CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT?
A member of the venerable Guerrero wrestling family, Eduardo Gory "Eddie" Guerrero Llanes
(October 9, 1967 — November 13, 2005) started out his career in childhood, as he and his nephew Chavo
were allowed by his father, legendary promoter Gory Guerrero, to wrestle matches during intermissions. From there, Eddie launched into the family business headfirst.
(A little note: Eddie was the youngest of four brothers. So young, his nephew Chavo is only three years younger than him.)
Eddie's early exposure to wrestling audiences was limited to Mexico, as most of his formative years in the business were spent as part of the AAA promotion; it wasn't until the famous When Worlds Collide
event - co-promoted and co-presented by WCW
- where Guerrero was exposed to a wider audience. At the event, he and partner Art Barr faced off against the team of Octagón and El Hijo del Santo in a Hair Versus Mask Match (Guerrero and Barr lost, and had their heads shaved).
Guerrero wrestled around the world for the next few years, traveling both to Japan (where he met up with Chris Benoit
and Dean Malenko
) and ECW
, where he started to gain a foothold in the American wrestling industry. When he arrived in WCW
, Guerrero was made a part of the promotion's now-legendary Cruiserweight division, delivering solid matches with just about everyone he faced (including longtime friend Rey Mysterio Jr
.). It was in WCW that the seeds were sown for Guerrero's "Lie Cheat and Steal" gimmick, as he pushed Chavo (who had also signed with WCW) into believing the mantra "Cheat 2 Win" (going so far as to force an unwilling Chavo to wear a shirt with the saying).
In early 2000, Guerrero was one of a group of wrestlers who jumped ship from WCW to the WWF
in protest of Kevin Sullivan
being put in charge of the promotion's booking; he was one of the first to become a standout singles star, too. Working his natural charisma, Eddie became known as "Latino Heat" and wooed Chyna
, entering into both a relationship and a feud with the powerful Diva as they spent the next year in the Intercontinental Title hunt.
In 2001, Guerrero was released from the company after an arrest for drunk driving, which happened following his being sent to rehab months earlier. Facing the loss of his career and possibly his family, Eddie started at rock bottom and worked his way back up. Eddie cleaned himself up and spent the first few months of 2002 wrestling for independent promotions (including the debut show of Ring of Honor
) before returning to WWE in April of 2002; by then, his nephew Chavo had signed with the company, and the two became a tag team, banking on Eddie's old "Cheat 2 Win" gimmick in WCW and turning it into their gimmick ("We lie, we cheat, and we steal...but at least we're honest about it
"). "Lie, Cheat, and Steal" became part of Eddie's repetoire for the remainder of his career, whether he was a face or a heel.
For the next two years, Eddie slowly climbed to the top of his profession, and at No Way Out 2004
, Eddie hit the top when he defeated Brock Lesnar
for the WWE Championship. He followed this up the next month at WrestleMania 20
by defeating Kurt Angle
to retain the title, then joined Chris Benoit
following HIS successful win of the World Heavyweight Championship in one of the most memorable images in wrestling history.
Over the next year-and-a-half, Eddie's career fluctuated from high to low: he helped build the credibility of John Bradshaw Layfield
as a world champion over the summer of 2004, but he was also involved in one of the most tasteless and WrestleCrap-worthy
feuds of all time as he feuded with Rey Mysterio over the custody of Mysterio's son Dominick (who, kayfabe, was revealed to actually be the biological son of Guerrero).
In November of 2005, Guerrero was closing in on another world title shot, and was scheduled to be a part of a Survivor Series Match featuring members of the SmackDown
brand (which Eddie was a part of) going up against members of the Raw
brand. Tragically, however, Guerrero died of heart failure two weeks prior to the event
. The Monday and Friday following his death, WWE held two special tribute shows in the vein of the Owen Hart
tribute show a few years earlier, in which storylines were thrown out the window and matches were put on for the sake of tribute.
This would normally be the end of the story, but pro wrestling has a way of dragging things out well past their expiration date; Eddie Guerrero was no different.
