to see me in this ring crying like a little baby, but Eddie, I'm sorry, I just can't help it, 'cause, I just can't believe you're gone! (Batista gets too choked up to speak, pauses. Fans chant for Eddie.) I've been thinking all day, I, I, ya know, I really don't know what to say, I don't even know if I'm the right man to be out here to be speaking about Eddie, but-- (Deep breaths.) I want you to know two things about Eddie: The first thing is that he loved his family. He loved his family. Ya know, Eddie had a lot of demons, he had a lot of troubles in his past, and Eddie fought his way back from Hell to win back his family, and I respect the Hell out of him for doing that. The second thing, and you guys already know this, but I want to make it clear, the second thing is Eddie Guerreo loved this business. He loved this business, he ate, he breathed, he slept, he bled this business! And no matter how much pain he was in, when he stepped through that curtain, all that pain, it just went away, and he found peace in this ring. (Batista got too choked up to speak again. The fans break into a loud Eddie chant.) My one comfort, my one saving grace is that I know that Eddie's now at peace. I know Eddie's with God. (The fans cheer.) But call me a selfish son of a bitch, call me anything you want, 'cause I'd give anything to have Eddie back right here. I miss the Hell out of him. Eddie Guerrero, I miss you, and I love you, and I will make sure that these people, everywhere around the world, remember you.
Vince McMahon remembrance:
Eddie Guerrero was a classic performer. Eddie Guerrero, Latino Heat, will always be remembered as one of the greats. A man who had unbelievable passion for his trade, for his craft, and that's the way he looked at it, was a craft. Eddie Guerrero was a craftsman. When he was in the ring, Eddie was... happy. Eddie was performing, and he loved to perform, he loved to perform for audiences, whether they were booing him or cheering him, Eddie loved to perform. But there was one thing... (Vince gets choked up, chokes back tears, lip quivers, gulps.) There's one thing that Eddie loved more than performing, and that was his family. His immediate family, and his WWE family. And that's the way Eddie thought of everybody, is family. Whether they were on the crew, in the locker room, wherever, they were all part of Eddie's family. Eddie talked about his familia. Eddie Guerrero, a lot can be said for Eddie, about his great performances, and things of that nature, but, if there's one thing that I can leave you that Eddie was, Eddie was a good man, a damn good man. (Vince's lip quivered and he got up and walked off camera.)
On what Cole will always remember about Eddie: Michael Cole: You know, the one thing I always remember about Eddie Guerrero is how warm and generous he was to us backstage, and I know you've known him for a long time in your wrestling career, but ever since you've become a commentator, Eddie Guerrero would come up to us, he'd thank us for calling his matches, and we had the privilege of calling some of Eddie's greatest matches over the year! Tazz: Yeah, and we used to tell Eddie, you know what, don't thank us. Hey man, your matches are easy to call! You're one of the best ever, and that, that is the gospel truth. Eddie Guerrero's matches were, were easy for us, Cole, they were our pleasure to call.
Booker T remembrance, with Sharmell at his side:
You know, um, me and Eddie, we go a long way back, um, back to WCW. I'm sure we had, we had our wars there as well as we've had them here, um, in the ring, as out of the ring. I remember Eddie and I almost got into a real fight in the locker room one time, you know, got kind of crazy there for a minute, but I just want to say our hearts goes out to the family, you know, Eddie's girls, his wife, ya know, we're, we're thinking about you guys. And um, always reach out, if you need to reach out to somebody, you can always reach out to the Huffman family, myself, Sharmell, and Booker T. And uh, I know um, Eddie, up there right know, I mean even though it's such a short time, I know he's watching down right now and looking in on us, and he'd want the guys to go out here and have the best show they possibly can have tonight, I know they're gonna do that, not only for, ya know, themselves, but first and foremost for Eddie. And, ya know, death smiles on, on us all, only thing a man can do really is just smile back, and I truly know I'm a believer in God, and I truly know I'm gonna see Eddie Guerrero, I'm sure I'm gonna see you again, brother. I love ya.
