15 Years Ago Today: Death of Eddie Guerrero

King Kamala

Integral Poster
15 years ago today is one of the saddest days in wrestling history when Eddie Guerrero passed away at the age of 38.

A decade and a half later thinking about this still makes me sad. It's bittersweet that crowning achievement of his career, kayfabe wise, is what drove him over the edge. If WWE had been less horrible and Eddie would've been more comfortable taking time off, it would've been great to see what could've been. I think he really would have liked to see what direction wrestling has gone in the past decade and a half. He'd probably have gotten at least 2 or 3 more World Title runs. Given that he'd be 53 if he were still alive, it's possible if not probable, he'd still be working for WWE or AEW, at least on a part time basis.

Do I want to bring up the fact that Eddie's death is what caused Chris Benoit to slowly lose it and maybe if he were still around, Chris Benoit may still be around and he would still be most of our favorites? Well, I already did, I guess...
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I can't remember exactly where/when I found out about it but I assume it's whatever version of TSM was around in '05.

I watched very little if any wrestling for the second half of '03, all of '04, and all of '05 to that point but all of the media coverage made me remember how much I loved it at one point and that was when I slowly began getting back into wrestling.
 

Youth N Asia

(Thinking of a new title for this space)
I don’t totally contribute this, but after Eddie passed I just stopped watching wrestling entirely. I was probably watching a little less just before, but I remember the last show I watched was the Eddie Tribute.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
I don’t totally contribute this, but after Eddie passed I just stopped watching wrestling entirely. I was probably watching a little less just before, but I remember the last show I watched was the Eddie Tribute.
That reminds me that I was appalled that they used "Here without you" by 3 Doors Down for his SD! tribute video.

It's a love song (I guess) and at the time I was bothered the production people could slap together a video when one of their beloved Superstars came up dead. I suppose I thought their world should have frozen. It wasn't my most well thought out take.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
God damn, 15 years flew by. It hit me pretty hard. I remember going to school the following day and there was a surprising amount of people sad and talking about it. The triple whammy of Eddie dying, Benoit killing his family, and Misawa dying during a match did do a lot of damage to my wrestling fandom. Even though a ton of wrestlers get compared to him, there's still only one Eddie. The guy was one of the best all around in mixing the character, promos, and ring work. He's so versatile in the ring too and always adding things to his character. One of the best heels ever.

It really bums me out thay we didn't get old man Eddie. I think he probably could still be working at a high level today a la old man hardcore Terry Funk. In 2020 he would only be the age Funk was at Barely Legal 97. Eddie is such a smart worker, I think he would've adjusted and changed his style as he aged.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Yeah. It's really a shame he passed right before an era where he really would have thrived. I could see him pulling an Angle and going to TNA in the mid-late '00s for a softer schedule and then working with Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. My God....
 
I was glued to the news sites all day. I didn't want to miss anything. Wrestling was never as fun again. His tribute shows were very good, though, aside from the obvious.
 

tekcop

TSM's Finest
Staff member
I woke up to a text from my friend about the news. Terrible day.

The triple whammy of Eddie dying, Benoit killing his family, and Misawa dying during a match did do a lot of damage to my wrestling fandom.
I was mostly already done after Eddie and Benoit, but I completely stopped watching wrestling all together for years after Misawa died.
 

JN News

JN News
I was about to post this. But, I overslept. I had wished the Eddie was still alive and I also wished that Bret Hart was still wrestling. I think that Bret and Eddie would've been such a tremendous dream match that wrestling fans would've loved to see.

RIP:Eddie Guerrero

We still miss you, man.
 

Dandy

Posts: 3,237
Full-blown feuds between Eddie and Austin; Eddie and Rock; Eddie and Shawn; and Eddie and Punk would have been just terrific for me.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
I remember being shocked and saddened over it. 15 years later, I know the weight of being World Champ had an effect on Eddie but he'd had his demons prior to that run. I do wonder if there was a hint of inevitability to it since everything that's been said about him is Eddie was full-go/all-in and relentless in his drive as a wrestler and in life.
 

Laz

0101100101
I got a text message from my friend that I watched Raw/SD/PPVs with regularly, who I'd yardtarded with in high school. Eddie was, hands-down, his favorite wrestler on the planet (after Brock had left in 2004), and he was wrecked over it.

The LWO era was my favorite of his, overall. There was just something about the sleaze and the wildness of his heel work at the time that made it all work so perfectly. I'll always rank WCW midcard cruiser Eddie over any of his WWE work, even if the ending of WM20 was, at the time, the most perfect moment of my fandom.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
Full-blown feuds between Eddie and Austin; Eddie and Rock; Eddie and Shawn; and Eddie and Punk would have been just terrific for me.