Just weeks following his death, WWE began a campaign of what came to be known as "Eddiesploitation
", where Guerrero's name and legacy were used in the most tasteless ways possible - from Randy Orton
telling Rey Mysterio that Eddie was "in hell" to Mysterio acting as if he were receiving heavenly assistance from Eddie's spirt to Eddie's widow Vickie Guerrero
becoming an on-screen character (who later grew into a surprisingly effective villainous manager/authority figure in her own right). Strangely, the "Eddiesploitation" period heavily pushed Rey Mysterio as Eddie's successor, while Chavo Guerrero was largely ignored. WrestleCrap
gave this exploitation its annual Gooker Award in 2006, with RD Reynolds famously stating that while it was a necessary evil due to the site's mission, the induction was "the hardest induction he'd ever had to write".
Guerrero is fondly remembered to this day by fans as an excellent wrestler and a great human being.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"Can you feel the tropes?":
- Aborted Arc: A Face-Heel Turn where Eddie would turn on then-tag-partner Tajiri was aborted. Eddie believed his low rider's paint job was more important than Tajiri's wellbeing, but Eddie was so crazy popular that the crowd actually agreed with him. Even after he put Tajiri through a windshield and tried to cut a selfish heel promo, the fans would have none of it:
Eddie: From now on, I'm only looking after number one!
(audience roars in approval)
- All American Heel: Los Gringos Locos (Eddie and Art Barr) wore jackets with American flag designs as heels in Mexico.
- Anti-Hero: To Nominal Hero levels, or would be if wrestling ever claimed to work on that kind of morality. He was cheered for so he was a face.
- For most of his career, Eddie's was either Rey Mysterio Jr. or Dean Malenko.
- In WWE, Kurt Angle managed to be his nemesis both in the ring and as GM throughout Eddie's banner year of 2004.]
- Tiger Mask as Black Tiger
- Awesome McCoolname: Guerrero is Spanish for "Warrior"
- Subverted in that it's actually his real name, unlike most wrestlers.
- Kind of. After his father Salvador Quesada gained success as Gory Guerrero, all of his sons have Guerrero in their names.
- Eddie was an effective enough cheater to win handicap matches with ease, even if it was against the champion Basham Brothers.
- Eddie at Judgment Day 2004 after he'd been cut open; Eddie's literal crimson mask redefined the Muta Scale. His opponent John Bradshaw Layfield said, "I've been in car wrecks that were less painful than that match!"
- Badass Beard: Or goatee. It depends.
- Bash Brothers: Art Barr, Rey Mysterio Jr., Chavo Guerrero Jr.
- Big "NO!": When he asked the audience if they blamed him for what he did to Tajiri, the answer was short but deafening.
- Bilingual Bonus: If someone speaks more than one language and Eddie was cutting a promo on them, his promo might be in a mix of both languages.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Eddie's last match, against Mr. Kennedy on the SmackDown prior to his death, where he qualified for the Survivor Series Match between SmackDown and Raw. What makes it moreso is that Eddie used his famous winning trick: grab a chair while the ref's not looking, slam the chair against the canvas, toss it to his opponent, lie down, and get the other guy disqualified when the ref turns around.
- Eddie had recently cleaned himself up off drugs and become a born-again religious man in an attempt to recover his life.
- The scariest thing about the match was afterward, Eddie's last moments on WWE television, when Mr. Kennedy, after being disqualified for the above trick, hit Eddie in the head very hard with the chair, yelling for the referee to "Disqualify that!!"
- Blond Guys Are Evil: His last long heel run had him noticeably bleaching his hair.
- Blood Is the New Black: Taken Up to Eleven at Judgment Day 2004.
- Breakup Breakout: Whilst it's debatable whether Eddie or Chris Benoit was the first of the Radicals to find real singles success in WWE, Eddie was the first to be World Champion.note Played perfectly straight with Eddie and Chavo, though the latter's been employed for a longer period of time.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : After Eddie lost the WWE title to JBL, he suffered this on occasion as both refs and opponents became more wise to his "family traditions". Refs caught him in the act, and opponents like longtime friend Rey Mysterio had known Eddie long enough to predict him and his bag of tricks.
- Card-Carrying Villain: To quote the Cheating Death, Stealing Life DVD, "I lie, I cheat, I steal, but hey - at least I'm honest about it."
