Honored in Tribute show
Former World Wrestling Entertainment champion, Eddie Guerrero, was found dead in his hotel in Minneapolis on Sunday morning, according to wwe.com. He was 38 years old.
When a 7 am phone call and knocks on the door went unanswered, hotel security at the Marriot City Center and Guerrero’s nephew and fellow WWE wrestler, Chavo Guerrero, forced their way into his room where Eddie was found lying in the bathroom floor. He is reported to have died with his toothbrush in his mouth.
The autopsy, which was conducted at Hennepin County medical examiner’s office, determined that Eddie suffered from heart failure. “It was from his past €” the drinking and the abuse,” said Eddie’s widow, Vickie Guerrero. “They found signs of heart disease. She (the examiner) said that the blood vessels were very worn and narrow, and that just showed all the abuse from the scheduling of work and his past.”
Guerrero, who was born in 1967, is survived by his wife Vickie and three daughters: Shaul, 14, Sherilyn, 9 and Kaylie Marie, 3.
Guerrero was not only a featured superstar on the UPN series, “WWE Smackdown!” and son of Mexican wrestler, Gory Guerrero, but also became the second wrestler of Hispanic heritage to become WWE champion.
In “Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story,” a one-hour program, which aired last year on UPN and was later released on DVD, chronicled Guerrero’s childhood and his struggle with drug addiction that almost cost him his job, family and life before his recovery and eventual capture of the WWE championship.
”Actually, he told me on the plane just yesterday, that he had just marked 4 years of sobriety.,” said Chavo when asked whether Eddie’s substance abuse could have contributed to his death. “No, I don’t think so.”
This is a huge loss,” said WWE chairman Vince McMahon. “Eddie was a wonderful, fun-loving human being. Eddie was a consummate performer.”
An amazing and well-respected superstar, with both fans and other wrestlers, Eddie will be remembered for his dynamic storytelling, his charismatic appeal and his stellar matches with friends including Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle.
The pinnacle of Guerrero’s career came last February at the No Way Out pay-per-view, when he defeated Brock Lesnar to capture the WWE World title for the first time. One month later, Guerrero celebrated alongside Chris Benoit, one of his best friends in wrestling, who also ascended to the top of the WWE as World Champion at Wrestlemania XX. The two world champions embraced in the ring following Benoit’s victory.
”You know how sometimes a dream seems too far-fetched and unreachable €” well Wrestlemania XX was one of the moments where I realized that dream. Not only for myself but also for Chris,” Guerrero told England‘s Sun newspaper. “Breaking that mould of giants was great €” I’ll take a pat on the back for that one. Being a smaller wrestler is something I’ve been dealing with all my life. But it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that counts; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. And that’s what I’d say about me and Chris.”
With World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, suffering a back injury, many expected Eddie to capture the title in what was scheduled to be a triple threat match for the title Sunday night in a WWE Super show at TargetCenter, but with his untimely death, the show, which combined Raw and Smackdown! episodes, turned into a four-hour tribute to Eddie Guerrero and his illustrious career.
On an emotional charged edition of Monday Night Raw, superstars wore Eddie Guerrero t-shirts and armbands to honor the fallen colleague and chants of “Eddie, Eddie,” rang throughout TargetCenter numerous times during the show. Amongst the fans were several signs paying respect to the Latin sensation. Inter-promotional dream matches took place during the show with many of the superstars paying respect to Guerrero during their entrances and by performing some of his signature moves and taunts.
Raw was also filled with video montages and a 10-bell salute for Eddie ending with a tribute video set to Johnny Cash’s rendition of the Nine Inch Nails song, “Hurt.” A shiny low rider, which became synonymous with Eddie Guerrero’s entrances late in his career, sat beside the stage in remembrance. Many of the superstars broke down during their time of reflecting on the life of Guerrero including close friends Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio.
”Thank you for everything you’ve given me,” said a tearful Benoit. “I’ll never forget you. I love you.”
The second half of the tribute will air on WWE Friday Night Smackdown at 8 p.m., ET on UPN.