5 Eddie Guerrero moments proving he was an A+ player
If you've been off of Twitter for the past few days, you're probably asking yourself, "what's with everyone saying Eddie Guerrero is an A+ player?" Aside from it being the truth, it came from the response to a tweet sent out by one of wrestling media's hardest workers, Denise Salcedo.
A fan commented, claiming that Eddie Guerrero was, at best, a B+ player. Of course, wrestling Twitter wouldn't let blasphemy like that stand. Eddie is one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, and has been an inspiration to dozens, if not hundreds, of wrestlers in the past twenty years.
Between his unmatched charisma, his in-ring IQ and always finding new and interesting ways to get one over his opponents, it's not surprising that Eddie Guerrero is still held in such high regard sixteen years after his untimely death.
When fans and wrestlers are asked about dream matches, his name is consistently brought into the conversation. There is no debate that Eddie Guerrero is, at worst, an A+ player.
Eddie Guerrero was only in that main event scene for the last few years of his career, and life. However, as brief as it was we saw many moments that proved he deserved to be there. Today we'll be looking at some of the moments that solidified him as such.
#5 Eddie Guerrero's iconic addiction promo
On the way to his first, and unfortunately only, WWE Championship reign, Eddie Guerrero had one of the greatest promos of his career. The young champion Brock Lesnar looked at Guerrero as a joke. Furthermore, Lesnar went after Guerrero's past struggles with addiction.
On the final episode of SmackDown before WWE No Way Out 2004, Guerrero spoke about his addiction. His real addiction to professional wrestling. Guerrero talked about what happened three years prior. His struggles saw him lose his job and nearly lose his family in the process.
Eddie Guerrero said he had lost his spirit and disgraced his heritage. However, he hit a point where it was do or die.
"I had to make the decision. Do or die. And you know what, esse? I did, because I'm here right now. Day by day by the grace of God, I have earned my way back into this ring, man. Day by day by the grace of God I have earned the respect of my kids again. Day by day I have earned my life back." said Eddie
Eddie Guerrero went onto say that the WWE Championship was something he needed to tell his family he was sorry. It was proof that he'd do whatever it took to beat his troubles and provide them with a better life.
"That's my way of telling my family I'm sorry. That's my way of telling my kids I'm gonna provide a better way of life for them. I'm gonna get the bikes that they wanted. I'm gonna give them a better education. That's my new addiction, homes. When I step into this ring, yeah bro, I am addicted. I'm addicted to the high I get from [the fans]. I'm addicted to the high I get from going home to my family and telling them, 'Hey, I'm doing it!'" added Eddie
At that moment, fans knew. We all knew he was going to do it. Going in as an underdog and one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time, he was going to beat Brock Lesnar. He was going to win the WWE Championship. Brock Lesnar was shaken by Eddie's promo. The more Guerrero spoke, and the more fired up he got, Lesnar backed to the other side of the ring.
He was bigger and stronger than Eddie Guerrero, but it was clear that he was dealing with a man possessed. Someone with the heart to get to the top. Someone who would do everything they could to take the gold from him. Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, The Undertaker and The Rock all fell to Lesnar. But not Eddie.
#4 Eddie Guerrero and JBL's bloody war
Eddie Guerrero's WWE Championship reign ran into a roadblock when he was challenged by John Bradshaw Layfield. At WWE Great American Bash 2004, thanks to General Manager Kurt Angle, Guerrero lost the title to JBL. However, their previous title bout wound up being one of the most brutal matches of that era.
At Judgment Day 2004, JBL defeated Eddie Guerrero via DQ after a hellacious 23-minute affair. It was, by definition, a bloodbath. Guerrero was bleeding like a stuffed pig, to the point that the canvas was more red than white. At the half-way point in the match, Guerrero was cracked with a steel chair, which led to one of the nastiest moments in WWE history.
Guerrero bladed, but ended up going a little far, sending an everflowing waterfall of blood from his forehead. Seriously, this is a content warning if you're not used to this kind of stuff. The tweet below shows one of the most devastating chair shots in WWE history and some nasty carnage.
Near the end, Guerrero had JBL down on the mat and began hammering him with lefts and rights. The referee tried to pull him off, but Guerrero refused to stop. This led to a disqualification victory in favor of JBL. However, this also showed a killer instinct that had not been seen from Guerrero in quite some time.
It showed a new edge to his character, something that we'd see more of the following year.
#3 Eddie Guerrero slays the Next Big Thing
We talked about Eddie Guerrero's phenomenal promo, talking about his addiction to wrestling. We've got to follow that up with the actual match and Eddie Guerrero had the house rocking. At the Cow Palace in California, Eddie Guerrero challenged Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.
