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13 November 2011 @ 02:44 am
Six years ago today....  
One of my favorite wrestlers passed away: Eddie Guerrero.

I still remember where I was when I found out. I was a senior in high school and was enjoying lunch with one of my good friends when some random boys that were sitting at our table interrupted our conversation about wrestling to tell me that Eddie had passed away. The way they said it gave me the idea that they were talking within the contexts of the storyline he was in so I dismissed it. After all, I saw Eddie on last week's edition of Smackdown so what were these boys talking about? I didn't even know them anyway.

Later that day, I was in my American Gov't class, taking notes and listening to Vince (our teacher who let us call him by his first name) give his lecture when another friend of mine got my attention and told me that Eddie passed away the day before. (This all took place on a Monday.) She wasn't a wrestling fan but at that school, I had a reputation for being a huge wrestling fan so she felt it was her duty to let me know about the breaking news. (I'm very thankful for that to this day.) At this point, I flashed back to what those boys said at lunch and I just zoned out for the rest of the class period. Whatever Vince was going on about just wasn't important to me. One of my favorite wrestlers just died and all I wanted to do was get the hell out of that classroom, rush home, and cry over this news for the rest of the day. Thankfully, it was the final class of the day so I'd get my wish soon enough.

It was a hardship knowing that that night's Raw and that week's Smackdown were going to be dedicated to Eddie's memory. I came home, went to my room downstairs, and immediately went to WWE.com. If it wasn't official before, it was official the moment I saw Eddie's picture on the main page, the words "Eddie Guerrero. 1967-2005" in a big, bold white font. I bawled. Raw was hell that night (as was Smackdown) but on the flip side, it was inspiring, too. It hurt my heart to know that Eddie was gone but to see all of these wrestlers speak on how great a person he was and how he turned his life around for the better (he'd had a drinking addiction at one point and hit rock bottom only to accept Jesus Christ into his life and win everything he thought he'd lost) made dealing with the tragedy a little better. And I was able to smile when they all pointed out how funny he was. As sad as that moment in my life was (I spent the rest of the year in mourning - it hit me pretty hard), it was through his passing that I truly realized how great a guy he was and how thoughtful he was with his fellow wrestlers. Also, he was the perfect representation of a Christian: he was gentle and loving and was able to profess his faith openly without stepping on anyone's toes and everyone respected him for it.

Eddie was a fantastic wrestler who had great technical ability in the ring and amazing mic skills that always fired up a crowd, whether dramatic or comedic. But what gave him his edge was his charm and charisma. No one could deny his comedic ability, which was showcased so well in his "Lie, Cheat, Steal" gimmick. And no one could deny those bad ass, tricked out low riders he'd drive to the ring as his theme song played over head (he had a different low rider every week!). And no one could deny those moments when he'd shout "Latino Heat!", "Viva La Raza!", or "Orale Vato, Ese!" (catchphrases of which I imitated often around the house with my best Mexican accent along with the shimmy dance he'd often do week after week).

I recorded and still have those Raw and Smackdown tribute shows although I haven't watched them since the nights they aired. I probably never will. I knew that going in, but I had to have the shows documented so they're on tapes and I'll never erase them.

No matter how I feel about wrestling these days (I'm not the fan I once was although I still respect it), I always think back to Eddie Guerrero on this date every year and I'm always thankful that I supported him and appreciated him while he was alive. I'm also glad that he finally won the big one - the WWE Title - at No Way Out. After everything he went through in his life to get to that moment, it was great to finally see him get the top prize in the industry. And it was great to see him take his place posthumously among the greats in the industry as WWE inducted him into the WWE Hall a Fame in 2006.

Six years ago, WWE created a tribute video for Eddie using 3 Doors Down's "Here Without You". To this day, I can't listen to that song without thinking of him. There's also an amazing fan tribute using Alter Bridge's "In Loving Memory". Both videos and songs helped me get over his passing, especially that Alter Bridge one (and that was before I became a huge fan of them).

RIP Eddie G. Today I dedicate this day to you.
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: 3 Doors Down - Here Without You / Alter Bridge - In Loving Memory
ayumidahayumidah on November 13th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
I tried replying to this earlier but I was just getting rambly and a mess and... ugh. I still remember that Sunday very well, it was a normal morning at first, then I caught a mention of his passing somewhere online-- I can't remember where now, it's the one thing I can't-- and going to WWE.com, then Chris Jericho's message board before telling my father. It was so surreal and just... horrifying. I had been watching wrestling for a couple months when Owen Hart died in 1999, but I was too young (Not even 13 yet) and new to the business to really think much more than just "That's sad".