Big Show remembrance:
Eddie was very, very spiritual. Um, a great, great dad. Um, every time I saw him around his kids, he was just, so full of life, and so full, just full of joy 'cause they're so proud of his family, and he was so thankful to God for all of it. Um... (Deep breaths.) My only... comfort in losing a friend... is knowing that he's with God now. And all the pain, and all the things that he endured... he's with God now. He's safe, he's loved. I know it's not right, but I can't believe Eddie's gone. I love you, bro, and there'll never be another one like you. You're awesome.
On Eddie: Michael Cole: ... and the one thing that I will always remember about Eddie Guerrero is the smile, the mischievous grin, or that big toothed smile-- he always lit up a room.
I'm an archnemesis of Eddie Guerrero for two years now in the World Wrestling Entertainment in one of the greatest feuds in modern WWE history. In fact, it got so hot in El Paso, Texas, the home of Eddie Guerrero, the home of Eddie Guerrero's father, Gory Guerrero, who is a legend in El Paso, that they needed the state troopers to not only get me out of the arena, but to escort me all the way to the city limits down Interstate 20. We almost had a riot in Albuquerque, Odessa, San Diego, (Laughs) San Bernadino, and Los Angeles. Everywhere we wrestled, there was almost a riot. I started wrestling in Dallas, with Eddie Guerrero's brothers. I've known the Guerrero family for a long time, as long as I've been wrestling. Eddie Guerrero has been my enemy in the World Wrestling Entertainment for quite a while. In true life, he's been one of my very best friends. My first main event pay-per-view was with Eddie in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where we sold it out. That main event might have never happened if it hadn't been for Eddie Guerrero. You see, a lot of people within the WWE, a lot of fans believed that I wasn't capable of being a main event wrestler. Eddie Guerrero went to bat for me. Eddie Guerrero asked off work to be a groomsman at my wedding. I have a picture of Eddie and my father in cowboy hats hanging in my office in New York. Eddie Guerrero, when I went through a divorce, set me aside in Calgary in a, in a restaurant bar for three hours and, and tried to help me out. Every week he'd bring me scriptures, and he'd bring me passages from books he had read just for me, to try to help me get through that. When I met my wife Meredith, I think Eddie was as happy as I was. This world was a better place because of Eddie, but you know what? To Hell with the world. I was a better person because of Eddie. He just moved to Phoenix with his beautiful wife Vickie and their daughters, his mother just moved there, they're gonna miss him a lot more than I am, and I'm sorry, but Vickie, to you and your family, thank you for letting me be part of your life, and to the people who gave us Eddie Guerrero, thank you, and to Eddie (Laughs), I wish one more time I could see you come out in the low rider. Thanks, Eddie.
Shane McMahon remembrance:
There are very few families that have the privilege of being generation after generation in this business. The Hart family, the Ortons, the Briscoes, the Jarretts; I'm leaving many, many out. But one of the most special families were the Guerreros, and the most special was Eddie. Eddie was such a wonderful man, and God, he loved what he did. This is all, this business is all Eddie ever wanted to do. He wanted to wrestle, he wanted to perform, and God did he do that. He lit up the crowds every single night, every night, whether he was hurt or not. Eddie was the consummate professional, he was the consummate pro, but more important than that, he, he opened his heart because he loved it so much. He loved the fans, he loved being there. But, Eddie's legacy, his greatest legacy, is not left in the ring. The thing he loved the most, more than anything, despite his relationships on the road and his, and his family on the road, but he loved his own family. He loved his wife Vickie, and he loved his daughters, and that's what he fought for. That's what he fought for every single night. He loved you. That's what Eddie would really want to get home the most. This is talking specifically to you, Vickie, and his daughters. He loved you. He did everything for you. (Deep breaths.) We will all miss him very much. (Shane's voice breaks.) And the chants of "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie" will live in our hearts, forever. (Shane gets up and walks off camera.)
On Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero's friendship: Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, the word "love" is often overused, but not in this case. Chris Benoit loved Eddie Guerrero. Chris Benoit was Eddie Guerrero's very best friend. He was with Eddie for all his high and all of his lows. No one knew Eddie Guerrero better than that man, Chris Benoit. Tazz: It is well documented, we've sat here on, on Smackdown. Y'know, I mean, throughout both Guerrero's career, and, and Benoit's career, that both these men have, have been up and down the roads together, and have, have trained, and, and dieted, and stayed in hotels, and rented rent-a-cars, and been on airplanes throughout the world. Benoit and Guerrero have traveled together and have competed against each other in great matches.
Show closing coments: Tazz: Not only did this industry and the WWE lose a great competitor, but we lost a great man. Eddie, god bless you man, see you soon. Michael Cole: I'll never forget the night when Eddie won the championship. I gave him a hug in the locker room area, I looked him in the eyes, and said, "Thank you for allowing me to call you matchups." And tonight, on behalf of everyone in Smackdown and the WWE, I would like to say "Thank you, Eddie," one last time.
Bonus Eddie quotes from Raw:
Vince McMahon remembrance of Eddie from Raw stage:
Eddie Guerrero has passed away. Eddie was in the prime of his life, 38 years old, the prime of his career. So tonight, we celebrate the life of Eddie Guerrero. (Fans cheer.) Eddie Guerrero loved this business. He loved it. He had a passion for it like no one else. Eddie loved to perform more than anything else, whether he was booed or whether he was cheered, he loved to perform for all of you. Eddie's gaol every night, Eddie's goal every night was to steal the show, so tonight, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Eddie would want the show to go and, so it shall. Tonight, as we pay tribute to the memory of Eddie Guerrero. (Fans cheer, applaud.) At this time, I would ask you all to stand in silence as we toll the bell ten times, after which there will be a special video presentation. So, if you would all please stand, thank you. (Ten bell toll for Eddie Guerrero.)
Lyrics to "Hurt" as performed by Johnny Cash and written by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, used in Raw video tribute to Eddie:
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way
Vince McMahon after video tribute: Viva la raza! (Fans chant "Thank you, Eddie!")
John Cena remembrance:
Today you're gonna hear a lot of things from a lot of people. Some you like, some you don't. But the one constant you're gonna hear, the one thing that rings true, more truer than anything else, in every word that's said, is Eddie Guerrero was a great man. He, uh, was one of the most passionate individuals about everything that he did that I've ever met. On a personal level, when I didn't know anything here, he helped me, not only as a, uh, an in-ring partner, but as a father figure, the stuff that you don't necessarily teach, the uh, the hip tosses, the body slams, Eddie Guerrero went past that and taught me to find this. (Puts fist to heart.) That's, through all his, his technical prowess, that's what Eddie had best. He had this. (Puts fist to heart again.) He taught me to find it, he taught me to embrace it, good, bad, or indifferent. (Sighs.) My condolences go out to the Eddie Guerrero family, and I know those in the locker room who are close to him, Chavo of course, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko. (Sighs.) Eddie was a man of faith, so I know he's in a better place, but selfishly, every single one of us will miss him. We love you, Eddie.
Lilian Garcia remembrance:
I was actually lucky enough to know Eddie from the very beginning when he got here, and immediately we bonded, of course, because we had that Latino thing going on, and we spoke in Spanish with each other all the time, and, and uh, he was just, he was such a good person, and I, my fondest memory of him was actually last year when he and I were part of the group that got to go to Iraq, and we all got split into smaller groups, and he was in my group. There was about five of us, so for three, four days, we were together, going around from, ya know, Blackhawk helicopters from base to base, and, just seeing the faces of the troops that were so excited, the soliders, to see himm, and he was so humble. I mean, he was just, the whole time, going, are, are you kidding, I don't, why are you so, ya know, like, they were thanking him for coming, and thanking all of us and all that, and he was like, don't thank me, 'cause thank you for doing what you're doing for our country. And, just seeing him that way, and seeing how humble he was with, ya know, all the soldiers, and, it just, it shows you who Eddie was. And, uh, Eddie, I just wanted to say, te quiero muchisimo (Uncertain Spanish). Adios. [MR note: My apologies for my poor Spanish.]