- Color Character/Cool Mask: As Black Tiger
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He invaded the playboy mansion to try and stop the photo shoot his girlfriend, Chyna, was doing.
- Your Cheating Heart: Chyna broke up with him for showering with the Godfather's hos.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Both of them when the other was Intercontinental Champion, though they had just gotten over it before Chyna found and broke up with him.
- Cluster F-Bomb: During the infamous Dominic-custody-ladder match with Rey Mysterio, Vickie missed her cue, causing Eddie to be yanked from the hanging belt and fall square on his leg, nearly blowing out his knee. Despite being a Born Again Christian at the time, you can hear Eddie going positively livid in the ring, swearing up a storm while holding his knee in obvious pain, and actually yells "FUCK HER!!!" at one point. Vickie, of course, is his wife.
- Combat Pragmatist: As a self-proclaimed cheater, he's not above using underhanded tactics to win a match (i.e. low-blows, thumb to the eyes, and more). And this is when he's a Face.
- Companion Cube: After ripping of Rey Mysterio's mask, Eddie would talk to it as if it were Rey Mysterio and force other people to wear it, then act is if they were Rey Mysterio.
- Cool Car: He was bringing out a new one, usually a convertible with hydraulics, nearly every week for a while. Sometimes he even got a Cool Car-intro at "dark" shows (wrestling matches that were not filmed for broadcast).
- Dirty Coward
- Averted in this case. Eddie was never portrayed this way, at least not as a face, because, even though he more or less consistently employed "cheating" tactics, most of his tricks were technically not illegal and his heel opponents were often using even more unethical methods (and the fact that they were total Jerkasses helped, too).
- Played straight as a Heel though, especially in WCW where he forced his nephew Chavo Jr. to do his bidding.
- There is also the fact that, as a Face, he had so much charm and charisma, and was so funny, that the fans would condone anything he did.
- Dominick, I'm your Papi: Towards the end of his feud with Rey Mysterio Jr in the WWE, Eddie revealed that he was the biological father of Rey's son Dominick. Anyone who has ever seen Rey without his mask knew that Dominic is the spitting image of his father, and this detail has never been mentioned since the end of the feud. This was probably one of the reasons the feud became so creepy, many fans just couldn't respond to it. It's not that they didn't care (they cared enough for it to be his most famous wrestle crap induction, prior to the stuff after his death)
- Fighting Dirty: As a face, he makes it an art form that the audience supports. As his later ring entrances brings up, he is "honest" about it.
- Five Moves of Doom: Spinning headscissors, three amigos, lasso from El Passo or Frog Splash.
- Franchise Zombie The "Eddiesploitation" mentioned above. When the exploitation of his death received the dubious WrestleCrap Gooker award, this was part of the introdution:
On the marquee of this site, it says, "The Very Worst of Professional Wrestling." Truly, this induction is the very embodiment of that tagline. The seemingly never ending exploitation of the late, great Eddie Guerrero is the absolute worst of pro wrestling, bar none.
- Glass Jaw Referee: His favorite wrestling trope to exploit when cheating in his matches.
- Guile Hero: As a face.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- With Chris Benoit, in one of wrestling's most infamous examples. Chris pretty much lost it after Eddie died.
- Also with nephew Chavo Guerrero, both in and out of the ring.
- Homage/Finishing Move
- The Frogsplash became Eddie's signature move, but it was his partner Art Barr who originally used the move; when Barr died, Eddie started using the move in tribute to his partner.
- And after Guerrero died, several wrestlers worked the Frogsplash into their movesets in tribute to Eddie. Including Christian, who debuted in TNA on the very same day as Eddie's death.
- Sunday Night Heat Jobber Mercedes Martinez and OVW developmental talent Tracy Taylor used the Three Amigos (Amigas in the former's case)
- His widow, Vickie, also used her own variant at WrestleMania XXVI, to a nice reception from the live audience. The internet audience were not so accepting of it unfortunately.
- Eddie also used an elevated cloverleaf called the "Lasso from El Paso."
- Hot-Blooded: He wasn't called "Latino Heat" for nothin'.