As great as Eddie was, he was against someone that was more than twice his size. Brock Lesnar was young, nearing the end of his first stint with the company, and was terrifying. The Next Big Thing, as he was called at the time, ran through some of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Big Show, and even future 16-time champion John Cena.
However, Eddie Guerrero made everyone believe that he could slay The Beast Incarnate. And that's exactly what he did. It was a fantastic David vs Goliath match, with fans going crazy every time Guerrero was on offense.
Still, Lesnar's strength advantage was undeniable, and he seemed to be running right through Guerrero to WrestleMania. However, when the ref was laid out, Lesnar would eat a spear courtesy of Goldberg.
It wasn't enough to put the WWE Champion away. Eddie Guerrero managed to then counter an F-5 with a tilt-a-whirl DDT onto the championship. The Frog Splash heard around the world connected, and Eddie Guerrero left the Cow Palace as the new WWE Champion.
This list isn't one of Eddie Guerrero's best matches or best feuds. Still, his bout with Brock Lesnar had to be here because it showed that the WWE Universe was fully behind him as the face of the brand. At that moment, Eddie was WWE. Eddie was wrestling.
#2 Eddie Guerrero's entire feud with Rey Mysterio in WWE
Eddie Guerrero went to a dark place in his feud with Rey Mysterio. Fans of these two know that they had a storied rivalry. Considered to be one of the greatest matches of all time, the two battled at Halloween Havoc in 1997. It was Mysterio's Mask vs Eddie Guerrero's Cruiserweight Championship.
Their rivalry, and friendship, came to a head in 2005 when Guerrero attacked his former best friend. The two lost their WWE Tag Team Titles to MNM a week after they battled one another in a great contest at WrestleMania 21.
Guerrero destroyed Mysterio, eventually ending the assault with a suplex onto the steel steps. The two feuded for months, with Guerrero brutally assaulting Mysterio several times between WrestleMania and SummerSlam.
But why did Eddie do it? Why did Latino Heat attack his former best friend? Why did he try and end his career?
Eddie Guerrero would cut a promo after the initial attack, showing some venom that we'd never seen from him. Guerrero was a nasty, vile man full of pure hatred? Why? Jealousy.
Guerrero claimed that it was the fault of Rey Mysterio himself. It was one of the greatest promos he ever cut. Guerrero had been a heel before, but he'd never been full of this kind of poison before. It was a complete shock to fans at the time.
The end of the feud saw Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio fight in a ladder match at SummerSlam. They weren't fighting for gold, or Mysterio's mask, or a future opportunity. No, they were instead fighting for the custody of Mysterio's son, Dominik.
Were it any other two competitors, it would've been corny and a little goofy. Honestly, nobody but Eddie and Rey could've made something like that work, and that's exactly what they did. At this point, we had seen Guerrero go through so many shades of his character.
It proved that he could be plugged into whatever story WWE wanted to tell. If you wanted a sly heel that fans loved to hate, he could do it. The cheeky underdog who always got one over on his opponents, who probably deserved it? He could do that too. And at this point he proved he could be the most hated man in the business.
#1 WrestleMania XX: Eddie Guerrero's title defense and celebration with Chris Benoit
It's hard to speak on Eddie Guerrero's WWE Championship run and not talk about Chris Benoit. The two were such close friends in real life, and they shared a moment at WrestleMania XX that would go down as one of the greatest moments in company history, were it not for what happened with Benoit years later.
Before we get to that, let's talk about Guerrero's match with Kurt Angle. The Olympic Gold Medalist had recently turned heel, attacking Guerrero because he was a poor representative of the company. A former drug addict was not the kind of man Angle wanted as champion.
Angle had the backing of then-SmackDown GM Paul Heyman, who had Eddie Guerrero arrested for attacking Angle. Guerrero would find himself handcuffed on a later episode of SmackDown, allowing Angle to batter the WWE Champion in one of the most dispicable acts in Angle's career.
All that led to one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history, where Eddie Guerrero escaped an ankle lock by preemptively loosening his boot, allowing him to roll up Angle. Eddie was known to Lie, Cheat, and Steal, and he stole the title opportunity from Angle.
It was fantastic, but it wasn't the best moment of the night. That came down to the end of the show. Chris Benoit managed to defy the odds and capture the World Heavyweight Championship. After winning the Royal Rumble, he bested Triple H and Shawn Michaels to claim his first and only WWE World Heavyweight Title.
As he celebrated, and confetti rained down in Madison Square Garden, Benoit was met by his longtime best friend Eddie Guerrero.
The WWE Universe cheered on as two of the hardest working performers in the business shared the ring, both the top champions of the company. While we can't celebrate Benoit for what he did in the years to come, we can look at this night as the moment that Eddie Guerrero proved, once and for all, he was an A+ player.