If Eddie somehow stayed on the indies for a month or two extra, we could've got American Dragon vs Eddie Guerrero.

Also, Eddie was pretty underrated at being able to get guys over. It reached a campy and stupid level eventually, but that Eddie/Rey 2005 feud did a lot to get Rey to the next level. I think even if Eddie didn't pass, Rey probably would of eventually started getting world title shots. That feud with Eddie made him the number 3 babyface of Smackdown behind Batista/Taker which is a much better place to be than the number 1 cruiserweight. I could only imagine what he could've did with the next generation.
 

909

909
Staff member
I thought that when Eddie died, it would be the worst I ever felt about someone I didn't know dying. That wasn't the case though as I found out earlier this year. It didn't really hit me until the tribute show though. I was absolutely destroyed watching that. Short of a plane crash killing everyone on the roster I'm not sure there was a worse thing that could happen.

Wrestling definitely hasn't been the same since then. There's been so many things that happened to prevent wrestlers from ever becoming as great a character as Eddie was. I think in a lot of ways Eddie's death also completely shattered the veneer of the business. There were other wrestlers who died before him, but none of those deaths led to the fans becoming cynical the way they did after Eddie died. The deluge of things to happen one after another has completely destroyed the wrestling business and it has never recovered from that.

What we've missed is a guy who would probably still be on TV in a non-wrestling role. We've missed 15 years of one of the most original performers there's been.
 

MFer

Administrator
Staff member
I was browsing PWTorch.com when I started seeing stuff like "Eddie Guerrero, 38" and "1967-2005". I was like "hold up, wait a minute" like my mind was just struggling to process what was going on. I wouldn't say took it as hard as some of you did, but it was tough. Eddie was about to get into a world title program with Batista IIRC.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Worst death match wrestler tried to get heel heat by shit talking Eddie Guerrero last night. It did not go over well.
 

Laz

0101100101
Sounds like somebody never saw that clip from the CZW show when Eddie Kingston went after a fan causing a ruckus during a 10-bell salute.
 

Alfdogg

Alfdogg
Eddie/Shawn was supposedly going to happen at the next Mania had Eddie lived.

Also re: Benoit: I seem to recall a handful of stories coming out after the killings about him being a bit of a bully backstage; assuming that stuff still comes out if he doesn't murder his family maybe the opinion of him here isn't quite as high
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Palmer Cannon cited Benoit (and JBL's) bullying as the reason why he left WWE. If Eddie hadn't died, I'm guessing he would be at the very least, #canceled by now (and maybe in actual prison) for his sociopathic, abusive behavior.I don't think Eddie's death drove him to being a piece of garbage. I think it just drove him to being a homicidal piece of garbage.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Eddie/Shawn was supposedly going to happen at the next Mania had Eddie lived.

Also re: Benoit: I seem to recall a handful of stories coming out after the killings about him being a bit of a bully backstage; assuming that stuff still comes out if he doesn't murder his family maybe the opinion of him here isn't quite as high

Yep, so with Eddie gone, the next logical opponent was Vince...

As for the Benoit stuff, I don’t know if the Benoit trouble would come out until almost present day. I think when he went away was a big driving force in the sudden shift in locker room culture. If he stayed, I think the bullying mentality would have stuck in the locker room for at least another decade.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Eddie's death seems to have exacerbated Benoit's boorish behavior. It was within a year after his death that you had him bullying Palmer Cannon into quitting and flipping the fuck out at The Miz over him fried chicken too close to Benoit's bags. In fact, Idk if there are any reported incidents of Benoit being a bully in locker room pre-Eddie's death. He did beat up Nancy before then though.
 
Benoit's insane (and maybe literal) suicide dive on SD maybe a week later is in hindsight a really scary foreshadowing.

Eddie's last run, being forced to turn face because he was so over, was really fun looking back. Eddie and Batista as the new Mega Powers would've carried the show for months.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I don't think it's discussed enough how that short time working with Eddie really solidified Batista as a main eventer. I think after the crappy program with JBL after he moved to Smackdown!, Batista was one or two bad feuds from being seen as another failed pet project of Triple H.
 
Eddie was the best thing to happen to Batista since moving to SD, by far. His heat just died off hard going from HHH to JBL and Kennedy and whoever else was around. It also warrants considering that Eddie going from the goofy Rey feud totally would've kept Rey midcard without the Eddiesploitation.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
As awful as Eddiesploitation was, it's hard to say whether or not, Rey would have gotten a shot in the main event with. Rey was rudderless after the Dominick paternity feud. He may have gotten a 2011 Mark Henry-esque "Thanks for your service" token run or maybe he would have gotten a shot during one of Smackdown's seemingly annual wave of injuries.
 
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