- I Lied, Homes: Nobody ever seemed to catch on. At one point he told Batista he was giving up his cheating ways and even did resist the temptation to cheat several times despite ample opportunity to do so but then when Batista embraced him for keeping his word Eddie had an evil smirk behind his back and soon enough did go back to cheating. (Batista's part in the story never finished because Eddie died)
- Important Haircut: Around the time of his rise to the main event scene.
- It Will Never Catch On
- Eddie— along with Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko— were dubbed the "Vanilla Midgets" by Kevin Nash in WCW due to their supposed lack of both size and charisma. Due to this, they were never given a real push in the company. They jumped ship to WWE where both Benoit and Eddie became world champions and where Eddie showed he had enough charisma to fill a sports arena... which he often did.
- A prime example of this ideology in WCW pops up in one match Eddie had against Chris Benoit. It was an incredibly solid match and the crowd was behind them, but the commentators spent the entire match talking about Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan, and barely commentated on the action in the ring. But that was typical of WCW during the nWo era.
- Jobber: His WCW appearances up until 1996 Starrcade when he competed for and won the United States Championship or in other words, for seven years! Good thing for him most of those were dark matches.
- Large Ham
- Eddie had natural charisma on the mic, and he milked it for all it was worth. Chavo, who has enough charisma, came off as bland by comparison.
- It also helped to compensate for Benoit and Malenko's perceived lack of same, since he could handle the mic work and they could stand in the background.
- "I'M YOUR PAPI!!"
- Lovable Rogue: When Eddie cheated it tended to be funny, as opposed to the four man beat downs Evolution was dealing out on Raw.
- Masked Luchador: As El Grand Luchador
- Legacy Character: Eddie is one of the many men to take up the mantle of Black Tiger
- No Sell: During Eddie's crazed beating of Smackdown jobber Jimmy Jacobs, Jacobs did fight back. Eddie just ignored it.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Oh, yeah. Ric Flair was proud. At least until Eddie swapped their Royal Rumble numbers in 2005 (Flair had #30, while Eddie had #1). Oh, and stole Flair's wallet while he was at it.
- Opposites Attract: His on-screen romance with Chyna!
- Pet the Dog
- Los Guerreros lured Benoit backstage on the pretense Eddie was being assaulted by Kurt Angle and then beat him down with a chair. They later helped Benoit out against Kurt Angle though to make up for it.
- Eddie patted Super Crazy in the face where he had slapped him earlier after they wrestled in Ring Of Honor for the IWA intercontinental championship.
- Power Stable
- The Latino World Order, or LWO; the only reason this stable didn't get MORE popular in its brief existence is because of Eddie's car accident in 1999 that cut the angle short.
- A more straight example of this trope was during The Radicalz' first weeks in the WWF, where they forged an alliance with D-Generation X to form a short-lived Super Power Stable. The most memorable moment of this short-lived alliance was the awesome 10-man tag in Dallas featuring The Radicalz teaming with Triple H and X-Pac against The Rock, Cactus Jack, Rikishi, and Too Cool, which also featured the return of Kane and Paul Bearer - and one of the single hottest crowds in Raw history.
- Los Gringos Locos in AAA along with Art Barr, Konnan, Madonna's Boyfriend and Chicano Power
- The Filthy Animals in WCW, with Rey, Konnan, Billy Kidman and Torrie Wilson.
- Team 2000, in New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Prejudiced For Pecs: The reason he could not get a more prominent spot on WCW cards. He did a little better in McMahon Land, where Eddie Guerrero was the first person of such a size and stature to win the WWE Championship and would pave way for the even smaller Rey Mysterio.
- Real Song Theme Tune
- Rule of Three: In the last years of his career, Eddie started using a series of three vertical snap suplexes that became known as the "Three Amigos".
- Self-Proclaimed Liar: From Los Guerreros onward. "We lie, we steal we, we cheat. When we fight, you get beat!"
"We don't ever get caught for nothing! You know why? Because we lie!"
- Spexico: Before the match where he defeated Chris Jericho for the WWE European Heavyweight Title on the April 3, 2000, Raw, he cut a promo where he told Chyna that he had to set her aside in order to focus on winning the European Championship to make all his ancestors in "Spain" proud. Jim Ross said, "I thought he was from El Paso."
