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Eddie Guerrero: Wrestling Legend
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Eddie Guerrero, born Eduardo Gory Guerrero Llanes on October 9, 1967, in El Paso, Texas, was a celebrated Mexican-American professional wrestler renowned for his charismatic in-ring persona and technical prowess. Known for his "Latino Heat" gimmick and the catchphrase "I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal!", Guerrero's career spanned major wrestling promotions including ECW, WCW, and WWE, where he achieved significant success before his untimely death in 2005.

 

Guerrero's Early Life and Wrestling Beginnings

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Eddie Guerrero was born into the legendary Guerrero wrestling family, with his father, Gory Guerrero, being a prominent figure in the wrestling world. Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Eddie was surrounded by wrestling from a young age, which influenced his decision to pursue a career in the sport. He began his professional wrestling journey in 1987 with the Mexican promotion Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL), where he initially wrestled under the ring name Máscara Mágica. Guerrero's early career saw him achieve significant success in Mexico and Japan, notably winning the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Super Grade Tag League Championship with The Great Sasuke and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in 1996.
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Eddie Guerrero (Photos)

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Eddie Guerrero's Rise Through Promotions

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Eddie Guerrero's rise through various promotions began in Mexico with Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL) in 1987, where he wrestled under the ring name Máscara Mágica. His success in Mexico paved the way for his career in Japan, where he performed as Black Tiger II in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Guerrero achieved significant milestones in NJPW, including winning the Junior Heavyweight Super Grade Tag League Championship with The Great Sasuke and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in 1996. In 1995, Guerrero joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where he won the ECW World Television Championship and gained recognition for his technical skills and high-flying maneuvers. Later that year, he transitioned to World Championship Wrestling (WCW), capturing both the WCW United States Championship and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. Despite his success, Guerrero grew frustrated with his mid-card status in WCW, leading him to form the Latino World Order (LWO) as a parody of the New World Order (NWO). This period of his career showcased Guerrero's adaptability and set the stage for his eventual move to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE) in 2000.
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The Radicalz: A Pivotal Chapter in Eddie Guerrero's Wrestling Career

Things Get Tense Within The Radicalz | March 1, 2001 Smackdown
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Eddie Guerrero's tenure with The Radicalz marked a significant chapter in his career. The Radicalz, consisting of former WCW wrestlers Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Guerrero, debuted in the WWF on January 31, 2000. Their arrival was impactful, as they immediately engaged in a brawl on Monday Night Raw, showcasing their wrestling skills and establishing themselves as a formidable faction. Guerrero's time with The Radicalz was marked by his pursuit and capture of the WWF European Championship, which he won twice during his tenure with the group. The faction's storyline included various feuds, notably against The Hardy Boyz and Lita, culminating in memorable matches such as their victory at Armageddon 2000. Guerrero's involvement with The Radicalz not only highlighted his in-ring prowess but also his ability to thrive in a group dynamic, contributing to the faction's overall success and his individual accolades in the WWF.
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Eddie Guerrero (Videos)

Eddie Guerrero's greatest moments: WWE Top 10, Sept. 16, 2020
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Guerrero's Feuds and Rivalries

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Eddie Guerrero's career was marked by several memorable feuds and rivalries that showcased his versatility and charisma. His feud with Rey Mysterio is often highlighted as one of the greatest, featuring intense matches and personal storylines that captivated audiences. Their rivalry included a famous "Title vs. Mask" match at Halloween Havoc and culminated in a dramatic storyline involving Mysterio's son. Guerrero also had a notable feud with Brock Lesnar, where he overcame his personal demons to win the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004, a victory celebrated as one of the most emotional moments in WWE history. Another significant rivalry was with JBL, characterized by contrasting lifestyles and intense matches, including a Steel Cage match on SmackDown! that saw Guerrero lose his title due to outside interference. His final major feud was with Batista, where Guerrero's complex character oscillated between friend and foe, ultimately leading to a match at No Mercy 2005, which was his last pay-per-view appearance before his untimely death.
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Notable Matches Highlights

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero at Halloween Havoc '97 - YouTube
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Eddie Guerrero's career is marked by several highly acclaimed matches that have left a lasting impact on the wrestling world. Here are some of his best-rated matches according to fans and critics:
  • Vs. Rey Mysterio at Halloween Havoc 1997: This match is widely regarded as the greatest in WCW history. It featured a "Title vs. Mask" stipulation and showcased Guerrero's heel persona against Mysterio's underdog hero. The match was praised for its in-ring excellence, emotional storytelling, and innovative moves, cementing it as a classic in professional wrestling.
  • Vs. Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX: Guerrero's match against Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX is another standout. This bout highlighted Guerrero's technical prowess and storytelling ability, culminating in a clever and memorable finish where Guerrero used his "Lie, Cheat, Steal" persona to retain the WWE Championship.
  • Tag Team Match at AAA When Worlds Collide 1994: In this match, Guerrero teamed up with Art Barr to face El Hijo del Santo and Octagón in a "Hair vs. Mask" match. The bout is celebrated for its high stakes, intense action, and the chemistry between the teams, making it one of the most memorable matches in AAA history.
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Guerrero's Personal Struggles and Redemption

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Eddie Guerrero's personal struggles with addiction were a significant part of his life and career. After a severe car accident in 1998, he became addicted to painkillers and alcohol, which led to numerous personal and professional challenges. His addiction resulted in strained relationships with his wife and children, multiple stints in rehab, and ultimately, his release from WWE in 2001 after a DUI arrest. Guerrero's battle with addiction was publicly acknowledged during a storyline with Brock Lesnar, where he openly discussed his struggles and recovery. Despite these setbacks, Guerrero found redemption through religion and a renewed commitment to sobriety. His hard work and determination led to a successful return to WWE, where he reconciled with his family and achieved his dream of winning the WWE Championship in 2004. Guerrero's journey from addiction to redemption remains an inspiring testament to his resilience and dedication.
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Eddie Guerrero's Tragic Death and Aftermath

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Eddie Guerrero's untimely passing on November 13, 2005, at the age of 38, was a profound shock to the wrestling world. He was found unconscious in his hotel room by his nephew, Chavo Guerrero, and was later pronounced dead due to acute heart failure caused by underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Guerrero's death deeply affected his family, friends, and fans, leading to an outpouring of grief and tributes from fellow wrestlers and the WWE community. His passing prompted WWE to implement the Wellness Policy, aimed at preventing similar tragedies by monitoring the health of its performers more closely. Guerrero's legacy continues to resonate, with his contributions to wrestling celebrated and his memory honored through various tributes and Hall of Fame inductions.
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Legacy and Final Thoughts

Eddie Guerrero's legacy in the wrestling world is one of immense talent, resilience, and enduring influence. Known for his technical prowess and charismatic persona, Guerrero captivated audiences with his ability to tell compelling stories in the ring. His career was marked by numerous classic matches that showcased his versatility and skill, making him one of the most beloved wrestlers of the 21st century. Despite facing significant personal struggles, Guerrero's journey of redemption and triumph resonated deeply with fans and fellow wrestlers alike. His untimely death in 2005 left a void in the wrestling community, but his contributions to the sport continue to be celebrated. Guerrero's impact is evident in the way he inspired a generation of wrestlers and fans, solidifying his status as a legend in wrestling history. To this day, Eddie Guerrero remains a revered figure, remembered not only for his in-ring achievements but also for his indomitable spirit and the joy he brought to wrestling fans around the world.
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