Shawn Michaels remembrance:
Um, my memories of Eddie Guerrero, uh, have nothing to do with wrestling, and nothing to do with in the ring, because I never wrestled him, and it's all about faith. Um, Eddie and I had a, a lot of wonderful talks about our faith. We were both born again Christians. And, uh, the one thing I do know, we are assured of, that uh, that Eddie's last breath here was his first breath in eternity. And Eddie Guerrero and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels will someday get to wrestle on what is the very biggest stage of them all, and it isn't WrestleMania. It is in the heavenlies in front of a, a crowd of one, and that is the Lord of lords and the king of kings, Jesus Christ. And I want to thank, uh, Eddie Guerrero for always being there to be able to share, um, that common faith with, and uh, and to let him know that he did something that nobody has ever been able to do in the history of this business, and that is bring, um, everybody in the WWE, from the top man to the bottom guy, bring 'em all together, uh, in prayer, in the name of Jesus, and Eddie Guerrero left his last and greatest witness, um, with us here today, and Eddie, I want to say God bless you, and I will see you again my friend.
Chavo Guerrero remembrance:
Eddie Guerrero was my uncle, technically, but, we were brothers. We were three years apart, he was the big brother I never had, I was the, the little brother he never had. Growing up a Guerrero was, uh, was definitely different, ya know, we um, we had a lot of big shoes to fill. We didn't just decide to get into wrestling because, ya know, it looked cool on TV, we uh, we lived it ever since were born. Um, Eddie and I first, had our first match, was together, was against each other, when I was four, he must have been six, seven. Um, my grandfather had a promotion in um, in El Paso, Texas, and across the border in Juarez, Mexico, and uh, um, at intermission, Eddie and I would get in the ring, and uh, and wrestle with each other. Well, the fans knew who we were, so this caught on, and people started to not go to intermission and not buy concessions, they would sit and watch Eddie and I wrestle. That, uh, they finally had to stop it, because the people weren't spending money at concession stand. That was, uh, Eddie and I's first, first real matches together. We always grew up with the dream of becoming tag team champions, and um, excuse me. (Tries to regain composure.) And uh, we finally got, we were able to let that dream come true. That dream came true here in WWE, when um, Vince McMahon and, um, others decided to put us together as tag teams. That was the, a tag team for me that will never be replaced. I will never have a tag team partner like you, Eddie, ever, ever again, that you were, uh... I just can't explain it. Together, we didn't, we, we thought the same in the ring. I knew what he was doing, he knew what I was doing, I knew, we knew what each other was thinking at all times, it was, it was crazy. We just, stuff that we didn't have to work on becoming a tag teamm, it just was there. Eddie, I just want to tell you, bro, you're my brother, you'll always be my brother, I love you with all of my heart. You are, you are a great inspiration to me, and you still are a great inspiration to me, uh through, just, my faith, my career, my family, every aspect of my life I've come to you for help and you've always been there helping me. So I want to say thank you, you will be missed tremendously, and, uh, I will see you again. I love you, man.
I woke up this morning and got a call from Doctor Rios, I got a message from him and he told me that Eddie was dead. (Batista cried throughout this interview, and periodically paused to regain his compusure.) It just didn't seem real. We'd grown really close, and he's uh, he's really helped me out of some tough spots. It's been uh... It's really been really hard for me, the position I'm in, carrying the title, got a lot of weight on my shoulders, and Eddie um, he's always sat down with me, he was always good to pull out the Bible and quote something from the Bible, something inspirational that would lift me up a little bit, and helped me out through some personal problems I was going through and kind of keep my head on straight. The thing I loved about Eddie the most is he was so damn funny. He would just kill me. That's why I loved working with him, he was just so easy to work with 'cause he was so funny. And uh, he would just amaze me, 'cause he seemed like he was always in such pain. Soon as he walked through that curtain, it just seemed like all the pain just went away. And you'd never know by looking at him that he was, he was always struggling physically, just because he loved being out there, he loved being in front of the fans and, he just...