- Spicy Latino: As if you thought he got the Latino heat moniker for some other reason, though Eddie's explosive temper was not always on display because he usually had things going is way. Still, Chyna so much as said she just could not resist his spicy Latino heat when she betrayed Chris Jericho for him.
- S Word Privileges: Let's face it: no non-Hispanic Superstar could have gotten away with exploiting all the worst cultural stereotypes for all they were worth. To quote one of his entrance themes: "You wanna be Latino? If you're not cheating, you're not trying!"
- Tag Team
- La Pareja Atómica con El Hijo Del Santo (a call back to the atomic pair between Gory Guerrero and El Santo)
- Later La Pareja Del Terror after he turned on El Hijo Del Santo and joined Art Bar
- Los Guerreros with his nephew Chavo
- Toilet Humor: Eddie decided to bully a giant by putting laxatives in the Big Show's burritos and spraying him with a sewage truck in the lead up the defense of United States Championship. Naturally, Big Show won.
- ¡Three Amigos!: His name for his sequence of three consecutive vertical suplexes.
- Tough Love
- An angle during his WCW days was that Eddie "mentored" his nephew Chavo by setting him up against massive opponents and humiliating him when he lost.
- The Corrupter: This is because Chavito refused uncle Eddie's advice and instruction (cheat more, here is how to do it)
- Tweener: Initially what one would expect of his Smackdown run except that Eddie was far to over to be considered anything but a baby face, in spite of his antics. He later settled more into the role after the heel heat he gained from his feud with Rey Mysterio died down.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Eddie turned heel in the spring of 2005 because of his massive jealousy of Rey Mysterio Jr, the Mood Whiplash from his "Hispanic cool dude" act to that of a raving lunatic was truly something to behold. Eddie's psychotic rages during this period would have to make the list if one were to catalog the most disturbing gimmicks in wrestling.
- Villain Rap
- Sample lyrics from Los Guerreros theme, Viva La Raza: "We can't be beat/Comin' from the streets of the ghetto/At the end of the week/We get to keep your dinero/You're fast asleep when we sneak in your casa/Your life sucks 'cause you're bankrupt and we laughin'/You can't trust us, ese, 'cause we Latin!"(Can You Feel The Heat is worse)
- As most face/heel tropes involving Eddie, however, it's played with, as that line was featured in all his themes from Los Guerreros up to his death, save for "Gangsta Lean", whether heel or face. His pre-Gangsta Lean heel theme though moves the line from third verse to first.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Rey Mysterio Jr have been portrayed as worse of enemies and best of friends
- What the Hell, Hero?: Played for Laughs, such as his Christmas in Iraq match against Chris Benoit where Eddie tried to enter the ring in a flak jacket that the referee forced him to remove. Eddie eventually won the match and then retreated to obtain another flak jacket for protection against the understandably upset Benoit.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: On Smackdown he insisted he was only attacking Rey Mysterio because Rey Mysterio wanted him to.
- Worked Shoot: Eddie famously asked for his release on an episode of Nitro, and was out of WCW for a few months, because he was angry at Eric Bischoff's refusal to give him a bigger push; Guerrero offered contradicting statements about the promo and the events leading up to it, but many believe the bit was a worked shoot...especially when you consider that Guerrero's return was followed shortly by the formation of the Latino World Order.
- Worthy Opponent: Rey Mysterio Jr. and John Bradshaw Layfield.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: When the Glass Jaw Referee's back was turned, he'd slam a chair on the ground, throw it to his opponent, and then lay down like he'd just taken a chair shot. Ref turns around, sees the "carnage", and DQ's the opponent. And this was while he was a Face, mind you.
- Idiot Ball: You'd think, after a while, refs would get wise to this trick and call him on it but it usually worked right up to his last match.
- You're expecting refs to get wise to ANYTHING?! Are you a wrestling fan or not?
- Well, they did start to get wise right up until WWE realized the crowd liked Eddie cheating and the refs went back to being utterly clueless.
- This is how he retained the WWE title from Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XX.
- Wrestling Family: One of many members of the famous Guerrero family.
- Youngest Child Wins: He is the youngest of his generation of the Guerreros, and the most successful of the entire family.
Viva la raza!