Eddie's, however, hit me like a punch straight to the chest, and it still does sometimes, when I think about him, and on days like today. It was just so... so, sudden, and unexpected. Like I've told you, that Wrestlemania was so, so surreal and sad. I was in Chicago for the ppv, watching on TV and trying not to let my brother and his friends watch as I cried at his Hall of Fame induction, but it helped a little that Rob's friend sounded choked up too after it. And being there when Vickie was on stage for the Hall of Fame thing during the ppv... sigh.

I think it's time to go put my Eddie Guerrero tribute shirt on, heh.
Vickyheartbreakbabe on November 14th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's what made it such a hardship to endure -- the fact that it was so sudden and unexpected. I've read a lot of people's stories on where they were and how they felt when they heard the news and what a lot of them have in common is denial that he passed away until they went to WWE.com to see for themselves. And I get getting emotional and not wanting anyone to notice. I was like that, too. I don't like crying with other people around, especially people who don't get the sadness over a wrestler's passing.

And as far as Owen went, I remember first hearing about it in some classroom a day or so after it happened but it didn't hit me hard because I wasn't really into wrestling like that back then and I don't think I really processed death the way I do now. Eddie's passing was the first real shock for me as far as a famous person dying goes. So when Owen died, I pretty much had the sad reaction - "That's sad". I didn't actually cry over his passing until a few years ago when I saw the pictures and read what happened and then when WWE re-aired some of the things the wrestlers said on his tribute show from way back, I bawled pretty hard.

It's hard for me to go back and watch Eddie because I'll always remember that he's gone and I'll just start crying sometimes or just feel great sadness. :-(

I wish I had that tribute shirt. I at least have his book, though. Back then I was saving my money for HBK's book but got Eddie's instead, all things considered. I eventually got Shawn's book, of course.
ayumidahayumidah on November 14th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah... Owen's, I wasn't home when it happened, but Dad was 'watching' the PPV. Back in those days, we could listen to PPVs because our cable was 'special', lol. I remember spending hours listening to a black screen, haha, until they upgraded things and corrected the 'issue'! So I came home and Dad told me he died before he had to go to work third shift. It was around the time of the tribute show that Dad told me wrestling was 'faked'. Heh.

Owen's death has hit me harder more in recent years, once I learned more details. Like him apparently yelling at the referee to get out of the way mid-fall...

Eddie was my first real shock, and considering how deeply ingrained WWE is in me after almost twelve years of watching, it will always stick with me, that sadness. I hope I never, ever have to watch another tribute show. Three is enough, thank you.

I've watched a fair amount of Eddie since his passing, with no limit to the tears, but yeah. I requested and got his DVD set for Christmas a few years ago, and sometimes (though it's been a couple years by now), I watch his final match with Ken Kennedy. I made it through most of the DVD set alright, it was when I tried watching the special feature of his comedic segments with Chavo that I lost it.

I have his book, two tribute shirts (one that came with his DVD set), a couple armbands (though one is mysteriously missing, prolly lost somewhere in all my crap lol...), and a couple Hot Wheels Latino Heat cars. One's still in its packaging, and one's out for me to play with or just stare at sometimes.
Vickyheartbreakbabe on November 14th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that's a horrible time for him to tell you that it's "faked", especially since Owen had just died. Were you aware that it was predetermined at the time?

Yeah, learning all the details is what got me. I mean, it was a pretty brutal death and I hate that it happened to him and that so many people witnessed it. What a tragedy. :-(

Same here. I've only seen Eddie and Benoit's tribute shows and both were sad, although Eddie's hit me harder. And even with everything that came out of Chris' death, I'm still sad that he's gone. But yeah, no more tribute shows. That's just too much sadness to bear.