Rey Mysterio remembrance:
Eddie Guerrero, my brother. [Spanish, including the word for "soul"]. I know you're listening to me while I say these words. Putting wrestling aside, I gotta a lot of good memories that you left behind in my heart, not only for me, but for my family, my son Dominic, my wife, Your family and my family bonded real good. I'm gonna miss you. I miss you right now. I wish you were here with me. I wish this thing was a whole dream, and I could wake up and you were still here with us. Everybody misses you, Eddie. I love you, Eduardo. (Speaks in Spanish.) We're gonna miss you, Eddie. You're a big inspiration to everybody. As a fan, as a person, as a human being. You had a good presence, you had such a great presence. I love you. (Kisses hand, holds it shut. Lowers head and removes mask, puts face in left hand.)
Chris Benoit remembrance:
Eddie Guerrero is my best friend, and I'm, I'm sure there's a lot of people that he knew that would be able to say the, the same thing about him. He was such, such a beautiful person, such a kind-hearted person. Um, I couldn't find the right, I couldn't find the words. Words couldn't describe what, what kind of a human being Eddie truly was. Um, I've, I've known Eddie for just about 15 years and spent a good portion of them 15 years with him on the road. We've laughed together, cried together. Ya know, fought each other. We've been up and down each and every mountain, each and every highway. Um, and Eddie, Eddie, Eddie always led by example. You know, he was, he was the one friend that I had that I, that I could go to and pour my heart out to if I was going through something, if I, if I had a personal issue,or a personal problem, he was the one guy that I could cal, and, and talk to and know that he would understand and he would, he would talk me out of it, you know, because of, of all the experiences that he'd been through. I believe in leading by example, and Eddie always led by example, through his life, through, through the obstacles that he went through and, and conquered and became a better person, and he'd, he'd often use that as an example. We never, we never left each other without telling each other that we loved each other, and I, I, I truly can say that I, I love Eddie Guerrero. He's, he's a man that, that I can say I love, and I love his family, and my heart and my thoughts and my prayers go out to his wife Vickie, Shaul, Sherilyn, and Kaylie. I can't imagine the sorrow that, that they're going through right now and the emotions that they're feeling, but I want them to know that my, my prayers and my thoughts are, are with them. And Eddie, I know, I know that you, you're in a better place, and I know that you're looking down on me right now. And I want you to know that I love you, and I miss you. (Benoit loses his composure, sobbing, but tries to continue to speak.) Eddie, you made, you made such a great impression on, on my life, and I want to thank you for everything you've ever given me. And I want to thank you from my heart and tell you that I love you and I'll never forget you, and that we'll see each other again. I love you, Eddie.
Triple H remembrance:
Eddie was an amazing guy. From a professional standpoint, I will always remember Eddie as being, um, one of the best. Technically, in the ring, was incredible, um, but could do anything. I mean, Eddie could make you laugh one minute, could make you cry the next, could make you mad at him, could make you just run through any emotion he wanted to with the, with the twinkle in his eye, or a smirk on his face, or uh, ya know, just the little things. He was just a phenomenal talent in every way. Personally, um, Eddie to me will always be remembered as, um, an inspiration. I don't know if everybody knows it, but it's pretty common knowledge that Eddie had a, a lot of demons in his life, and he had a lot of issues, and a, and a lot of, uh, a lot of searching, I think, in his life. Uh, Eddie overcame all that, uh, to be what he was, or what he is. Um, he overcame that, uh, overcame his demons, he overcame the problems he had in his personal life, um, he had two beautiful girls, a beautiful wife, and um, ya know, Eddie had succeeeded in life where so many others would have failed. (Long pause as he tries to maintain compusure.) I'm gonna miss you, man. (Wipes away tears.) Just uh, (Sniffs, clears throat) I want Eddie's wife and kids to know how much they meant to him, it's all he ever talked about. And I know that, uh, somewhere Eddie's gonna be looking down on this night, proud that all the guys went out there and put on a show for him. It's what he would have wanted. Eddie was a performer, and Eddie was one of the most talented guys that I know, and it's what he would've wanted. He would've wanted the show that has been in his family his entire life to go on, and, Eddie's up there somewhere, he's lying to somebody, he's cheating somebody, and he's stolen all of our hearts. I'll miss ya, man. (Triple H gets up and walks off camera.)
