Sunday, November 13, 2005

RIP, Eddie

"Eddie sucks!"

That chant in arenas around the land was the ultimate tribute to Eddie Guerrero, who passed away this morning in his hotel room in Minneapolis, four years into sobriety and one of the most consistently brilliant performers in the pro wrestling business. Eddie usually worked as a heel, but was so talented that the fans would never let him stay heel for long - and the "Eddie sucks" was how they'd respond to a particularly outrageous stunt - usually mixed in with a healthy dose of laughter. Eddie worked a lucha style, and though he was a smaller man (only about 5'8"), he could mix it up with the big men as well as the cruiserweights. Eddie even held WWE's Heavyweight title for four months last year - the first Latino to be given the ball like that in this era with one of the major companies. And he did a great job in the run as well.

This year, after a recent heel turn ended (a nearly 5-month feud with Rey Mysterio Jr.), he was working his way back to full babyface status in a main event feud with current champ Dave Batista. In fact, tonight he was supposed to be in a taping for SmackDown! (his show) with a three-way title match.

But after arriving last night with his nephew (and fellow performer) Chavo, he checked into his hotel and never left. Eddie left a wife and three daughters. He was only 38, and will be missed by his family, his friends, his peers in the industry, and his fans, of whom I was one. His final performance was on SmackDown! this past Friday night. Its on my TiVo - I haven't watched it yet.

Because when I do, it'll be like saying goodbye. Vaya con Dios, Eddie.

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