I don't even have the DVD set. I need to get it, though. I'm just glad I got the book when I did. I can imagine how hard it is to watch that stuff. :-(

Oh cool! It's awesome that you have that stuff. I just have his book and WWE mags that he's in. I have a SD mag with him on the cover. It's one of fave WWE mag covers. :-)

ayumidahayumidah on November 15th, 2011 06:24 am (UTC)
Oh, no, he wasn't being malicious or anything-- he just didn't want me to be confused during the tribute show and I'm sure my mother being around inspired him to tell me, y'know, it's all acting, these guys don't really wanna kill each other. I had no clue before then, no. But I was glad he told me, I've had enough awkward moments online, I didn't need the whole 'thinking kayfabe was real life' type posts floating around out there too lol. I didn't fully understand it at the time but it prepared me for when I was, like, 16 and found the CJMB.

Benoit died on my mother's birthday. She does not have a good track record, he died on her birthday and Michael Jackson died the day after. It's like, geez, lol.

I wanna go, some year, to his (Eddie's) gravesite... it might sound a bit morbid, but yeah.
Vickyheartbreakbabe on November 15th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
OOOOHHHHH! I see. I took it the wrong way. Sorry about that. In that case, it was good that he told you that to comfort you and everything. :-) I can't even remember when I found out that it was scripted. I hate that I can't remember. Although I know it wasn't during the first ever Hell in a Cell match with Shawn and Taker because I literally thought Taker was going to kill Shawn in front of the entire world and I hid in the bathroom crying because of it. Ha ha. It's funny what wrestling can do to a kid when you think it's real. ROTF LOL!

Oh wow. I forgot the date Michael Jackson died but I know it wasn't far off from my Dad's birthday. Might've even been the day before. So apparently, my Dad doesn't have a good track record, either. XD

Nah, I don't think that's morbid. I've never thought about it. I probably never would on my own but if I were with someone I would. Not because I'm afraid of graves, I'm not, but I guess having someone around would make me feel more comfortable for some reason.
ayumidahayumidah on November 15th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
Maybe we can go together some year, lol. It's in Arizona, I think.
Vickyheartbreakbabe on November 16th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
That'd be cool, ha ha. Oh Arizona. I've never been. Then again, I've only been to three states in my life. I'm lame.
ayumidahayumidah on November 16th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
I've only been to Illinois (obviously), Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. I like neighboring states, obviously XD
Vickyheartbreakbabe on November 16th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)

Well, I live in Georgia, was born and grew up in Maryland, and have also been to Virginia and Illinois. (I think I told you that I went to Illinois a few years ago for a family reunion.)

Wait, that would make four states, not three. All this time and I've been telling people I've only been to three states. I obviously can't count. XD I guess I leave Georgia out since I live here. XD
ayumidahayumidah on November 16th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
Haha. It happens. I went to Kentucky with my parents when I was 16 to visit some friends of my dad's, I went to Kansas (and thus through Missouri) to meet some online friends, then this year I went to Indiana and Ohio to visit friends I have in both states for a couple weeks. Greyhound randomly took me to Iowa to get me back home. lol

Oh! I forgot Iowa, yeah, I've briefly been to Iowa, too, lol. So seven for me ;)
Darla Kanedarlakane on November 14th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC)
You know I've never been a huge fan... so I'm still surprised how sad his passing made me. Every year around this time, I read through notes like yours from my friends and can't help but remember, too. I don't know when/how I found out, but I do know that it was just days before the European tour and I really didn't feel like going to any of the shows anymore. But it turned out to be an honor to be able to celebrate Eddie and his life in the following days at the shows because nobody - not the wrestlers in the ring and neither the audience - forgot about him. Yeah, the show had to go on but he was there in spirit with everyone. One of my fondest memories of that time is when we were sitting at the bar the first night and there were quite a few people, just clinking their glasses and saying "To Eddie!" That was special.
Vickyheartbreakbabe on November 14th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
Awwwww. Yeah, I wasn't the biggest Eddie fan on the block at first but I starting LOVING him towards the final years of his life. I remember having a lot of respect for him after I read an interview he did with WWE magazine (or Raw or SD, one of those) where he talked about his demons and how he became a Christian and lived a much better life. At the time, I was unaware of his life story so it opened my eyes to him a bit more and I was always fond of him as a human being because of that. And then shortly after that, he began his "Lie, Cheat, Steal" gimmick and that love just grew. There was a period of time where I enjoyed Smackdown a thousand times more than Raw and Eddie was one of those reasons as to why. Eddie, to me, was pretty much the only Mexican wrestler that's ever stood out to me but his charisma was infectious.

It still warms my heart to see fans and wrestlers alike keep Eddie's memory alive and how everyone honors him each year. I think it really goes to show how much he impacted people.