Stephanie McMahon remembrance:
When I first met Eddie Guerrero, it was at my father's house. He was coming for an interview. Um, Eddie was trying to make the decision of whether or not he wanted to jump from WCW to WWE. And uh, and I didn't know what to expect when I met Eddie, and in came this humble, sweet, good looking, fun loving guy, in these cowboy boots, and he was so humble. I mean, I know a lot of people have said that, but I can't express that to you enough. And uh, Eddie eventually decided to make that move, and I got to work with Eddie in a different capacity than anybody else, really. I got to work with Eddie behind the camera. And um, Eddie uh, Eddie was just amazing. He could do anything. He could give you a range of emotion. You could laugh, you could cry. You could, you could be angry at him. You could, you could feel a whole range of emotion, and when Eddie went out there to perform, he just stole your heart, he really did. He, he could hold that audience in the palm of his hand, and he loved everybody. He loved that audience, and I hope everybody knows that. I uh, I talked to Eddie on Friday, and, we had a, a quick conversation, and in that conversation Eddie had told me that he was going to be WWE Champion again or he was going to be the World Champion again, and, and he wanted me to know that, and he wanted Vince to know that. He was going to be champion again. (Holding back tears.) And um-- (Loses composure.) And when I think of Eddie, the most important thing that I think about is his family, because he loved his family more than anything else in the world, from his brothers, to his mother, but especially his wife Vickie. He loved you so much Vickie, and Shaul and Sherilyn, he lit up when he talked about you, he just lit up, you were his whole life, his whole world, and I just hope that you guys know that, and I'm so sorry. Eddie, Eddie Guerrero was a son, he was a husband, he was a father, and he was a friend, and now, Eddie, Eddie will always, always be a champion. (Swallows hard.) I'll miss you, Eddie. Everybody will miss you. We love you.
Bonus Smackdown quotes:
On Carlito: Tazz: I think Carlito needs an apple. Michael Cole: You think? Tazz: Not really, just trying to be funny.
On the tag team match: Tazz: LOD gonna go against, uh, those cowboys from Raw. What is that, McCade and, who are they, Cade and McMahon? Michael Cole: No! Cade and Murdoch! Tazz: No, Cade and McMahon, I might get fired if I say that over here! (Laughs.) Cole: Cade and Murdoch-- Tazz: I know! Cole: They're the former World Tag Team Champions! Tazz: I know the names! I know!
On Cade and Murdoch: Tazz: Weren't these guys on Deliverance? Michael Cole: Hello, 1972 wants their movie back.
On Heidenreich and Murdoch: Tazz: Got a little confused, a lot of names. You know, the name Heidenreich sounds like Murdoch a little bit, 'cause there's an H involved. Michael Cole: What the Hell are you talking about? Tazz: I have no idea! It's Friday Night Smackdown, I dunno!
On Murdoch: Michael Cole: Can you imagine bringing that face home to your mom? Tazz: Who, Heidenreich? No, I couldn't imagine that. Being that I'm a man, I wouldn't bring a man home to my mom. I mean, really! You know? Hey, we're having a good time here. This show is about Eddie Guerrero, and that's what Eddie would want, man. That's exactly what he would want. Cole: Hey, there is no one that's ever been in the wrestling ring that has had as much fun as Eddie Guerrero has when he's in the ring. Tazz: Yeah, no doubt about that!
On Jillian Hall: Michael Cole: Get a bag, with like a little cutout for her eyes and mouth so she can breathe. Tazz: Right, like the Unknown Comic! Cole: Right... Tazz: Anyway-- Cole: ... the Unknown Comic?! 1988 wants your comment back! God, you've been just a barrel of twenty years and older tonight.
Thanks for tuning in to Express, everyone. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Smackdown, on Eddie, on whatever, so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be back later this week with a new OVW specialist column, as well as a look at something I'd like to call wrestling fan detox. Tune into my specialist column for more on that. Until next time, stay strong, and remember to smile.
Mike Roe reviews Friday Night Smackdown every week for PWTorch.com. Mike always wants to hear from you at email@example.com with your thoughts, comments, questions, critiques, or whatever else you want to share. He also writes an OVW Specialist column for PWTorch.com every Monday.
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